Happenings in Bird Land. 17 August 2021

Our sky is very overcast this morning and, for one of the first days, our temperature will not go over 29 C which is the same as it is in the Caribbean. It is not surprising that the summer flowers, such as Jasmine and Hibiscus, are thriving while the others meant for bees and butterflies are having a difficult time with it even with watering. So far I have gathered 5 one-gallon pails of blossoms off this Hibiscus and dried them for tea. It has been a bumper crop.

Sweet little Malin slept on his fish. Smart little one. Perhaps that is how to keep leftovers if you are afraid that someone will steal your food! Malin ate it for breakfast and then, at 10:17ish, Dad made a delivery.

Sometimes Malin bites Dad’s toes. It is a good idea to drop that fish and get away fast!

Malin protecting his little fish while Dad flies away.

We are keeping a close eye on what is happening with the Black Storks in Latvia and Estonia and I am very grateful to ‘S’ for helping with this. In Latvia, Grafs made a fish delivery at 12:04:43.

The storklings had one feeding yesterday but four feedings on the 15th. It is hoped that more fish will come to the nest today.

One of the birdwatchers in the area and a good friend to this nest, BK, purchased a white decoy and has spent their time painting it to be Grafiene 2. This decoy was installed on the morning of the 17th to try and lure Grafs to the fish table.

Anyone who lives in duck hunting country will know that the use of decoys to attract birds can be very successful. We hope that Grafs smells the fish donations and sees Grafiene 2.

Some of you might be wondering why they do not climb the Black Stork nest near Sigulda. The simple answer is – it is not safe to do so. The nest is mostly made of peat and the birds could from their movements and jumping cause that to break off. Human disturbance would cause the same issues. It is also a very old tree and not strong. Everyone is doing everything that they can. After the feeding at noon heavy rains came to the area.

One development is that the eldest storkling is now branching. You can see that in the image below.

This Black Stork nest is very special to the people of Latvia as are these miracle storklings. ‘S’ tells me that there was no successful nesting here in both 2019 and 2020. This year no one thought that Grafs would attract a mate to the nest – especially so late in the season. No one would dare to think that there might be storklings for fear that something would happen. But there were eggs and they did hatch and look at these beautiful trio. Sadly, around the nest the area of the forest and adjacent areas have changed so much in the past couple of years that finding food for a family here can be difficult. Everyone continues with hope that Grafs will find the fish table. As I have said so very often, human encroachment and human impact on the climate are causing wildlife irreparable harm. Providing food for the birds now and in the future is the least we can do.

In Estonia, Jan has brought in three big fish for the trio at 11:01:17. He made a second trip to the nest at 15:09:18. In between, the storklings have been picking at the old fish on the pile. They were so full that they did not eat one of the big fish that came to the nest. Sadly, that fish fell off.

In other Osprey news, Telyn is still at the Dyfi Nest and has not left for her migration. She delivered a nice size fish and Dysnni was the taker! Some had thought he might have left the area but he hasn’t. Maybe Idris will get something for Ystwyth who looks on – no doubt she had hoped to nab that fish.

And here is Ystwyth, Blue 491, with her fish:

Beautiful Telyn or Blue 3J is a great provider for her two fledglings just like Idris.

Dysynni, Blue 490, flew up to the branch to eat his fish. Everyone always talks about how messy Idris is when he eats well, his son is just like him!

Dysynni has managed to eat the flesh of the fish and leave the tough skin. Bravo – but still messy! BTW. Dysynni is 89 hatch days old today, the average age of the males fledging off the Dyfi Nest in Wales.

You could hear LR2 on the other side of the Loch of the Lowes she was food crying so loud. There is no getting away from the fact that a fish is wanted! NC0 came in with a nice one. So, if anyone is wondering, NC0 has not left for her migration either. Historically, the 18th was the latest that she has left but, perhaps, the birds, hopefully, understand the weather along the migratory route and they will stay in place. As long as there is food, why leave? wait a couple of weeks. LOL. As if I can read an Ospreys mind!! I do hope they can wait.

Lucky! That is a nice fish and this chick doesn’t look like it is starving. That is a pretty nice crop.

These birds have turned out to be strong and healthy. Laddie and NC0 did well.

To close the day off, it was wonderful to click on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest and see Tiny Little, Blue 463, eating a really nice size fish! It was 18:40. It could be the last one for the day.

But, the icing on the cake was the receipt of my ‘Iris pen’ just a few moments ago in the post! It is Choke Cherry and is absolutely gorgeous. You can refill with any Cross Cartridge. What a fantastic fundraiser. Thank you Montana Osprey Project! My picture does not do this beautiful pen justice.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please continue to send your warm wishes and prayers to the very precious Black Stork nestlings in Latvia and Estonia. The people there are doing everything they can to take care of these precious birds. I am continuing to monitor the fires in Greece. There are two new ones. Those fires impact the migration of the birds already on their way. There is a very sophisticated system using magnetic fields and Quantum Mechanics that our birds use to get from one place to another. If you want to read about it, one of the best books is A World on the Wing. The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds by Scott Weidensaul. I just want them to stay put if they can! Take care everyone. Order you Iris pen if you didn’t! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre, The Eagle Club of Estonia, The Latvian Club for Nature, The Dyfi Osprey Project, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, and The Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes.

Hatch is imminent at WBSE nest…red fish, Polish storks, and Tiny Little gets a fish

My virtual friend ‘S’ and I probably never thought we would be pouring over fish ID charts trying to identify partially eaten fish. OK. I can’t fully speak for her but even growing up with a dad who lived to fish, a son that travels the world to fish and feels more at home in a boat than on land, and a grandson that fishes in all his spare time – I never thought for a second I would spend more than a few minutes looking at the type of fish the Ospreys are eating. Surprise. The fish that comes to the Collins Marsh Osprey nest is making some of us very curious as to what it is and where mum is catching it.

The DNR of Wisconsin is great. They have games you can plan, fish ID charts by name or identifying marks. It was not until I found their posters today that I even believed there was hope of figuring out this fish. It looks like my late mother’s Siamese Fighting Fish but for its colour and size.

Thanks ‘S for this great screen capture.

Seriously I thought that the Mum at the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest had found someone’s ornamental fish pond to raids. This is at least the second fish of this species brought to the nest in a 24 hour period.

These are some of the top game fish in Wisconsin but nope. Nothing on this poster resembles that fish.

It isn’t a Roach but it could be a Rudd. But the Rudd hasn’t got red scales! There are suckers that look like a closer match.

This is beginning to drive me a little nuts. And don’t be shy. If you recognize that fish the mum is feeding her chick – tell me. I will be smiling for a week. Tomorrow I am going to ask the Naturalist at Collins Marsh. To be continued.

Dad was only seen on the Collins Marsh nest once today. Mum was busy bringing in these smaller fish for her and the chick. It is a good thing that she isn’t afraid to get wet – because if she were her baby would not be alive.

The chick will eat this species but it is certainly not its favourite and Mom, on the other hand, seems to like it or is so hungry she leaves hardly any scraps.

Speaking of eating, the female at the Bucovina Golden Eagle Nest brought in an Eurasian Hare for Zenit. Zenit wasn’t close to the nest tree when mum arrived and called but he quickly comes in mantling like crazy. When you see this eaglet or any of the fledgling Osprey aggressively going after prey, the term is hyperphagia. Every bird that migrates needs to eat as much as they can – compulsive overeating – in order to store fat for their migratory journey.

Lady Hawk caught all of the action and Zenit’s enormous crop in a video:

Some of the biggest news of the day is that 8:54 am on 28 July a pip was first noticed in one of the two eggs of Lady and Dad, White Bellied Sea Eagles, whose nest is in an Ironbark Tree in the Sydney Olympic Forest.

This was Lady checking, listening, and gently rolling the eggs about forty minutes later.

There is now a hole in that egg. So hatch is close.

I adore the little sea eaglets but this nest really broke my heart last year with WBSE 26 striving to live, to fly, to be a bird and then to have it end with her being euthanized.

I have seen prosthetic legs made for birds, 3D printed beaks for eagles, sophisticated operations on the webbed feet of Canada geese, and more. I have witnessed pain management programmes for animals in care and wildlife rehabbers like those at A Place Called Hope in Connecticut that not the extra mile – they go ten extra miles. All we have to do is remember the state that The Old Warrior was in when he arrived at their clinic. His lead levels were 48, he had multiple fractures in his leg, and his beak was so damaged that he could hardly eat. That old eagle wanted to live and he was treated accordingly. His lead levels are around 10, he is eating well, his feather condition is improving all the time. He is happy! Today he remains with the clinic as they await a permit for him to be their ‘forever Warrior’. I had hoped, like so many others, that something would be done to help 26.

There are several ways to access the cam for the sea eagles. There is even one with a chat room. I will try and locate those other links for you.

Here is cam 4. The definition is good.

I want to thank a follower from Poland who sent me a note suggesting I look at the beautiful stork nest in Ostroleka, Poland. So I did! There were five storks sleeping on this nest in the northeast of Poland.

What a picturesque village. The farmer’s fields are so lovely. Tranquil is the word I want to use as the sun rises on a new day.

I need to find out more about this nest which I will do in the coming days. I am trying to imagine the challenges for the parents to feed five – or is it four chicks and the parent is off the nest? Here is the link to the camera for this nest:

Tiny Little is not sleeping on the Foulshaw Moss Nest tonight. It is not clear to me whether he had a fish drop later last night or not. But after waiting for big sibling to get their fill of a large fish, Tiny Little is now eating for sure. It is 17:01 on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Of course, big older sister is sitting there waiting in line! Poor things. They always get caught up spending so much time around the cheek and mouth, the bony bits. Hopefully Tiny Little will get full before it gets tired.

I love it when the mother’s get out there fishing. We see that in the mom at the Collins Marsh Nest and here comes NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes.

That fledgling just about tore her leg off! I am looking at those strong thin legs of NC0. She has been diving and bringing in fish to this nest for at least a month. Soon she is going to have to begin bulking up for her flight to Africa. It’s that word: hyperphagia.

It has been a pretty exciting day. So nice to see some of the fledglings on the nests! It is comforting to know that they are surviving.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that everyone has a great day. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Osprey Nest and the Neustadlter Nature Center, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Sea Eagles, Birdlife, and Sydney Discovery Center, Ostrolekas White Stork Nest, and Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes. I would also like to thank the Wisconsin DNR for the fish poster files and ‘S’ for sending me that great shot of that ‘gold’ fish.

Sunday snippets in Ospreyland

Well, it looked like Sunday in Ospreyland might have been off to a tricky start but so far, so good.

Tiny Little (Blue 463) of the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria continues to get those street smarts. White YW flew in with a really large and fat fish at 17:11 and Tiny Little claimed it. Sibling 464 arrived too late. Tiny Little mantled that dinner and took it to the other side of the nest. I am so impressed with how this little one is doing. One of the FB chatters caught it and made a video so you can see the action. It is fantastic!

Tiny Little spent an hour eating and then 464 came in to eat the rest.

At the Collins Marsh Nest the mother showed up, after being away for nearly 21 hours, around 9:37 this morning. The chick was ‘starving’ – the little bit that it was able to self-feed just kept it hydrated. The mum seemed a bit strange but she began feeding the baby and has continued to do so. I asked the Wildlife Rehabber and bander, Patricia Fisher, if she had ever experienced a female Osprey being away this long and leaving their chick unattended overnight and she said, ‘no’. I continue to wonder if the mother is ill, was caught in something and couldn’t get away, etc. It is very unusual behaviour.

The male has brought in another fish. It is mid-afternoon in Wisconsin. The mother fed the chick for about eleven minutes before alerting. The chick flattened. It appears there is an intruder in the surrounding area.

Dad has made several deliveries today. This is good as it is hot in Wisconsin.

Mom and chick were both enjoying that nice fresh fish. Mom had fed the chick and herself every scrap on the nest. It makes me believe that something happened to her yesterday so she could not return to the nest and not eat. I wonder if she was tangled in something? While we will never know unless someone comes forward, it is good to have her on the nest and being attentive to the chick.

The chick has a nice crop. Shortly after the chick was down flat and mom was alerting. Stay safe!

Another Osprey caught in baling twine and another one released that had been caught in baling twine. Baling twine and hydro lines are showing up as two prominent dangers for juvenile Ospreys as this week begins.

https://fb.watch/6ZtdB7IayL/

It is a serene evening in Wales at the Glaslyn Nest of Aran and Mrs G. There continue to be sightings of the two of them on their favourite perches and Aran is improving in his flying and fishing all the time. He should be in tiptop shape for migration. That is good news.

Oh, what a treat to catch the two fledglings on the Loch of the Lowe Nest. One has the fish from the delivery and the other is food begging. There is still time for Laddie or NC0 to deliver another meal. NC0 is very good at fishing!

I can’t read the band numbers well enough to tell who has that fish but my goodness the one who is emptied taloned is awfully loud. You could hear it on the other side of the loch.

Looks like they all have the same tricks up their sleeve to try and get the fish from the sibling. This could have been Tiny Little a few days ago.

The sibling with the fish is finding the prey crying annoying. And now we can see the band. It is LR1 who has that fish. He is going to try and finish it.

What a beautiful setting for a nest. No baling twine. No monofilament fishing line. No boaters. The Scottish Wildlife Associations are making great headway in trying to protect their wildlife and their natural environment. It is refreshing to hear the efforts at restoring the Cairngorms National Park.

Around 1 August many of the streaming cameras on the Osprey nests in the UK will shut down for the season. Most of the activity is off camera. That is why it was such a wonderful surprise to find the two fledges of Laddie and NC0 on the Loch of the Lowes nest this evening. Look how big and healthy they are. Amazing.

I have had and seen questions about when the Osprey parents will teach their chicks to fish. The answer to that question is – Osprey parents do not teach their chicks to fish. Fishing is an instinct that has been developing in the Osprey for millions of years and it is programmed directly into their genetic makeup or their DNA. If they were to see a fish swimming in a lake or a stream, their ‘instinct’ would kick in and they would immediately respond. However, fishing takes practice and they will also learn by doing. Most of the chicks will not have caught a fish before their migration. There are always exceptions, however!

Thank you so much for joining me. Keep sending warm wishes to the Collins Marsh Nest. Hopefully whatever was wrong with the mum is now behind the family. I am very grateful to Patricia Fisher for answering all my questions and for her willingness to take this chick into rehab if it is necessary. I am also grateful to James Downey of the Collins Marsh Centre for his quick response to the concerns of many.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Park, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes.

Late Monday 19 July in Bird World

When every fledgling is hungry and Mum brings in a fish:

This is currently the state at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest where the three fledglings are waiting on the nest for a fish drop and each one of them is food begging. Tiny Little has lost out today so let us hope that Blue 35 shows up and feeds him. The birds do not need to eat every day – a lesson that they will have to learn.

I have watched and watched but was away for a couple of hours. It is unclear if Tiny Little had any fish today. At 22:00 one of the big siblings was on the nest eating. At first Tiny Little food called to Mum but then he laid down like his cute duckling self and didn’t continue. The big sibling ate the entire fish, flew off, and then Blue 35 left also.

Nite Nite Tiny Little. Have some sweet fishy dreams – and if you are hungry tomorrow, let everyone know it.

The film, Brave New Wilderness, is only showing in New Zealand on Vimeo right now. It is about the recovery efforts going on for the Kakapo and the Takahe. Watch for when it will be released worldwide on Vimeo. Here is that trailer:

There are now only 202 Kakapo in the world. Kakapo parrots that cannot fly. They are loners. They rarely interact with one another. The only time that they come out of their ‘own space’ is during the summer and fall breeding season or you might find 2 to 4 gathered at a food dispenser on the island. Kakapo will only breed if there is lots of food and that food must be Rimu fruit. It is sometimes called Bush Tucker and is a group of Indigenous foods that grow wild.

“Ripe rimu fruit” by Department of Conservation is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This is Sinbad and he has been fitted with a very special transmitter by the Kakapo Recovery. This transmitter will not only will give Sinbad’s GPS but will also tell the researchers and staff of the recovery if Sinbad has mated.

Because of their solitary nature the Kakapo have to be fitted with transmitters so that they can get their health checks. It has made a huge difference in the population as any ill birds can be sent out for wildlife veterinary assistance.

Some people thought it was funny but right now it is such an effort to feed four people that Laddie, LM 12, losing a fish over the side of the nest on a delivery at 17:05 feels rather tragic. I know that Tiny Little would have liked to have been under that nest to catch that fish!

The storkling that fledged is back up on the nest with her other siblings. So everything is fine in Mlade Buky with the White Storks. Good news. So happy when the fledglings don’t get themselves into a spot of mischief.

It’s 5:54 at the Patuxent Osprey Nest 2 and Mom has a fish and there are three hungry chicks. The chick that fell into the water is doing fine. What a relief to have that little one back on the nest! One of the rescuers told my reader ‘L’ that they were fortunate because it was still low tide when they went to find the baby. Everyone is still so grateful!

I have to admit to almost having a mini-meltdown. One of the chicks was so well hidden behind mum that it looked like this nest had lost another one overboard. Thank goodness it was just the angle of the camera!

That is a short round up today. All of the UK Osprey nests are doing great. The fledglings are all flying and getting stronger save for our little one, Tiny Little. Her confidence is growing and no doubt by this time next week we will be wishing she was back being a duckling on the nest.

Thank you so much for joining me. So happy that you enjoy the birds! It is lovely to have you with us.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, and the Patuxent Park Osprey Nest 2 as well as the Kakapo Recovery FB Page and SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon for their video.

Nest Hopping on the Summer Solstice

Today in the Northern Hemisphere we are celebrating the Summer Solstice. In the Southern, it is the Winter Solstice. My friends in Australia are finishing up their gardens, eating the last of the tomatoes and clearing up the vines, enjoying the first of the cabbages. It is even time for them to light the small fires that keep them warm. For the rest of is it is the beginning of summer officially. A time for school to be over in Canada and people to start thinking what they will be doing to enjoy themselves for the second summer of the pandemic, living under various restrictions.

There has been a lot of action in Bird World this past week – some good and some tragic. We lost the two seemingly healthy Ospreys chicks at the Urbaidai Biosphere Nest. The staff believe the cause was hypothermia. There had been lots of rain and the nest was wet. It is so sad because those chicks were quite large and doing so well. Now at the Golden Eagle Nest in Bucovina, Romania, the beautiful little Golden Eaglet has not had a good meal since the 16th of the month. Today it was so hungry that it had to eat one of the leg bones from the deer brought on the nest. The father had been helping with prey – hunting and then doing an exchange with mom. I wonder if something has happened to him. The female brought in only a small bird since the 16th. It is so frightening because this nest is beginning to feel like a repeat of the absolute horror at Spilve’s nest in Latvia last year. Spilve’s mate died and then her beautiful Klints, almost ready to fledge, starved to death. Spilve could not get enough large prey for Klints to survive. That said there is a difference. A human frightened the male provider while putting up a camera. Spilve’s mate was injured or died. Think about it. This is the reason that no one should go near an active nest once the birds are there. The question is this: does the individual who put up the camera have a ethical obligation to provide prey for the Golden Eaglet?

The eaglet had a crop but I believe it is only from the eating of the bones. I want to be wrong. My friend T sent this picture to me and we both hope he had some real food.

Just now the mother has brought in a very small bird for the eaglet. It is 17:28 nest time in Romania. Eaglet had seen her and started food calling. Oh, I hope that nothing has happened to the father so that larger prey can come on to this nest!

There has been a lot of sadness at various of the nests this year. K2, the middle hatch of Big Red and Arthur, is having some issues. No one knows specifically what the matter is. The beak appears to be layered with dried food that did not get cleaned off. The eye issues could be compounded by the chick’s scratching. It was a good day for a fledge for K1 and K3 but that did not happen. Big Red fed all three chicks on the nest tonight – including K2 who ate well. Big Red knew that heavy rain was coming and she kept those babies on the nest. Oh, she is such a wonderfully experienced mom!

K3 is the one facing towards the street standing in front of the light box. If you look carefully you can see the accumulation of dried prey on the beak. I am hoping that is all that is the matter with her beak and that antibiotics, fluids, and TLC will have her fit to release. I say her. I actually believe K2 is a he. If K2 goes into care they will surely do a DNA test and we will find out – boy or girl.

Around 9:26 this morning Arthur brought in prey for Big Red and the Ks. These parents are being very attentive to their three hawlets as the time comes closer for them to fledge. Already this morning K3 has taken the spot on the fledge ledge. It will be 80 degrees and sunny. A nice day to fly for the first time!

There were three fish deliveries that I am aware of on the Cowlitz Nest today in Longview, Washington. That is wonderful. There continues to be food insecurity and competition on the nest. The smallest chick is very feisty, just like K3, and does take advantage of that when feeding time arrives. I do not know how soon this will stop but I do hope that Wattsworth will bring more fish to the nest so that these two can begin to grow and thrive. Chick 1 hatched on May 27th making it 23 days old and chick 2 hatched on May 29th making it 21 days old today. They are physically behind in their development but that might not be a bad thing unless they are not ready for migration when August or September arrive. It would be like having a child who is either small for their age that they are at the bottom of the chart or, likewise, one that is really big for their age. I was happy to see crops on both the chicks today and also to see a pair of fat little bottoms. Hopefully they will be fine but they need consistent fish brought to the nest for that to happen! Wattsworth!!!!!!!

You can just see the coppery colour starting on their heads. They still have the white stripes on their back and their dark charcoal down as infants. It looks like their spider legs are beginning to fill out a bit but the little bottoms today – at least – are plump and round. These kiddos have been a bit of a worry because there is no rhythm to this nest. All you have to do is look at the nest where the chicks are thriving and see the dad bring in a fish first thing in the morning – it is there just as dawn is breaking – and at tea time or before bed. And, of course, in between. Wattsworth is not regular. It makes for so much insecurity – and hunger – which leads to rivalry.

There they are those sweet little kiddos with their little tails coming in. Oh, you keep every morsel of positive energy you have going the way of these two. They cannot help who their father is – I just hope that for them Wattsworth will continue to provide more and more fish. They can get over it. Just look at Tiny Tot! But they are going to need lots of fish as they should be entering their biggest growth period.

Jack brought in two fish to Tiny Tot at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest. The first of the day was actually the tea time fish at 4:52:33 and the last was at around 7:50. Tiny gets so excited when he sees fish coming in – he food calls and starts mantling – always backing up on the nest so that dad has a place to land.

It was a really quick hand off. Tiny is great – can you tell in the image below that he has a fish in those talons? I couldn’t for the longest time.

In the Karula National Forest in Estonia, the Black Storklings are thriving. Karl II and Kaia have done a wonderful job parenting the three of them. This is the nest where Karl’s former partner typically laid 5 or 7 eggs and then would toss the smaller chicks off the nest. I am hoping that Kaia only lays three eggs every year so that all can survive – providing there is enough food. Food insecurity triggers the elimination of the smaller chicks.

So much on these nests – every nest no matter the species – depends on a regular supply of prey. Any nest can change in an instant if something happens to the amount of prey or the weather turns cold and damp.

Aren’t they adorable?

I do not know if the community is still feeding the storklings in Mlade Buky. You will recall that their mother was electrocuted and Father Stork was going to have difficulty protecting the little ones and getting food for them. The community chipped in little fish and various other small mammals for both Father Stork and the storklings, feeding them three times a day. Those generous caring people made it possible for these three to grow strong and fledge. When I check now, it is Father Stork who is feeding them.

Here is father stork feeding them just after 10pm last night in Czechoslovakia.

And today you can see how big those storklings have grown.

It is morning in Scotland. There is a beautiful golden glow falling on NC0 and the Two Bobs. Look how big they are? At one time I worried so much for the Little Bob and NC0’s feeding ability but she has proved herself to be an excellent mother.

There is a bit of mist as the sun breaks in Wales at the Dyfi Nest of Telyn and Idris.

Let us all hope that the golden glow that falls so beautifully on NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes will bless all of the nests this week so that everyone is well.

Thank you for joining me. You stay well, too!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Achieva Credit Union, Cowlitz PUD, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Mlade Buky, Eagle Club of Estonia, and the Bucovina Golden Eagle Cam.

Fishy Friday or is it Fish Friday?

My son lives in the West Indies. On Fridays, there is a fish dinner up on the coast in one of the fishing villages. Every kind of fish you could want cooked many different ways along with all of the sides and homemade strawberry ice cream. Oh, yum. The barbecued Red Snapper is so tasty! When I think of all the Ospreys eating fish on Friday it reminds me of those dinners on the island. If my memory serves me correctly almost all of the islands have a Fish Friday at one place or another. If you wind you there, check and see. And then get ready to enjoy.

Most of the time when people are watching nests not much is happening. Everyone gets excited when a fish appears and there is some action and completely distraught when the chicks are hungry. Well, it is Friday and it looks like everyone is being fed.

So far today, Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest has had two fish. Jack brought in one around 8:41 am and a second before bedtime at 8:25.

Thanks, Jack! Tiny has been guarding the nest for you!

Tiny is really good at mantling. No one is taking his fish.

The poor little munchkins over on the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest had two fish deliveries today, too. One was small with the late afternoon tea time one a little bigger. It sure would help both the mental and physical state of this nest if Wattsworth would get 4 fish on that nest every day – and not twiddlers either. The kids fight because they are hungry. Getting enough fish to exist but not really thrive. Right now both of the chicks have a crop. Thank goodness.

And you may not see the fish but when you see a PS like the one in the image below, you know that those Two Bobs on the Loch of the Lowes Nest have eaten well! Laddie and NC0 are nothing short of terrific.

It seems like Idris at the Dyfi Osprey Nest has entered some kind of local fishing contest. He continues to bring in whoppers. Yesterday it was the largest mullet ever recorded at the nest. Today it was another big one. Here is the image of the one yesterday if you missed it. They figure that the fish weighs more than Idris which I find interesting because most people state that these fish eagles cannot weight carry that much. Idris you might be changing our thinking on that. It is the largest mullet ever seen on the Dyfi nest.

Idris might have heard about that wall for Monty and figures he might have a chance at one too if he is a great provider. I guess time will tell. He sure is a cutie! Look at those big yellow eyes.

Idris is up on the post and Telyn is feeding the two Bobs. I believe that these two Bobs will be ringed in the next couple of days. Super!

Idris and Telyn are over on the nest perch keeping watch over their babies while they sleep. Hopefully it will be a quiet night at the Dyfi nest.

Dylan keeps bringing in sticks trying to build up the wall on the nest for the Only Bob at Clywedog. Meanwhile, while he is thinking about that, Seren is feeding this little cutie. You can hardly see the nest. Only Bob is a pretty good aim with that PS! There must be a bullseye on that camera.

It was very sad to lose the little albino chick on the Urdaibai Biosphere Osprey Nest, the other two older siblings are doing really, really well. Like all the others they are also enjoying their Friday fish.

Between the condensation and the PS on the camera it is really hard to see the Two Bobs at the Manton Bay Nest at Rutland Water. It has been raining all day. They are hoping to ring these two Bobs but it cannot happen when the weather is bad. They have a couple more days. Fingers crossed. The rain doesn’t seem to bother Blue 33 (11) – he gets the Fish for Friday up on the nest.

All of the babies are fine and I hope you are, too. Take care of yourself. Thank you for joining me. It is always a pleasure to see so many bird lovers.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Project, Urdaibai Biosphere Park, Achieva Credit Union, Clywedog Osprey Project and Carnyx Wild, Cowlitz PUD, and the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Loch of the Lowes.

Early Morning Check in on UK Ospreys

It’s about 4:20 in the morning up in Scotland and in Cumbria but already it is really light outside. The chicks – or should I say Big Bob – was eating a late meal at the Foulshaw Moss Nest around 22:30. At this time of year it stays light til about 11pm and the sun is already coming up around 3 or 3:30. That makes for really long beautiful summer days.

The water in the loch is as smooth as a mirror. There is that gorgeous pink tint on everything at dawn. Idyllic. Oh, to be able to smell the freshness of the air!

Laddie came in first thing with a bit of a teaser for breakfast for NC0. That one Bob looks like it is still bursting from the last meal late last night! Gracious. Bet he wishes mom wasn’t so loud every time she sees dad coming in with a fish!

In fact, neither one of the Bobs look too interested in that small fish.

I think NC0 ate most of it herself! Good for her. She has done an excellent job raising these Two Bobs. And so has Laddie. They have made a good team and this has been a wonderful nest to watch save for the first week or so when Little Bob was being shut out of the fish by Big Bob.

They are going to ring the Two Bobs at the Rutland Manton Bay nest in the next few days. There was some discussion over this ringing being too late so I asked some questions and Tiger Mozone answered every one of them for me. Thank you! Tiger Mozone explained to me that there is a tiny window for ringing. It should not be done after the chick is 45 days old and cannot be done if the weather is bad. Tiger said the youngest he had seen ringed was 25 days old but most are in the 30s. When I wondered if all osprey chicks were ringed in the UK, Tiger said only about 33% of them. Some cannot be ringed because the tree the nest is in is not save for someone to climb. And considering all the chicks I began to wonder how many banders you would need for all of them to be ringed. Tiger also said something very interesting. Roy Dennis actually puts the satellite transmitters on the chicks when they are on the nest at 42 days! Wow. You don’t want to scare them and cause an early fledge. Is Roy Dennis an Osprey Whisperer?

Perhaps they will clean the camera when they ring the chicks! One of the Bobs did a big PS and there has been no good rain to clean that off.

The Bobs are 41 days old today. Blue 33 brought in an early fish just like Laddie. The Two Bobs are self-feeding now. You can tell the one that doesn’t have the fish is watching and waiting for a chance.

Little Tiny Bob had a good feed early this morning but Great Big Bob was in a bit of a mood at the last feeding around 22:30. Both Tiny Little Bob and Medium Bob kept their heads down while he ate. Both of them tried to raise them up and Great Big Bob just gave them both ‘the look’ and they tucked their heads down and kept still. He is a bit of a brute that one – or, more likely, she is a bit of a brute!

Speaking of brutes reminds me. I have an interest in all third hatches that were abused by their bigger siblings and survived. I am curious to find out which of that clutch survived – which is why banding or satellite trackers or both is very important. Tiny Tot is one of those third hatches. Z1 was one of those and he is now in his second season of raising a family. His sister that bullied him did not survive. Today, my friend, Tatiana, mentioned to me that Congo was terribly abused by his older sibling. Congo hatched at the Dunrovin Osprey Nest in 2018, just down the road from Iris’s nest at Hellgate. He is actually the middle chick. I am not clear on what happened to the third.

As it happens it was Congo that came to visit Iris. He might have been bringing her a fish if Louis hadn’t arrived. Tatiana sent me a link to a YouTube video that was posted showing the arrival of a fish and the older sibling actually pulling the feathers out of Congo’s head. You will see them in her beak! How horrible!!!!!

The sun is just coming up over the Dyfi Nest in Wales. The two Bobs are still sleeping. Idris brought in a couple of really large fish yesterday and these two might be as full as the chicks up on the Loch of the Lowes Nest. They sure are going to wake up to a gorgeous day!

That’s your late Thursday night check in on UK Ospreys Nests —– where they are just waking up and starting their Friday. I hope all their fish dreams come true today.

Happy World Albatross Day to everyone. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, and LRWT.

Here a fish, there a fish, everywhere a fish!

One of the things that I have learned but which I continually have to remind myself is this: birds are individuals. They may have instincts that have developed over 50 million years but, at the same time, they definitely have their own character. One of the first times I noticed this was with the Royal Albatross Family in 2020. The Royal Cam chick was Atawhai (Pippa was her nick name). Her parents are OGK (orange-green-black) and YRK (yellow-red-black). OGK hatched in 1998 and he was 22 years old last year when Atawhai hatched. YRK hatched in 1994 and was 26 years old when Atawhai hatched. They have been a bonded pair since 2006 and 2020 was their seventh breeding attempt. They have four children and one foster chick as of 2020. So they are not ‘new’ parents. OGK would fly in to feed Atawhai. He loved to sit next to his baby girl and have the most animated conversations. OGK was never in a hurry to leave. Atawhai adored him and would go running when he would land. Sometimes he would even spend the night with Atawhai. In contrast, YRK liked to feed her daughter and leave! Then there are the adults that I call over providers. A case this year was Louis, the partner of Anna, at the Kisatchie Forest Bald Eagle Nest. They were first time parents of Kisatchie. At first I didn’t think that Anna would ever figure out how to feed her wee chick. The parents try to look straight at their chick and keep their beak straight and vertical but in fact, because of the way the raptors see, the mother needs to angle her beak. Anna figured it out – thankfully. Louis was the envy of all the people fishing on Lake Kincaid. One day there were eighteen fish piled up on that Bald Eagle Nest – 18! He had enough food for all the Bald Eagle nests in the southern US. Unbelievable. And then there are those nests where you just sit down and weep. I said I was not going to watch the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest but one day I peeked. How bad could this dad be? I know that I often called Jack at the Achieva Osprey Nest a dead beat dad and for several weeks he was but I didn’t think it could get worse than Jack. Oh, but yes it can! Wattsworth. I only have to say his name and those that watch the nest know precisely what he does and doesn’t do. Wattsworth gets caught not bringing in fish but if Electra catches one he is right on the nest expecting her to give it to him! Meanwhile the two barely living chicks – those poor little things – have barely enough food to live. They certainly don’t get enough food to thrive. And Electra is worn out and ever so hungry, too.

Can a nest be an indication of the success the couple will have with their nestlings? I know it sounds like one of those really stupid questions. The day that Louis landed on the rim of the nest at Loch Arkaig, the nest he shares with his mate Aila, he began to do nestorations. He repaired the walls of the nest, brought in new seaweed from the loch to dry and got everything ready for Aila’s arrival. As the days passed and Aila didn’t show up, Louis continued to work on the nest in case she was really late. Have a look at this nest. There has been snow, lots of rain, and some pretty windy storms but the nest is more or less the way Louis left it when Aila did not return this year.

From the moment Iris arrived at her Hellgate Missoula Montana nest she began to repair it. Iris had a lot to do. Last year she went on a rampage when a squirrel climbed up and tried to get in the nest cup. This was after the raven had eaten her egg. There wasn’t much left of the walls. So in 2021 it was almost like starting from scratch. One of the people who belong to the FB page of the Montana Ospreys commented on how Iris was still doing her best even though Iris knows that the outcome in 2021 will not be any different than previous years. The key is that she is doing her best, regardless.

Even CJ7 and 022, who are currently bonding on the Poole Harbour Nest but will not have chicks this year, are working on their nest!

Just yesterday one of the two chicks on the Cowlitz Nest almost fell out of the nest. There is no wall on the far side! You can see it plainly in the photo below.

Is this because there are no sticks to bring to continue building? or there are so many intruders there is no time to secure the nest? or is it indifference? or is Jack just lazy? or does he have another family or two? If anyone knows the answer, write to me – I would sure like to know!

How can you tell if a raptor has food in their system? We all know by looking to see if they have a crop but is there any other way? I happened to catch Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest tonight doing his ‘ps’. That white streak ends between the C and the H in the Achieva logo below. The PS left Tiny Tot’s body like a cork popping out of a champagne bottle. The point of all of this is that Electra had such a tiny ps yesterday that you knew her system was almost entirely void of food. The same for those babies. They fight now – they each want to live. It is sad because that clobbering one another uses up their precious energy.

Tiny Tot doing a PS. 15 June 2021

The Cowlitz kids had feedings from two fish today and Electra was eating too. We can hope that all of that small fish will go to Electra and the babies and not into the talons of Wattsworth who was waiting to claim it! Wattsworth certainly gets the Dead Beat Dad award for the past two weeks!

Speaking of Dead Beat Osprey Dads. I have to give Jack a gold star. He has really turned around. Every day he brings at least one fish to Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey Nest. One day – was it Sunday? – he even brought in four – FOUR – fish for Tiny. Jack has not forgotten his little one protecting the nest!

Here comes Jack with that fish for Tiny at 7:05:17.

White YW and Blue 35 on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest have also been working on the nest. White YW is getting much better at bringing in fish to the nest for Blue 35 and the three chicks, too. My concern is really only Tiny Little Tot. Oh, he is starting to get clever like Tiny Tot did when he was starving and being picked on by the bigger siblings. One of the FB friends of the nest said it well today, “Little One saw the fish coming in and made sure he was in pole position!” Her observations were absolutely spot on. Tiny Tot got right in front of mama so that she could see him clearly and Tiny Little Tot didn’t move. Not only did he not move but he also took bites meant for one of the bigger siblings. Oh, I just adore this little sweetie. He could go on that list of third hatches that survive and thrive!

That was just brilliant! And the older ones didn’t even seem to mind. What a relief. Tiny Little Tot had a really good feed.

Speaking of crops, have a look at the crop of Little Bob on Loch of the Lowes. Looks like everything has straightened itself out on that nest as well. Both Bobs are really thriving.

Today’s winner of provider of the day goes to Idris, however. Sorry Laddie! Just look at that whale that he hauled in for Telyn and the Bobs. He didn’t even eat the head!

Oh, thanks so much for joining me. It is always a pleasure. I will be checking in on Big Red and Arthur and the Ks first thing tomorrow. Fledge watch is truly on for that Red tail Hawk Nest on the Cornell Campus.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I grabbed my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Nest, Achieva Credit Union, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, Woodland Trust and Friends of Loch Arkaig.

Friday Nest Hopping in Bird World

After the continuing sadness on the Glaslyn Nest and the mounting attacks by the intruder on the Achieva Credit Union’s Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida, it felt like a good time to check on the other nests in Bird World to see what good news is going on.

There were three chicks on the Loch of the Lowes nest. The third, one of the tiniest I have ever seen, died shortly after it was born. The first hatch is doing well and growing like mad. The second is small. I attribute this to the aggressiveness when there is food to the first hatch and the lack of experience of NC0. Let’s hope they both keep going.

The following two images are from the Scottlish Wildlife Trust and the Loch of the Lowes streaming cam:

Being the armchair auntie that I am, Laddie needs to keep bringing the fish onto the nest – big and small. NC0 is hungry and she needs to have fish to top up Little Bob while Big Bob is in food coma!

Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes Nest Cam

Blue 33 (11) delivered a big fish to Maya for the Two Bobs early this morning and he is back checking on the pantry. Now problems and now worries at the Rutland Manton Bay Nest. Blue 33 (11) and Maya are a Super Osprey Couple.

The two chicks are starting to get their feathers and will look less and less reptilian in a few days!

LRWT

Idris and Telyn (Blue 3J) are on the Dyfi Nest. Idris caught a whale of a fish this morning. He is eating the head and then will deliver the rest to the nest. It is unknown whether the male Ospreys prefer the head or if this is a mechanism to help keep the chicks from being injured in the nest. Still, we know from experiences this year that the fish does not always stop flapping even if the head is off!

Dyfi Osprey Project Cam

Sweet little babies eating their fish.

Dyfi Osprey Project

Ready for another lunch two hours later!

Dyfi Osprey Project Cam

Oh, and just look at that first hatch of Blue 5F Seren and Dylan at Clywedog. This little one is finishing its late lunch resting on the two eggs left in the nest. The second egg is late in hatching and might not and we will see if the third hatches. Sometimes having one healthy chick is the best

Llyn Clywedog Osprey Project Cam

I don’t know if you can tell it but this nest is also still damp from the rain. I hope that Seren keeps Bob warm and dry!

Llyn Cleydewog Osprey Project Cam

Here you can see how damp the nest is better. Oh, little one. Stay well!

Llyn Clywedog Osprey Project Cam

There was other excitement at the Clywedog Nest early this morning. A second year juvenile, KA7 returned to his natal nest today at Llyn Clywedog. KA7 was originally believed to be a female due to its weight but it now believed to be a male. A success story – we need all of them we can get today.

Blue 35 and White YW are on the Foulshaw Moss Nest in Cumbria. The nest is certainly drier than those in Wales. You can see Blue 35 incubating but letting Big Bob get some air.

Cambrian Wildlife Trust

Fauci fledged yesterday at the UC Berkeley Campanile Peregrine Falcon Nest. Annie and Grinnell still have Kaknu and Wek-Wek and both of them seem to be more interested in eating and playing together than fledging.

UC Falcon Cam
UC Falcon Cam

Annie is bringing food to Wek-Wek.

It may be sunny in California but you would think that the Welsh rains have hit Ithaca, New York. The Ks woke up and it was a nice dry day and then the skies opened. Big Red is on the Fernow Lightstand Nest with the Ks and they are now drenched – soaked down to the bone.

Cornell Bird Lab
Cornell Bird Lab

Sadly, the weather is showing continual downpours on Big Red and the Ks through Saturday.

Cornell Bird Lab

The sun is setting on the Osprey Nest in Estonia and we are on hatch watch. The first egg was laid on 17 April, second on 20 April, and third on 23 April. We could wake up to a pip tomorrow morning!

Eagle Club of Estonia

You can watch this nest here:

I would like to introduce you to a new nest. It is an artificial platform that was rebuilt in 2021. This is the Black Stork in in Jõgeva County in Estonia. The Black Storks successfully bred in this nest for many years until 2004 when it was vacant. The male, Tooni, moved to another nest. The Black Storks on the nest have been here for two years. The Black Stork is on the Extreme Endangered List for Estonia and they are very rare. It is wonderful that these two have accepted the new nest.

The male arrived on 10 April to begin preparing the nest in the hope that the female mate would come.

Eagle Club of Estonia

The female arrived on 2 May. The female is incubating four eggs that were laid on 12, 14, 15, and 18 of May.

Eagle Club of Estonia

You can watch the nest here:

The Estonians are learning many things through watching the rare Black Storks. First, the fledge date depends on the amount of prey brought to the nest. Also, the longer the storklets stay on the nest after fledging the more successful they are. In North America, we also know this – the longer the Ospreys and the Bald Eagles remain on the nest after fledging, the more likely they will succeed and beat the odds. A good example is Legacy who fledged, was missing, found her nest and remained on the nest for nearly a month longer. The other case are E17 and E18 from the Fort Myers Bald Eagle nest of D Pritchett. The Estonian scientists also learned that any disturbance of the nest could cause the parents to abandon it at any time. If you see a nest, do not disturb it. And do not tell anyone where it is located. Caution is always the word.

Thank you for joining me today. With the chicks dying at the Glaslyn Nest and the Welsh nests still being cold and damp, it is good to see that many other nests are doing very well. Some have enjoyed good weather while others have had on and off heavy rain, like Big Red and the Ks. Fingers crossed for all of them keeping intruders away, making nestorations for the laying of eggs, and the incubating of their eggs. Take care everyone. Stay safe. Enjoy the weekend coming up.

I have put the names of the streaming cams where I get my screen shots under the images. I am thankful to these organizations for their streams because that is where I get my screen shots.

Starting off to be a great day in Bird World

Looking out onto the garden in the morning is always a delight, even when it feels like rain or snow is coming. The sky is a white-grey. The trunks and branches of the trees are all manner of brown except for the Flame Willow which is the most striking orange-red. Our forecast is for three days of snow starting Monday. They are mostly wrong. Fingers crossed.

The Grackles are building their nest and the Starlings seem to have taken over the feeders while the Dark-eyed Junco are dancing around on the outdoor carpet finding any little seed they can. How many grains do they need to keep up their energetic activity?

“Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)” by Becky Matsubara is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“European Starling” by Becky Matsubara is licensed under CC BY 2.0

For the past four years, the European Starlings and the Dark-eyed Juncos arrive in the garden in early April. This year they came in mid-March. The Starlings are known to chase the sparrows away from the feeders but, in my yard, they seem to prefer to forage around on the ground. It is the Grackle family that causes the most mischief but I adore them. They always arrive around the end of March and did the same this year. Two years ago they fledged a single chick. The extended family arrived to cheer it on. It was the most amazing moment. I am going to get an outdoor camera! There were seventeen of them gathered. The fledgling and its family all left together. Last year Mr Crow raided the nest and ate the new fluffy chicks right after the Great Horned Owl threatened its nest. It is always a big saga during the summer. Things quiet down again in October when the visitors return to their winter vacation spots.

Speaking of migration, there is a lot of news. I have borrowed the image below from the Loch Arkaig FB page. I do hope they don’t mind. The credit goes to Hugh William Martin. The posting says it all. The much loved and long awaited male osprey who doesn’t hesitate to tandem feed with his mate, Aila, stole my heart last year for that single reason. He is an amazing dad and mate. Louis will fish day and night for his family and he will help Aila keep the kids sorted. No fears for JJ7 the third, the tercel, the smaller male named after Captain Sir Thomas Moore. You will remember Sir Tom, the war hero who, at nearly 100, pledged to walk 100 lengths of his garden to raise money for the National Health Service (NHS). His goal was 1000 GBP but his venture captured the hearts of people around the world and he made over 13 million GBP for the health services in Britain. Incredible. I hope that Captain’s (JJ7) life is as long and illustrious.

But for now we celebrate the arrival of Louis. There are more than 300 people at this moment watching an empty nest; Lewis is off on his roost or fishing. Hopefully, Aila will return shortly and we will be able to watch them again outfit their nest and get to raising a healthy happy family!

In other migration news, the book, A World on the Wing. The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds by Scott Widensaul arrived this morning in the mail. I cannot wait to grab some time and read it. Glancing I notice a lot of material on satellite transmitters.

The other day someone watching one of the nests that I check said they did not believe in banding or transmitters – the osprey are not endangered. I would argue, as they did at Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania in the 20th century, that you need to know when you are entering a decline to find out why. That is one reason that you want numbers. How do you really know if there are too many? Hawk Mountain is on the migratory bird route from the Eastern parts of Canada and the US and they literally count the birds. A research project coming out of the University of Montana at Missoula with Dr Erick Greene has to do with migration and the understanding of the perils the birds face. Dr Green is also interested in the mercury levels in the local osprey as well as foraging and how a colony of ospreys can help one another find more food versus a solitary osprey. Some of the Montana birds are wintering in southern Mexico. At Port Lincoln, Solly, the 2020 first hatched female, was fitted with a satellite transmitter and ringed. She has already changed what we know about osprey movements away from their nest in that area where Osprey are highly endangered. Lots to learn about the long and arduous trips that all the migratory birds make – not just Ospreys! The bird books are stacking up but I do hope to get to read them shortly!

There have been a few chuckles up at the Loch of the Lowes Osprey nest since Laddie (LM12) inadvertently gave a fish to an intruder sitting on the nest and not to his mate NC0 yesterday. To put it mildly, don’t get a female Osprey upset!!! Everyone wondered if NC0 would forgive Laddie – she kicked him off the nest. Everything looked as if it was going fine this morning. NC0 returned to the nest cup. Everything appeared to be rather serene. Is she preparing to lay an egg?

But, as this soap opera continues, no more had everything appeared to be settled than the intruder arrived and Laddie flew in to assist. Didn’t someone say that there are eight Osprey males in Scotland needing mates?! or is it also this prime piece of real estate?

A female osprey has returned from her migration and has, for the past couple of days, been hanging around the Llyn Brenig nest in north Wales. It is the home to male Blue HR7 and female Blue 24. Please note the wind turbines. Some chicks have been killed in them. Spotters are hoping to identify the bird by her tag. She is being very mysterious and teasing us and not revealing anything, not even one number!

This morning I decided not to get up and check on the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg- at least, not first thing. Some days my whole body seems to go on a food strike in support of Tiny. But I seem to have helpers these days -wonderful ones -and I was told right away that Tiny was eating after 10am. So coffee in hand, I decided to go back and check. I am happy to report that although he ate last, Tiny did get 88 bites (call me obsessive) between 7:46:22 and 7::52:27. Diane offered him the tail at the end and he mantled it. Great work Tiny Tot!

Here he is with fish flakes around his mouth at 7:50 having a private feed:

And here is Tiny mantling the fish tail that Diane gave him:

Tiny had a crop, in the image above, at 8:01. He dropped that crop prior to 9:30. Note: Dropping food from the crop sends it to the stomach. It is like a holding and processing tank. At 9:40:39 a second fish was delivered to the nest. At 10:04:20 Tiny is fed. There is a lot of skin but Diane is also finding flakes of fish. Tiny had 97 bites. Diane offered him the tail. At 10:16, Tiny had a crop again. In the scheme of things anyone watching would realize that the amount of food to fill Tiny is insignificant in the face of what the two older siblings eat.

Someone asked if Tiny would catch up in size. That is an interesting question. I have not gone through all my notes but it appears that from 12 March to now, Tiny missed seven (7) complete days of food. And we know that he has not eaten nearly the amount of fish as the others on the other days. A real reveal would be to compare meals and length of feeding times since we cannot weigh the food. Still, skin or not, I was glad that Tiny was rewarded by 97 bites on that second feeding. It is nearing 4pm on the nest. Hopefully two more fish will come in before dark – two more fish that are large enough for all.

Diane trying to provide shade on a hot 26 degree C day in St Pete’s.

The three siblings on the Achieva Osprey nest. From left to write 1, Tiny Tot, and 2. Everyone hopes that any intruders that may be in the area will leave so that Diane can go fishing, too. We wait and hope. It is all anyone can do.

I want to leave you some close up images of Iris, the world’s oldest osprey. She returned from her long migration to Missoula, Montana yesterday. It wasn’t long til she was over in the river and had caught herself a whopper. Apparently, Louis has been around for a visit today. Louis became Iris’s mate when her faithful companion Stanley died. Louis has been around for 4 years with no breeding success. He has another family so food and nest security are all left to Iris who also has to lay the eggs, incubate, and eat. Last year a raven stole her egg. Prior to Louia, Iris has raised, it is believed, anywhere from 30-40 chicks to fledge. All are hoping for a devoted partner. Hopefully she will kick Louis from the nest for good!

And a quick peak at the two Great Horned Owlets in the Bald Eagle nest in Kansas. They are growing and growing and Farmer Derek’s snake population on his farm is declining! If you can’t get mice, snake is an excellent second choice! It is hard to believe but these two will be branching soon. They look like little people with those big eyes all wrapped up for winter. Adorable.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me and the birds in ‘As the Nest Turns’. I hope you have a great end of the week wherever you are.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my images: Farmer Derek, Montana Osprey Project and Cornell Bird Labs, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Friends of Loch Arkaig, Scottish Wildlife Trust and People Play Lottery, Friends of Llyn Brenig, and the Achieva Credit Union. Also the Friends of Loch Arkaig FB Page.