Oh, baby…it’s Tuesday in Bird World

Little K2 made its appearance in the world sometime before 6am but no one is precisely sure when. It was raining in Ithaca and there was no way that Big Red was going to let those two babies of hers get wet!

Pause for a second and look at the crop on K1 in the image below. Remember. Big Red will not let one of her babies go hungry. I am so glad she has Arthur. He is five years old and a dynamo when it comes to hunting. She made a wise choice in that young man when Ezra was killed. Arthur is an energetic and passionate provider in a land of plenty (so far).

If you want to watch Big Red and Arthur raise the Ks and if you also want to join the regular chat once it is started, here is the place to go. There are two cameras. – And lucky for us, we have cameras on Big Red. Hers is one of only two Red Tail Hawk streaming cams in the world that I know. It is an extremely active nest where the eyasses change quickly.

Samson brought Legacy a huge piece of fish yesterday. It was so big that both he and Gabby got to eat some. This morning Legacy is on the nest hoping for another prey drop while Gabby surveys the windy skies. It is 31 degrees C in Jacksonville and the water could be choppy.

How much do the stormy hot days play into the ability of the Bald Eagles to catch fish? is it worse on the weekend with boats and more people in the water? Were all members of the family hungry? Some of these questions can be answered but, not all of them. We will never know if Legacy was lost from her nest for three days but we might imagine she could have been. Were the parents feeding her off the nest? We don’t know. Was she getting her own food? We don’t know. What we do know is that she needs much more time on the nest to learn to self-feed and she needs to imprint her environment so she can find her way easily to the nest if she does a fly about or gets chased by little birds. The crows have been about the nest. Legacy is only 12 weeks old and has much to learn to survive in the wild!

I do not even know what to say. Everyone knows that I get antsy if an Osprey nest has three eggs on it but can you imagine trying to feed five? Well, the bonded pair at the Osprey nest in East Hampton, New York has FIVE eggs on it as of this morning!

If you want to watch the activity on this nest and the little tub boats that go up and down the water way, here you go:

Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot the Raptor is doing amazing. The peace on the nest now that #1 sibling has fledged is palpable. #2 loves to fly around the nest and Tiny is happy to watch. This morning everyone ate and got bombarded by the local Blue Jay.

Tiny is doing so well. For me, this is nothing short of a miracle. Everyone believed he would not survive. But thrive is what this wonderful fish eagle is doing. It is simply joyful. He is laying flat on the nest watching the Blue Jay pester sibling #2.

Little birds can be just annoying to the bigger raptors but they can also be very dangerous. Often they cause the eagles and Ospreys to fludge – leave the nest early without intent. They may chase them away from the nest and the territory of their parents before the juveniles are able to imprint how to get back to their nest. Everyone is wondering what happened to #1 after she fledged and that could be your answer. The Blue Jays have been pests now for a couple of weeks. They might have a nest nearby. Normally the natal nest will be the centre of the ospreys life after fledge for at least a month or six weeks. The father will continue to bring food to the nest as the young ones increase their flying and landing skills. It is also possible that some of the fledglings are fed ‘off’ nest.

If you are interested in a well written, easy to understand book on Ospreys, I highly recommend Ospreys: The Revival of a Global Raptor by Alan F. Poole. Poole is an expert on Ospreys and this is a particularly engaging book for everyone.

I thought I would check in on Big Red and the two Ks before I closed – and there she is feeding them again! Raptors grow quickly. They condense a lot of change in a short time frame. These two will probably triple their body weight in the first eight days! Laura Culley once told me that human babies would need to gain 15 lbs a day to grow as fast as the hawks. Wow. The two little ones in the image below will always have crops – never fear. There will be no anxious moments. This nest is a pleasure to observe!

Everything is going as expected in Bird World this morning except for an Osprey nest in Wales where it has snowed. I will report on that later today or tomorrow. I am also watching the plight of the Osprey couple at Lyn Brenig in Northern Wales whose platform was destroyed by vandals. Wales Water is hoping the pair will relocate and lay their second egg – which is due today – on another close nest structure they erected for them. Thank you so much for joining me!

Thank you to Cornell Bird Lab and the RTH cam, Achieva Credit Union, and Marders Osprey Cam. I grab my screen shots from their streaming footage.

Fish Deliveries! and Nest Hopping

You need to sit down for this. Seriously, you do. Louis brought Iris, the oldest breeding Osprey in the world, a fish! This is such a big deal that I almost didn’t believe it when I saw him land on Iris’s nest, fish held tight in his talons, on Monday 26th of April. It was 10:04.

Incoming. Could Iris believe her beautiful eyes? 26 April 2021
Iris is happy to accept Louis’s fish. 26 April 2021

Iris will enjoy the fish. Of course, we all know that Iris can catch her own fish – she is a pro. It is the simple act of doing something nice for her. You see, Louis has two nests. This is Iris’s nest. If she had a ‘solid, full time mate’ they would help her restore the nest each year. The nest was in a particular state this year. Last year Iris’s egg got eaten by a Raven and then a squirrel dared to climb up. Iris practically tore her nest apart getting rid of that critter. Iris has been diligent, working hard to get the rails built up and a fine moss cushion on the top. The nest that Louis shares with Starr is at the baseball park. Both nests are in Louis’s territory. He is in charge of protecting the area from intruders, especially Bald Eagles who also hunt for fish. Because Iris’s nest is in Louis’s territory, it also means that she will never have another mate – for the simple reason that it is Louis’s territory. That is the long and short of it. Louis does not help Iris in the way that a normal mate would – he won’t help with the nest, incubate the eggs if any are laid, protect the eggs, relieve Iris, or bring food to her and the chicks. Iris is, in reality, a single parent with all the problems we have seen the females have that are alone. Daisy the Duck had her eggs eaten by the Crows. Milda starved and had to leave, her chicks dying from hypothermia. The list could go on but it takes two active parents to be successful. Louis helps Starr and normally brings her the fish. Apparently Louis brought Iris a fish last year – I missed that. And, for whatever reason, he took it back! This year he didn’t. Maybe he is growing up.

Iris is a beauty. She returns every year from her winter migration in top form. This year she arrived on 7 April. Louis has been over ‘visiting and mating’ since her arrival but so far, no eggs have been laid.

The issue at this nest is very similar to that faced by Milda. The female needs a good mate who will provide her fish while she incubates the eggs and who will bring loads of fish for her and the hatchlings. She cannot leave the eggs or the chicks unattended. Louis has failed to provide food for Iris and the chicks. Because of that, there has been only one chick fledge since they bonded. That was in 2018.

Many would like to see Iris raise a clutch of osplets. She is, after all, the grand dame of Ospreys. Even I fell into that mindset but, I changed my mind. Iris has fledged 30 or 40 chicks into the world -with Stanley, one with Louis and perhaps other partners before Stanley. Iris has paid her dues to the Osprey DNA lineage. I would like to see her live healthy and happy for many more decades. Raising chicks is very hard on the female (and the male if he does his job). Iris needs to sit in the sun and enjoy her summer vacation in Montana.

Nature is very difficult to observe and it is even harder not to be impacted by it. As humans we might not ever understand the level of hunger Milda had or what it is like to see your child or chick starve in front of you. Iris has seen both. Perhaps while her body is telling her to breed, maybe nature will have another idea. We wait.

Iris is beautiful. 26 April 2021

Iris enjoying her fish as the sun sets.

Everything seems to be going well over at the Fort St Vrain Bald Eagle Nest in Colorado today. The little one is growing and getting bigger by the day. Here it is getting ready to have lunch. Blink and this baby will be totally covered in thick thermal down with lots of pin feathers!

I want some lunch Mom! 26 April 2021

Just take a close look at the image below. Just imagine that each and every one of the triplets has a crop like the one in the middle. Imagine a food coma so heavy that you simply fall flat on your face with your legs spread. Then look at the picture again. These are the Pittsburgh Hays Bald Eaglets.

Sometimes Mom or Dad still decides to do the feeding over at the Duke Farms Bald Eagle Nest. Wow. Can you tell Li’l from Big? I can’t.

Time for lunch. 26 April 2021

These two will be banded and fitted with satellite transmitters shortly. It is a great study to find out how far the eaglets migrate from the natal nest. We should also find out their gender!

Li’l seems to have caught up with Big. 26 April 2021

Over at the Minnesota DNR Bald Eagle nest, the two have been enjoying some gourmet meals – such as duck. Today, it is hard to tell what is on the menu. It doesn’t seem to matter. These two have really grown. More often than not, these kiddos have bulging crops, too. Harry is a great provider and Nancy and him have made a wonderful team.

Nancy is feeding the two little eaglets. OK. Not so little anymore! 26 April 2021

There have been lots of fish deliveries for Kisatchie at the Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle Nest near Kincaid Lake in Central Louisiana. The Alligator Gar has been there for a week or more…Bald Eagles don’t seem to like them!

Kisatchie really does not want that Alligator Gar! 26 April 2021

Anna still likes to feed her ‘baby’ as dad, Louis, looks on. You can see a few dandelions hanging on. Kistachie will be ready to fledge along with Bib and Li’l at Duke Farms – too soon.

Louis and Anna are with Kisatchie on the nest. 26 April 2021

Oh, the winds have been blowing in Kansas today. Tiger and Lily did get a food delivery. Right now Lily Rose is in the natal nest and Tiger is holding on tight up on a big branch near to the right of the camera.

Lily Rose is all alone in the natal nest. 26 April 2021

Can you find Tiger?

OK, where are you Tiger? 26 April 2021

Food has been on the nest at the Savannah Ospreys but it looks like the day they had the powerful rain and the osplets couldn’t eat caused the oldest one to be food insecure. This morning he was extremely aggressive to the youngest one. Here they are standing together. I worry about this nest as the food deliveries are not good.

Lunch time – and time for the little one to get some food! 26 April 2021
Peeking out. 26 April 2021

It is finally dark in St Petersburg, Florida and Jack deserves a break. Honestly, I don’t know what got in to him today. Did he find a stash of fish somewhere? Jack made SIX fish deliveries to that Achieva Osprey nest on Monday, 26 April. Incredible. The last one was at 7:30:48.

Here is that last delivery. Tiny Tot is right there cheering Dad on! Look at those nice legs on Tiny. He is really growing. It looks like he is wearing stilettos.

Tiny Tot didn’t get the last delivery of the day. But that’s OK.

Tiny Tot had one of his infamous beach ball crops. He looks so silly standing in the nest preening. You can only see his crop but not his head. And his legs look hilarious. Tiny Tot is not hungry.

Nearing the end of the fish, Diane and Tiny Tot seem to think they might just want a little taste. They move in on sibling #1. Tiny Tot steps right in front of sibling #2 and doesn’t even bat an eyelash. The kid is getting more confident every day.

At 8:25:14 Tiny gets his first bite and that is the end of the story. That fish is finished around 8:32. Sleep well everyone!

Monday morning at Achieva. The first fish comes in at 7:02:16. Tiny Tot looks for an opening and Mom Diane has the fish. Tiny gets fed for about fifteen minutes and then sibling #1 pulls the fish away from Diane gently. Later, Diane feeds #1 some of the fish and then feeds Tiny Tot at the end – in front of 2. It was a pleasant morning. Again, 2 is not so interested in the morning. Sibling 2 gets more food aggressive after 11am.

27 April 2021. The end of the first fish delivery and Tiny Tot is getting fed by Diane in front of 2.

It wasn’t a fish delivery but it was a delivery. The little marshmallows are growing up. No rivalry. Annie and Grinnell feed until there isn’t a beak open. No one pecks another one – they know that they will be fed. Oh, how I love falcons and hawks. It is so different. So reassuring.

Thank you so much for joining me today. There is certainly a lot going on in Bird World. Sometimes it is just too much to try and fit in a single blog. Some of the nests and these amazing birds deserve more attention than they are getting. Oh, for more hours in the day. Have you noticed how fast time passes since the pandemic started? Blink and another week has passed. Take care. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, X-cel Energy, MN DNR, Duke Farms, Farmer Derek, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Cam, and UC Berkeley Falcon Cam.

Late night Tiny Tot updates

I had no intention of writing another blog today but, a behaviour on the Achieva Osprey nest that first happened this morning repeated itself and has prompted me to share it with you.

This morning, Diane, the female on the Achieva Osprey nest in Dunedin, Florida took a fish away from the eldest (1). She moved it up to the top rim of the nest towards the left and began to feed Tiny Tot. Tiny Tot (3) got enough fish this morning to give him a small crop.

At 6:53:41, 1 has another fish. In the image below, 1 has the fish in the middle of the nest front. Tiny Tot is at the back of the nest. Diane is at the front right and 2 is in front of her.

At 7:00:23 Diane is checking on the progress of 1’s self feeding and 2 has now taken an interest in what is happening. Look carefully in the image below. Tiny Tot is shifting his body to the left in subtle moves. Compare where he is in the image above with the one below. No one noticed Tiny Tot’s movements.

At 7:02:53 Diane has taken control of the fish just like she did this morning. She moves it up the left side of the nest. 1 is watching and 2 has moved up to the top rim of the nest. Tiny Tot realizes that 2 is near to him and he turns slightly to the left. A subtle shift.

At 7:02:55, Tiny Tot begins to make his move despite 2 being up by the rim of the nest. Tiny maintains a mantling position for protection. Go Tiny! Mom is waiting to feed you!

In four seconds, Tiny has made his way to mom and is being fed. He will get some nice bites. 1 and 2 will move over and want to be fed by mom also. Tiny maintains his position on the opposite side with mom between – a really smart move. Tiny Tot is a keen observer. His will to live is admirable.

At 7:10:38 Tiny Tot steals a bite meant for 2. Tiny’s head is a blur. In the image below you can see that 2 has its beak right by mom’s but her head is towards Tiny who has grabbed the piece of fish. Brilliant move by our little underdog.

Both 1 and 2 continue to be fed and so does Tiny. Here he is at 7:22:15. Also look. Despite the older sibs being right up by her, Diane continues to make sure that Tiny Tot gets some food.

Tiny is still being fed at 7:26:43.

The mother’s behaviour is very different today than previous days when she ignored Tiny Tot’s cries for food. Today, it looked like she purposefully took two fish away from 1 after 1 had been practising self-feeding. When she moved the fish, this allowed Tiny Tot to get on Diane’s right side away from 1 and 2 so that they could not harm it on both occasions. Despite 1 and, specifically 2, being up by her head, Diane fed Tiny Tot along with the bigger siblings.

Whether or not Diane will continue this behaviour tomorrow is something we will have to wait and see. Instead of being very hungry and ignored all day, Tiny Tot is going to bed with some food in his stomach. It is certainly hard to know how much fish he was able to get but, anything is better than not being fed at all!

I continue to hope that breaks like today come and that Tiny Tot will get stronger and grow some. It is worth remembering that food insecurity began on this nest on the 12th of March with 1 being extremely aggressive to Tiny Tot. Tiny Tot was only a week old at the time. Tiny Tot has had many days when he had nothing to eat. The time of inconsistent food at the beginning of a growth period in March have meant that there has been a slowing or a stunting in Tiny Tot’s growth. To what extent this has impacted his overall development is unknown. He is certainly clever and is mentally alert to everything that happens around him – two good traits for survival in the wild.

Thank you for joining me – and also sending warm wishes to Tiny Tot. He needs all the positive energy coming his way that we can muster. I have checked on all the nests and everything appears to be fine. The only exception is a real snowy time in Colorado at the Fort St. Vrain Bald Eagle Nest. I will bring updates on all of those tomorrow. And last, if you are watching the NCTC Bald Eagle nest, the children of Shepherdstown Elementary School have named the two eaglets. E5 is Talon and E6 is Spirit. Great names and fantastic to involve the children. The future of our planet and the care of our wildlife will be driven by decisions they make.

Here they are: Talon and Spirit. Look at the size of those crops. I wish so much that Tiny Tot would have a crop like that tomorrow. All of us would be delirious with happiness.

Look at those big crops on E5 and E6! NCTC Nest. 19 April 2021

Thank you to the Achieva Credit Union and the NCTC Bald Eagle nest for their streaming cams. That is where I grab my screen shots.

Nest Hopping

We are getting some really good looks at the California condor egg in Redwood Queen’s nest tree in Big Sur, California. This is the same tree that Red Wood Queen raised Pasquale and Iniko with her long time mate, King Pin. King Pin is believed to have perished in the Dolan Fire in 2020.

Redwood Queen 190 and Phoenix 477 have been taking turns incubating the egg. We will be looking for a hatch in four days time – on April 24.

Did you know that on Easter Sunday in 1987 the last living California condor was captured and taken into captivity? Today, thirty-four years later condors are being released and living in the wild again. After the fire in 2020, there are 9 missing condor including Redwood Queen’s old mate, King Pin. There are 90 California condors living in Central California and 507 in total. Those numbers show the success of the captive breeding programme that Ventana Wildlife Society and the USFWS undertook three decades ago. Seeing Redwood Queen who was born in captivity lay another egg in her burnout Redwood Tree just puts a smile on your face!

Everything seems to be fine on The Landings Savannah Osprey Nest. The two little ones are growing and had crops this morning. As everyone knows, I am hoping that the third egg is not viable. These two are great and mom and dad can handle them easily.

Two little ones waiting for breakfast. 20 April 2021

The three little Peregrine Falcon eyasses of Annie and Grinnell’s are just adorable. They are growing and getting feisty. Grinnell has been very busy catching the local pigeons and turning them into raptors. Everything is fine on this nest. Watch for the hatching of the fourth egg tomorrow!

Cute. 20 April 2021

Open wide! Peregrin falcons make a ‘clicking’ sound alerting the eyases that it is time to open wide and eat.

Time for pigeon! 20 April 2021

The sun is going down on Loch Arkaig and, as yet, there is no news of Aila returning.

Louis continues to bring in moss for the nest. 20 April 2021

All of the nests in the UK that have eggs on them are doing great. NC0 is incubating at Loch of the Lowes – what a gorgeous place for a nest! Just like that of Annie and Grinnell who are in the penthouse of the Campanile at Berkeley.

NC0 and Laddie have three eggs! 20 April 2021

Over in Wales at the Dyfi Nest, Idris is showing off his amazing fishing skills to Telyn (Blue 3J). Wow. Apparently, Monty, Idris’s predecessor was also good at catching two fish at the same time. It’s great. Idris and Telyn can have dinner together!

20 April 2021. Idris landing with 2 fish!

Tiny Tot is enjoying the view and his nice full stomach from the feeding this morning. Or in my world, I am not going to start to worry about him again for another day or so – Tiny Tot is a miracle!

There he is looking out at the traffic below. His tail is coming in nicely.

Have a terrific day everyone. Take care, stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union in Dunedin, Florida, UC Berkeley Falcon Cam, Cornell Bird and Skidiway Audubon Savannah Osprey Nest, Woodland Trust and People’s Postcode Lottery, Dyfi Nature Reserve, Scottish Wildlife Trust, and Ventana Wildlife Society and Explore.org.

Updates in Bird World…plus Tiny Tot just got a private 45 minute feeding. Yahoo.

There was a hatch on the Savannah Osprey nest on 13 April. The pip happened at 20:58:42 the night before. There is the cutie looking for some fish!

14 April 2021

NC0 laid her second egg on the Loch of the Lowes nest today, 14 April. The first was laid on the 10th. What a gorgeous view! NC0 was apparently very quiet and took everyone by surprise.

NC0 looks out over her territory. Loch of the Lowes. 14 April 2021

In the changing of shifts, you can see the two beautiful reddish eggs. The couple had one chick last year – will they try for three in 2021?

You can see both eggs at Loch of the Lowes! 14 April 2021

Louis is still waiting for Aila to arrive at the Loch Arkaig nest.

Louis waiting for Aila. 14 April 2021

Telyn or Blue 3J was busy rolling her egg over at the Dyfi Nest in the middle of the night. Might we expect a second egg eminently? The first was laid at 9:55 am on 12 April! Some are not leaving the streaming cam as Telyn is breathing rather heavy in the middle of the night.

Rolling the egg. 14 April 2021 Dyfi Nest, Wales.
Telyn rolling the egg laid on 12 April 2021. 14 April 2021

Telyn sure is a beauty! Did you know that she is the daughter of unringed Maya and Green 5R from Rutland? She was born in 2013. No wonder she is so gorgeous.

Is Telyn laying another egg? 14 April 2021

What a beautiful sunrise at Clywedog. No eggs for Dylan and Seren yet! Dylan was back on 24 March and Seren on 29 March. Fingers crossed as the middle of April approaches.

15 April 2021. Sunrise.

The second egg was laid at Foulshaw Moss on the 13th with the first coming on the 10th. The image below shows Blue 35 doing her incubation duties. She is the mate of White YW.

Blue 35 incubating eggs. 14 April 2021

Maya is blissful incubating her three eggs at the Rutland Mantou Nest. Her mate is Blue 33 (11). The eggs were laid on 30 March, 2 and 5 of April.

Maya incubating her three eggs at Rutland. 14 April 2021

Wonder what is happening on the nest of Mrs G and Aran? Will there be another egg? The first for this much loved pair at the Glaslyn Nest came on 10 April, the second on the 13th and we are expecting the third on the 16th!

Mrs G (front and left) and Aran (right). 14 April 2021

As I was typing this, a fish came on to the Achieva Osprey Nest. Thank goodness. It has been incredibly hot there. There was speculation that something might have been wrong with one or the other of the parents. Was Jack’s leg hurt? Why wasn’t Diane fishing like she did yesterday? There was also worry that since the two older ones had not eaten they would be very aggressive. Tiny Tot grabbed that fish and wanted it but, as usual, he had to wait. Now the older sibs just weren’t that interested. Could it be that they ate so much yesterday they both need to cast a pellet and Tiny will get ‘fed up’. Diane fed him privately for 45 minutes. Bravo!

In the middle of the feeding of Tiny Tot. 14 April 2021
14 April 2021. Tiny Tot at the end of the 35 minute feeding. Nice crop!

And last, some news from UC Berkeley’s Peregrine Falcon Nest. There is now communication with the eyasses and expected hatch is 17 April. Splendid! Annie and Grinnell are amazing parents and there is nothing short of delirium watching a peregrine falcon nest. And no worries about siblicide!

You can join in the peregrine excitement here:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Oh, I can’t wait for these furry little falcons to hatch. What a riot it is when they figure out how to eat. You will love it! And I am relieved, like so many, that Tiny Tot got fed today. Don’t care what time just that he was fed. If another fish doesn’t arrive, he is fine til tomorrow. Tiny Tot has taught us that.

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I get my screen shots: UC Berkeley Peregrine Falcons, Achieva Credit Union, Woodland Trust, Post Code Lottery, Friends of Loch Arkaig, Rutland Water, Scottish Wildlife, Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust’s Dyfi Osprey Project, and CarnyxWild Wales.

Here is a great shot of Tiny Tot after that good feeding. Food coma will come shortly!

Wow…the weather! And three great bird dads.

At 5:24:46 pm Diane, the mother of the three osplets on the Achieva Osprey Nest almost got blow off!

There are several thunderstorms coming and going with the winds gusting very high to the wee hours of the morning. The little ones were well fed before noon.

Just so you can see precisely where this Osprey nest is on the western coast of Florida, here is a map:

I hope that your screen will enlarge this image so you can see it better. If not, I want you to look on the left hand side of the state about halfway up to the panhandle. You will see an inlet. That is Tampa Bay. Now continue up the coast. Find Clearwater. The Osprey nest is actually in Dunedin, Florida which is slightly north of Clearwater. [Note: The toxic dump that made the news last week is around Sarasota, south of Tampa Bay.]

Ospreys are, of course, not afraid of water but Tiny does not have all of his grown up feathers yet. The older siblings will want to snuggle too but I hope that Tiny got right in under Diane. Thank goodness it is not cold.

Around 6:09:59 there was a break in the water. Diane and the babies are soaked but, bless his heart. Jack arrives with what looks like a Gar – long needle like fish. It isn’t big and it won’t feed everyone but, gold stars for bringing that in. The seas had to be very rough.

The weather indicates several more hours of thunderstorms. Maybe Jack can get out and get another one before dark. It’s raining now but there is to be another thunderstorm in 45 minutes, a break and then another storm at 8pm (if the weather is correct). Sunday looks like another stormy day. Then two good days. Hopefully the weather will not disturb the feeding schedule too much on this nest. Things have been going really well for Tiny Tot.

You can barely see Tiny Tot’s back behind the chick on the left. It doesn’t look like anything will be left. We all hope for another fish to come in. A glimpse at Tiny Tot shows that he does still have a crop from the huge feed this morning. Still, it is much better if he eats because of the bad weather in the area. With the rough seas who knows when Jack will be able to bring another fish in – or what size it will be.

You can see that crop on Tiny Tot better here after that Gar disappeared. Tiny didn’t get any food but he is still full from the morning. One of the nicer things that is also happening on this nest is that Tiny Tot is being accepted more as being part of the family. When he was ‘starving’ (is there any other way to put it?) and many felt that Tiny Tot would not make it, he was ‘apart’ from the family. Sleeping alone, etc. It is good to see them together.

There is another fish delivery at 8:01:48. The light on the nest is going and it is hard to tell who specifically delivered it as Jack and Diane landed on the nest at the same time. It is also hard to see how big it is. Hopefully there will be something for Tiny Tot. He appears to have been trying to cast a pellet all day. That can sometimes interfere with any interest in food. But, let us hope the little guy is up to eating if there is fish for him. Tomorrow looks like thunderstorms again in the area.

Tiny is up to take advantage of the feeding if there is fish left. You can just catch Tiny’s head at the far right of Diane.

So hard to tell. No IR on this camera so the light can cause great difficulties in trying to tell who is who. One thing that did happen is that 1 and 2 have been at one another. #1 was always dominant but #2 is trying to take top position. #1 is not going to give it up easy. As long as the two of them battle, that is fine. They are nearly the same size. Tiny Tot is too small. It needs to eat and the older ones battling could work in its favour. The thunderstorms have started again and Diane has stopped feeding.

It is worth having a look at a different problem. Let’s head over to Loch of the Lowes. If you follow my blog, you will remember that the male, Laddie LM12, inadvertently gave a female intruder who was sitting on the nest cup a nice size fish. Laddie intended it for NC0. Why would he think another female would be in her place on the nest, right? Well, there was one. NC0 flew in madder than a hatter and kicked Laddie from the nest. To make up for his indiscretion, Laddie has been bringing in nice sized fish for NC0 to make up.

Look at that nice big fish! Laddie wants to keep NC0 happy.

Awwww. Blue 33 (11) is giving Maya a break from incubating their three eggs. What a hair cut! He is such a sweetie. Loves to cuddle with Maya and is just one of those super dads.

Thank you Jack, Laddie, and Blue 33 (11) for taking such good care of your mates – regardless of the weather.

And thank you for checking in again. Send positive wishes to the Achieva Osprey nest because this is not the end of the bad weather for them, it is just the beginning.

Thank you to the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, Achieva Osprey, Scottish Wildlife and Friends of Loch of the Lowes for their streaming cam. That is where I get my screen shots.

Tiny Tot’s Triumph, continued

I hope that everyone could hear the cheers as Tiny worked out strategy and really got fed this morning, 9 April 2021. He did not get much from fish 1 but got in place and did well with fish 2 and 3. There is a minute by minute description in my earlier blog today, Tiny Tot is Triumphant.

The 4th fish of the day came in at 3:18:19. It was a huge fish. Jack you are getting quite a few gold stars today. And the temperature is now 26 and the winds are blowing twice as much as they were in the morning.

Tiny Tot is in the wrong place right now. He needs to figure out where mom is going to be and make his way around there. Tiny Tot still has a crop from the morning. He is watching and he begins to move to the rim of the nest. There he goes. Instead of moving in front of the older sib, he is going to go behind Jack.

There he goes. He knows where the fish is and where the big siblings are. Remember, he is getting his strategy down but he is also protecting himself. He has eaten well today. No need to make a senseless move and let #2 hurt your head and neck. Just keep moving around the back.

Can you see where Tiny is now? Look right behind mom. You can see his wing. He is still not eating. Now watch as he continues to position himself without drawing attention to his movements.

OK. Tiny Tot is making his move to get around to the left side of mom near the food – or between her legs! It is a place where he can get fed but Diane is between him and the older siblings. My goodness, Tiny is getting so clever.

Tiny changes his mind because Diane shifts and moves the fish. He is going to try between her legs to grab some fish. Sibling 2 is up by the rim of the nest deciding to pass up the fish. Sibling 1 is still eating. Tiny is watching from under mom.

Then he makes his move. He knows that 2 is not interested and will not bother him. So he is going to have a go to see if mom will give him some bites.

And guess what? His strategy paid off. He cries and Diane begins to feed him fish. Tiny even manages to grab some bites that were intended for the older sibling! Well done, Tiny! Mom continues to feed Tiny with a few bites going to the older sibling. By 3:29:15 Tiny is getting a private feeding.

By 4:20:44 Diane is saying to Tiny: are you sure you won’t have just one more bite? Tiny Tot is full from the tip of its talon to the end of its beak. But, he pauses and then takes just a few more bites.

It is now 5:33 pm on the nest. There could be another delivery or two. I am going to take a break though. It has been a fantastic day for Tiny Tot. He is honing his strategies for getting food and he was, the last I saw him, full to the brim! Thanks Jack for getting out there and fishing. Your family really needs you right now. And thanks Diane for hearing Tiny and feeding him! It was good to see Mom get some good fish, too.

Thank you for joining me today. It has been all about Tiny Tot. I just wish you could see the smile on my face!

Thank you to the Achieva Osprey Streaming Cam in St Petersburg, Florida where I get my screen shots.

What is it about Ospreys?

I keep telling myself that I am going to write about the new murder mysteries set in Paris by Cara Black, or my trip to the duck pond to try and convince the geese that they really should eat lettuce and not bread, or the hope in everyone’s heart for the COVID vaccines to work BUT, the universe keeps drawing me back to Ospreys.

This morning Bird World cheered as the oldest female Osprey in the world landed on her nest in Missoula, Montana. I wish Bird World could work some magic and keep Iris’s most recent mate, Louis, over in his nest with Star at the baseball park. Maybe someone could encourage a really nice male Osprey to find Iris quickly and treat her the way she should be treated – respectfully and sharing everything – including taking care of the osplets.

Iris is a real catch and I hope she proves everyone wrong when it comes to older Ospreys still being able to lay fertile eggs and raise chicks. Here is the shot of her landing. Gosh, isn’t she in magnificent physical shape? There is not a feather out of place. You really could mistake her for an eight year old bird! Wonder what Iris’s secret is?

Iris safely lands on her nest in Missoula, Montana to begin the 2021 season. 7 March 2021

Around lunch time, Iris sat, looking at her nest and the train passing. I watched thinking how grand it would be for her to arrive back at her nest with it all reconstructed and a loving mate waiting with a fish. My goodness if anyone deserves it – it is Iris!

Iris sits on her perch resting after her long migration. 7 April 2021

After Tiny Tot losing out to the food earlier, it felt like just another tense day. Two full days without food. When would Tiny get to eat this time?

At 2:44:29 Jack delivered a nice sized fish to the nest sans head. It was long and narrow but looked like enough since the big ones had already eaten. Would there be enough for Tiny?

Jack landing with a mid-afternoon meal. 7 April 2021

Diane rushes over, mantles and takes the prey.

Jack arriving with fish. Diane rushes to mantle it. 7 April 2021

Tiny Tot was in the right place in all the commotion of the landing and take off. He actually got the first few bites. That’s Tiny Tot facing mom between her and Jack, right in front of Diane’s bowed head.

Diane mantles fish arrival. 7 April 2021

And around 2:47, Diane fed him and #1 together. Then the two bigger siblings decide they are starving and over the feeding. But since the two of them had a big feed this morning and Tiny missed out, they were not as famished as they thought. It was, in fact, a strange feeding with the big sibs coming and going, #2 seemingly just blocking Tiny because she could. Tiny getting bites and the big ones deciding they want more continues until 3:19:37 when Tiny moves up. The older sibs finally leave. Diane pulls out every morsel of flaky fish she can find including some nice big pieces. Tiny eats until 3:27:54. Tiny had a great crop!

That is Tiny Tot in the image below, the one to the back. You can see his crop. You can also see how much larger the other two are because they have had days and days of food when Tiny didn’t eat.

Diane overlooking her three chicks. From left to right: Tiny Tot, 2, Diane, 1. 7 April 2021

At 4:14 Diane stands on the rim of the nest looking at her three children. For the past two years she has only had one chick each year. It must be different and challenging to understand the needs of three. She is, however, a selfless mom. Diane is also hungry. Diane calls for another fish delivery. She leaves the nest. It is unclear if Diane caught the fish or if she retrieved it from Jack off the nest but, at 5:58:23, she brings in a fish.

Diane arrives with the last fish of the day. 7 April 2021

The older siblings do not allow Tiny Tot to have any. Thank goodness he still had a nice crop from the afternoon feeding. Around 7:41, Tiny Tot tries to pull some morsels off of a bony piece that Diane hid so Jack could not remove it from the nest. It was too small to hold with his talons but Tiny did manage a few bites.

In the picture below, Tiny is to the left trying to find some fish on that piece of bone. The other two are passed out.

Tiny Tot is having a go at self feeding. 7 March 2021

The tenseness of this nest reminds me of when Daisy the Black Pacific Duck laid and was incubating her eggs on the nest of the White Bellied Sea Eagles in Sydney’s Olympic Park. Everything just hung by a thread and the pendulum could swing in any direction. My concern for Tiny Tot is that the older sibs are eating and eating and growing and growing. One of them tried to take the tail piece away from Diane today. If it had, Tiny would not have had any food in the afternoon. While Tiny does not require nearly the amount that the older do, he still needs to eat and should be doing so on a regular basis throughout the day. What happens when those two big ones grab the fish from Jack and eat the entire thing?

And speaking of nest tensions, whew! An unringed female landed on the Loch of the Lowes nest of Laddie and NC0. The intruder was standing right over the nest cup when Laddie landed with a nice sized fish. The intruder grabbed it and flew off the nest. NC0 arrives and gives Laddie an earful. Oh, my. Here is the video of that moment:

I have always said that watching the bird cams was much better than many of the movies on the streaming stations. Osprey World could beat any soap opera though!

Will two-timing Louis draw Iris into agony again this year? Will NC0 forgive Laddie? Will Laddie have to bring NC0 two fish? And will Tiny get fed tomorrow?

I want to leave you with an image of pure happiness. The two little ones of Harry and Nancy having a meal on the MN DNR Bald Eagle cam. Aren’t they adorable?

Two little bobbleheads enjoying a fish meal. 7 April 2021

Thank you for joining me on what can only be called ‘As the Nest Turns’.

Credit for featured image: “Pandion haliaetus Osprey” by David A. Hofmann is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen images: the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Cam in St Petersburg, Florida; the Cornell Bird Lab and the Hellsgate Osprey Cam; MN DNR Bald Eagle Cam; and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Little Lionheart

There is an air of hope and happiness for the littlest Osprey on the St. Petersburg, Florida nest of Diane and Jack. Believed to be close to death and not having any food for three days, he had 23 bites of fish late on 1 April in the dark, after his siblings had gone to sleep. Yesterday, Tiny got to eat in the afternoon and had a crop. To the joy of all, no only is his ‘ps’ good but he was fed from 12:42 to 1:28 today by Diane. He was full to the brim. Diane kept offering and he did take a few more bites but he was stuffed!

To tell you that the chatters were elated would not really give you a sense of the happiness and hope for this little one. One person said this is her favourite nest. I am certain that if an osprey nest can give a person an ulcer, I will have one by the time 3 fledges. I have, more than once, wanted to strangle Jack. Many are convinced that he has another family. Who knows? It is cooler in St Petersburg today. 20 degrees C or 73 F. The winds are blowing and the water could be choppy for fishing as someone mentioned. But what caught my eye this morning was someone who called 3, Little Lion heart. ‘Three’ has had many names. Some call him Tumbles and I have called him Tiny Tot. But gosh, doesn’t Lionheart fit? If you look up the meaning of Lionheart, it defines a person of exceptional courage and bravery.

If Lionheart has energy from the food, he is clever and knows to keep his head down and wait. Otherwise, 2 who is standing up in the front is alerted and will do anything to keep the little one from eating.

1:17 pm. Lionheart started being fed at 12:24. The big 2 is waking up. But, Lionheart kept eating! 3 April 2021

So whatever you want to call him – 3, Tumbles, Tiny Tot, or Lionheart – his little bottom is getting fat from the good food.

In the world of hawks and falcons, we call the males a tercel. It comes from the word ‘third’ because it has been believed for eons that the third egg was always male. That is why I refer to 3 as a ‘he’.

The other day someone mentioned, when we worried, that in Europe, the storks throw the runt off the edge of the nest and only feed the larger birds. What I find interesting is that I cannot find hard data on the long term survival rates between a larger sibling versus the third and often smaller one. There is not enough research nor is there enough banding and satellite tracking to indicate, it seems, that the larger bird will survive in the wild more so than the smaller one. Indeed, at this very moment, there are eight male Osprey in Scotland that need mates and several others in Wales causing some havoc because they do not have a female mate. If you know of research, please do send me an e-mail or make a comment. I wonder if we have simply accepted in our heads the survival of the ‘largest’ as being the ‘survival of the fittest’ long term. We have talked about the bullying factor and siblicide and food competition. Wonder if the smallest survives due to being clever that this is not also something to help them in the wild?

If positive wishes, love, and prayers can help, Lionheart has a huge support network that love him and want to see this little fella’ fledge. Wish for fish!

Take care everyone. Enjoy your weekend. If you celebrate Easter, have a very happy Easter. Thank you to my daughter who caught the start time when Tiny Tot Lionheart turned around to start eating. And thank you for the energy coming through for this little one.

Thank you to the Achieva Credit Union for their streaming cam where I took these screen shots.

Eating and growing

The two little ones on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources nest are quite a lively pair. First time, four year old Harry has learned to feed and Nancy has relaxed. Harry is good on the nest and food is there. The little ones are rather spunky to say the least!

Bonnie went out hunting and brought a small live garter snake back to the nest. Lily got there first and ate the entire snake – live – all by herself – as Tiger and Bonnie looked on in amazement.

Look closely at how thick Tiger’s legs are. Look down at its talons. These two owlets are really growing! Both of them are flapping their wings and wandering around the nest. Tiger is very sturdy on those sturdy limbs! Both of them are endless pits in terms of wanting food.

Li’l and Big at the Duke Farm nest are growing and growing. There have been tandem feedings and attempts at self-feeding! Doing good. Li’l can hold its own against its big sib.

It really does help to be the only eaglet in the nest with a parental territory that is full of prey. Kisatchie is always being fed and cared for by its mom, Anna. Louis continues to be an expert fisherman and Kisatchie always has a full crop. I don’t believe this eaglet would understand what hunger actually was. And you know what? That is just fine. His feathers will go strong. Eaglets that have had periods – several of hunger – have thinner spots in their feathers.

In constrast, the Redding triplets are always hungry it seems. Two of them are trying to climb out of the nest cup so that they can have some of that juicy fish. It keeps mom and dad very busy!

I will leave you with an image of my heroine, Big Red, the Red Tail Hawk incubating three eggs on a light stand on the Cornell Campus. Big Red always gets my vote for ‘Mom of the Year’. She is quite amazing! Year after year she gets soaked, gets encrusted in snow and ice, and still she raises the strongest happiest eyasses. She is much loved.

This was a short update on how some of the nests are doing. Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe everyone!

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I got my screen images: Cornell Bird Lab, the Kisatchie National Forest, , the Pittsburgh Hays Eagle Cam, Friends of Redding Eagles, Farmer Derek, MN DNR Eagle Cam, and Duke Farms.

UPDATE ON THE ACHIEVA OSPREY NEST IN ST PETERSBURG. Tiny Tot was fed this morning at 9:27 after the other two. He had a small crop. It was the first time he ate in 3 full days. Tiny Tot later later had some seizures. It is unclear what damage the lack of food did to his internal organs. A huge catfish came in at 4:22. The two bigger ones ate for a couple of hours. Tiny attempted to get food and was pecked by 2. The dad, Jack, came and took the extra fish away. It is quite sad to see anything suffer so much, begging for food – literally starving to death. It is nothing short of a slow horrible death. The question is why? Is there a lack of fish? Does the father have two families? Other Osprey nests raise three healthy osplets to fledge – even small ones. A good example is Loch Arkaig in 2020.