Sunday in Bird World

Today it not just about Ospreys. There have been some nests that have been overlooked lately so I am going to try and catch up on some of those for all of us.

I love how the wildlife rehabbers go to great lengths to make certain that the babies they rescue do not imprint on humans. Have a look at an eaglet that came into care and how it is being fed:

https://fb.watch/v/1NOZVD1I5/

The female White Storkling at the nest in Mlady Buky, Czechoslovakia is ready to fledge! Look how beautiful she is with her wings spread. She looks like a dancer bowing to her audience. She was making all the right moves this morning. She began flapping her wings as the sun was rising and got very enthusiastic around 6am. She is restless and continues flapping and looking out to the world beyond the nest.

Father Stork comes in to feed the three youngsters. This generous community continues to provide supplementary food for Father Stork so that he and his three babies can survive. You can see, in the background, Father Stork eating from the fish table that is provided to him and his family. Sadly, their mother was killed on one of the electrical lines and these three are alive today because of this community. It is heart warming to see that the storklings are ready to fledge. Everyone can be so proud of their efforts!

The Bucovina Golden Eaglet, Zenit, grabbed the prey delivery from Mom and completely self-fed today for the first time. Zenit mantled and flapped all the while telling Mum to go away he could do this himself. Wow. Another milestone to independence. Lady Hawk caught this magical moment in a video:

There has been a lot of discussion about goshawks lately because they have raided and killed many Osprey both in Latvia and an eagle in Spain. There is a Crested Goshawk nest in a park in Taipei. The adults failed at their first breeding attempt and had one hatch on their second. The eaglet is three weeks old. So cute.

Crested goshawks live in Asia. Their territory is from the Indian subcontinent to Taiwan. In terms of its range and numbers it is of ‘least concern’. It is, however, a protected species in Hong Kong because of the encroachment on its forest environment. The hawks are now adapting to urban living. The Crested Goshawk is 30-46 cm in length or 12-16 inches. Like other raptors, there is reverse sex size diamorphism – the female is larger than the male. They feed on insects, birds, and mammals. The nest is normally made of sticks in a tree and most often the female will lay between two and three eggs.

The image below shows a Crested Goshawk Female. Look at that gorgeous plumage.

“鳳頭蒼鷹 – 雌鳥 Crested Goshawk (Female)” by alexwhite21 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In size comparison, the Northern Goshawk that has caused issues related to the death of the Osprey chicks in Latvia and Spain is approximately twice the size of the Crested Goshawk. Each species has a long tail and shorter broad wings to help them speed around the forest area where they hunt. They are more adapt at living in the forest and often lure their prey into that environment.

Here is the mom in her nest with her eaglet.

The eaglet has been ringed with two official bands.

The eaglet will fledge in 2-3 weeks. You can watch this little one grow up here:

Now let’s check on some of those Ospreys!

Foulshaw Moss. Tiny Little is still moving in to get fed. I have seen some people worrying about him but, honestly, this little one is going to be grand. At tea time on Sunday, 464 was self-feeding. Self-feeding is hard work and the chicks spend a lot of time and energy fighting with the bones in the head. They get tired. So when 464 finished eating, Blue 35 took over and fed Tiny Little and Middle Bob.

In the image below, 464 is self-feeding. Mom, Blue 35, is waiting and it is Tiny Little stretching his wing. As we will all be saying, Tiny Little isn’t so Tiny anymore. And that is a good thing!

Blue 35 has taken over the feeding and, of course, Tiny Little is right there for the bites! Tiny Little and Middle Bob have always done well together. It is really good that 464, the big female, fledged first. It is hard to imagine but a couple of days ago Tiny Little looked like an extremely young chick. Now, unless the bands are visible and you follow the chicks it is hard to tell them apart. Now that is magnificent and it shows precisely what getting a good feeding means to these chicks.

Dyfi. Right now it is pitching down rain. Earlier it looked like Dysynni was hovering so high that he was going to fledge – but, he didn’t. Ystwyth is in awe! Dysynni is 52 days old today and Ystwyth is 48 days.

I imagine that Sir Richard Branson whose Virgin Galactic’s Unity Spaceplane took off from Spaceport America this morning successfully returning to Earth from space would really like to fly like a bird. Laura Culley, falconer and great mind, told me once that humans have the DNA for feathers and flight we just haven’t turned them on. Any geneticists out there to confirm that?

And then the rains came and Idris delivered a really nice fish that Telyn is feeding the nestlings. No more thoughts of fledging today!

Poole Harbour. Both CJ7 and Blue 022 were at the nest at Poole Harbour today. They continue bonding. There is at least a month or six weeks til they head off on their migration. Let us all hope that this lovely new couple return in late March or early April – both of them – and entertain us with their antics while raising chicks.

Clywedog. Oh, it is wet and miserable at this nest in Wales today. Only Bob looks pretty miserable.

Never fear. Dylan went out and got a nice perch for Only Bob’s (Blue 496) tea time treat. Seren is happily feeding her little one. Soon Only Bob is going to be thinking about fledging too.

Look at Dylan’s strong thin legs. The other day he flew 13 km to get a trout for his family’s dinner. Thanks John Williams for confirming that distance!

Loch of the Lowes. It is raining in Scotland, too. NC0 is on the nest feeding her nestling and her fledgling their tea time meal. NC0 has been flying with Fledgling Bob over the loch. It will be wonderful to see her spend time flying with both her babies once Second Bob has fledged. NC0 has become a very good mother. She struggled at the beginning with the feeding and many thought that Second Bob would not survive and perish like little third Bob. But, look at these two now. Fantastic. NC0 really came into her own. Laddie has done his part, too!

Are you interested in France’s plan for their Osprey and White Tailed Eagles? If so, Stephanie Scofield posted the French government’s document on the Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) FB page. If you cannot read French, have a look anyway. The graphics are very helpful. Here is that report:

Thank you so much to the person who forwarded me an image of Z1, Tegid. I do not know who to credit for the image so thank you to that individual. I hope you do not mind my posting it today!

I am so grateful to my friend ‘T’ for telling me about this brave little osprey. As many of you know, I am setting about on a ten year plan to follow the osprey hatches that were beaten and battered and deprived of food but, who made it despite all the odds against them to fledge! I want to see how their lives unfold. Sadly, many like Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey nest are not ringed and most are not seen on camera. So my list is short. It includes Z1 Tegid, JJ7 Captain, Tiny Little Bob Blue 463, and Tiny Tot. If you know of others please alert me. You can leave me a comment or send the information through e-mail (maryannsteggles@icloud.com). It is much appreciated.

Here is Tegid. He has a nest with chicks for the second year in Snowdonia in Wales! Look at those strong little legs, too.

It is a soaring hot day on the Canadian prairies. The birds are really enjoying the water dishes and baths – they are keeping us busy filling them. I am taking a break from cleaning my tiny home office. It got stuffed with all manner of everything during the pandemic and now it is time to get that sorted. It is so nice, like now, to stop and check in on our friends with feathers!

Thank you so much for joining me and thank you for all the letters, comments, and pictures. I love hearing from you.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, CarnyX Wildlife and Clywedog Ospreys, Dyfi Osprey Project, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Crested Goshawk Nest Cam in Taipei, and the Mlady Buky White Stork Nest Cam.

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.

Sunday Evening Nest Hopping in Bird World

The three storks on the nest with their dad in Mlady Buky are doing so well. If you do not know, their mother was electrocuted and the people from the community are feeding the family three times a day so that they will survive. The dad has the same issues as a single mom. He cannot go and hunt for food and protect the nest. So everyone is helping him!

Aren’t they looking good. The community continues to supply straw, too, so the storklets do not get damp and cold.

The three storklets on the nest of Karl II and Kaia in Estonia are also doing really well. It looks like most of the chicks on the nest today are being well fed no matter where I look.

Kaia is preening her first ever babies.

And here the three are with Karl II their dad.

Jack flew in and delivered Tiny Tot a fish at 4:30:42. There were no intruders at the time. Tiny really enjoyed that fish. It was well earned after defending the nest in St Petersburg Florida twice today.

Laddie has been delivering fish and NC0 has two Bobs that are in their fast growing period. They are hungry all the time!

Laddie is a nice looking male Osprey. He seems to enjoy bringing in the fish but I have yet to see him feed them. Once the little ones thought he was going to when NC0 took a break but Laddie was a bit nervous and waited for his mate to return to do the honours.

NC0 has learned to make sure that both Bobs get full – not just the Big one. So proud of her.

Big Bob is full and it is time for little Bob to fill that crop of his.

NC0 will not eat until her two Bobs are full.

At the Cornell Red Tail Hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur, K1 is getting really good at self-feeding. My goodness they catch on fast. It was just a couple of days ago that K1 was pecking. Now she knows how to hold down the prey and eat.

Big Red left that chippie there on purpose. She knows precisely when they should start feeding themselves!

Is it really two weeks to fledge? There will be some hints from Big Red as to when fledge will start as well as some changes in the plumage of the Ks. First they need at last 5 dark lines in their tails before they are long enough to fly. If there are 6 it is even better!

Look at the tail in the image below. What many dark lines do you see on a single feather? If you said 2 dark lines you are correct.

Also Big Red will stop sleeping on the nest with the Ks as fledge approaches. Often the prey delivery dwindles, too, as Big Red and Arthur try to lure the Ks to the top of the Rice Building across the street for prey drops. If the weather is going to be bad, Big Red will fill the Ks up on the nest – she did this last year – to try and delay fledging until the weather was clear. Having a first flight in pouring down rain is not very smart!!!!!!! Big Red is amazing.

Idris and Telyn are also keeping their two Bobs full, just like Laddie and NC0. On 4 June a mesh bag made its way to the nest. The staff are monitoring the situation closely as it could have dire implications. If all is well it will be removed when the two Bobs are banded. If there is an emergency, it will be dealt with prior to banding.

Just like NC0, Telyn does not eat – unless it is to take the head off the fish – until the Two Bobs are fed.

It is a beautiful sunset at the Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest in Cumbria. Dylan has been busy brining in trout today and I think this is the second or third one for little Bob who is fast becoming Big Bob! He has had a full crop all day.

Seren is really beautiful in the sunset.

Other quick notes: The three osplets of Richmond and Rosie at the Golden Gate Nest on the Whirley Crane at the Richmond Shipyards were banded yesterday. They were weighed and measured and it was determined that they are all males. Gosh. Just down the road Annie and Grinnell had three male peregrine falcons this year. Is it a year of all males on nests? That could present some problems in future years as it is the males that return to their natal nest area to raise their families. The Pittsburg Hayes eaglets are branching and hopping. It won’t be long til they will want to fly. The two osplets on The Landings Nest on Skidaway Island (the Savannah Ospreys) are getting some air under their wings, too. It always scares me when they begin to hover and we are at that point. I did check on the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest. Electra drives me crazy. Those babies need to be fed until their crops are fuller. She will eat the head off the fish, cover the little ones, and let Wattington take the fish away. Don’t get me wrong. She has fed them but often she eats the head and then broods the Bobs without feeding. I am always wondering what is up with Electra.

Thanks for joining me today. I hope that you had a nice weekend wherever you are.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Mlade Buky Stork Nest, The Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab and Red Tail Hawks, Achieva Osprey, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Carnyx Wild, and the Dyfi Osprey Project.

As the Nest Turns – Monday late edition

My regular readers will know and might be scratching their heads about all the Osprey posts. Like 400,000 others, I rejoiced when Louis helped Aila feed the three chicks on the Loch Arkaig Osprey Nest. It renewed my faith in Ospreys after having had a rough season with a couple of other nests. Mary Cheadle posted this image taken from the streaming cam last year of Louis helping with the three little ones. That is JJ7 Captain being fed alone so he is not bothered by the two older and bigger siblings. I mean how brilliant is that! It was 3 June 2020. What a beautiful family photo. They all fledged. Sadly, Aila did not return from her winter migration this year. Louis has a new mate off camera on another nest. I hope he is helping with the little ones too. This family gave me hope – hope that not every third chick died of siblicide. And then there was Port Lincoln and Tiny Tot – but Tiny Tot’s survival has really moved me. So, I haven’t stopped my love for Ospreys – it has grown!

Osprey dads vary in their dedication and care of their family just like human dads. Some help with incubation and feeding the wee ones while others bring in lots of fish and do territorial protection. And then there are some who don’t have another nest but still do not bring in any fish and their children starve to death. Then there are the moonlighters like Louis in Missoula, Montana who has two nests but he only takes care of one. A reader asked me if I had heard of or watched the Cowlitz Nest in Washington State. I don’t. I know about it. It is the nest of Electra and Wadsworth. At present there are two chicks. Wadsworth helped incubate the eggs and everyone thought he might have changed his ways but no fish deliveries til this morning – when people feared the little ones would die. After Tiny Tot and then Glaslyn, I am afraid that I do not need the drama. I hope that Wadsworth continues to provide for his family – that is HIS job. Electra’s is to keep the chicks warm and dry and to feed them.

We now know that Ospreys in need will accept fish that they did not catch. The laws in Europe and the UK permit feeding tables. In 2012, Rutland provided one for one of their nests. I heard of an instance in Canada but it is not clear to me what the circumstances were or even when the event took place. I understand the Ospreys did not accept the fish. Mrs G and Aran readily accepted the fish from the staff and volunteers at Glaslyn. They are alive today because of the insights and generosity of these fine caring people. So what about the situation with Electra? On the surface it appears that intervention cannot take place unless the situation has been caused by humans – according to US wildlife laws written more than 50 years ago. But that cannot strictly be the case. This February E17 and E18 were removed from their natal nest by CROW, a wildlife rehabilitation clinic in Fort Myers, Florida, because the eaglets had conjunctivitis. This is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. Humans tend to call it pink eye. The eaglets remained in the care of CROW for five days. To the people that had the backbone to get the care those eaglets needed – bravo! Just how they got around that archaic law of non-interference is unknown to me but they did and I am glad. I put out a call to help Legacy if, in fact, the bout of Avian Pox she had worsened. Thankfully, it was not necessary. But I sure did ruffle a lot of feathers – and they weren’t on birds! At this point in the history of the planet, the unseasonal weather, the lack of prey, the loss of habitat and the resulting woes of the wildlife rests right on the shoulders of us, humans. But if the community were to get permission to supplement the feeding of Electra and her chicks, I would highly recommend that they contact the Glaslyn Center in Wales. It is the fine details that matter. You don’t want Electra to bolt and not return! Still, I hope that Wadsworth shapes up and takes responsibility for his family.

This morning the intruder was back on the Achieva Osprey Nest. Today, it successfully got Tiny Tot off the nest. Jack flew in and dispensed with the intruder and stayed doing guard duty on the perch pole til late in the afternoon.

At 3:58:58 Tiny Tot returned to the nest very hungry! Here is his approach and landing – gosh he is a good pilot!

Here comes Tiny lining up with the runway.

Landing gear down.

Wing tips going down. Perfect.

Now that he is safely home and there is no intruder, Tiny Tot is rather impatient and would really like some lunch!

Looks like sibling 2 has a similar idea. Oh, dear.

Tiny Tot isn’t the only one waiting for dinner rather impatiently. Big and Little from Duke Farms have been sitting on the nest or the branches around the nest hoping for a food drop. You might recall that the pair of them fludged and the parents were able, after a few days, to get them back to the nest. The parents come with prey but sometimes the youngsters timing is wrong. Big got the last drop. Little has to be really hungry. The amount of time they are hanging around the nest tells me two things. The parents are not doing prey drops elsewhere and the juveniles haven’t had much luck hunting on their own. Fingers crossed for them today.

The storks that are being fed by the villagers of Mlade Buky in Czechoslavkia are really growing. Here is their delivery of little fish today.

And here is them with their dad a little later. What a wonderful caring community. It looks like these three are going to survive thanks to their help. Let us hope the storks bless this village!

The kindness of the Glaslyn community is helping Mrs G and Aran gather their strength. They continue to provide fish for the pair and will do us until such time Aran is healed and can fish.

Laddie has joined NC0 on the nest. NC0 has just had a bath and her hair has that wind swept pandemic look! Laddie looks at her adoringly! Meanwhile Little Bob is thinking it is time for some fish. Laddie is thinking intruders! He will stay on the nest for awhile helping keep NC0 and the two Bobs safe.

When it is all quiet Laddie brings in a nice fish. Little Bob eats his fill and doesn’t want anymore. NC0 offers to both of them several times before tucking in herself.

There were several other feedings throughout the day. This is the last one as the sun is setting. Take a glimpse of Little Bob. He is beginning to get that reptilian look.

Big Red and the Ks are definitely enjoying the sun. Look at those feathers coming in and it looks like Arthur made another squirrel delivery!

Soon these Ks are going to be running up and down that ledge jumping and flapping and causing everyone to have a small heart attack.

Mom is back on the barge at Port Lincoln and Solly with her satellite tracker is north of Eba Anchorage, past Kiffin Island and Perlubie. Gosh, it is sure good to know that she is alive and surviving. She is 284 days old today. Thanks for the satellite tracking!

It is a beautiful day in Canada. Happy Memorial Day to my friends in the US and Happy Bank Holiday to those in the UK. Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Duke Farms, Mlade Buky Streaming Cam, Scottish Woodland Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Scottish Wildlife Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, and the Port Lincoln Osprey FB Page for the information on Solly.

‘As the Nest Turns’ – late Friday and Saturday edition

I don’t quite remember when the heavy rains started in the United Kingdom last week. It was a terrible time with many of our Bird friends suffering because of the unseasonable weather. Chicks died, generous people came to the rescue of the Glaslyn Nest, and at two different villages in Czechoslovakia, ordinary citizens are helping two stork families survive by providing food and dry hay. You might wonder why I say ‘dry’ hay but it has been chucking down rain and the nests get soaked. Because of that and the coolish weather, the wee ones are more susceptible to any type of virus or disease. Their system can get stressed. So providing the storks with dry hay is a fundamental way of helping them to cope in what is already a stressful situation – the death of a parent. I really applaud those who stepped up and are helping out. I hope that after things settle down in Glaslyn they might publish every detail about the feeding table they provided so that others in similar situations can more quickly help the Ospreys because of what Glaslyn learned. One thing we did learn is that Ospreys will eat fish that they did not catch. Another feeding table at Rutland in 2012 also provided fish but people forget and many carry on with the belief that Ospreys will not eat fish that is provided to them. Nonsense! Aran and Mrs G were very grateful and continue to be.

I had a question from a reader and I am trying to find out the precise answer. They wondered if Aran would be alright. Yes, Aran is getting stronger every day. It was exhausting trying to fish in Force 11 winds with flooding and intruders and then an injury to the feathers required to fish and fly well. As long as Aran continues to eat the food provided he will continue to improve. We hope that there are no more intruders on that nest to damage more feathers. We must also remember that those feathers help Aran with his flying and he needs them to migrate. Please continue with your donations – no matter how small. Glaslyn exists solely on donations to run their streaming cam plus everything else and now they are feeding Aran and Mrs G. The staff and volunteers are really amazing and they are also stressed and worn out. So don’t forget them simply because there are no longer chicks to feed – they still have Mrs G, the eldest osprey in the UK at 21 and her mate, Aran, to care for. Thanks!

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you will recall that I often say that a fledgling that flies off and returns to the nest to be fed by the parent is one that has a better chance of success. Indeed, when I hear that a bird has fledged and never returned to the nest my antennae go up and for all the wrong reasons. So, it was with great joy that not only did Fauci, Annie and Grinnell’s Peregrine falcon fledgling, fly from the nest on the Campanile at Berkeley yesterday over to the Evans building but, Fauci returned to the nest tower today. My goodness I bet he was hungry – he flew in screaming. Here is the video of that return:

I hope that his siblings do not try and copy Fauci’s landing when they return!

The two Bobs had a nice fish dinner before bed last night at Loch of the Lowes. Both of them looked wide awake and hungry after Laddie brought in a nice fish.

Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes. 27 May 2021

Laddie is a good provider as long as the weather cooperates. He has brought in a couple of big fish. There is an enormous size difference and NC0 doesn’t always fill up the beak of the smaller one but today it stood there til she did!

It’s Saturday and Laddie delivered another fine perch to NC0 and the little Bobs. And guess what? The sun has come out in Scotland. My goodness. They were beginning to think that winter had returned. Looking forward to some nice weather and the nest drying out!

Little Bob seems to like to be on the right side looking up at Mom. It must be working. It looks like he is growing and he is certainly holding its own. Sure makes you happy.

NC0 is doing a great job keeping the Bobs in the shade. It is about 15 degrees and it could be warmer on the nest but oh, how I bet that warmth feels good to mom. And getting this nest dry is a primary importance, too.

Iris stopped in at the Hellgate Nest today. It was almost like she was posing for all of her fans waiting to get a glimpse of her. The Ravens took and ate her three eggs so Iris doesn’t need to come to the nest but there she stood looking straight into the camera. And look at that crop. Iris can now focus 100% on herself – she has earned it. Having fledged 30-40 chicks before Louis and one with Louis, she is the grand dame of Ospreys everywhere. Thank you for popping in to show us you are OK. Put your talons up, Iris. Have a fish smoothie on us!

Isn’t she looking good?

The IR camera has been tripped by the sun rising on the Dyfi Nest in Wales. Telyn was off for a quick comfort break and the two wee ones are awake and wanting breakfish. Idris will no doubt bring in a whopper as soon as he can.

It looks like Idris and Telyn and the Two Bobs are getting a break. Their nest seems to be drying out a bit. Idris came in with a nice fish and you can see that both of the Bobs are getting a crop and Telyn hasn’t even finished feeding them. Wonderful.

There is still only one chick on the Llyn Cleywedog Nest in Wales of Dylan and Seren. And if the other two eggs do not hatch, I continue to say that one healthy little Bob is fantastic. The image below was taken last evening as the sun was going down. The little one had a nice feed along with mom, Seren.

It is late Saturday in the UK and there is still no sign of a pip on that second egg. Apparently the longest incubation for a second egg was at Dyfi – Idris and Telyn – at 37 days. The second egg on this nest was laid on 19 April. Any way I count it makes that egg 40 days old. Perhaps it is not viable. If the third egg is 38 days old today, it might still hatch. We wait!

It is just coming on 5 am on the Rutland Manton Bay nest of Maya and Blue 33 (11). The Two Bobs are still asleep and Maya is expecting an early morning delivery from dad. Just look at that beautiful sky. These nests are often located in some of the most picturesque landscapes. How wonderful!

The storklets are just waking up on the nest in Mlady Buke in Czechoslovakia. The mother was electrocuted on the hydro lines and the father cannot fish and protect the nest. The villagers have gotten together and are providing fish for the family. They bring fish right up to the nest three times a day. People can leave donations. This is heart warming.

The live camera to watch this family is here:

Yesterday, Big Red and the Ks were getting soaked in Ithaca, New York. It was hard to tell form the weather forecast if they would even catch a break before the middle of the week. Big Red was still cold and soaked this morning at 6:40 am.

She kept those babies covered as best she could but around 9am when the heavy rain had stopped, Big Red got up and took a comfort break. It was out and back in a blink trying to find something on the soaking nest to feed the babies. Arthur had brought in a Robin – not their favourite but food anyway – late yesterday. Critters hide and birds sit and hunting is difficult with wet wings – even for Arthur!

By 11 am, feathers are beginning to dry. Big Red is preening and the Ks will be working on themselves too.

I would like you to locate the black dot behind the eye of K3 nearest to you. That is the ear. It is not yet covered with feathers. Mites can get in there or mosquitoes can lay eggs and cause horrific problems for the hawklets. That is why Big Red has to keep that area clean for them until the feathers have grown over them.

They are preening away. Those feathers are all important – they will keep them dry and wet when they all come in and they will help them fly so they can hunt. They say birds spend 70% of their time conditioning and preening their feathers.

Ah, what a great shot. The Red-tail hawks only get their beautiful red tail feathers once they have their first moult and are a year old. You can just see the little tail feathers beginning on K1. “One day I will look just like my mom!”

It’s 11:33 and already the rain on the metal of the lightbox where the nest is located is drying off. Oh, goodness, I hope Arthur has good luck hunting and that our Red-tail hawk family in Ithaca gets to completely dry out and eat before the rains begin again.

Today, Aran and Mrs G have been sitting with one another on the perch post of the nest. Aran has also been seen flying as far as the Visitor Centre where he has been chasing off intruders. This is good news because this is the farthest he has flown since his injury.

It is so nice to see them together. They will both regain their strength and Aran will heal so they are ready for their late summer, early September migration.

Thank you for joining me today. I am keeping an eye on Tiny Tot at the Achieva Nest. The intruder is still around and he is sure wanting to have a fish drop. Fingers crossed for our brave little one. Take care. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab Red Tail Hawk, LRWT, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve, Dyfi Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, Ziva Camera in Mlade Buky, Clywedog and Carnyx.

Kind and Generous People helping the birds

I went to sleep Monday night, 24 May, afraid to wake up for fear that the two remaining chicks on the Glaslyn Osprey Nest of Mrs G and Aran would have perished. Tuesday morning there was still no news. But no news is good news, right? Late Tuesday there was an announcement. The staff and volunteers at the Glaslyn Wildlife Centre had sought advice from Dr Tim Mackirill and had set up a fish table (see blog, The Miracle at Glaslyn). They provide fish for Mrs G, Aran, and the two chicks from dusk to dawn because that is when the crows are sleeping. Otherwise, the crows would take the food for the Osprey family.

It is a huge effort and it has paid off -Aran and Mrs G are regaining their strength and the two Bobs (2 and 3) are alive. Indeed, they are doing very well. The Osprey adults have no problem taking the fish from the feeding table. This is really important. I am hopeful that when the urgency has passed that the staff will give details so that other communities can use their methods if it is ever needed.

Here is a quick video capturing one of the feedings on Tuesday:

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am a promoter of feeding tables in situations like this. Feeding tables work if they are done correctly. The fish that is being provided while Aran’s right wing heals will save all four members of this Osprey family. I also get very upset when people shy away from the work involved in helping non-humans when we have the ability to do so. “Oh, we can’t intervene. They are wild animals.” Yes, of course, but we have already intervened in their lives. We have robbed them of their habitat, we have poisoned the rivers and oceans where they get their fish, we have changed the climate – the list is long. And because humans cut down the beautiful old growth forests, we have also had to provide platforms so they can nest. Cheers and tears for the efforts coming out of Glaslyn.

No more than I had posted my blog on the miracle happening at Glaslyn, than my friend ‘T’ from Strasbourg reached out to me to tell me about a village taking care of a family of storks. The mother was electrocuted when she stepped on the power lines providing electricity to the homes. The villagers felt responsible and so, the community of Mlade Buky took on the task of providing food for the father and the chicks. Are they called storklets? Mlade Buky is in Czechoslovakia. It is east of the Great Mountains and is home to several ski resorts. 2300 souls live there.

The villagers donate 4-6 cm fish, hamsters, squirrels – whatever food the storks will eat. The chicks and the dad are fed three times a day. Fresh straw is also provided to keep the little ones dry. It is spring and rain is frequent. The father is not able to fish for his youngsters as he now has to protect and brood them. You will see him flying over the rooftops as fish is put on the nest. Please take the time to watch the storks being fed. It will warm your heart.

I sat and reflected on these two examples – Glaslyn and Mlade Buky. Each is different. Glaslyn supplies a fish table where the adults retrieve the food and take it to the nest. I do not know the specifics. Are the food alive? are they inside some kind of tank? etc. In Mlade Buky, the donated food is placed directly on the nest by climbing up to it. What if the species is not an Osprey (used to living around humans more) or a stork? What if it were a Golden Eagle? Is intervention different by species? I would like to find out because I began immediately to remember the situation with Spilve and her son, Klints. Klints was near to fledging in 2020 from the Golden Eagle Nest in Spilve, Latvia. Spilve was a single parent like the male stork in Mlade Buky. Her mate had not returned and it was impossible for her to protect Klints and travel the distance necessary to get large prey. Klints starved to death on the nest. I have read academic papers about the removal of older chicks who can self-feed to allow the younger to thrive. Could Klints have been removed to a wildlife rehabilitation centre and given prey til such time he would fledge? Do wildlife laws in Latvia prevent intervention?

The list of interventions to help birds on artificial platforms or nests where there are streaming cams for research or public education, or both, is limited. There must be others. As I was searching, I remembered a story of a man saving another stork family.

The couple are Klepetan and Malena and they are a bonded pair of storks from Croatia. Hunters shot and damaged Malena’s wing in 2002. She cannot fly. Her mate is Klepetan. Every year he migrates to South Africa, a distance of 14,000 km returning in the spring. He flies straight to Malena and their nest where they raise their chicks with the help of Stjepan Vokić, a former school janitor. The couple made their nest in his chimney!

Here is a lovely short video. There are others on YouTube. And if you are wondering, Klepatan returned to Malena on 14 April 2021 to start their 19th year together! Talk about a happy story!

We are fifteen or sixteen months in to the pandemic and right at this very moment the city I live in is the hotspot in North American for Covid. It is really nice to have some positive news and certainly these people helping the birds is a cause for celebration!

Thank you so much for joining me. If you happen to know of an instance when a community or wildlife group has set up a feeding table for the birds, please get in touch with me.

I will be checking in on all the nests for a late Wednesday hop through Bird World later. Stay safe. See you soon!

The credit for the feature image is: “File:Pentowo – European stork village – 25.jpg” by Jolanta Dyr is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0