A hurricane, two nests, and falcons

Elsa was a category 1 hurricane when she bore down on the Southwest Florida coast last evening. The two chicks on the Sarasota Bay Osprey Nest had their talons anchored, riding out the gusts and the rain. This was the pair of them at 23:08 Tuesday, 6 July.

Whew! No chicks blown off the nest just a good soaking.

As the gusts calmed some in Sarasota, they were picking up at the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg. It is nearly midnight. What is surprising are the number of cars on the streets and even people walking. The nest perch weaves back and forth. Oh, I am ever so glad that Tiny Tot is not on this nest! Indeed, I can see why the birds might choose to migrate north for the summer to get away from hurricane season.

All of this made all of the aunties and uncles relatively nervous. We can’t do anything but watch which is precisely the problem! And none of us knows what kind of damage the storm will do.

Instead of drinking coffee and eating way too much chocolate, I turned my mind to Peregrine Falcons.

“Peregrine Falcon” by Bill Gracey 26 Million Views is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Peregrine Falcons. The fastest animal on the planet. Speeds up to 390 kph or 243 mph. They are flying killing machines attacking their prey in the air instead of on land. They are magnificent creatures who appear in art, literature, culture, and sport.

“Peregrine Falcon” by DaveInman is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Falcons appear on the shoulders of the terracotta figures, the haniwa, on the Kofun (mound tombs) in Japan from 300-555 CE. These were royal tombs. The haniwa were not placed on the inside of the tomb but, rather, on the top of the mound as if in a ceremonial parade. They served many functions. One of those was utilitarian – they kept the soil from eroding as they would have their bottom portion pushed into the the ground.

Using Google Earth, satellite images show you the distinctive ‘keyhole’ design of these ancient burial sites. Forests now cover the sites but originally, they would have been cleared. These hollow clay figures covered the surface. Were they there to protect the deceased? did they tell about the status of their life on earth? No written records exist but we know that over time simple clay cylinders developed into very elaborate human and animal shapes like the falconer, above.

Falconry was known to be practised by the aristocracy in Japan. Taka is the Japanese word for falcon. Taka means strength and bravery. It is no wonder that the art of falconry, takagari, was adopted by the warrior class, the samurai.

The military class ruled Japan during the Edo era. During the Tokugawa Shogunate, 1603-1858, local war lords (daimyo) and the Shogun hired painters to depict the falcons on crests, screens, textiles such as boy’s kimono, in hangings as well as in single sheets or albums.

The image below is one of many woodblock prints depicting falcons. This one is Falcons with nestlings in a pine tree at sunrise by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

Falconry is still practiced in Japan today. Here is a lovely short video about a woman who desired to take up the sport.

As it happens, I have just finished reading Queen of the Sky. That is probably why falcons are on my mind. In fact, this beautiful little book is sitting next to me. The illustrations are gorgeous.

What a marvellous little book written and illustrated by Jackie Morris. It is the story of Ffion Rees’s rescue of a Peregrine Falcon off the coast of Ramsay Island. It might be easy for someone to think, on the surface, that it is a condensed version of H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. If so, they would be missing the book’s heart. It is about love. “Come and see what is in my kitchen” Ffion urges Jackie. It is a story that weaves the lives of the women and the bird – love, loss, and friendship – together in a book that you will not wish to set down. Morris draws you in – you can smell the sea and the land, you can hear the gulls and you want to escape into the wild that is Ramsay Island. Required with the book are at least half a dozen tissues.

Morris tells us that the Peregrine Falcons hatched on Ramsay’s Islands are believed to be the fastest and most fierce in all of the United Kingdom. The kings of England kept many birds from Ramsay.

As a child do you recall the nursery rhyme about the Four and Twenty Blackbirds baked in a pie? Can you conjure that image? Like the one in the old coloured drawing below?

“King William IV sits with knife and fork at the ready before a pie containing blackbirds served to him by Lord Melbourne. Coloured lithograph by H.B. (John Doyle), 1836.” is licensed under CC BY 4.0

But did you know that King Henry II (1133-1189), known as Henry the Falconer, allowed his noblemen to bring their falcons with them whenever there was a feast? And adding to that, did you know that Henry’s chefs made special pies full of live songbirds (they could not have baked them!) and when they were opened the birds flew out as fast as they could while the owners took the hoods off the falcons?

Hoods protect the eyes of the falcon and help to keep it calm. They can very elaborate. This one is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England. It dates from the early 17th century and is made of leather which has been incised and gilded. There is silk velvet embroidery with silver thread along with silver breads and a tuft. It is typical of the type of hoods used in Europe at the time. Isn’t it gorgeous?

@Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Can you see it in those cold stone castles with their long wooden tables, pies full of birds flying and thrashing about being chased by stealth fliers? Plucked feathers flying all about and landing in the food?

Falcons raise their eyases in scrape boxes or on the sides of cliffs or in caves. The scrape are shallow and contain gravel. It is believed that the falcons developed this method of raising their chicks to keep away the pests and diseases associated with twig nests.

There are several falcon scrapes that have streaming cams. One of the most famous couples in the United States is Annie and Grinnell who have their scrape box in the Campanile of the University of California at Berkeley. They have just fledged three boys – Fauci, Kaknu, and Wek-Wek. At this time of year, if you want to watch falcons hatch and fledge, you have to go to the falcon streaming cams in the Southern Hemisphere. Two are the CBD Peregrine Falcons otherwise known as the Collins Street Falcons in Melbourne, Australia and the scrape box of Xavier and Diamond on top of the water tower on the campus of Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. The CBD Peregrine Falcon Cam is not up and running yet. I will let you know when it is.

Here is the link to the live streaming cam with Diamond, Xavier, and their nine-month old son, Izzi, who refuses to leave home!

I am very happy to say that the two chicks on the Sarasota Bay Osprey Nest survived their very first hurricane. Here they are at 10 am, Wednesday, 7 July.

Tiny Tot’s nest held up perfectly well, too. No one was on it but one of the adult visitors this morning for a bit. We all assume that the impact of the storm had no harmful effects on our beloved Osprey family in St. Petersburg.

The question of who this bird is has driven me a little nuts. The bird has the white ‘V’ and the rounded white heart shape that Tiny Tot has. It has the black patch on the rear of the head that Tiny has. It has Tiny’s short thick legs. But, this is an adult!

Thank you for joining me today. Many of us are quite tired having stayed up to ride the hurricane out. It is such a relief that it has passed. If today’s blog is a little disconnected – that was the state of my mind last night. It will all pass (we hope). Take care all!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen images: The Bay Sarasota Osprey Cam and the Achieva Credit Union in St Petersburg, Florida.

Bird World Happenings, Late June 25

There is good news. K3 is alright. The little one was blown off the Red tail hawk nest on the Cornell Campus today. K3 is the third hatch of the 2021 season. Suzanne Arnold Horning who takes beautiful images of the hawks has located both K3 and K1 and says that Big Red and Arthur are fully aware of where their kids are. This is wonderful news. That little K3 is going to give us all quite a few worries it seems! So glad he is OK.

It has been a very sad week in Bird World. The death of Alma and one chick in the Finnish Osprey Nest today is a tragedy. My friend T thinks that the Raven, had it been able to get to the fish tail under the chicks, might have taken that food and left everything alone. But that was sadly not to be the case. The surviving chicks are now in the care of a foster mother. Then there was the death of the chick on the Cowlitz Nest and the announcement that K2 had to be euthanized due to a severe beak injury. The week ended badly.

There are still, however, many things to celebrate in Bird World so let us hop through the nests and see what has been happening.

Little Tiny Bob and Middle Bob were eating a good sized fish on the Foulshaw Moss Nest this evening. Great Big Bob was over wingersizing. It is always nice when she is preoccupied so the other two can eat in peace. Look closely. Little Tiny Bob looks like an osprey! There he is with his juvenile feathers on the right. Mom is busy giving them both bites. These two are not competitive and get a long really well. That is so nice.

Mom and Dad have been on the barge in Port Lincoln, Australia and things will be ramping up there soon. In the image below, Mom is still on the nest and you can see Dad’s ‘man cave’ lower down. This nest is known for siblicide. When things begin to happen, I will post a link so you can watch if you like.

During the 2021 season, the third hatch, little Tapps, was so so tiny compared to the other two and there was clearly not enough food for Mom and three babies. Tapps died when he was 18 days old. It was hard to watch. Solly, the eldest and a female, received a satellite tracker. Dew was the middle chick. We have been able to follow Solly and she is changing the understanding of how far Ospreys go when they leave the nest. Dew was ringed but has no tracker. To my knowledge there have been no sightings of Dew.

Solly is 278 days old today. Let us see where she is staying.

Solly really does love that area around Eba Anchorage. Maybe this will be her forever home. She has shown no interest in returning to Port Lincoln.

Tiny Tot had two nice fish meals today compliments of dad, Jack. The first came at 11:26 and the second was at 4:56. Spaced out nicely!

This image shows the last fish delivery. It is quite a big fish and if you look carefully you will notice that Tiny Tot still has a crop from the morning’s meal. Nice.

There was a big storm near the nest of the Black Storks in Estonia today. The trees were swaying in the forest but oddly, the nest wasn’t. It was an odd sensation. The rain was just beginning to come down when I took these images.

Look how much the storklets have grown. Their beautiful juvenile plumage is starting to show through.

The Black Storks are fine. There continue to be three and that is such good news. Karl II and Kaia are very good parents!

The White Storks at the Mlade Burky nest in Czechoslovakia are really growing, too. The community really worked together to make certain that this family thrived. Just look at these beautiful storklets today.

I am, however, just hoping that it is the angle of the camera and the light outside that is causing the stork’s left leg to appear grey or black – the one at the back on the right. Could that band be too tight? Otherwise they seem impressibly healthy. Hats off to everyone in the community for their kindness!

The remaining chick on the Cowlitz nest had some fish today and has a bit of a crop. Whether there was enough for the chick and Electra is unknown. I did not watch this nest that closely today. I was happy, however, to see the baby ate. So small and so undernourished. It is supposed to be extremely hot on this nest on Saturday – it is the heat wave that is hitting that part of the Pacific Northwest. This chick is going to need lots more fish! Electra, please forget about Wattsworth. Go and get the fish yourself – unhook 65 million years of hardwiring that tells you to stay on the nest and feed the babies the fish Wattsworth brings. Just go. You can fish.

Idris brought in a late day fish for Dysnni and Ystwyth on the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Wales. When he arrived Telyn was not on the nest. Ystwyth was hungry. So what does any good dad do? He feeds his chicks! And that is precisely what Idris did – great guy.

By the time Ystwyth was finished, Dysnni decided he would like some fish, too! Way to go Idris!

And someone at the Falcon Cam Project on the UC Berkeley Campus, put together a compilation video of the Fifth Season of Annie and Grinnell and their chicks – Fauci, Kaknu, and Wek-Wek.

Gosh, by the time the chicks fledge you have forgotten what it was like at the beginning when Annie and Grinnell were just thinking about chicks. So this video is a bit of fun! Not sure about the choice of music but you can mute the sound if you like. Enjoy.

The Muscovy Duck has returned to her eggs and seems to continue building up the nest higher and higher using the bark mulch. Glad to see the bamboo fence to protect her did not frighten her away.

Thank you for joining me today. So glad to hear that K3 is safe – and K1. We can all rest a little easier tonight.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Parkland Florida Duck Cam, Cowlitz PUD, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Dyni Osprey Nest, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Mlade Buky, The Eagle Club of Estonia, Achieva Credit Union, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project. I would also like to thank the Port Lincoln FB Page for posting the images of Solly’s satellite tracking.

A Hop and a Skip through the Nests

Thanks to one of the chatters on the Achieva Osprey Nest, I found out that the two chicks and Electra did have one fish delivery today. Thank you Burky! I had missed it and was feeling pretty horrible for those little ones because the rain is just pouring down at Cowlitz.

It wasn’t a big fish. In fact, it could have been the leftovers from yesterday’s big fish. I don’t care. It was fish for this hungry family. What really bugs me is if you look at the water. Monty got to be famous because he was an amazing male osprey taking care of his responsibilities. He even went out in Storm Hector to fish! And Louis at Loch Arkaig fished at night for his three chicks and Aila. What is wrong with Wattsworth?

Those sweet little babies were cold and hungry. Electra eats off some of the old skin and begins to feed them. Today, their little buttoms look fatter because of all that fish they had yesterday.

I have to continue to remind myself that the chicks had big feedings yesterday after more than 24 hours without food (it was nearer to 36 hours). They have had one feeding today. Yes, they are hungry but they will survive unless they get cold and the rain hangs on. Tiny Tot went days on a hot nest without food. Tiny Tot has thrived but that was first due to Diane going fishing and making sure he was fed. Something happened on that nest that changed Diane’s attitude towards Tiny. Was it his second instance of charging at the older siblings? or was it his persistence at trying to find ways to eat? Tiny is a survivor.

This nest at Cowlitz needs food and it needs more twigs – a lot more along the sides so these babies don’t fall off. Was really proud of Electra yesterday when she kept eating and feeding the babies and holding on to that fish. She seems to know Wattsworth well but, still she has to depend on him to get them fish. She cannot leave her babies and let them get soaked. Their feathers will not keep them warm and dry yet.

Speaking of Tiny Tot. That kid hit the fish jackpot today. Jack has brought in three fish – THREE -. The first one was at 7:40:36 and the last one was 5:16:48. I can’t imagine what lit a fire under Jack but Tiny Tot is really enjoying all that food.

Here is Jack delivering that last fish. Tiny has earned it. The adult intruder was about today and Tiny got them off and away from the nest.

If you look closely you can see the big crop that Tiny already has. Wow. Three fish in a day. It has been a long time since Tiny had that much food.

Tiny wasted no time eating that fish. He is really aware that there are other Ospreys around and he doesn’t want to have it taken away. Oh, Tiny, you are going to sleep so well. I hope the two Cowlitz kids grow up as strong and remarkable as you.

I was not going to go and check on the Golden Eagles in Romania. The fact that a camera was installed on an active nest and that event frightened the father away does not sit well with me. That left a single mother and a chick. Still, I would love to see some success on this nest so once in awhile I check in. That mother is really a huntress. There is another fawn on the nest for the chick!

Just look at the crop on that little eaglet. Now that is what I wish for the Cowlitz Kids – so full of food every day they are about to pop. This eaglet is so lucky that predators haven’t been around while the mother is hunting.

Father Stork at the Black Stork nest in Southern Estonia seems to love to aerate the nest. Every time I check in he is doing some kind of nest maintenance. What a guy you are Karl II.

Things are stepping up at the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest in the Sydney Olympic Park. Dad and Lady have been doing nestorations for more than a month it seems. It looks like they are finalizing those. Dad is bringing fish to Lady and mating has happened. Now everyone is just sitting back and waiting for that first egg from this beautiful pair of WBSE.

Thinking about the Sea Eagles and that precious 26 from last year made me also begin to think about two other nests in Australia that will be ramping up for breeding season, too.

Solly from the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge, hatched in 2021, has given Osprey researchers a lot to think about with her satellite tracker. She is 267 days old today. On 11 June, she flew north from Eba Anchorage to Laura Bay. It must have been a reconnaissance flight as she returned to Eba that evening.

Meanwhile Mom is eating a fish on the barge at Port Lincoln.

And, wow, I said two nests but no – it is three. How could I have forgotten about the Collins Street Peregrine Falcons in Melbourne?! That is shameful. Those three girls – triplets – all born on the same day within hours were amazing. I have no idea how their little dad kept up with them. It is just a fantastic nest to watch. I love falcons! When the camera is up and running you will hear about it. There are four videos from last year posted on YouTube. Just Google CBD Falcons. Here is one of them. It is rather long. You can skip through it if you like or watch the entire thing. Aren’t those girls so cute looking up at mom?

Oh and the last is Izzi, Xavier and Diamond at the scrape box on the old water tower on the grounds of Charles Sturt University. It is a research project of Cilla Kinross. We are lucky enough for her to share the cameras and the daily lives of this great couple of Peregrine Falcons.

Yesterday, Diamond accepted prey from Xavier. This is a big deal – kind of like a marriage in the land of falcons. Xavier had made two previous failed attempts – today’s worked. Here is a short video of that prey exchange:

That is just a hop, skip, and a jump around some of the nests that we don’t always cover. As the fledges take place in North America, the action is just starting in the Southern Hemisphere. There is a lot to look forward to.

Thank you for joining me. Stay safe, stay well.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cowlitz PUD, Eagle Club of Estonia, WBSE Eagle Cam, BirdLife Australia and the Discovery Centre, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and Asociatia Wild Bucovina. I would also like to thank the PLO for the FB page and the screen shot of Solly’s tracking map.

Checking in on Bird World – Friday 4 June

This is the first year that Sarasota Bay has a camera on their Osprey nest. This year there are three chicks and this morning at 7:41, Mom put on a stunning fishing demonstration for everyone watching. Here is a short video clip of that moment. She has been watching a fish for several minutes and was drawn to catch it!

Over in Mlady Buky, Czechoslovakia, the three baby storks and their Dad are really doing well. The community continues to provide food for them and will until such time as the little ones can get their own. How generous and caring these people are. It has been two weeks since the female was electrocuted on the hydro lines. It is heartwarming that everyone has pitched in so that this nest can be a success and not a tragedy.

Look at how well they can stand. Their wings are growing. This is just grand. And now the three can move around the nest much better than they could a week ago. They love to watch what is going on below them! My Asian friends tell me that everyone will be blessed with a long life because of their good deeds for this stork family. I sure hope so! It is for their efforts that these three little birds are now standing.

Look at those precious ones standing and their wing feathers growing in so nicely. They are looking like healthy little storks. This was ten days ago:

What a difference!

The little albino Osplet in the Urdaibai Biosphere Nest is still with us! It has really been raining and thankfully, the skies stopped pouring down and Landa got a break to feed the trio.

Aww, little Zuri is right up there wanting some fish. Thank you Roy!

The sun is setting. The golden glow that it casts on the marshlands makes them so green and so alive. Landa is keeping all three of her little ones warm and dry. I wonder if they will have one more fish dinner?

The rain has left Landa and her wee ones in Spain but it is pitching it down in King George County in West Virginia. Harriet and the two Bobs were soaked when I checked on them today. Just look at how big those kids are now. Harriet seems to have controlled Jack’s urge to bring too many objects to the nest! or maybe the people of the area have stopped putting out toys specifically for Jack to take to the nest! That would help a lot.

Thinking about toys and aprons being brought to an Osprey nest reminded me of Richmond and Rosie. Richmond is the ‘king’ of cute things coming in to the nest. There are people who watch so that the chicks don’t get hurt and carefully go up and remove them. One of the most fun things was a blanket last year; many remember an orange monkey, too, and an apron.

There are two camera views. One is a rather wide view of Richmond and Rosie’s nest on the Whirley Crane – yes a real crane – at the Richmond Shipyards in San Francisco.

The other one shows more of the actual comings and goings on the nest. The last time we checked on this family – I am embarrassed it has been so long – was when the third chick hatched. Rosie is a pro at handling a nest with three ospreys and Richmond is quite the fisher. These babies and their mom will never be hungry. Richmond does not migrate. He stays in San Francisco all year round but Rosie heads south in the winter returning in late February. This year she arrived earlier than she ever has – on 18 February – just a few days off of Valentine’s. Richmond is always delighted to see her. He is usually at the nest within minutes of her arrival! Oh, the love birds. How sweet.

Richmond and Rosie’s trio are getting their peachy juvenile plumage!

I always watch the scrape box of Diane and Xavier on the grounds of Charles Sturt Campus in Orange, NSW, Australia. As you may know, Peregrine Falcons do not build nests like Ospreys and Eagles. They lay their eggs on gravel or sandy cliffs. This is a method that has evolved so that there are no parasites to harm their eyases. Izzi is Xavier and Diamond’s 2020 hatch. Izzi has his own very distinct personality. And he is a handful.

The scrape box is on top of the old water tower (170 steps up). The behaviour of the Peregrine Falcons is part of Dr Cilla Kinross’s research on raptors.

Izzi is posing a lot of interesting questions into falcon behaviour. He should have vacated the scrape box months ago as the new breeding season is about to start. BUT – yes one of those big pauses….Izzi fludged and was returned to the scrape box. Then on his second fledge he flew into a window and was taken into care and returned to the scrape box. The third time was a winner – a perfect fly out from the box. But Izzi, being Izzi, the only child of X and D, may think that the scrape box is his! It is now the beginning of June and everyone was sure he would be evicted no later than February. I wonder what is doing to happen???

Here is Izzi having a serious chat with Diamond, his mother, who is on the ledge. Izzi is known for being very loud. They can probably hear him all the way to Sydney!

I am going to close with a video by Lady Hawk on the Bucovina Golden Eagles in Bulgaria. The mother hunted and brought a fawn into the nest the other day. You might recall that normally the males do the hunting but the male is afraid of the camera! So the mother has had to go and hunt. Here you can see that she keeps feeding her chick til it looks like it will pop. Just look at that crop!

It is now 35 degrees C on the Canadian prairies. The heat warning remains in effect for this atypical weather. In fact we are now 7 degrees hotter than islands in the Caribbean! It is time to replenish all the bird bowls and baths. Have a fabulous weekend everyone. Thanks for joining me. Take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, Urdaibai Biosphere Ospreys, Mlady Buky, Dahlgren Osprey Nest, Sarasota Bay Ospreys, and Golden Gate Audubon.

Bird World Headlines: Tiny Tot defends the nest again, Fauci makes his first aerial prey exchange, will little Zuri survive?

Just when you think everything is going to be ‘normal’ in Bird World and there will not be any drama, it turns. Honestly, those parents of Tiny Tot’s should be giving him a life lease for the Achieva Credit Union nest since he is the only one protecting it. If you are beginning to think the adult intruder returned, you are right! At 1:00:18 Tiny Tot starts alarming and flapping. Nothing gets by this little one. He watches and looks every direction – he continues alarm calling and flapping his wings.

At 1:30:51 Tiny Tot is up on the perch.

And then Tiny Tot flies back to the nest. At 1:39:36 the adult intruder tries landing on the nest. Tiny Tot thwarts their effort getting them off balance.

The adult tries but cannot make landing on the perch. Tiny Tot was successful.

The adult gets their wings and legs together and flies between the nest and the perch. Looks like they are going to go around again. Tiny Tot is alarming at them.

And off she goes.

Tiny Tot is alarming, mantling, and flapping its wings at the same time. He means business. That adult is not going to land on his nest.

Here comes the intruder.

This time around the adult intruder makes a successful landing on the perch. They do not try to attempt a landing on the nest with Tiny Tot there.

The adult perches calmly. You would think by looking at them that they belong to this nest but they do not. It is Tiny’s.

The stand off between Tiny Tot and the adult intruder we on until 2:50 when the adult intruder decided to fly off the perch. Tiny Tot took flight and is chasing that adult out of the territory of the nest! The image below shows Tiny in hot pursuit of that adult.

Tiny Tot is now on sentry duty like his dad, Jack, the other day. Good luck Tiny!

Every day Tiny Tot’s talents for defending the nest have been tested. The third hatch of Jack and Diane is really gaining valuable experience and so far he is doing well. What does the adult intruder want? the nest? or to try and steal one of Tiny’s fish deliveries from Jack?

At the 21:00 feeding on the Urdaibai Nest, Zuri had its beak open wide with the other two siblings. I wish Landa had fed the little Zuri straightaway. I fear that it doesn’t have the energy to stand up yet.

Sadly it appears that Zuri didn’t stay turned around with its beak wide open for Landa. Zuri had some food five hours earlier before the rain. It is really unclear what will happen to this little one.

It is still cold and damp and that will be the last feeding for the day.

This is so incredible. You have to see it rather than seeing screen shots. The video is 51 seconds long and it shows Fauci, the first eyas of Annie and Grinnell to fledge, taking its dinner from its parent in mid-air. Watch how Fauci flies afterwards and look at the parent. This kid is amazing! And just so you know – he watched his parents but this is the FIRST time Fauci has ever done a prey exchange! Way to go Super Star Fauci!

https://fb.watch/5UZd5WLGfQ/

Thank you for stopping in on this brief report on Tiny Tot, our little Braveheart, Fauci, and little Zuri. For Tiny, the day started out so well with an early fish delivery and now the afternoon Tiny had to defend the nest. He did an amazing job. And across the United States in California, Annie and Grinnell’s eyases are learning all of the tricks to being a Peregrine Falcon, the fastest bird in the world. Poor little Zuri doesn’t have a lot of strength. Warm wishes go over to Spain for this little one to make it.

Thanks to the Achieva Credit Union for their streaming cam where I grabbed these screen shots.

It really is a great day in Bird World

Can the little Albino Osprey named Zuri see to grab prey from its mom, Landa? That is the question today at the Urdaibai. Yesterday the wee one with its pink eyes and beak had a few tiny bites of fish and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Today, it appears that its eyesight might cause issues in seeing the fish in order to grab it. Let us all send warm wishes over that way in the hope that this is sorted for the better!

Storms moved into the area later in the day. Let us hope that the damp cold moves out quickly!

And there is some good news coming out of Urdaibai. At 16:24:17, Zuri ate some fish. He was able to grab it. Continue with your warm wishes.

Here is a really good image of the nest and perch at the Urdaibai Biosphere.

The BBC did a special programme on Poole Harbour Ospreys. Poole Harbour is on the southern coast of England.

It is hard to imagine, in 2021, that it was 1993 that the first idea for reintroducing Ospreys to the southern coast of Britain began with discussions between Roy Dennis and Colin and Jenni Tubbs. Sadly, Colin died four years later and the project sat. Dennis discussed the possibility with others making several trips to the site and plotting out potential nest sites but, the Poole Harbour Osprey Project got its wings so to speak in July 2016 when funding came through. Eight birds were released successfully with trackers in late June in the area. Between 25 August and 23 September Dennis says that all eight set off for migration for Africa. It was 2017 and three were known to have arrived successfully in Africa. Dennis describes the details and all those involved in pages 393-407 of his most recent book, Restoring the Wild.

The following April, 2018, Blue ringed CJ7, a Rutland three year old arrived looking for a mate. That mate was Blue L57 but in 2020 he did not return from his migration. CJ7 was the subject of the BBC programme. In 2020, CJ7 took ownership of the main nest of the Poole Harbour osprey Project. She wanted a mate. In 2021, she laid five unfertilized eggs which the Ravens acquired.

And then, when the interview was being filmed, as if by magic, a male appeared on the nest, a two year old, a 2019 bird, Blue 022. He got busy with mating with CJ7 right on camera to the surprise of the live audience! It is too late for chicks this year but let us hope that this couple have a long productive life on the Poole Harbour nest.

Blue 022 is a two year old. So happy he stopped in at Poole on his return journey from Africa. Let us hope that this couple raises many chicks on this prime nest on the southern coast of England. Their mating marked a first in 200 years for this part of England. Imagine the celebration when there are chicks on the nest!!!!!

Tiny Tot had an early morning fish delivery to add to the late night one on 2 June. So far Jack is rewarding Tiny with fish as Tiny continues to protect the natal nest. That morning fish delivery came at 6:26:54. sibling #2 hasn’t been around for a day and a bit. Maybe he doesn’t want to battle with the intruder. But better, he is off catching his own fish! That would be brilliant.

After his breakfast, Tiny Tot started doing some nestorations. Gosh, remember. Males return to their natal nest. Oh, how grand it would be if this became Tiny’s nest in the future (now I really hope that Tiny Tot is a male!).

So a fish late last night and one this morning. All of us can relax for the rest of the day.

Good news is also coming out of Glaslyn. Aran’s wing is visually improving and his flight feathers are aligned. Oh, that is simply wonderful. We were all concerned about Aran being able to make his migration to Africa and here it is 3 June and he is healing splendidly. He has taken a fish from the nest and is eating it on the perch. Mrs G would really like some of it! The males are hard wired to provide so let us hope that Aran shares.

And good news out in San Francisco. Fauci and Wek-Wek, two of the fledgling Peregrine Falcons of Annie and Grinnell were on the tower this morning prey calling. Oh, it is so good to see them!

Oh, I couldn’t leave without checking on the storks today. Let us make it one more good moment! My friend, ‘R’ in Pennsylvania really likes the storks so these images are for you, ‘R’.

The community is doing splendid. Both dad and the three storklets are in fine health and the nest has lovely dry straw on it. What an amazing effort.

Dad stork is protecting his babies from the direct sun.

I wonder if they are watching for a fish delivery.

It is nice to close this Thursday posting on a real positive note. So far everything that is going on at the nests appears to be good. Fledglings are returning, storks are growing, the Poole Harbour Osprey Project has its legs so to speak, Tiny Tot has had a fish, and sweet little Zuri has grabbed some fish.

Thanks so much for joining me. Stay cool if you are in the heat warning area of the Canadian prairies, take care, stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Achieva Osprey Cam, Urdaibai Biosphere Park, Mlady Buky, UC Falcon Cam, Poole Harbour Ospreys FB Page, and Bwyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife.

Late Saturday and Early Sunday Nest Round Ups

Every Saturday at noon, Ferris Akel does a live streaming tour of the area around Wildlife Drive, Montezuma, Sapsucker Lake and then on to Ithaca to check on Big Red, Arthur, and the kids. It’s free. There are no ads to monetize the YouTube site and never a hint – never – of a tip jar or wanting anything in return. Ferris Akel loves birds and he loves sharing his Saturdays with a few devoted souls. He is a master at recognizing bird calls and songs, “Oh, I believe I just heard a …..” is common. By traveling with Ferris over the seasons, you get a really good idea of how they impact the wildlife in the area. Water also changes everything and they are draining an area along Wildlife Drive to the dismay of many because it changes the environment that the wetland birds depend on. I have learned a lot.

Ferris has found the nest of a Red-tail Hawk family that live near his home. It is a trio, just like The Love Trio of the Mississippi who are raising their Bald Eagle chicks together. The name of the hawks are Betty, Barney, and Phoenix. How interesting. We saw some beautiful birds today. I am including only a couple. The sightings are on a powerful scope and the images are a little soft – could be half a kilometre away.

This Great Blue Heron caught a frog and ate in while we were watching.

There was a beautiful Cedar Waxwing.

Ferris always winds his trip up in Ithaca looking for Big Red and Arthur. Often I am trying to watch what Big Red is doing while I am listening for Ferris to have a sighting. It was so nice that the rain stopped and Big Red and the Ks were able to dry out later on Saturday.

All of the Ks are now walking. Just look at the little one, K3. I have no idea how they do it on all of those twigs but they do.

They had worked up an appetite. K1 had been flapping its wings and moving around the nest. So when Big Red returned with prey, they were right there ready for lunch. The question is: what are they having for lunch. There have been a lot of birds this year. Most of them were Starlings. There was one Robin. But the one that Big Red brought in looked an awful lot like a Blue Jay. What do you think?

Whatever it was, they sure enjoyed it! Normally there are a dozen chipmunks and squirrels in a day. Surely there isn’t a lot of meat on a bird for these growing hawklets – and Big Red has to eat, too. I still wonder why the dramatic change in prey this year. Did Arthur really clean out most of the chipmunks last year?

Big Red was really tired. She tucked her head in her wing after the Ks were full and all of them fell asleep.

If you were following the Duke Farms Bald Eagles, you will recall that both Big and Li’l were branching and both were on the same branch. L’il wanted to get down and started flapping its wings and well, they both fludged. It was a worry. They did not return to the nest right away and some concern was growing. Then they re-appeared. Today, both of them arrived hoping for some fish and there was a food drop. It seems Big was successful – hopefully they will bring something back for Li’l.

The scramble for the first prey drop.

Fauci is the only hawklet of Annie and Grinnell’s that has fledged. He returned to the tower and he was ravenous today and joined the others for breakfast. Here is a short video of Grinnell feeding the eyases.

We haven’t checked on the Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle cam for some time. I think the last time was when the squirrel climbed up to the nest and quickly got away when one of the eaglets stuck its head up. Well, they are all branching. I just hope one of them doesn’t cause all of them to fludge.

There they are all on the same branch! Oh, dear.

The Osprey nests in the UK are drying. There were some nice temperatures today and some of the babies even got a little sun. How glorious!

Idris decided that he wanted to give Telyn a break and he was going to feed the flounder to the Two Bobs. I love it when the dads want to get involved. Idris is a great provider and he often wants to incubate the Bobs, too. Telyn just doesn’t always want to let him! Wonder what grade the Two Bobs gave Dad for the feeding?

Idris feeds his two osplets on the Dfyi Nest. 29 May 2021

As far as I know, there is still only one little Osplet on the nest of Dylan and Seren at Clywedog. Bob, the only Bob, is really strong and growing. That is what single children do.

Seren feeding the only Bob. If either of the other eggs is viable, it should hatch soon.

It’s Sunday in Wales and Dylan has brought a new fish and is just peeking over Seren to get a peek at wee Bob.

Blue 33 (11) periodically comes in to check to see if there is enough fish. Today he brought a nice one in. You can see how these Two Bobs are doing – they look great to me. They are now getting some of their feathers and will soon leave behind the reptilian phase altogether.

The Two Bobs are having a nice fish up at the Loch of the Lowes Nest with Laddie and NC0. The Big one is getting to be a little rough at times with the little one. No need for that. They could be growing and thriving just like the Two Bobs at Manton Bay. Experience helps and Maya and Blue 33 (11) have been together a long time and they get those difficulties sorted out. NC0 is learning. Little Bob seems to be holding his own. It doesn’t take as much food to fill his tummy and crop as it does so Big Bob will definitely be at the fish trough longer. Remember Tiny was little too. The little ones get clever and most of them know to let the big sib eat its fill and then step up. Rarely do you get a parent that manages feeding them both at once equally – but it does happen.

And it’s Sunday. Laddie brought in a big fish, enough for all of them and then some. And guess who got the first bites? You were right if you said Little Bob. Well done you!

There are only three storklets at the Mlade Budy nest that is being cared for by the villagers. The female was electrocuted last weekend and the people of Mlade Budy have provided three meals a day to dad and the babies. One of the storklets was quite small and, as storks have been doing for eons, it was sadly tossed off the nest by the dad. The other three are growing fast and they are able to eat what the father regurgitates for them in addition to the small fish the community provides.

Of course, the idea of tossing the smallest off the nest for whatever reasons stork do those things made me think of Tiny Tot. I am sure glad that Jack didn’t pick the wee one up and toss it off the Osprey nest. As it stands, and what I have always said, of the three, Tiny Tot will be the one that will survive. For the past two days, Tiny has helped fight off the intruder from the nest. Indeed, in a quick magician’s like trick, Dad was able to hand off a fish to Tiny Tot with the intruder right there. Dad sent that invading adult on its way. Then this evening, Diane brought Tiny Tot a fish. Gosh, he surely deserved it! And lo and behold, guess who comes sniffing around thinking it would get that fish off Tiny. And if you said sibling #2 you would be absolutely right. But guess what? Tiny Tot sent sibling #2 packing. Yes, you read that right. Raise a glass in a toast. Tiny Tot has really gotten its confidence and if an osprey chick learned all its life lessons on a nest, Tiny would be on the list of those who did.

Tiny Tot is mantling ‘his’ fish that Diane brought him at 6:01:08. Tiny sees #2 sibling sniffing for the fish, he closes his wings tighter but still mantles and raises his head, looks at 2 and makes a loud squawk.
Tiny Tot moved his right wings in a different configuration. Sibling #2 backed off, went over by Diane, and then flew off.

Mrs G tried to remove the three chicks from the nest today. She had two with her but turned around and came back to the nest. The little ones look just like they are sleeping around the rim. It has to be difficult. Aran came to see them after Mrs G returned them to the nest. She isn’t quite ready to let go. She brooded the three of them last night for the last time. How sad this must be for her and Aran.

For some reason, Mrs G returned the two chicks she was moving to the nest. They look like they are sleeping.

I want to close with a beautiful image of Aran and Mrs G on the perch together. They are a very strong couple and we want them to heal so that they both have a successful migration and are back next year for another breeding season.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is always a pleasure to be amongst bird lovers. I think that is why I enjoy stopping in on Ferris’s tours for a little while on Saturday – it is nice just to be there amongst people who love the birds.

If you are a regular viewer of the Glaslyn Nest with Mrs G and Aran, I urge you, if you possibly can, to make a donation to the Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife Centre. It doesn’t matter if it is $2 or $200 – everything helps. The donations fund the streaming cam but they also help to keep this family alive.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Cornell Lab and RTH, Dfyi Osprey Project, Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Cam, Duke Farms, Ferris Akel Tour, Clywedog, Achieva Osprey, LRWT Rutland Osprey Project, Mlade Budy Streaming Cam, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, and Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes.

‘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.

Nest Stealing, Nesting, and sad news out of Glaslyn

There are no real estate agents exchanging bird real estate and, as we have seen on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida (see Tiny Tot blog, 27 May 2021), the shortage of trees and platforms can cause intruders to battle it out with nest occupants. Tiny Tot defended the nest as best he could yesterday, 27 May. Jack came along and got rid of the intruding adult around 4:10 but it was back this morning around 9:20. Ospreys will protect their territory and then feed sibling 2 and Tiny Tot so the food deliveries could be low today like they were yesterday.

In Orange, Australia a pair of Nankeen Kestrels were thinking they might occupy the scrape box of Peregrine Falcons, Xavier and Diamond yesterday – and, of course, Izzi. Indeed, after two returns after his first fludge and his second fledge when he hit a window and needed care, Izzi also feels that the scrape box is his private penthouse.

Nankeen or Australian Kestrels are the smallest raptors in the country. They are from 28-35 cm long with a wingspan of 66-78 cm. The female is the larger of the two. Pale rufous feathers with dark grey patterning and black flight feathers. The male has a light grey crown. They are distinguished by hovering over their prey instead of relying on speed, like the Peregrine Falcons whose scrape box they are in. They have no problem borrowing the nests of other raptors if they appear deserted. Nankeen Kestrels eat insects, small prey such as mice and other small birds and reptiles. They lay from two to seven eggs on a cliff, in a tree hollow, or in a scrape box. Those eggs hatch on average between 26 and 28 days.

Owners of nests in the Southern Hemisphere are beginning to work on nestorations in preparation for the breeding season which begins shortly, June-August.

The White-Bellied Sea Eagles (WBSE) whose nest is in the forest of Sydney Olympic Park have been making visits to the nest periodically. The WBSE is the second largest raptor in Australia. The nest in the Sydney Forest is part of the territory of Lady and Dad. WBSE are quickly recognized because the adult plumage is grey and white above. When flying, the underneath wing patterning is black and white.

“White-Bellied Sea Eagle” by sufw is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

They have a grey hooked beak and either grey or yellow legs with long black talons. The length of the wings ranges from 1.8 to 2.2 metres. WBSE weight between 1.8 and 4.5 kg. WBSE also have reverse sex diamorphism – the female is larger than the male. WBSE live along the coasts of India, SE Asia, Australia, and Pacific New Guinea and islands of Austral-Asia. Some live inland. Their conservation status varies from secure to endangered depending on the country. Shooting, trapping, poisoning, power lines, environmental pollution and human disturbance are all threats.

“Photo point- white bellied sea eagle” by shankar s. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

WBSE mate for life. Dad and Lady have their nest in a very old Ironbark Tree in the forest. Here, in the dry months, Lady will lay two white oval eggs. The incubation period is six weeks. One of my eagle friends tells me to take a breath because not all eggs hatch and not all eaglets live. The second egg is the ‘insurance’ egg if the first one fails – my friend tells me. Gosh, I would hate to just be an insurance egg!!!!! The nestlings will be fed a variety of prey including fish, birds, eels, and even turtles. They hunt along the Parramatta River, close to the nest and in the forest. The young will fledge, normally between 70-80 days. Indeed, it is unusual to have two fledges but Lady and Dad have managed this over the past few years. Last year WBSE 25 and 26 fledged. (You can read about the tenacious 26 in former blogs).

You can see the juvenile plumage in the image below. It is a range of browns and sometimes beautiful rust colours.

“White Bellied Sea Eagle Close-Up” by Peter Nijenhuis is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Dad has been bringing in fish gifts to Lady in the nest, they have been doing nestorations, and they were mating on 14 May. The pair have been sleeping on the parent branch of the nest tree lately. Looking for eggs the first week in June, hopefully.

Sea Eagle Cam @ Birdlife Australia, Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park

The saddest news is coming out of Glaslyn and I am not sure that anyone knows what to make of it. You will remember that the terrible weather and the intruders caused Aran to be injured to the point he could not go hunting. The staff provided a fish table for the family and they were eating. On Sunday, after eating, the eldest chick died. Last night the middle chick died, and this morning, the smallest one is too weak to hold its head up to feed. Only a post-mortem could confirm the cause and I am certainly no expert so I wouldn’t even venture to guess the cause. Our hearts are breaking for this iconic Osprey family – Mrs G, at 21 years old, is the oldest Osprey in the United Kingdom, and her mate, Aran. They have lost chicks before and will move forward.

Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife

I am so sorry to bring you the sad news from Glaslyn. This has been a very difficult week for this Osprey family – the weather has been horrible and the intruders have injured Aran. And now the loss of the chicks. Credits for where I obtained my screen shots are below the images.

Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe, take care of one another.

The featured image is Daisy the Pacific Black Duck who borrowed the WBSE nest for her eggs in early 2021. You can read all about it previous blogs starting in January 2021.

Thursday hoppin’ and skippin’ through Bird World

Oh, there are so many happy people today. The Glaslyn Wildlife Center started the streaming cam on Aran, Mrs G and chicks 2 & 3 at 8am this morning. Thanks to the advice of Dr Tim Mackrill, the staff, and all the volunteers for jumping in there and doing what they could to save this iconic Osprey family. It worked. Aran is getting stronger, Mrs G is getting stronger, and the two remaining chicks are thriving. Just look at the fish on that nest – what wonderful people.

Aran is on the perch protecting the nest from intruders – and there still remain intruders!

Aran is one handsome Osprey with that beautiful crest of his.

So many were relieved and that soon turned to a state of elation when Aran accepted the fish.

Mrs G is also alert to the intruders.

No one ever imagined these little ones could go without food for at least two days. They did. Chicks 2 and 3 survived. It is not clear what happened to the first hatch but it died late Sunday afternoon after eating all day. But, it is time for the joy and everyone is rejoicing that there are 2 strong little ones left!

Here is a really good look at those two plump strong little chicks of Mrs G and Aran. Gosh, just look at them with those strong necks and wings and little fat bottoms. My goodness I never would have imagined.

Everything seems to be going pretty well up at Loch of the Lowes. NC0 took a break and had Laddie doing incubation. Laddie appears to be very uncomfortable around the chicks but he stepped up to the job and did it well. He is keeping the nest supplied with fish and the two remaining chicks are looking good – albeit one much smaller than the other. NC0 is a first time mom and let us hope that she makes sure the little one gets food at every meal. I have to say I am worried because that tiny one is so thin. I hope I am worried for nothing. Sadly we have already lost one chick, the last hatch, on this nest. It would certainly be nice if these both fledged.

Over at the Clywedog Nest with Dylan and Seren, there is one healthy chick and we are waiting for egg 2 to begin to pip. Tonight? Possibly.

Seren is restless. She can hear the chick in the egg. But, stop for a moment and look at Seren’s gorgeous yellow eyes. They are stunners.

A mysterious unringed Osprey has appeared on the Loch Arkaig Nest. Look at that fabulous dark plumage. Surely someone recognizes this Osprey as it is so distinctive.

Blue 33 (11) brings in an early morning fish delivery for Maya and the Two Bobs over at the Rutland Manton Bay nest. These two are really in the growth phase.

The two chicks of Idris and Telyn are doing fantastic. They sure know what to do when mom walks over to the fish! Lunch time!

Lined up nicely! Idris brought in another one of his whoppers – actually he has brought in several. One just about knocked the poor babies right off the nest.

It is sure good to see these Welsh nests drying out from all of the rain and wind last week.

Going stealth like a Peregrine Falcon from Wales to San Francisco and all eyes are on the tower of the Campanile on the UC Berkeley campus today. It is fledge watch for Annie and Grinnell’s three boys and Fauci has been on the ledge since yesterday! While Fauci is occupied with ‘the world out there’, the other two, Kaknu and Wek-Wek, are having their lunch.

I put in an arrow so you can see where Fauci is on the ledge. He moves, of course!

Here is the link to the fledging camera:

In Ithaca, the skies opened up to some torrential rains last evening and Big Red rushed to get the Ks under cover.

The sun came out Thursday morning and everyone was floofed by breakfast.

Just about three weeks to fledge. Time has melted this year. These three are standing and getting their legs strong and attempting to walk. Soon they will be running and flapping all over the ledge. Everyone needs a pocket of worry beads then.

Around 6pm on 26 May, the Raven arrived at Iris’s nest in Hellgate while she was away. It took all of Iris’s eggs and ate them.

The mist is rising over the mountains in Missoula this morning. It is a new day for Iris. She is no longer tied to the nest because of the eggs. She is now free to enjoy her summer fishing and building up her strength for her long migration in early September. While many would like Iris to have had a loyal supportive mate, the fact is, she doesn’t. She hasn’t since Stanley died and she won’t as long as Louis is alive. Is it better for the Raven to eat the eggs or the chicks starve on the nest? For me, there is no question – let the Raven have them.

There is no reason for Iris to be at the nest so we will not see her as much. But, last year she stopped by once in awhile even just before she migrated. So fingers crossed. Catch fish, get really healthy, enjoy your summer break, Iris – you certainly have earned it.

If I pulled the image below out of a pile of photographs, would you recognize these two beauties? They are both standing and walking now, their juvenile plumage is really coming in with all its peach and they certainly don’t look like reptiles anymore – ah, that was a hint. Yes they are the chicks of The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island in the ‘Peach’ State of Georgia. Gosh, Rhett and Scarlett make beautiful babies. Goodness.

The Achieva Osprey Nest has settled into a routine. In the morning Jack brings a fish for sibling 2 and Diane brings a fish for Tiny Tot. It means they both have a nice meal in the morning. This method is working and 2 is not ‘hogging’ all of the fish that come on the nest. The parents maintain this effort 2 or 3 times a day. Tiny Tot remains on the nest and is still doing its practice flights. This is one smart fledgling! Sibling 2 is in and out, mostly coming for fish. He must roost somewhere close to the nest.

After sibling 2 departs, Tiny Tot decides he is going to get up there and try out that perch! These days are precious. Tiny won’t necessarily give us any warning. One morning he will go for a flight and he will be off on his journey.

The only osplet on the Lake Murray Nest in New Hampshire is being well taken care of – just look at that crop! That ‘little’ one looks like he is trying out for the role of Hulk in some new movie. Lucy and Ricky have certainly taken good care of their only chick! Mom has a big crop too. Fantastic! This is the way it should be.

It is really green in Minnesota just like it is here on the Canadian prairies. We have had a good rain. Harry and Nancy’s two are soaked through. Don’t think they plan on leaving the nest today!

For those of you who watched Kisatchie hatch and grow up on this historical nest near Lake Kincaid in the Kisatchie National Park, it has been a great disappointment that he did not return to the nest after his fledge on 22 May. The Wildlife Services have had no sightings of Kistachie up to yesterday. The streaming cam will remain on until 11 June at which time it will be shut off until next season. The adult eagles, Anna and Louis, will migrate north to cooler weather returning in the fall.

The Bald Eagle juveniles that are ready might get the same phone call telling them it is time to leave their natal nests. Legacy’s nest is empty as is the nest of E17 and E18. Both of the fledglings at Duke Farms are now away.

Thank you for joining me today. It is a blessing getting to watch these birds live their lives day after day meeting enormous challenges. Thank you to the people at Glaslyn for their fortitude.

Thanks go to the following organizations or companies who streaming cams provide my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, UC Falcon Cam, LRWT, Scottish Woodland Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Clywedog, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Lake Murray Ospreys, KNF, MN DNR, Dyfi Osprey Project, and last, but not least, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife.