Fish delivery at PLO. Tears of joy.

It is 11:36 on the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest and Mom is still waiting for Dad to bring in a fish. I have peeked but, she is up and waiting and hopeful. The chicks are behaving themselves. That is a relief. I don’t know what will happen when the fish does arrive on the nest. Thinking positive!

What is very noticeable is the change in appearance of the two older osplets from yesterday. They have really lost that light down and are quickly transitioning to the reptile stage. That is part of the reason that they might have looked ‘skinny’ to some on those days when they were full with crops.

Hatch Information:

  • Big Bob. 13 September. 22:03
  • Middle Bob. 14 September. 02:30
  • Little Bob. 16 September. 00:51

Little Bob still has the light down. It is difficult to distinguish between big and Middle sometimes but I believe that the chick on the left is Big Bob and the one on the right, Middle Bob.

Oh, joy. 11:44:35. It looks like the chicks are anticipating a feeding.

And it looked like shadows of parents moving. Sadly, the camera angle is focused here and we cannot see for sure. I really hope that there has been a fish delivery. These three are behaving themselves but they are really, really hungry ——– and so is Mom!

Waiting.

Fish? No Fish? I think that I am full of anxiety as I watch these three. They are not fighting. They are waiting. Is there food for them?

It is 12:13 on the nest. If a fish was caught, it has not come to the nest nor have the chicks been fed. Mom is calling loudly.

They are still waiting for lunch. Look at the image above and notice where Little Bob is. Now look at where he has gone in anticipation of a fish delivery.

The view from the nest.

Mom is working hard to keep them focused on her so they will not fight.

The real fish finally came in. 12:46:07. Mom does not need to do the fake feeding anymore!

Little Bob is curled up. No doubt they are hungry and their energy is depleted. There is enough fish for everyone. He can wait and let the others get theirs first.

This is very unusual for Little Bob. He is normally up at the table immediately. Big Bob has come up to eat. Wake up Little!

Little Bob came around! You can see his crop getting fuller through the sequence of images. Look at that crop on Middle Bob who is on the left. Then Big Bob and then Little Bob.

It is a nice fish. Mom really needs to eat too. I hope she fills these three up until they pop.

Everyone is happy and behaving themselves. That is also a relief after the earlier skirmishes around dawn.

One last image as those crops get fuller and fuller.

I am just so excited to tell you the good news. These little ones will be full for a bit. They can eat more and I hope that mom continues to feed them – like I said, til they popped. Continue to send warm wishes and positive thoughts to this nest. It is at such a vulnerable stage today.

I am sending this off toggled to my phone as our Internet is out. So thank you again. Take care everyone.

Thanks to the Port Lincoln Osprey nest for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Oh, Little Bob!

Oh, another glorious fall day on the Canadian Prairies. The sun is shining bright and the sky is blue. The leaves of the vines looking like stained glass ranging in colour from rust to orange, light yellow, and chartreuse. Just stunningly beautiful.

I always worry about the third hatches. I have worried about the third at the Port Lincoln nest the minute the egg was laid. Last evening one of the chatters called #3 “Tuffet.” That is a great nickname for Little Bob.

And Little Bob looks like such an angel. If you are having trouble telling who he is, he still has his egg tooth today. That is him wide awake smiling at the camera.

My goodness. I have begun to feel sorry for Mum. She has only to wiggle or get up to stretch and he has his mouth wide open!

Big and Middle are not bothered at all. Little Bob still has a crop but he is sure curious as to whether or not Mom will give him some bites!

“What cha’ doin’ Mom?”

Little Bob is decidedly not hungry. When I last left the family Dad had brought what was left of the ‘whale’ that he had brought in at 12:35:44.

There was another feeding around 13:08.

If you are wondering, yes, that is Little Bob being fed!

By 13:24 Mum has them all tucked and Dad is over on the ropes.

Around 16:00 the chicks are fed again.

With the whale finished, Dad is going to need to go out and fishing. At 16:49 Dad comes to have a consultation with Mom. She puts in an order for a fish as the kids are growing restless.

The delivery comes in half an hour. Well done, Dad. I wonder if he has a stash of these nice large fish?

Notice that all of the chicks have some fish still in their crop from the earlier feeding.

Oh, dear. That fish was flapping. Hope that little one is OK. It sure isn’t stopping Little Bob with his crop from wanting a meal. There he is near that flapping tail.

Oh, these three are really going to be a handful when they are older. Dad is going to have to bring further reinforcements for the walls. Mom finishes feeding them and then…

She moves the fish and starts again! They all line up again.

Look carefully at the back of Little Bob on the end. Can you see the two dark stripes starting to emerge? and just look at how adorable those little wings are. Gosh these kids are cute.

Dad will remove the fish and return it at 18:20:01.

There’s Little Bob flaunting his crop – wondering if his is the biggest or not.

Mom probably thought she could have a few bites in peace and quiet. What do you think? Yes, that is Little Bob with his mouth open! Poor Mom.

Now another wants some fish. You can still see their crops from the 18:22 feeding. But there is also something else we can see. Look, pin feathers are coming. Soon they will look like reptiles. Their light coat of down will be replaced by a darker woolier coat at 10-12 days. That is followed by the reptile phase.

We are entering the second week. Already these chicks have more than likely tripled their body weight. It should, in fact double again in the next three to four days. The fastest period of growth will come at 15-30 days. This is when we need fish on this nest.

It is possible that when Mom got up to eat some fish she fed some of the Osplets around 21:13.

It was hard to tell because Mum swung herself around so we couldn’t see.

Little Bob wiggles his way out from under Mom in the middle of the night and is calling for fish!

And we are back where we started. Around 1:13, Mom wants to stretch her legs and Little Bob thinks it is time to eat again – crop or not.

It is now 2:51 in the morning, 22 September in Australia. Mom and chicks are fast asleep. No doubt Little Bob will be right up front at the table the minute that fish lands on the nest.

This third hatch is anything but shy or afraid. This nest has really turned itself around thanks to the good deliveries of fish by Dad and the continuous feedings by Mom. No one on this nest has been hungry.

The crucial period is not here yet. We need to make it through weeks 3 and 4.*

Looking for hatch watch with the Peregrine falcons in Melbourne in 6 days. That will liven things up a bit. Over at the WBSE in the Sydney Olympic Park, the parents are dropping prey now that the eaglets are self-feeding. Most of the time 27 gets the food. Yesterday, Mom did the feeding. 28 had a nice crop. The first seen in awhile. The pair continue to work their wings.

Thank you so much for joining me today — and thank you for your interest in the Eastern Ospreys at Port Lincoln, Australia. So far, so good. Continue to send warm wishes to all the nests.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots.

* Last year, the feedings were not as good at the PLO. Around Day 15 there was a perceived drop in food delivery. Siblicide occurred and sadly, little Tapps died when he was 18 days old.

A whale of a fish for the PLO kids

In the middle of the night, the osplets were restless. Mom needed to stretch her legs and they all stood up, beaks wide open thinking it was time for yet – another – meal. They were so well fed during the day it is hard to imagine them being hungry at 02:45 but they thought they were.

Mum worked hard and finally corralled Big and Middle back under her wings and chest! But not before they peeked out again and had another try for a feeding! Just look at how wide they can open their mouths. Goodness.

Mum went sound asleep and was looking really comfy when this image was taken at 05:10.

Mom needed another stretch before the sun rose. Oh, goodness. It was mayhem.

Big and Middle started pecking one another and Little Bob ducked! All I could think was get a fish on this nest quick.

Mom was having none of it. She sat on the chicks and stopped all the nonsense in its tracks. I thought she looked rather pleased with herself.

A couple of minutes later, Dad was on the ropes with a whale of a fish. He ate part of the head and got rid of the sharp teeth before transferring it over to the family.

That fish is big enough to last them all day! What a great catch.

They all got themselves lined up nicely in order of age – Big Bob on the outside, Middle Bob, and then, of course, that character Little Bob eating first! Yes, his crop does get full and yes, he does pass out in a food coma. This kiddo isn’t afraid of anything. It was almost slapstick comedy watching him duck when Big and Middle thought they would have a go at one another. Smart kiddo.

Nice crops!

Feeding is over. Dad returns to pick up the fish.

Dad returns the fish. It was so sweet. He waited a bit watching her feed their three healthy little ones.

I don’t know. These two are like a well oiled machine this year, synchronized. I want to knock on some wood. It is like they went to parenting classes or something – a sea change from last year. I want this so much to stay throughout the season to fledging.

Mum decides that feeding is over. Just stop for a minute and look at the size of that fish on the nest. I am still amazed. Everyone is full and the chicks are falling asleep.

Dad returns to the nest. The adults have a chat and they decide that Dad will leave the fish on the nest as Mum will need to feed the little ones again soon.

I sound like a broken record but this year we have seen fish delivered to nests that were described as ‘big’. I am referring to a few that went to the Collins Marsh Osprey nest. This fish is ‘big’. Look at its circumference and length. There is lots of flesh for this family on this one catch. It is not a twiddler.

Isn’t Mum cute? She is hungry and has figured out a way to brood the babes and eat in peace! Enjoy it Mum. You have earned it!

Dad has returned and has removed the fish after Mum had some good bites. He will bring it back, no fear. Look at those two little heads poking out. How cute.

No doubt there will be a lot more feedings throughout the day. This Osprey nest is in excellent shape. Dad has proved that he can fish in high winds and Mom can keep the peace with the youngsters and make them line up and eat properly. I am so impressed.

If you missed it, Lyn Brenig’s proposed all terrain World War II vehicle tours around the nature centre has been scrapped after public protest. If you think your voice doesn’t matter, it does!

This news is not about Ospreys but, we might discover that our beloved fish eagles will also be breeding farther north. Birdguides.com is reporting the successful breeding of the Audouins Gull on France’s Atlantic coast – farther north than has ever happened. Have a read:

https://www.birdguides.com/news/audouins-gull-successfully-breeds-on-french-atlantic-coast/?fbclid=IwAR2I1fHwgsu9gmObxB9AE1HxbzcHZeWFBKSw5ldICoPX_K0HvYgmKi7xVQk

Last, but not least, another mention of the documentary on the Ospreys that has been in production for several years. Everyone will have to check their local PBS stations to see when it will be available in their country. I did write them and a DVD will be sold later. Here is that great trailer to get us all excited:

Keep sending your warm wishes to the Port Lincoln Ospreys. Life is good there. We want it to stay that way!

Thank you so much for joining me this evening. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Lights Out for Little Bob

With the strong winds and mist blowing around I wanted to make one more check on the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest before turning off the computer for the day. Let’s face it. I was nervous – always nervous when something happens that could change a civil well disciplined nest into one of food insecurity and beakings. Just had to check.

What a surprise. Between 10:11 and 13:00, there were four feedings. Think about that. We are talking about 2 hours and 40 minutes. So, on average, a feeding every 40 minutes. This is quite incredible.

The first feeding lasted more than 12 minutes. Mom’s back was to the camera so the wind didn’t bother the little ones. The 10:21 feeding was still going at 10:24:50.

You can see the increase in the size of the crop belonging to the osplet on the left.

All of the chicks have crops and are finished eating even before mom stops feeding them.

At 11:13, Dad comes to the nest with a fish. Mom takes the fish at 11:14:22 (image below) and feeds the kids. She is still feeding them at 11:20:44.

You can see Little Bob the best in this image. Look at that nice crop and that fat little wing. These chicks are growing and doing so well. Mom and Dad seem to have their mojo this year.

Dad was back on the nest at 12:04 and Mom feeds the trio – again.

The last feeding was around 12:50ish. Little Bob was up to the table first. Indeed, he is usually first. Mom filled him right up. That little crop was stretched! He literally passed out between Middle and Big Bob and they continued to eat. It was just far too funny. I ask myself: why am I worried about this Little Bob?

Lights out for Little Bob!

Despite everything, these parents are really coming through for their three chicks. This is how an Osprey nest with three week-old osplets should function. Lots of little meals at first increasing the amount and the time of the feedings in the 2-3 week period. That is starting now and this couple is right on the money, so to speak. I am delighted. Their little wings and bottoms are filling out and you can see the tiny little tails forming. It is just simply the best! And this was a windy day.

These winds and the good fish reminded me of watching the Cormorants last week at our national park. The winds were so strong, like these, that they blew the fish to the shore. The Cormorants just stood there eating. Maybe that is what is happening here! Please feel free to correct me. Whatever it is, it is wonderful.

You can watch them here:

Thank you for joining me for this quick catch up. No doubt there will be several more feedings before it is night. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the PLO Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Saturday in Ospreyland

There is super news regarding the fledglings. Pont Cresor Blue 494, son of Aeron Z2 and Blue 014 was spotted at Point Caillot in Brittany, France by Colette Leclerqu. Blue 494 was also a historic hatch – the first for the Pont Cresor Nest in the Glaslyn Valley.

Blue 494 has a great pedigree. He is the grandson of Monty and Glesni. Looking forward to his return in 2023!

If anyone hears of someone spotting Blue 463, Tiny Little, from the Foulshaw Moss Nest, please let me know!!!!!! Did you know that Foulshaw Moss was one of only a few Osprey nests in the world to successfully fledge three Osplets in 2021? Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest with Tiny Tot was another.

I did a short report on the feedings at Port Lincoln in the middle of the night. There were at least two other meals for the three after I shut my computer down.

Mom knows with the cool winds coming off the water that the chicks need to be kept warm. They don’t! They are curious and wiggly and want to look around! Too funny. These three are going to be a handful.

Calypso, the 2019 hatch from this nest, a female, lives and is seen often around Port Lincoln. Solly, 2020 hatch, has a satellite transmitter and continues to stay around Kiffin Island and Eba Anchorage. Solly is 364 days old. Tomorrow is her first year hatching birthday!

The Montana Osprey Project has officially said goodbye to Iris for the 2021 season. She did not return to her nest to say goodbye this year and she was last seen about four days ago on the branch at Mt Sentinel eating a fish.

Here is one of the most iconic of Iris images. For those of you just learning about Ospreys, Iris is the oldest Osprey in the world. She is unringed. No one knows where she spends her winters. Her nest for the spring and summer is at Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana. Iris, we wish you safe travels, great fishing, good weather, a wonderful winter break, and a speedy return to us.

It continues to be a good day in Osprey Land. Wishing for lots of fish for the PLO and great feedings today.

What a treat. An Osprey came into view while Ferris Akel was streaming at Wildlife Drive in Montezuma, New York.

I am off to check on the ducks today. Thank you so much for joining me. Emyr Evans if you are reading this, please open the on line store so we can all order our copies of Monty!

Thank you to the PLO Project, the Dyfi FB Page, Ferris Akel Livestream, and the Montana Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Thursday in Bird World

Everyone that I know either loves to see an Osprey fish or they wish they had the opportunity to do so. This is one of the best two minute videos I have ever seen showing the physical stamina that the male needs to land his fish and get it out of the water for the family. Look at it closely.

John Williams kept a list of the fish that Dylan brought to the nest for Only Bob, Blue 496. That was the Lyn Clywedog Nest. There were 354 fish seen at the nest including Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and 10 Grey Mullet. This is for one chick and his mate. I wonder how this number of fish increases for nests of more than one chick? Does anyone know?

Last night, at 18:15, the Dad at the PLO Barge brought in a nice fish. He had eaten the head off. Mum proceeded to provide three feedings to the Osplets between then and 22:15. After the last feeding, she ‘hid’ the fish. Lots of times the fish are hidden to keep insects off. In some countries, the fish buried in the strawy nests stay fresher. I am thinking of the White Tailed Eagles in Latvia. Or maybe she did want to hide it from Dad!

One thing that we always need to remember is that video from the beginning. The male’s role is often forgotten in terms of its importance.

The Osprey nests ONLY succeed when the male is in tip top condition. Tiger Mozone made that point last night on the PLO chat. The nest will fail if the male is not a good fisher or is in poor physical condition. The male must eat. How could he keep up his strength otherwise? Dad eats first and brings the remainder to the nest. Eating the head – which might be the best part (I doubt it) – might also stop that fish from flapping (it doesn’t always). So do not begrudge the male a meal – cheer him on. We need the male healthy so he can exert the type of energy it takes to catch the fish. Many say it is 8 to 15 tries to get a fish. That is a lot of diving. Of course, we also hope that there are lots of fish around the surface for the male to catch.

This image has been circulating. I have no idea who took it, where it originated but it was in my inbox awhile ago sent from a friend. Thanks ‘M’.

The next time you look at the legs of the males – think strength. They do not need a gym membership!

Dad on the ropes eating the head of one of the fish he brought in.
The 3 Bobs stand at attention if they are hungry. This is an image after that fish was delivered.

The little ones at the PLO nest need bites of fish often now. Like I said, Mom fed them at 18:15 and then twice again before bedtime. In 2 weeks time they will need more fish. It is important that the 2-3 week period be stable with deliveries. This will be a big growth period.

This was at 18:15:54. It is less than a minute after the fish delivery. I am including this image so you will then notice how those three get to attention when it is feeding time.

In 30 seconds, they have all turned around and gotten in line. Well done, little ones.

The last feeding of the day. They look like they are singing!

It has been some days since I checked on the Black Stork family of Karl II and Kaia whose nest is in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The current tracking is for Karl II, Pikne, and Udu.

Udu is now in Hungary. The comment on the forum is that Udu seems to have an affinity for finding good fishing spots.

I like this map the best as it shows Karl’s family plus Jan and Janika’s Julge. Julge is the purple. You might recall that he got on a ship and went the wrong direction but righted himself and is now taking the Western route to either southern Spain and Portugal or on to Africa. I wonder if he will stop in Spain?? Karl II is near to where he was when I last checked on him. Near the Black Sea in the Ukraine. A great stopping off spot it seems.

While a few days might not change Karl II’s trajectory that much, it sure has changed the plumage of the White Bellied Sea Eaglets 27 and 28. Wow. They are gorgeous. And, yes, Toni Castelli-Rosen, they are as pretty as the Red Tail Hawks! Indeed, I have had to admit to Toni that they are double gorgeous. I love the plumage on these juveniles.

The last time Aran was seen was Tuesday morning so he might have left on his migration. The Glaslyn Valley will be waiting for him next year. Isn’t it gorgeous? I understand they are leaving the camera on all winter. Wow. What a treat.

It is not clear if Iris has left Missoula, Montana yet. There were photographs of an Osprey on Iris’s favourite branch eating a fish on 12 September. That was four days ago. Did she leave without saying goodbye to her nest? Maybe. Tiaki, the Royal Cam chick, had a feeding today (LGL) and Tiaki is still on Taiaroa Head. Samson has been bringing in sticks and him and Gabby are working on the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest.

Take care everyone. Thanks for joining me today. I had hoped to do a quick check on all the nests but the long drive in the rain was exhausting. I will do that this weekend. Stay safe everyone. Check out the trio at the PLO Barge. They are darlings.

Thank you to the Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, the Eagle Club of Estonia and BirdMap for their streaming cam and FB pages.

It’s a Pip for Port Lincoln …and is Iris still in Montana?

The poor mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge nest has certainly been stared at! Chatters want a stick moved and Dad seems to continue, on occasion, to bring in some more nest materials.

At 02:06, many were certain there was a bump. By 05:33:13 there was a definite pip. The bump expanding for three hours certainly seems logical.

You can see it here – the back egg! The first egg was laid on 3 August. I think it makes it 40 days on the dot – but don’t trust me, do your own math, please. It looks like there will be a little Osprey by morning tomorrow. Lovely. I hope the weather is good for mum and chick.

Thanks to the two ‘Ss’ for alerting me. It seems that Iris was enjoying a fish yesterday on her favourite tree at Mt Sentinel. You will read later in this newsletter that Ospreys prefer trees without branches. This one is certainly perfect. She can see all around her. Oh, the survival skills the Ospreys have developed over millions of years.

Oh, these birds are so smart. If the weather is bad, maybe they know it. Certainly they anticipate local weather and act accordingly!

Hurricane season officially lasts from 1 June to the end of November. Last year several of us worried about Tiny Tot and we became curious about the impact of hurricanes on the Ospreys and other birds.

This is an excellent document on the subject.

In his book, Soaring with Fidel, David Gessner talks about visiting Sanibel Island after Hurricane Charley hit the area in August of 2004. Santibel took a direct hit and it is home to many sea birds including lots of Ospreys. Some of you might have watched the Captiva Bald Eagle nest last year – Joe and Connie. That nest is on Santibel Island.

According to Gessner’s friend, Tim Gardner who lives on Santibel, the hurricane hit with 140 mph winds, a category 4. “The Ospreys, according to Tim, moved lower and lower in the trees, until they hunkered down near the ground in the brush.” “But no amount of hunkering could protect them.” Gardner revealed to Gessner that all of the nests were gone after the hurricane. Blown away. Gardner also added, “The remarkable thing was the birds’ resilience: those that had lived through the hurricane had come back to rebuild on the same spots”. He noted that the few trees that remained looked just like sticks pushed up out of the ground with no branches —– well, lo and behold, our Ospreys love trees without branches. Perfect. They can see all around them. As hurricane season continues for 2021, let us wish all the wildlife resilience and strength.

I have so enjoyed Gessner’s writing that I was able to find his first book at a used book shop. It is Return of the Osprey. A Season of Flight and Wonder. I hope that it is as informative as it is a good read. Certainly Soaring with Fidel fit that. I continue to return to that book. It is a delight.

After posting the article, “The Tears of the Albatross,” my friend, ‘L’ send me a link to this wonderful video, Albatross – A Love Story! It is excellent. Have a look. Thank you, ‘L’!

So many of you have sent me the most beautiful images of your the birds. Thank you! The care, love, and concern that each of you have for the wildlife visiting your gardens is so endearing. I wish we could spread that love and care like an aerosol.

Oh, the joy and laughter the birds and animals bring with their antics! This evening as the sun was setting, the three Blue Jays that visit my garden and two of the large grey squirrels had noticed the ears of dried corn that had been put in a bowl for them. My view was mostly blocked but oh, you could see the crest of the Blue Jay pop up and down and, on occasion, the cob would roll and you could see the Jays getting a kernel and eating it. One decided to have a bath. Of course, he will never use the bird bath. This fellow, the male, prefers the old gold water bowl.

I am also certain that he can hear when I take the cap off the lens since he absolutely refuses to pose! Seriously, he had been looking straight at me prior to this.

The Blue Jay couple are year round residents in the back garden. They always come out in the morning and late afternoon to almost sunset. They often arrive with a single juvenile every summer. To my amazement, they get along with the other regulars – the little Downy male woodpecker (and his juvenile in the summer), the lone Black-Capped chickadee, the three Grey Squirrels, Sharpie the Sharp-shinned Hawk, Hedwig the Rabbit, and ‘Little Red’, the Red Squirrel. OK. Red and the Grays dislike each other completely.

These characters that give us so many giggles are really a part of the family. It is always comforting, at the end of the day, to check off that each has been seen.

The link to the Port Lincoln Osprey cam is here:

My newsletter will be late tomorrow, very late. I am hopping to get a glimpse of some birds during the day if the weather cooperates. On the list are Sandhill Cranes. In fact, it might not arrive until Tuesday late morning so don’t worry.

Thank you so much for stopping by to check on our friends in Bird World. No doubt everything will happen at once – the chick at PLO will hatch the moment that Tiaki fledges and Iris arrives at her nest! The birds certainly keep us on our toes. Stay safe everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my images: Montana Osprey Project and Cornell Bird Lab, Sharon Leigh Miles from the Montana Osprey Project who allows me to use images from their FB Page she posts, and the Port Lincoln Ospreys.

Checking in on Australia

It is raining in parts of Australia. Orange got 50 mm and there are floods about while there was 37 mm out at the Campus where the scrape box of Peregrine Falcon couple, Xavier and Diamond, have their scrape box.

Diamond has spent time on the ledge and going back to the scrape box looking like she is concentrating on that first egg. What do you think? Maybe today?

Sadly, the poor weather might be impacting Dad’s ability to bring in prey to the two babies in the Ironbark Tree. Until now, there has been little to no demonstrations of dominance but yesterday the prey diminished and WBSE 27 started telling the little one who is boss. It is unclear if WBSE 28 had any of the morning fish. WBSE 27 is 26 days old today and WBSE 28 is 24 days old. Oh, I hope this stops. There is enough for everyone! Most people say that the parents will not step in. And, as you know, if I hear survival of the fittest one more time I might scream loud enough for someone to hear me in Australia! All you have to do is to think about Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest or Tiny Little — those tortured little ones turned out to be a force to be reckoned with. I wish Tiny Tot had a tag and a satellite transmitter. I sure would like to see what she is doing in a couple of years. If there are two Ospreys that will survive it is those two. And they started out like WBSE 28. Of course, only worse for Tiny Tot.

Mom was looking particularly beautiful over in the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. The colour of the water contrasted with the nest lining — well, it is gorgeous.

The female at Collins Street in Melbourne certainly looks like she is going to lay her second egg today. She is getting full in the bottom just like Diamond. She is certainly plunked down in that scrape box with that stern look she can give. It must be quite uncomfortable laying eggs!

I don’t do a lot of reporting on the Albatross despite the fact that not only am I fond of them but I really want our oceans to be cleaned up and the fish stocks renewed so that all of the sea birds are promised some kind of a decent life. Sharon Dunne does a great job running the FB group as well as keeping us abreast of everything ‘Tiaki’, the Royal cam chick of the 2021 year.

Ms Pippa Atawhai was just the cutest little albatross chick and her parents were incredible. She was the 2020 Royal Cam Chick. Her nest was close to the visitor’s centre. Tiaki’s nest is down close to other nests. Some are less than 3 metres away. This has led to a lot of ‘drama’ between the chicks! Seriously. I thought it was only the juveniles that caused mischief. Oh, no. These gals can seriously get with the squabbling.

The Cornell Bird Lab caught that on camera today. Have a look:

It reminds me of my garden. Before I seriously started watching birds and their behaviour, it seemed they all got along and lived in some kind of sing song happy land. Oh, geez. There is even a hierarchy in our garden! Incredible. Have you noticed this behaviour at your feeders? Is this why we say ‘Pecking Order’?

This was a quick check in. I am restless – not knowing for sure if Malin is alive or dead or nothing can be determined. But I want to leave you with an uplifting story and a lesson. Yesterday I reported on the Osprey that had been hanging upside down in a tree for two days because of being entangled in fishing line. The beautiful bird had pulled all of its muscles from being upside down. The bird, at 45 feet, was ten feet more than the climber could reach so he used an extension net and a pole saw to cut the line and catch the bird in one swoop. On the ground the bird was detangled from the line. A stainless steel treble hook – for catching 3 fish at once – had gone through the talons of this baby. Today, this young one is healing. The lesson is ——- clean up after you go fishing. Join in groups to clear the shores of rivers and lakes of fishing debris that gets caught in them. Help our water birds!

I took these screen shots from A Place Called Hope’s FB page. They have a wonderful video on their site of this rescue and I urge you to search FB, find their home page, and watch it. It is very moving. What wonderful people these people are – there is not a situation too challenging and if a bird can be saved, A Place Called Hope will give it that chance.

Thank you for joining me today. I am certain that Collins Street will have another egg tomorrow and well, Diamond might have one as well. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Cornell Bird Lab, The Falcon Project with Cilla Kinross and Charles Sturt University, the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and A Place Called Hope FB page.

Pair Bonding

The term ‘Pair bonding’ was first used in the 1940s. In terms of birds, it refers to a long-lasting relationship that results in breeding, care of one another, the nestlings and fledglings.

Pair bonding is “reinforced by ritual behaviour.” That is a very simple definition. A good example of on going pair bonding, is the ‘Morning Duet’ of Lady and Dad on the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest in Sydney, Australia. In fact, the rituals associated with pair bonding often occur at various intervals as a means of reinforcing the relationship not just before breeding.

This is Lady and Dad doing their duet together.

Pair bonding rituals also take place as many ‘bird couples’ prepare to begin their long migration. Working on nests is also happening, preening one another is on the rise. It reminds me of certain war movies where the couples seal their relationship as the male heads off to the field of battle – that sealing often consisting of an engagement ring or a promise to wait for the other. It is precisely the same with our birds. In this instance, both will migrate and each will hope that the other returns to the nest in the spring to renew their bond.

Aran has undertaken any number of sky dances with fish deliveries for Mrs G this week at their nest in the Glaslyn Valley.

Blue 022 and CJ7 continue to work on a nest in the midst of sky diving, fish deliveries, and mating. Sadly, they have chosen one of the Poole Harbour nests that doesn’t have a camera! Still, it is wonderful that they have remained together since spring and that brings promise to everyone that osprey chicks will hatch in Poole Harbour once again.

This evening, my friend, ‘R’ sent me the links to the two short videos below. It seems that Bukacek, the single father White Stork, in Mlade Buky and his new love, are sealing ‘the deal’. You can see some of the community coming out to watch – what a happy ending to such a tragic season for Bukacek.

Xavier and Diamond, the resident bonded pair of Peregrine Falcons whose scrape box is on top of the water tower of Charles Sturt University, are not migrating. Indeed, they are just beginning their breeding season. They continue to pair bond in the scrape. Here is a short video clip I made today so you can see this ritual:

According to the Falcon Cam Project of Dr Cilla Kinross, the average date for the first egg is 27 August. Here is the historical information for Diamond:

  • 2015 with Bula. 31 August, 2 September, 6 September
  • 2016 with Bula. 31 August, 2 September, 6 September
  • 2017 with Xavier. 26 August, 28 August, 31 August
  • 2018 with Xavier. 20 August, 22 August, 24 August
  • 2019 with Xavier. 28 August, 31 August, 2 September
  • 2020 with Xavier. 27 August, 29 August, 1 September

It is going to be so exciting when the little white balls of fur hatch. Can’t wait!

Other Nest News:

Some of us watching Malin on the Collins Marsh Osprey Cam are simply left shaking our heads. The female has been absent from the nest the last three Saturday nights in a row. There is no perch to the nest (they seriously need one). In addition, fish delivery just goes ‘off’ at the weekend. Malin slept alone through a thunder storm with lighting and rain last night and did not receive a single fish today – Sunday. Oh, I can hear you thinking that Ospreys do not need to eat every day and you are absolutely right. In fact, Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest had 12 full 24-hour days that she did not get food. Often the parents teach the chicks that food does not always come every day. Still, the weekend pattern with this pair of adults mystifies me. Both came to the nest for short spurts without fish today. Malin was food calling (finally) late in the day. She is such a sweet little Osprey – and everyone is delighted that her droopy wing and feathers seem to be filling in and correcting themselves. So, once again, let’s put the optimist’s hat on and hope that there will be 5 fish deliveries tomorrow for Malin! Come on Mom and Dad prove me wrong and bring 6 big ones.

Malin’s beautiful feathers quickly dried out.

At one point, Malin was so excited when Mom arrived that she began to flap her wings and so some little hops. It is reassuring to see those feathers improve every day. We are all hoping for some big fish for your tomorrow, Malin!

A few of us have been calling the Collins Marsh chick, Malin which means ‘mighty little warrior’. That is because it had neither a number or a name. The Neustadter Nature Center at Collins Marsh is having an official naming contest. My friend ‘S’ just told me about this. I am so sorry it is such short notice but please go to their FB site and enter a name in the comments. Put in your favourite name – it doesn’t have to be Malin! I want the Nature Centre to see that there are many people, from around the world, interested in these Ospreys! But be fast. The names must be in by closing time tomorrow, Monday, 10 August. Here is the link where you can go and simply add a name in the thread:

https://www.facebook.com/Neustadter-Nature-Center-at-Collins-Marsh-140052786074932

After Monday, the names will be short listed. Please go back to this FB site and vote for your favourite. Thank you!

There are now three eggs in the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. They were laid on 3, 6, and 9 August. That means that there is already six days between the first and the last. This nest always makes me nervous because of its history of siblicide. But, I am going to strike an optimistic note this year and take a wait and see attitude.

The White Rock Fire that was threatening Dr Christian Sasse’s property where he live streams his programmes on Ospreys and Bald Eagles is no longer out of control. Rain and the gallant efforts of the firefighter’s seem to have stifled this wildfire. This is great news for all the people and the wildlife. Let us hope that rain pours down on all the wildfires.

Thank you for joining me. It is so nice to have you here. Please go on line and put in a name for the little chick. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, Falcon Cam Project at Charles Sturt University and Dr C Kinross.

A Hop, Skip, and a Jump through Ospreyland

Several people have written and asked about the third or last chick placed on the Patuxent River Park Osprey Nest 2. Many call that little one the ‘Silo Chick’ since it fell out of a silo and was fostered on this nest at the River til fledging. This little one seemed to have a short run, hopefully, of bad luck as it also fell out of the Patuxent nest as well and was rescued by Katherine Dami and her boyfriend. That little Osprey was so lucky! The flurry of activity around that rescue made me realize that every streaming cam needs to have an active 24/7 emergency number to the local wildlife rehabber or the person who would instigate emergency rescue at the nest. Ah, but back to the topic at hand. Silo chick fledged and has not been seen at the nest. Katherine, when asked, wrote to ‘S’ and said that they had not observed Silo Chick at the nest. Katherine did say that a large number of fledglings have gathered together and were honing their flying skills on another spot in the Patuxent River. So let us all hope that Silo Chick is there! If I hear anything more I will let you know. That nest looks very empty right now. Some fledglings like to be fed on the nest. A good example of that is LM1 and LM2 up at the Loch of the Lowes but maybe these three are being fed off camera.

So far there are only two eggs on the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest in Australia. I am quietly cheering that it remains only two. There are nests, such as that of Blue 33 and Maya at Manton Bay Rutland, that can feed and manage four chicks but, Mom and Dad at PLO will do better if there are only two. It could stop the rate of siblicide on this nest.

Tiny Little our ‘Big Girl’ at the Foulshaw Moss nest snagged herself a nice fish this morning from dad, White YW. After losing one to a bigger sibling last evening it is grand to see her eating away. Indeed, it is always nice to see Tiny Little!

Aran and Mrs G have been staying around the nest at Glaslyn. There was even sky dancing observed. The Ospreys want to seal their bond before migration. I am so happy to see the two of them around the nest. There was a time when Aran was injured and not flying much or fishing that I was concerned that Z2, Aeron, from the Pont Croesor Nest nearby or his siblings including Z1, Tegid, who has a nest in Snowdonia, might be eyeing the Glaslyn nest.

Mrs. G on the nest:

Aran up on his perch.

There has been a lot of discussion about when NC0 will leave the Loch of the Lowes Osprey nest in Scotland for her migration. She is still here and she is fishing – hauling in some nice ones for her two babies who prefer to eat on the nest. This was Sunday late afternoon.

The anticipation and seeing mom arriving with a fish:

NC0 lands it.

LM2 got the fish and ate really fast with older sibling hanging around.

Maya is also still at Rutland Manton Bay – there had also been questions about whether she was still around. Seen on nest with chick around 18:00 Sunday. Blue 33 had just brought in a fish for Blue 095.

The Friends of Loch Arkaig have just announced that the names of Louis and Dorcha’s two male chicks for 2021 on the alternative Loch Arkaig nest will be Aspen and Alder. The names are derived from the two popular trees in the area. They took 45.5% of the votes. Well done!

People have been wondering where Iris is. The cam operator spotted her early this morning, around 9am, on her favourite perching spot on Mt Sentinel. Iris is fine and is enjoying her summer. Worries, of course, continue for the Montana Ospreys as the Clark Fork River water levels are at all time lows. The trout are dying. The New York Times carried an article on this urgent matter. If you don’t have a subscription you might not be able to open the article and I apologize but do try. Just look at the level of the water in the image and the dead trout. So terrifying.

Speaking of Iris, I promised the Montana Osprey Project that I would mention their fundraiser – The Iris Pens – this weekend as a reminder to everyone. Dr Erick Greene has collected a few more twigs and sent them off to the workshop of Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles in South Carolina. The pens are $45 US and that includes postage.

This is Dr Greene with the box of Iris twigs.

This is Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles opening up the box of twigs they received from Dr Greene.

Richard begins by cutting the sticks in their workshop.

Pens get their beautiful shape on the lathe.

This is what the finished ‘Iris Pens’ look like – the colour and patterns will depend on the wood that the pen is made from. Iris spreads her love to various trees and shrubs!

The pens have been made and sold out for the past few years. This year as in other years we wish for Iris’s safe return to us from her migration next spring. If you want an Iris Pen, do so quickly. The original 35 are gone and, as mentioned, Dr Greene has sent some more twigs the birds knocked out of the nest to Richard and Sharon. Follow these directions supplied by the Montana Osprey Project.

1) Send an email to montanaospreyproject@gmail.com2) If your mailing address is in the US, on the subject line of your email, type your full name followed by Pen OrderFor example To: montanaospreyproject@gmail.comSubject: Your Name – Pen Order3) If your mailing address is outside the US, on the subject line of your email, type your full name followed by International Pen OrderFor example To: montanaospreyproject@gmail.comSubject: Your Name – International Pen OrderIf yours is an international order we will get back to you with a few additional instructions.4) The email’s body should include the following information:a) Your name b) Your email c) Number of pens you would like to order.d) Total amount ($45.00 per pen). Shipping is included in this price.e) Your mailing address just as it should be on the envelope. f) Send the email to MontanaOspreyProject@gmail.com5) For those of you who live in the United States, make out a check out to: Montana Osprey Project – Erick Greene(We are not set up to take credit card or Pay Pal orders. Sorry – has to be a personal check or money order)6) Mail your check to:Dr. Erick Greene – Montana Osprey ProjectDivision of Biological Sciences 32 Campus Drive University of MontanaMissoula, Montana USA 598127) For those of you who live outside of the US, send us the email with all of your information, but hold off on sending a check. We will get back to you with a few more instructions.

I can’t wait for mine to arrive.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I am off in search of hawks and ducks this afternoon. It is sunny and warm but we are going to venture out in the heat anyway! Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Manton Bay Osprey Nest and Rutland Water, LRWT, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Patuxent River Park Osprey Cam 2, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project. I would also like to thank Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles for allowing me to use the information and the images for the Iris Pens and for their dedication to the Montana Osprey Project. A big shout out to Dr Greene for his devotion to the Montana Ospreys. Thank you!

Featured Image are the two 2021 chicks of Laddie, LM12, and Blue NC0 waiting for NC0 to get the fish to the nest. Their numbers are LR1 and LR2.