An evening with Big Red, Arthur and the Ks

If you hear the name Ferris Akel, you might recognize the individual that gives a regular Saturday afternoon virtual birding tour of the area around Montezuma National Park, Wildlife Drive, Sapsucker Lake, and the Cornell Campus at Ithaca. Ferris also surprises us with ‘pop up’ tours of the Cornell Campus at other times so that he can see what is going on with Big Red and her family and share it with us. Tonight, we got a special tour and were able to see all four members of the Big Red family.

For those of you unaware, Big Red is a Red-tail Hawk. Red tail hawks are easily identified by their bright orange-red tail feathers once they are adults. The females are larger by approximately 30% than the males. This is called reverse sex size diamorphism. Red tail hawks have amazing eye sight. They will scan for food while they are soaring or are know to sit quietly on a perch for long periods of time watching for their prey. They will immediately fly to get it. Unlike the Peregrine Falcons who take their prey in the air, Red tail hawks normally fly down and get their prey on the ground. They do not normally eat carrion (dead animals) unless they are really starving. Their wing span is 1.2-1.5 metres for both males and females or 3.9 feet to 4.9 feet.

Big Red is a huge celebrity within the birding community. Big Red is now 18+ years old. She was banded near Ithaca, at Brooktondale, on 20 October 2003. Her current mate, Arthur, hatched in a territory next to the Cornell Campus in 2016. He has been Big Red’s mate since her mate, Ezra, died in March 2017. Arthur was first spotted visiting the nest in April of 2017. Big Red and Arthur were an ‘item’ by the fall. Their nest is on one of the light boxes across Tower Road from the Fernow Building. This year they hatched three chicks, the Ks. Two of the three fledged – this is the only time that Big Red did not have all of her chicks that hatched fledge. K2 sustained an injury to her right cheek and beak in the nest and had to be euthanized. She would never have been able to live in the wild nor would she have been able to have any quality of life in captivity. The two surviving chicks, K1 and K3, have already proven themselves to be excellent flyers and it looks like K1 has already had some successful hunts.

K3 on the nest. 21 June 2021. She was taken into care the following day.

Big Red was named after the territory she dominates, the Cornell Campus. She is also a large Red-tail Hawk with a lot of the beautiful rusty brown colour and bring orange-red tail feathers. In the image below she is beginning to become ‘Big Blond’ as she is moulting.

She is the matriarch. It is estimated that she has probably hatched chicks for fifteen years. Ezra was probably her first mate. If she hatched three chicks per year, that means that she has fledged 44. That is an incredible record! Sadly none of the chicks were banded so there is no knowledge of their whereabouts or status. A small number are known to have died after fledging. One was injured and is an ambassador bird for Cornell, E3.

Big Red is noted for her very dark plumage and that amazing red feathered apron.

Ferris first spotted one of the Ks on a light tower.

Big Red was spotted on the Water Cooling Plant.

You can see that her feathers look a little ruffled, untidy. This is the moulting.

Those piercing dark eyes just make you melt.

Can you spot the hawk? Seriously I believe that Ferris Akel has ‘hawk eyes’!

Oh, look it is Arthur! He is Big Red’s mate and is one of the most amazing hunters I have ever seen. He is also moulting!

This is K1 looking out. She is a really good flier and is also believed to have already made a couple of ‘prey kills’. Yesterday she had a little chipmunk and was doing a war cry when K3 came around hoping to get some of it. Normally if the bird is war crying they are the ones that caught the prey and will not share! Even if it is their cute little brother.

At first Ferris and the gang were not sure but once we saw the stripes on the tail, we knew it was K1. K3 has a muddy tail almost verging on red – a first for all of Big Red’s chicks.

K1 is gorgeous and very dark. These images are soft not because Ferris could not focus but because of the heat shimmer off the buildings.

And here is cutie pie, K3. All those little third hatches just soften my heart.

Oh, you wanted your sister to share her chippie and she told you to go and catch your own! Poor little thing.

And that was a wrap. Ferris persisted in finding all of the Ks and trying to get some good images of them despite the heat shimmer and the fact that it was getting dark.

Good night Big Red, good night Arthur, good night K1 and K3.

Big Red and Arthur are moving the Ks around the buildings on the Cornell Campus. They can now be found around the Water cooling buildings, Bartels, and across the ravine. It will not be long til they have them out by the buildings with the cows and the open fields. It is part of their training – enlarging their territory bit by bit. How do they do thus? Food is a great motivator and the adults will carry prey to different areas of the campus and the Ks will follow! It is that easy.

If you see the hawks coughing and shaking their heads and necks and something gets ‘thrown’ out of their mouth, this is called a ‘cast’. It is the bits and bobs of the prey that cannot be digested that is sort of compressed into a small pellet. The raptors cannot digest this and so they throw it up. This is properly called ‘casting a pellet’. This is with the exception of the owls that have a gizzard for digesting these parts of the prey.

It is now getting towards the last week of July. The Ks will be with us for a bit longer. I remember last year. Once J2 and J3 had been catching their own prey around the barns they began soaring. It was not long after that that J3 went poof and was gone with the winds to be followed by J2 the following day.

The last bit of news this morning is that Tiny Little and siblings were fed by White YW (dad) this morning. 462 was first followed by Tiny Little.

It is now around tea time, late afternoon, and Tiny Little has been like a ducking food crying in the nest for a bit.

Thanks so much for joining me. It was a great evening with Big Red and the Ks. They are progressing so well towards their own independence. Sadly, they do not get bands and we will not know where they go or what they do. Lucky for us Tiny Little is Blue 463! Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Ferris Akel’s Livestream and Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Late Saturday and early Sunday 17-18 July in Bird World

If you have watched Kindness, the Bald Eagle nestling at Glacier Gardens, then you might have caught her nipping at her mum’s beak. It looks like she is trying to kiss mum. A couple of days ago a video was made showing Kindness interacting with her mum. My goodness, Kindness, you are lucky your mum is so patient! Have a look.

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, it looks like the final touches have gone on the nest renovations. The egg cup is now lined with very soft pieces of bark. Mom decides to try it out!

Dad flies in with something else on his mind! No eggs yet but mating is taking place. Season will begin soon!

As we approach fledging at all of the Northern Hemisphere Osprey nests and migration in a month to six weeks, if you fear Osprey withdrawal, here is the link to this nest. Just a warning. This nest has had instances of siblicide in the past.

The Port Lincoln’s eldest chick from the 2020 season, a female named Solly, was fitted with a satellite tracker. Solly is 301 days old and she is still hanging out at Eba Anchorage and Kiffin Island. It sure seems that Solly has found her forever home at Eba Anchorage. For those of you unfamiliar, the movements of Solly changed what everyone understood about Ospreys in Australia. It was believed that ospreys stayed near to where their natal nest was located. Solly travelled over 200 km to Eba Anchorage and Perlubie giving the researchers fresh insights to the behaviour of these ospreys.

To my knowledge there has been no sighting of DEW, her younger brother. He did not receive a tracker but he did get a metal ring and a Darvic colour band.

Suzanne Arnold Horning was on the Cornell Campus again this evening. How lucky she was to get some great images of Big Red with a squirrel down on the ground – and it wasn’t raining. (Send the rain to the Canadian Prairies when you get tired of it, Suzanne!).

It was wonderful to see Big Red with prey that she was going to eat herself. She needs to build up her strength after laying eggs, incubating those eggs, and feeding and caring for the three Ks until fledge. Even now she is doing some prey drops and is busy training the Ks to hunt.

Big Red with Squirrel. @ Suzanne Arnold Horning

The Robins were giving Big Red a lot of grief. Could it be because Arthur has been up at their nest eating their babies? Or the fact that K1 caught a bird today and it was rumoured to be a young Robin?

Robins being rather assertive around Big Red. @ Suzanne Arnold Horning

Big Red and her squirrel also attracted another visitor – a Turkey Vulture!

Would you mind sharing asks the Turkey Vulture. @ Suzanne Arnold Horning

The pair also attracted a human who was said to have tried to interfere with the situation. Both of the birds were fine. Big Red was eating and the Turkey Vulture appeared to be waiting to see if she left anything.

One of the things that I have learned is that hunting is difficult and prey is not abundant always. Raptors can wait for hours, half a day, or even a day to catch prey to eat. It is estimated that only 1 out of 3 juveniles live to the age of two years – mostly due to starvation. Humans should not interfere when a raptor is eating. As a result of the human intrusion, Big Red chose to fly away from the human who was interfering. This also caused her to leave part of her meal. The vulture did eat the rest – so in the end everyone ate- but it was a situation that should never have happened. Remember if you see a hawk hunting or eating, please leave them alone. Finding their meal is not that easy.

Turkey Vulture at Cornell. @Suzanne Arnold Horning

The scientific name for the Turkey Vulture – Carthartes Aura – means ‘cleansing breeze’. They are scavengers, eating mainly carrion. They have dark espresso coloured feathers, red legs and head, with a white beak. Like the condor, there are no feathers on their head. This is a great evolutionary trait so that pieces of the dead do not stick to them causing disease or parasites. The Turkey Vulture’s sense of smell is so great that they can find a fresh killed animal a mile away! The only raptors larger than the Turkey Vultures are the Eagles and the Condors. What I find interesting is that they are the only raptor that cannot kill their own prey. They simply do not have the right talons to do this – their feet are more like that of a chicken. That said they can tear through really tough hides with their beak. In other words, the Turkey Vulture was never a threat to Big Red.

As I prepare to settle in for the night, Tiny Little is waking up. The early morning fog over the marsh is just starting to clear. You can see the parents, or siblings, or both back on the parent tree. Tiny Little is still sleeping like a duckling on the nest. Good Morning Tiny Little! Let’s get that gear box into forward today.

Tiny Little is also checking the nest for any little tidbits of leftover fish. And just like Tiny Tot he has found some lurking under those sticks.

Tiny Little was doing some prey calling and looking up in the sky. The morning fog doesn’t seem to be clearing. What a beautiful colour it is – that sort of golden pink gradually fading into the grey-blue-green. Lovely.

Update: Tiny Little had a huge breakfast. It is now mid-afternoon and Blue 462 is working on a fish that arrived. 464 is standing next to that fish and Tiny Little, 463, is ignoring it right now. She is probably still full enough from the morning not to bother. Unclear if Tiny Little has taken a second flight today. I stayed up waiting! But had to give in to being tired.

This is the image of the afternoon line up for a fish! 462 is eating, 464 is pretending to be Tiny Little and bugging his big sibling. Tiny Little is over at the side duckling style. Tiny Little is full from breakfast and knows that Mum will come to the rescue later if she gets hungry.

There is a beautiful peachy almost coral sky as the morning begins at the Poole Harbour Osprey nest. CJ7 and Blue 022 are roosting elsewhere.

Golden diamonds are falling on the nest of Blue 33 and Maya at Rutland Manton Bay. No one is home. They are all perched elsewhere. Blue 33 does make food drops at the nest for the two Bobs.

A little later, Blue 095 flies into the nest and settles down and then flies out again.

Blue 095

Oh, wow. Just look at that sun coming up over the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn in Wales. It is so bright you cannot see the perch!

A very short video of Ystwyth fledging at 7:59 am on 17 July is here:

It is serene up at The Loch of the Lowes. No one is home but it sounds like there is a fledgling on the camera perch.

What you don’t see here is that later, NC0 is on the nest, spots a fish, goes out and gets it, and gives it to LM2.

Early Morning at Loch of the Lowes. 18 July 2021

The only thing you can hear at Glaslyn are either bees or wasps on the microphone! Oh, it is so beautiful and green. It has been hot at this nest, 26-29 degrees C – and the birds are staying cool in the shade of the trees. Even with the heat the landscape looks so lush. What a gorgeous way to begin the day.

Early morning at Glaslyn. 18 July 2021

Thank you so much for joining me today. I so enjoy hearing from all of you. Stay safe! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Byrwd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, LRWT and the Manton Bay Ospreys. I would also like to thank the Port Lincoln Osprey Research Project and the PLO FB page where I took a screen shot of Solly’s recent tracking. And last but never least, I would like to say a huge thank you to Suzanne Arnold Horning for allowing me to use her images on my blog. She holds the copyright on them so please do not use elsewhere. Thank you.

Saturday 17 July in Bird World

I promised some updates on Big Red, Arthur, and the Ks. Right up front I want to thank Suzanne Arnold Horning for allowing me to share her images of Cornell’s birds with all of you. She lives in Ithaca and once or twice a day she heads out with her family looking for the Ks. Thank you Suzanne!

This first series is from 16 July. Both of the Ks are on the corner of this unidentified building. K1 is on the left and K3 is on the right at the corner of the building.

Isn’ she gorgeous? This is K1, the mini-Big Red.

On the 15th, the Ks were hanging out on Weill.

K1 is doing the hawk walk! So cute.

She stops and looks for her brother, K3, who has just flown away.

K3 flew over to the middle of the hockey rink roof and landed! Good gracious.

Later, K3 rejoins his sister on Weill.

Meanwhile, where are Big Red and Arthur?

Big Red is on top of the Cornell Clock Tower.

Here’s a much closer look at Big Red.

And here is an image showing the position of Arthur and the Ks. The green arrow is where Arthur is on the light stands and the purple arrows points to the corner of the Weill Building where the two Ks are located.

Thanks Suzanne for the arrows and the images. It is reassuring to know that everyone is safe and sound.

There is some other news today. K1 caught her own prey. I know it happened but I do not have an image I can show you. Of course, no one knows if this is the first time or not but this is incredible. She is certainly related to Arthur who is like the stealth bomber of hunting! And Big Red is really good herself.

The Ks will be leaving their parents territory in August. They need to be able to fly well and hunt. As you can see Big Red and Arthur have now moved them around Weill and other areas farther from the nest. Soon they will have them hunting in the fields out by the Holey Cow Barns. Why holey and not holy you ask? The cows have clear tubes inserted in their sides so that the students in the Vet School can see what is happening inside the cow’s body. I have to admit the first time I heard this I was quite happy not to be there seeing it. But then wow – how would these students learn otherwise?

Suzanne Arnold Horning also went out to the Cornell Osprey nests and took some images. She believes that the nestlings are about to fledge!

There is only one Osprey nest on the Cornell Campus. It is located on the university athletic fields on a light tower at the soccer field. The adults there fish in Cayuga Lake, Beebee Lake, and Six Mile Creek. Those are within a few miles of the nest. The adults are Olin and Olive.

Off the Cornell Campus there were 38 Osprey nests around the Cayuga Lake Basin. While it isn’t a steadfast rule, most male Ospreys do return to the area of their natal nest. I am assuming then that when Olin showed up as a bachelor and began building a nest that he had hatched from one of the nests around Cayuga Lake several years earlier.

Olin would fly around the soccer field and people began to wonder if he was going to build a nest on one of the light towers. He made several attempts with sticks at the Game Farm Road soccer field. Olin did attract a female – Olive.

The nest you see in Suzanne Arnold Hornings’s images is the new nest that was built for Olive and Olin.

There are three little ospreys ready to fly in that nest this year.

Don’t you just hold your breath when they are hovering? I do! Wings everywhere. Looks like Olive needs to duck.

The Hornings and the Sedlaceks wrote a lovely article about the first year with Olin and Olive. There are some good images. I will attach it below this. Olin and Olive originally had a nest on a light and it was precarious. This is a wonderful nest that was constructed for this Osprey couple. Just look at it. They figured out the height, the measurements the nest should be and made sure that it was storm proof. Amazing.

Here is the link to the article. Please read it, it is lovely.

https://sites.google.com/site/cornellssurpriseospreys/

On the earlier part of the Ferris Akel Live Tour, there was a lovely juvenile Cooper’s Hawk. I think I have a couple of reasonable good screen shots to show you. What a lovely bird. We have Cooper’s Hawks that come to breed on the Canadian Prairies in the summer. They are protected under the Manitoba Wildlife Act of 1994.

Indeed, when I first encountered the hawk that comes to my garden, it was not clear if it was an adult Cooper’s or a Sharp-shinned. Turned out to be a Sharpie Adult, Northern. Like the Sharp-shinned, the Coopers are a medium sized Accipiter. These are the green-blue-grey (or celadon if you want to describe them like a pottery glaze) of a juvenile. The eyes of the adult male are red and they have a white breast/belly with ochre streaking, blue-grey hood and wings. You can see those red eyes in the image directly below.

“Cooper’s Hawk” by airboy123 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This juvenile might look like a Red-tail Hawk if you only saw its back. Like my Sharpie and the Red-tails, the length of the wings attributes to the silent stealth manner in which they hunt. They live in forests and even in urban back gardens and they need to be able to turn quickly which they can also do with their wings and their medium size. You can see those celadon eyes of this juvenile in the image below.

Look at the image below. Do not peek at their blue Darvic rings! Which one of those birds is Tiny Little?

It might be a surprise to you. Tiny Little is the bigger chick at the back!

I watched Tiny Little for several hours. He is absolutely hilarious. For awhile I wondered if he had forgotten how to fly. He hovered, he flapped his wings and he really wanted to go but he couldn’t get it in forward gear. But never mind. White YW brought a fish on to the nest and thoughts of flying went right out the window. Tiny Little was up to his old tricks. What you are seeing in the image below is the second sibling that Tiny Little has tormented over the evening fish. BTW. Tiny Little had a huge breakfast! His MOD is to stare at the fish, then do some flapping, go back and stare and make the sibling nervous til they walk away and leave the fish. And guess what? He is really good at it.

Blue 464 gave up the fish! Because of his behaviour you will know which one is Tiny Little below but please look at the size and look at the other bird. This is the female, that big female that tormented Tiny Little, Blue 464. Unfortunately I took about 300 images of this nest today (maybe more). I have one of Tiny Little standing next to Blue 462, the male. 462 has the thinner longer legs of White YW. Tiny Little’s legs are stout like a female and she is a big bird.

Just like she wanted. Tiny Little gets a nice feeding by Blue 35. Indeed, I think the two of them shared almost half a fish after 464 and then 462 tried to self-feed.

Here is an earlier image of the Foulshaw Moss family minus Blue 464. White YW is on the front left. Then Blue 35 is next at the rim of the nest. Then don’t peek, which one is Tiny Little? If you said the one on the far right, you are correct. Now necklaces in themselves do not indicate a female but with those stout legs and her size. Well..

‘Silo’ chick on the Patuxent River Osprey Nest 2, the one who fell out of the nest into the water last evening, was up and moving about in the afternoon so everything seems alright there. Fabulous.

Thank you everyone for stopping in today to find out about the birds. It is great to have you with us.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots or who gave me permission to use their images: Suzanne Arnold Horning for the images of Cornell’s Red tail Hawk family and the Osprey Nest of Olin and Olive, Ferris Akel Live Tour, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, and Patuxent River Osprey Cam 2.

A surprise visit to see the Ks

I was not expecting to see a notification that Ferris Akel was on the Cornell University Campus in Ithaca this evening. What a wonderful surprise! The reason that everyone wants to see Big Red and her family is not to see spectacular things but, really, it is just to know that each and every one of them is safe and well. After the worry of Hurricane Elsa and the nests along the southwest coast of Florida, this was simply a joyful treat.

Ferris found K1 on a window ledge. How she got there is anyone’s guess. My goodness she is so cute. Whoever said that she is a mini-Big Red is so right. Her plumage is such a deep brick red and she has a full red-feathered belly band, too, with lots of peach on her chest.

Look at the image below. Notice the feathered area that extends above K1’s eyelid. It starts at the beak and goes to the back of the head. It is called the supercilium. The supercilium helps keep the glare out of K1’s eyes! It is often simply called a bird’s eyebrow.

Hawks can turn their heads 270 degrees. Sometimes it looks like they can do the complete 360 but they can’t.

You can see in the image below, despite it being blurry (rain at started), the peach on the chest and the low very dark feathers of the belly band.

The cere is the area around the nostrils above the beak. You can easily see it in the image of K1 above and below. It is light yellow. Notice that the eyes are a green-gray. When K1 is an adult they will be brown getting a deeper brown the older she gets.

Last year, Big Red and Arthur’s fledgling, J3, was born with deep brown eyes.

Ferris did some close ups of K1’s back so that we could see the scapular ‘V’. When both wings are held tight to the body it is the ‘V’ on the upper back. Examine K1’s scapular V. It has its own pattern. Some people use this along with the tail and the belly band to try and identify hawks that are not banded.

You can think of the scapular V as being the way the hawk’s back looks when the wings are closed.

K1 has a white terminal band on her tail feathers. In fact, it is rather wide. Notice the dark bands. When hawks fledge, we want them to have five, preferably six dark bands, so that they get lift and control and will be successful. K1 now has at least eight dark bands. We know that she is also an excellent flier.

The tail feathers help the hawk to do controlled manoeuvres. This is why it is so much better if they are longer at the time of fledge. The wing feathers – you can see the tips of them in the image below- are the most useful for flying. Did you know that the wing and tail feathers of the fledglings are actually longer than those of the adults? This is to assist them when they are learning to fly. After their first moult, they will grow in the standard length of an adult hawk (return to a normal length). Another interesting fact is that at the time of fledging, the feathers actually weigh more than the bird itself!

At the beginning of their second year, when they moult, the fledglings will get their red tails. When Big Red and Arthur bonded, Arthur did not yet have his red tail! Lots of people questioned Big Red’s intentions. She had many suitors but I think we can all agree that Big Red knew best. She has a wonderful mate in Arthur.

Ferris found K3 in one of the pine trees near to Rice Hall’s parking lot. What gave K3 away? Robins vocalizing!

K3 is looking at something intently.

K3 was doing a lot of preening. The preen or the oil glands are at the base of the tail. These oils reinforce or condition the surface of the feathers. Just like the oil you put in your car, the preen oil changes composition during the year. This oil, once it is exposed to sunlight, has been found to contain vitamin D.

Big Red was over on the ledge at Bradfield. I almost did not recognize her. In the summer when Big Red begins to moult, she starts becoming Big Blond. It looks to me like this process is starting.

But why do hawks moult? Feathers are made out of keratin, just like human fingernails. But unlike our fingernails, feathers do not continually grow. Once they are fully formed, they stop growing. Over time the feathers get damaged. This damage comes from normal wear and tear, the sunlight, parasites, and from injuries. These feathers have to be renewed. Hawks do not moult or change their feathers all at once. They would be unable to fly or function and would die. Moult is a gradual process. Big Red does not begin her moult during breeding season. It is too hard on her. The birds deplete their calcium producing eggs and Red tail hawks can lose approximately 20-30% of their body weight by the time the chicks fledge. Big Red will spend the summer and fall getting back into condition and replacing her feathers.

Feathers help the birds fly, they offer camouflage, and they also keep the birds dry.

Arthur was on ‘the throne’ on Bradfield. Neither Big Red nor Arthur moved from their locations during Ferris’s visit. Both Ks appeared to have a crop and neither were food begging. The crop is the first stage of digestion. It is like a pouch under the beak and the mouth. The crop expands with the food. The undigestables are rolled around in the crop to form a casting which the hawk throws up or ‘casts’. The rest of the food that can be digested enters the digestive system proper. The only raptor that does not have a crop is the owl. Owls have gizzards. If you watch Ospreys you will have looked to see if the chicks have crops. That way you can tell if they have had food recently.

It was an absolutely wonderful surprise. There is nothing nicer than spending the end of the day with Big Red and her family. I hope you enjoyed seeing them, too.

This is a great shout out to Ferris Akel. Thank you Ferris for taking your time to go and check on ‘the family’. It is wonderful to know that they are all fine and well.

Friday Night fun with Ferris and the Ks

I did not expect Ferris Akel to be over on the Cornell Campus tonight finding Big Red and Arthur and showing us what the Ks were doing but, he was there and I am terribly grateful. I want to share some of the images from this evening so you have an idea what our favourite Red Tail Hawk family was doing today 2 July 2021.

The event began a little earlier with Arthur dropping off a chipmunk on the nest at 17:47:08.

Here comes Arthur with that tasty little snack.

Arthur is looking around to see if any of the Ks saw him with the chippie and will follow him to the nest tower.

Time to get out of the way because here comes K1! And she is obviously hungry.

This gives you a really good view to K1’s gorgeous tail. Doesn’t it look like white scallops on each feather? I can count nine dark stripes. No wonder she is such a good flier.

At some point K3 comes over to the nest tower and finishes up the chippie that K1 had left. And then they are both off on their adventures.

One of the things I love to watch are the hawklets playing soccer with the pinecones. It is really good training for gripping their talons and holding on to prey. K1 found something that she was gripping and tossing – turns out it was a piece of asphalt. Yuck!

K1 had such a fun time playing. She is certainly good at entertaining herself.

When she finished playing, she flew and landed in one of her favourite trees.

Ferris had been able to locate everyone except K3. Ferris decided to check behind the Rice Building and then he heard Robins alarming. There sitting quietly in the pine was K3.

K3 remains in the pine trees provoking the Robins and K1 flies to the nest tower. Here is she is below. Maybe K1 will stay there as it is actually getting quite late.

Big Red, on the right, and Arthur, on the left, are clearly ready to call it a day. Good Night everyone!

Thank you for joining me. It is always wonderful to watch what Big Red, Arthur, and the Ks are doing. It is magic how fast they learn and grow!

Thank you to Ferris Akel for his love of the birds, his knowledge, and generously sharing his time with us. If you would like to follow the Ks or go on other Ferris Akel tours, everything is free. Just go to YouTube, do a search for Ferris Akel Tours and subscribe. Hit the bell for announcements. You will get an alert to when Ferris is livestreaming. Ferris will be on the Cornell Campus tomorrow. His tour normally starts at noon on Saturday, Eastern Time.

I have had several letters asking me about why certain nests get help from the wildlife rehabbers and others do not. I hope to have a complete answer formulated for my Sunday blog. It is a very complicated question that deserves a very considered answer.

Bird World – late Monday and early Tuesday ramblings

It has been a day for extreme weather. 44 degrees C in the Pacific Northwest and a snow storm on Taiaroa Head, New Zealand, home to the Northern Royal Albatross colony and their chicks. It is 38 degrees C – and ‘boiling’ my friend living at the base of the Purcell Mountains in British Columbia said. It is 24 degrees C in St Petersburg, Florida where Tiny Tot lives and 27 degrees C in Ithaca, NY where the Ks live. It is 27 degrees where I am on the Canadian prairies with the temperature climbing to 36 degrees C in a couple of days. We will fill extra bowls of water and try and find a sprinkler for the birds as well as keeping their feeders topped up.

Our local crow colony displayed some interesting behaviours in the late afternoon. First, two were on sentry duty on the telephone poles nearby. Each was making a different alarm. Then four other crows flew in and over our house. They were quickly joined by another five or six until 19 crows were in our front tree. We did not see the Great Horned Owl that lives over on the golf course coming to check if there are any nests it could raid. So we are still left wondering what was going on.

Crows defend their territory by summoning friends and relatives to help them annoy the intruder enough so it leaves in our neighbourhood. As things settled down, Mr Blue Jay flew out of the trees to come for his 5pm bath and food but, something alerted him and he decided he would wait. I don’t blame him. Those crows were really in a dither! The intruder remains a mystery.

All of this got me to thinking about Electra. Electra, if you do not know, is the mate of Wattsworth at the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest in Longview, Washington. Electra hatched two chicks this year. The nest is notorious for not having sufficient food and the chicks dying. This year there was one siblicide and yesterday, a chick with promise -if enough food came in- died of heat stroke. It was the first known Osprey death due to the extreme heat in the region but it is very possible that it will not be the last. Electra was out fishing since Wattsworth seems incapable. Believe me I have a lot I could say about him! But, right now I want to pull my human heart out of the equation and look at Electra’s behaviour in light of Aran’s present to Mrs G today. So, I want to rewind and I needed to go for a walk to think this through.

Electra leaves the nest to go and fish for her and the remaining chick. When she returns, that chick has died due to the extreme heat on the nest. Electra has a fish that was for her and the chick. Wattsworth arrives at the nest. Electra refuses to give Wattsworth any fish. Then Electra stays on the nest, fish in her talon. There is no need to brood a little one. It is dark and is unsafe for her to fly. Some Ospreys are known to fish in the night – certainly Louis at Loch Arkaig would fish 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to feed Aila and the three chicks last year. But Electra is going to hold tight on the nest until dawn breaks. She then leaves the nest taking the fish with her. Electra’s motherly duties are over. It is unclear what the nest actually signifies to Electra now that the chicks are dead. We know that Aran brings Mrs G a fish today as a means of bonding. Iris returns to her nest to renovate. But what, if anything, this place is to Electra right now is not known.

Electra returns to the nest with what I want to call a ‘fish tail’ later. It certainly wasn’t the big hunk of fish she had with her last night. It could be what remains of it. There is no one to feed on the nest. So why is she up there with a fish? She could eat it on a tree branch in the cool shade of the river, right? That would have been the smart thing to do to do in this heat. She is horrifically hot, panting hard to try and cool herself.

I know of two male Ospreys who like to steal the fish from their mates – you possibly know many more! But I am thinking of Louis and Iris and now Wattsworth and Electra. I am also beginning to consider the need to bond after a tragedy. We see that with Aran and Mrs G. The need for Aran to be able to provide for Mrs G and for her to accept the fish from him.

Electra is looking and calling while she is on the nest with the fish. I now believe that she was calling for Wattsworth. I also believe that she was going to give the small fish piece to him. It doesn’t matter what I think of Wattsworth. Electra needs to bond with her mate after the death of her last chick. It is precisely what is happening on the Glaslyn Nest. Aran and Mrs G are bonding, too. This is just another way to look at the behaviour of Electra. The reality is we will never really know. We all wish her well.

The big winner in the fish category today had to be Tiny Tot over on the Achieva Credit Union’s Osprey Nest. My goodness, gracious. Jack came in with a fish for Tiny Tot at 6:41:16 and it was a whopper. I wish we could have seen Tiny’s eyes – they were probably popping out! But never fear. Tiny Tot learned its lesson months ago – you sit there and eat that fish as fast as you can because someone might come along and want to steal it. And you never ever leave anything on your plate!

Tiny Tot must have thought she had won the lottery. Jack has certainly been very good to make sure that Tiny gets fed. I would like to think that he is making up for when Tiny Tot was starving to death but, that would be putting another human spin on things. Obviously, Jack likes Tiny around. She protects the nest and he isn’t in any hurry for her to move on or he would stop bringing fish. It is a sweet deal for both of them. Jack doesn’t have to worry about getting injured fighting off an intruder. He can spend his time down by the water fishing and bringing Tiny Tot a few fish each day. Tiny is getting heaps of real life experience. Personally I am glad that he is feeding Tiny Tot. If she is to be the survivor of the chicks on this nest (the average is only one out of three), then the longer she is fed and the longer she stays on this nest, the better equipped she will be if she ever leaves the nest. Tiny is a bit like Izzi, the Peregrine Falcon juvenile, of Xavier and Diamond. Izzy is still around the scrape box and she should have left for his own territory long ago. But that is another story for another day. There should be no worries about Tiny being able to fish. It is embedded in them. Jack doesn’t have to teach her. That is ingrained into her and every other Osprey and has been for 65 million years. Now she might not be as good a fisher as an osprey more experienced but she knows the moves and just has to find fish. I loved the stories of Bellie in Belle’s Journey, the way she honed her fishing skills. Tiny will do that, too.

Look at those legs and that little bottom. I think that the chicks on Cowlitz really got to me because of what Tiny Tot went through early on. But, as those who watched the Achieva nest, things turned one day. Diane brought in fish and I quit calling Jack a ‘dead beat dad’. They began to be a team and they succeeded in fledging three chicks. Amazing.

When I think of those super male Ospreys that get wall murals or the ones people talk about decades after they have passed, it is always the praise for providing for their family. Yes, people talk about Blue 33 and Idris’s fishing abilities and the whoppers – but it is always tied to them bringing those to their family and how healthy their chicks are and the pride in counting the children and the grandchildren in the family lineage.

So we go back to the survival of the fittest, perhaps. Wattsworth’s DNA is not being passed along but Monty’s, Blue 33s, and Idris’s is. And I hope Tiny Tot’s!

It was raining in the Sydney Olympic Park today. The beautiful canopy of leaves on the old Ironbark tree where the nest of Lady and Dad, the resident White-Bellied Sea Eagles, is located kept Lady from getting soaked. Lady is incubating two eggs. It is awhile until we will be on hatch alert. I will let you know when that happens so you can join the fun.

The rain finally stopped in Ithaca and the Ks were quite happy. K3 is eating again! It is nice to see the sun come out so they can dry off. It is even nicer to see the pair together on the nest safe and sound.

And, last I am showing you an image of the nest at Loch of the Lowes. I will also try and find the short videos that someone took of NC0 fishing in the loch. She is good! In this image the nest is getting a little crowded with the wingersizing of these two big osprey chicks. Safer for NC0 to get out of the way and sit on the perch, for sure! I was fascinated in the camera set up. That is why I am including this image. It is rather amazing. There is also a microphone in the nest so that you can hear the chicks when they are peeping in the egg right before hatch.

Here is NC0 fishing:

A snow storm and high winds have put out the cameras on Taiaroa Head in New Zealand where the Northern Albatross and their chicks are. They will love it. These birds like the cold. The staff of the NZ DOC (Dept of Conservation) have sprinklers to cool off the chicks. That camera should be back on line along with the weighing of the chicks. The chicks are weighed weekly, unless there is an issue and they might be weighed more. Supplemental feedings by the staff are given if the weight of the chick is not where it should be. That could come from parents not returning, being injured and delayed in their return, etc. NZ looks after their wildlife and accepts that humans have impacted it. There are not the complications with intervention like there are in the US.

Sad news coming out of Canada and the Osoyoos Osprey Nest. It appears that two of the three chicks have died to the incredible heat in the area in the same way that the chick on Cowlitz did. The other chick will require lots of fish but it is not looking very well this morning. A former student and close friend of mine now lived on the edge of the water at Osoyoos and really enjoyed seeing the Osprey family fish. They were forced to move because of the smoke from the wildfires that hits the area every summer. Prayers for all the birds. The heat wave is spreading across North America.

Thank you for joining me today. There will be a big nest catch up later today.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Scottish Wildlife and Loch of the Lowes, and Sea Eagle Cam Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre.

Featured Image is Lady incubating her eggs in the Ironbark Tree in Sydney Olympic Park.

Saturday Night with the Ks and other nest news

I want to thank Ferris Akel for his Saturday Bird Tours. Ferris begins near his home, travels to Montezuma, goes down Wildlife Drive, winds up at Sapsucker Lake and then hits the Cornell Campus. Ferris begins around noon NY time and is often still sharing the birds with everyone after 7pm. You can hop in and out of the tour at your will and you can even join the chat. It is free. If you subscribe and click on the bell you will get notifications when Ferris is streaming live. So, thank you, Ferris Akel. I would not have the screen shots of the Ks from Saturday evening without you!

Big Red on one of the light stands watching over K1 and K3 on the Fernow Light Tower

K1 and K3 are really different chicks from the Js last year. K1 and K3 like being around their natal nest. The Js were flying around the buildings over between Bradfield and Rice and playing on the lawns. Yesterday, K1 amused himself watching the soccer match below their light stand nest on the athletic field.

K3 loves watching the people moving on the sports field.

We know this is K3, how? From the back K3 has a really muddy tail with no clear defined dark lines and a thin, rather ratty white terminal band. K1, on the other hand, has a wide white terminal band and distinct dark lines on her tail feathers.

K3 amused himself for a very long time watching the people below him.

Meanwhile, K1 was on the railing above K3 watching the people and the soccer match. She did not appear as mesmerized as K1 was. Wonder what K1 is thinking? would he like to play with the ball? Certainly the Js had their own kind of soccer game last year with the pinecones lying around the fence.

All of a sudden, K1 sees something and she flies off the light stand, across Tower Road, over the Rice Building and beyond – and then returns to the nest! Wonder what she saw that attracted her attention? She didn’t stop anywhere, just took a great flight.

K1 is a very large hawklet and she is a very strong flyer. She is able to establish her target and return to the thin railing on the nest without any effort at all. She is very different than J1 last year who appeared hesitant to fly.

K3 pays K1 no mind. He is still watching the soccer match! Isn’t he just such a sweet little cutie pie? Last year J3 won my heart. This year K3 has stolen it completely!

After spending a little bit of time on the nest, K1 decides to fly to the Oak Trees near the driveway between the Fernow and Rice Buildings. Ferris was able to find her rather easily because of the Robins alerting in the area.

While K1 is over in the Oak trees, Big Red lands on the nest. Big Red has found the chippie that the Ks left. She starts eating it trying to lure both of the Ks to the nest. K1 can see her from the trees.

I find this interesting. In past years, Big Red has almost insisted that the chicks, once they have fledged, eat ‘off’ the nest. But this year, she seems to be completely content having them self-feed or she feeds them right in the nest cup.

K3 held back and let mama eat for awhile before moving up so she would feed him some of the chippie.

Meanwhile, Arthur is over on another light stand protecting the territory, Big Red, and the Ks from intruders. This has been a terrible year for intruders and tragedies at other nests. I hope none of that comes to the Cornell campus.

After feeding K3, Big Red returns to her favourite light tower so that Arthur can eat. She is on sentry duty now.

As the evening comes to a close, both of the Ks are on the nest tower for the night. What a lovely unremarkable day – thank goodness. Bird World can do without any drama for a day!

The little chick on the Cowlitz PUD nest had a fish this morning. Thank goodness. It must have arrived around 8:45 nest time (there is no clock that I can find on their streaming cam). It will be 40 degrees C in the area and no doubt hotter on the nest. This little one needs all the hydration it can get – so does Electra. It was a nice sized fish but they are going to need many more today. Most of you know that it is difficult to fish when it is so hot. The fish go to the bottom where it is cooler. Fingers crossed for Wattsworth and Electra – who should also be out fishing today.

The image below reminds me so much of Tiny Tot when his siblings were so large and he was running around the nest trying to find food to eat. No doubt this chick is way behind in its development. It needs to grow and develop quickly before migration!

It was so nice to see Lady Hawk on the chat of the Golden Eagles in Bucovina this morning. She has done an amazing series of videos on this little fellow. And this eaglet now has a name – it is Zenit! In the late afternoon the Dad brought in a small bird for Zenit. So happy that the dad is feeling much more comfortable coming to the nest with prey. The mother had been but had no prey.

Over on the Foulshaw Moss Nest in Cumbria, you can see that great Big has a ‘great big’ crop! Blue 35 is busy feeding Tiny Little Bob and hopefully he will have a huge crop, too! Always wonderful when Tiny Little gets a good meal.

Thank you for joining me today to check in on the Ks. Everything is fine. Stay safe, take care. For those of you in the high heat warning areas, drink lots of fluids and try to stay cool. When I was a little girl, we did not have air conditioning. Instead, my mother would spray my sheets with water and turn the fan on. Oh, it is gloriously cool! Try it.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Bucovina Golden Eagle Cam, Cowlitz PUD, and Ferris Akel YouTube Live Stream.

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 Fun Day with the Ks

As Ferris Akel said this evening – some people think that once Big Red’s kids fledge that is it but, of course, it isn’t. The fun just begins once they fledge. Today, we were treated to K1 and K3 figuring their way out of predicaments and then watching Big Red try to lure them back to the nest with prey. We got a look inside a world that at one time, we might not have even noticed.

K1 left the nest at 13:38 and flew to the Oak trees across Tower Road. Half an hour later, K3 fledged. He wanted to be with his big sister not alone on the nest for another day while she was out having fun.

K3’s fledge had many of us holding our breath. K3 flew towards the Oak tree in front of the Fernow Building where K1 was but, he made a turn, almost hit Bradfield but, instead, clung to the building and fell down. Until K3 was spotted by boots on the ground – and believe me it felt like it took forever to get someone there – we had no idea if the last hatch of Big Red’s 2021 season was dead or alive. Thankfully K3 was fine – probably a little more tired and anxious but no physical injuries. How lucky!

K1 spent much time in the Oak Tree and then decided to do a little tour of the area. Maybe that wasn’t such a smart idea. She wound up hanging on to a thin window ledge on Bradfield – as if she were a moth.

We know it is K1 because of the wide white terminal band and the distinctive six dark bands on her tail. K3 has a ‘muddy’ tail.

She looks rather elegant holding on to the ledge with her talons but it must have been physically tiring. She managed to pull herself up eventually but the ledge was not wide and she was scrambling.

Still, she was able to manoeuvre so that she could fly back to her favourite tree – the Oak tree that she fledged to – her security blanket tree.

Meanwhile, Big Red is over on the light stand taking it all in. She has a perfect line of sight to both K1 and K3. They probably had no idea their mother was ‘watching them like a hawk’.

K3 is somewhere in the Oak Tree. Earlier he had landed on one of the Bradfield ledges and all he wanted to do was get to his big sister, K1 in the Oak Tree. And he did, eventually, get to the tree but she was high above him and his laddering abilities found him going down, even falling down, instead of going up.

Gosh that little K3 is soooooo cute.

K3 wound up on top of the sculpture in front of the Fernow Building.

He flew back into the Oak tree trying to get to his big sister – again!

Big Red decides that it is time to try and lure these kids back to the nest on the Fernow light tower for the night. She has prey and everyone knows that food is a great motivator.

First, Big Red took the prey to the nest. She is hoping that one or both of the Ks will fly over to the nest for a nice meal with mama.

When that didn’t work, Big Red decides to take the prey over near the Ks. Seriously, how could they resist a nice fresh chippie snack?

There she goes. No one ever has to worry that Big Red’s kids will go hungry. They won’t!

Big Red lands on a corner of Bradfield.

Indeed, Big Red flies to various spots around the Fernow lawn trying to entice the two hawklets to come out and eat. She even flies back to the nest to see if they will follow her. Then she returns to the buildings around the treed area of Fernow.

She flew to the top of the Rice Building. Rice is a popular prey drop for Big Red and Arthur and all of this little exercise tonight is a teaching. Big Red is showing them places that will become food drops.

Still no takers. Is it possible these Ks are not hungry?! She flies around some more with the prey in her talons.

Before she gives up, Big Red decides to take the chippie to the tree close to K1. Surely K1 will come for dinner!

Big Red waited. And she waited. In the image above you can see the chippie in Big Red’s talons.

But, after awhile, when it appeared that no one was going to come down and take the chippie, Big Red decides to eat it. Another good lesson – eat the chippie when you have it, don’t wait. Someone else might eat it!

While all of this was going on, Arthur was protecting the territory from one of the light stands while being harassed by a Robin.

As the full moon comes up and lights the night sky, K1 tries to get to the light stand with the nest. She winds up on the wrong one.

K3 remains in the Oak tree where he will have to perch for the night.

Big Red returns to Bradfield where she has a clear sight line to both of her children.

Arthur later flies to Bradfield.

It is a beautiful night. There is a full moon and everyone is settled where they are – like it or not – for the night. One can only imagine that little K3 would love to be in the nest cup sleeping comfortably instead of standing in a tree with all kinds of noises he is not used to. That little one has had a lot to take in today since it fledged!

Good Night Big Red, Good Night Arthur, Good Night K1 and K3. Sweet Hawk Dreams.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is such a joy to watch this family.

Thank you Ferris Akel for your live streaming of the Red tail hawks this evening on the Cornell Campus. That is where I grabbed my screen shots.

Storks almost blown off nest, a second egg, and more news from Bird World

My friend T always sends me exciting nest news. So, T, thank you so much, as always. It is much appreciated. This morning T sent me a video. I almost fell off my chair while watching it. High winds and a storm in Poland and a stork nest. Not a good combination. Watch the pine trees in the background. Here is the video:

https://fb.watch/v/102cLTLx2/

And, of course, lots of news from the other nests on a late Tuesday!

Lady laid her second egg in the Ironbark Tree in the Sydney Olympic Park at 1:18 am, 23 June. Congratulations Lady and Dad! Now the wait truly begins.

Tiny Little Bob waited and watched and got some of the tea time fish on the Cumbria Wildlife Osprey Nest. He has his beautiful curved feathers coming in now and looks so grown up. All that food from the last few days are really helping this little one grow!

Of course, the Big one who is moving out of the frame on the left decides that it isn’t quite full and comes in and interrupts another calm feeding for Tiny Little and Middle Bob. I plan to keep my faith that Tiny Little Bob is going to survive, fledge, and thrive.

If you missed the great news from Cornell, K1 fledged this morning at 8:27:31. Shortly after a bucket truck arrived and lifted a vet and rehabber up to the nest to take K2 into care. We will not know the prognosis for probably a couple of days but we do know that K2 is in the best of care at Cornell. Meanwhile, K1 is enjoying herself over in the oak tree.

The following photographs were taken by Suzanne Arnold Horning and posted on the Cornell Red Tail Hawks FB Page. I hope she does not mind my sharing.

Do you remember that Big Red left the oak leaves in the nest? Well, look. K1 flew directly to the oak tree just like Big Red told her! Incredible.

Here is the video of that smooth fledge in case you missed it:

At 51 days old, K1 broke the record for waiting the longest to fledge – indeed, this entire brood has waited the longest of any of Big Red’s hawklets. Meanwhile, K3 seems to have no intention of going anywhere and I was so sure he would take the leap first. Silly me.

K3 has kept everyone on the edge of their seats – he has stared across the street at his older sibling in the Oak Tree but so far, has not fledged.

And last but not least, those two beautiful chicks of Laddie and NC0 were ringed today. Chick 1 has LR1 and is a female. Chick 2 has LR2 and is a male. I wonder how many thought that from the start? I am glad that little male hung in there. They turned out to be gorgeous birds.

Thank you so much for joining me this afternoon. I will keep you posted on the status of K2 and will definitely alert everyone if K3 fledges.

Thank you to the Cornell Bird Lab for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and video clip, the Cumbria Wildlife Trust for their streaming cam where I took my video clip, to Suzanne Arnold Horning for the photographs she shared of K1 on the FB page, to Tatiana for always alerting me to the strange happenings in Bird World, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Loch of the Lowes for their streaming cam, to the WBSE Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre for their streaming cam. Thank you to the camera and the man in Poland who went to check on the White Stork nest. So glad everything was alright.

The featured image is K3 teasing us!