Late Saturday and early Sunday in Bird World

26-27 March 2022

It seemed that Saturday started out to be a rather good day. And then it didn’t. The little hatchling at the National Arboretum Nest has died. There is one other egg for Mr President and Lotus. Perhaps it will survive. This is a very detailed explanation of the uncommon tragic accident that happened to this chick trying to hatch.

Big and Middle had the fish that had been left on the nest overnight and then Obey brought in another sucker. That second fish was finished by 11:30ish. Both Big and Little Middle had big crops. No other prey came to the nest during the afternoon. When River arrived -like an alarm clock – at 19:02:13 – she was empty taloned. Not good. Big began to attack Middle Little for no apparent reason at 07:03:12. Little Middle went into submissive mode. Neither eaglet was fed and there is no food on the nest. The eaglets are 26 days old.

At the Big Bear Valley nest of Jackie and Shadow, the eaglet is 23 days old. If you look at it physically you can see the resemblance to the developmental stage of the Dale Hollow eaglets.

The body is covered with thermal down almost completely but the head and a few dandelions on the neck and wing.

Jackie and Shadow’s feeding schedule until 15:20 today, the 26th of March, as posted on the rolling camera chat. There will be at least two more today but if those didn’t happen, there would have still been six feedings beginning at dawn.

Like children, nests need stability and regularity for security. It is Sunday morning. Obey brought a squirrel in prior to 08:00. The feeding was continuing when I opened up the streaming cam. Little Middle got none of that first prey item that I could see. Big had a crop.

A sucker came in at 08:46:16. It is a nice sized fish.

Big attacks Little Middle at 08:46:44 despite having eaten the squirrel and having a crop.

The parent begins to feed Big with Little Middle into submission.

At 08:51:02 Little Middle has moved to the other side of the parent and is being fed. Yeah Little Middle!!!!!

Little Middle got to eat until 08:56:46 when the parent abruptly flew off – perhaps to get rid of an intruder.

Little Middle is very hungry and pecks at the flesh of the fish watched by Big.

There is lots of fish left. Little Middle goes to the rim of the nest.

River returns to the nest at 10:19 alerting. Little Middle is cheeping and moves up to eat when River goes to fish. At the onset Big did not bother. Then at 10:25:28 it wants to go and eat. Big attacked Little Middle at 10:25:30. Little Middle moved to rim of nest. Big was still eating at 10:31.

Big just can’t stop with the beaking.

Little Middle had a crop but being clever, he is watching and waiting.

At 10:33, knowing Big has moved, Little Middle goes back to the fish. River begins feeding her youngest.

At the end of this feeding, Middle is going to have a bigger crop! It is now 10:36 and he is still eating! This is fantastic. Little Middle, despite the dominance posturing and some beaking, is getting quicker at its return to the feeding. Well done Little Middle!

Little Middle ate well. Look at this beautiful crop. Life is good!

There was a chat open at the Dale Hollow nest this morning. Because of that I was able to find out some information that would really be helpful under the streaming cam. The original nest of River and Obey was discovered in 2009. It fell with the two fledglings in 2020. Both survived. Prior to this year, River and Obey fledged 24 chicks. The nest on the cam is now one year old. There are 28 Bald Eagle nests around Dale Hollow Lake.

Akecheta continues to be ‘Super Dad’ at the West End nest that he shares with his mate Thunder and the triplets. They are doing incredibly well! There is still no discord between any of the three. They are well fed, sometimes tandem fed, and shaded during the heat of the day. It is nothing short of a fabulous nest to watch.

Here is a very short video of the four eaglets of Lisa and Oliver being fed at the PA Farm nest on 26 March. Warms your heart. These parents are going to be extremely busy!

Parents are doing a tandem feed at the PA Farm nest to ensure that the smallest one of the four gets fed. This is Saturday at noon.

You may remember that there was to be a rescue attempt at the WRDC nest in the Miami Zoo to retrieve R2 to remove the fishing line that the eaglet had tangled around its leg. As the rescuers were there, R2 fledged. Luckily it broke the fishing line. There is apparently a small bit of fishing line on its toe.

Sadly, this is why intervention is not normally done at this late stage unless the eaglet is ill or cannot fly away. They are hoping that R2 will return to the nest and with good fortune the remainder of the fishing line removed. There is an update by Ron Magill. He was able to get R2. The rest of the monofilament has been removed. R2 is fine other than having some flea lice. Great news!

There are more osprey arrivals in the UK. Blue 5F Seren arrived at the Llyn Clywedog Nest. Look at that nice fish she has brought in and look at that beautiful landscape – a perfect place to raise Ospreys. Seren shares this nest with her mate Dylan. They fledged one osprey – the largest male Osprey hatched ever in Wales last season.

Seren has to be strong. That is a huge fish. There is no footage of her getting it out of the lake but there is a video of the haul into the nest!

The Canada Goose on the Decorah unused Bald Eagle nest has laid her third egg!

There is also a pip at the Decorah North nest in egg for DN16. That was at 09:52 this morning.

The two sweet babies at the Redding Bald Eagle nest of Liberty and Guardian are just getting fed as I close this blog. How adorable.

Life feels rather good as I close this blog. Little Middle is getting much more clever and quicker to get down and eat so the parent doesn’t leave thinking they are not hungry. Big has turned its beak on Little Middle at least twice this morning but nothing like the violence on the 23rd of March. Little Middle continues to grow! As far as I can tell all of the other nests are doing OK today. There are some significant ospreys that have yet to arrive including two of my favourites Idris and Telyn at the Dyfi Nest. We are also waiting for Aran, Louis, and the Foulshaw Moss couple plus CJ7 and Blue 022 if he returns to Poole Harbour. Hopefully there will be more to arrives this evening.

Thank you for joining me this morning. I hope that you have a beautiful Sunday. Take care! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: CarnyxWild, Explore.org, Dale Hollow Lake Eagles, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Redding Eagles, WRDC, PA Game Commission, West End Bald Eagles and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, and the NAE FB Page.

Sadness on Channel Islands Bald Eagle nest and other news from Bird World

There is sad news coming out of the Channel Islands Bald Eagle community. The male eagle, A64, Spirit, devoted mate to Cruz, was found floating in the ocean near Fraser Point on 21 July. The report stated that there appeared to be no traumatic injuries. Spirit’s mate, Cruz, has been seen at their nest. Condolences to all.

Deb Stecyk made a great video of this wonderful couple in 2018. Here it is:

The gusts have really been whipping the Fortis Alberta Exshaw Nest around this afternoon. For awhile it looked like the two chicks might get blown off. Mum was food calling and looking in the sky and you sure had a lot of sympathy for dad trying to fish and feed his family this afternoon. The weather station reports that the winds are blowing at 21 km/h. The gusts appear to be more than that. Hang on everyone!

Of course, you can’t even tell there is a breeze in a still photo!

The chicks are doing well on this nest. There seem to be no worries.

The wind was not blowing at the Fortis Alberta Red Deer Osprey Nest. Just look at how big and pretty Only Bob is getting! It really does help to be an only chick.

As the day heats up, Mum is making sure that this little one is good and shaded from the pounding heat of the sun.

The Only surviving Bob at the Collins Marsh Nest had a nice crop this morning. It is really, really hot on the top of that old wildfire tower. Both Mum and chick are really panting.

It was really nice to see a nice big crop on this little one today especially with the heat.

Tiny Little had breakfast and had an evening meal. Mom flew in to help but looks like Tiny Little did a pretty good job cleaning up. Our little one decided to sleep duckling style on the nest tonight. I like to think that all those lines are golden rays shining down and protecting this wee babe.

Other news coming out of Welsh Osprey nests is from Llyn Clywedog, the nest of Dylan and Seren. Only Bob, Blue 496, today flew from the nest with a good sized fish attached to its talons to eat it elsewhere. It is not clear if this is a first for Only Bob but it sure could be. Well done! Another milestone.

This is so fantastic. Dylan and Seren can be very proud of their 2021 fledgling Blue 396. He is doing so well in all aspects – flying, self-feeding, and now flying with a fish in talon. All good prep for migration.

As you probably know, the mothers leave before the fledglings and dad. They normally take off for Africa (or Spain or Portugal) two weeks before everyone else. Seren has been photographed in The Gambia. Dad will stay behind and feed the fledglings. When they take off and are all on their way it is only then that the male will leave. Everyone knows what a treacherous undertaking migration is. This year only 80% of the Ospreys expected to return did so in the UK (according to Tiger Mozone’s data). That is low. Normally it is 90%. We will begin to look for their return the third week in March. Normally Blue 33 and Maya are one of the first couples to get back to their nests. I can’t wait. There is something adorable about these little fuzzy bobble heads turning into reptiles and then getting their juvenile plumage that warms your soul.

My last report comes from Dr Ericke Green at the Montana Osprey Project. Him and his team have now visited 200 Osprey nests along the Clark Fork River. They note that the water in places is less than half the normal amount. The heat has persisted for more than a month, the water is hot, and the fish are dying. This is bad news for the Ospreys. Green noted that the chicks that they ringed were in good shape, regardless. He said that when they were on the Flathead Indian Reserve north of Missoula they found some nice healthy chicks living in nests lined with Bison hair! The nest is close to the Bison Wildlife Refuge. Wouldn’t that be soft and cosy?

Do any of you know what has happened in the Barlinecka Forest’s Osprey Nest in Poland? I have written to the Polish Committee for the Protection of Eagles that ran the camera. It has gone off line. There were two chicks on the nest – chick 1 hatched on 25 May and chick 4 hatched 31 May. Eggs 2 and 3 did not hatch. That is a massive difference in age! If you know anything about the status of these birds please let me know. I haven’t had a response yet from Poland. I will share it if I hear.

I want to thank all of you for joining me today. It is always a pleasure to have you with me. It was helpful to hear Dr Green say that this year’s osprey chicks in Montana have done well despite the drought that is encompassing so much of that area and ours in Canada. Take care everyone. Tomorrow loads of images of Big Red and the Ks.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: CarnyX Wild and the Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest, Fortis Albert Exshaw Osprey Nest, and the Fortis Alberta Red Deer Osprey Nest. I also want to thank the Montana Ospreys at Hellgate FB Page where I grabbed the image of the Osprey chicks in the nest lined with Bison hair. They hold the copyright.

Wednesday in Ospreyland

The camera at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest has been down or going on and off today so it has been hard to follow what has been happening on the nest. I was able to get some shots for you with two different fish. We know some of Tiny Little’s behaviour and this might help us predict what will happen. When Tiny Little is hungry he is going to be a pest until he gets some fish. In the afternoon on the nest, around 15:40, Tiny Little was on the nest with White YW and Blue 462.

Blue 462 has the fish in its beak. White YW is to the right of 462. Tiny Little is behind 462. You cannot see her.

Ah, there is 463 looking out off the nest maybe day dreaming of fledging? White YW is cleaning his beak and 462 is tucked into the fish. Tiny Little doesn’t seem interested.

Dad has left and Tiny Little continues to look off to the hills and mountains. Tiny Little is acting peculiar. At times he appears to be preening and at other times you might think he is hiding a small piece of fish. At any rate, whatever is going on, he does not seem hungry or interested at all in the fish that Blue 462 is eating.

Once he turned around and looked.

Then Tiny Little goes back to preening.

A fish was delivered for the late snack around 20:00. All three of the chicks are on the nest. It is so nice to see them together and to know they are all safe. 464 has the first go at the fish while 462 looks on anxiously.

Tiny Little is laying down duckling style just watching what is going on. Tiny Little learned a long time ago to let 464 finish before moving in. 462 is standing there, head down watching and waiting for their turn. Tiny Little has no problem getting up to try and eat or take the fish from 462 — but not 464!

462 could not have been that hungry. It ate and if you look carefully you will see that most of the fish is left on the nest to the left of the chick at the rear. 462 does a couple of beak swipes and flies off.

462 moves in to have some fish before Tiny Little can get there. Tiny is still playing duckling.

Tiny gets up and does the usual trying to distract the older sibling. He is now working on nest renovations and moving twigs about.

Then Tiny Little goes and stands by 462 next to the object of desire – that fish! They are both busy watching something. Maybe it is 462 flying about. I bet Tiny Little is hoping it is Blue 35 coming to take that fish and feed her like yesterday.

They both follow whoever is flying for a long time their heads and eyes moving in unison for the most part.

Tiny does a pretty fantastic ‘ps’ at 20:18.

And then he moves right back over by Blue 462 eyeing that fish.

Sadly, I cannot confirm what happened. But if yesterday was any indication, Tiny Little is eventually going to get some of that fish. Maybe Blue 35 will fly in and take over and feed Tiny Little or will Tiny Little get the fish herself? Fingers crossed the camera comes on again to solve the mystery.

At the Dyfi Osprey Nest, Idris was on his perch while Telyn was feeding Ystwyth on the nest.

Later both Dysynni and Ystwyth were on the nest together. Aren’t they adorable? Ystwyth should be fledging soon.

LM 2 was on the nest alone at Loch of the Lowes earlier. Is she watching her mother or Laddie or NC0? That is truly a gorgeous place to have an Osprey nest.

My Scottish friends can correct me but I am thinking that there is not a lot of fishing equipment debris to get into the Osprey nest making the nests in the UK safer than most in North America where the lakes and rivers have many power boats and weekend fishers.

Over at Clywedog, Only Bob loves to eat. Telyn and Only Bob are looking up to the skies at 17:13.

At 17:13:59 Dylan lands on the nest with dinner for the family.

Only Bob moves up so that he can watch how Dad eats the head of the fish.

Only Bob also knows that Dad loves to feed his chick! Dylan spends some time feeding Only Bob before turning it over to Seren who is waiting patiently in the wings. She would like some fish, too.

Only Bob waits for mom to have a few bites before she feeds the rest to him. You are really a very ‘big’ boy, Only Bob.

If you have been watching the nest of Iiris and Ivo in Estonia, their first hatch fledged. Here is that moment:

And with all the attention on Tiny Little, these three beauties of Richmond and Rosie, have all fledged. Aren’t they gorgeous. Richmond could probably handle a nest of four. Very few Osprey males can.

Many of you will have read that when the three chicks were banded, the measurements indicated that they were all boys. But…for the very first time in the history of the nest, the measurements were wrong. DNA testing shows that Poppy ZP and VZ Lupine are females and WR Sage is the only boy. Goodness they were wrong.

Rosie migrates but Richmond doesn’t. He stays around the San Francisco Bay area all year round. He will take very good care of these babies once Rosie leaves and he will be waiting for Rosie to return around Valentine’s Day!

Here is a really cute video of the two girls doing a tug of war with a fish. This was yesterday.

Ah, Legacy at the Fortis Red Deer Nest is snuggling up with mom to keep cool as she serves as a mombrella from the sun. That sky is so hazy from all of the fires. It travels all the way – the smoke – to Manitoba and can make breathing difficult. I wonder what impact the smoke has on these chicks?

It looks like the smoke from the wild fires is also making it hazy at the Fortis Exshaw Nest. Little ones are also trying to get in some of the shade provided by mom.

It is such a contrast to see the Osprey nests in Alberta, Montana, Florida, and California with those in the United Kingdom. It has given me a lot of pause to think about the trash that makes its way into the Osprey nests such as the baling twine that has been killing the chicks up in Montana.

I could not get back on the Cumbria Wildlife Osprey cam but Blue 35 will not let Tiny Little go to bed without some fish. He was so full in the middle of the afternoon that he wasn’t wanting any so maybe he really has had enough already. Either way he will be fine. Growing like a bad weed that one – and surely with those big sturdy legs he is a she.

Thank you for joining me. I am in the midst of planning a trip to Overflowing River in Manitoba to go and see the Ospreys that come to our province to breed during the summer. There will be lots of images for you I hope – but this is not happening for a couple of weeks. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project, CarnyX Wild and the Clywedog Osprey Nest, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Fortis Alberta Red Deer Osprey Cam, and Fortis Alberta Exshaw Osprey Cam.

Alan Poole’s talk on why Ospreys are special and some other news tidbits from Ospreyland

LR1 at Loch of the Lowes fledged! Only one more to go for NC0 and Laddie (LM12). Here is the big moment:

John Williams has been trying to figure out where Dylan is getting his nice trout for the Lyn Clywedog Nest. Today, our sleuth detective, reports that an unringed male was seen leaving Nant y Moch Reservoir at 9:55 carrying a fish. The bird was flying in the direction of Llyn Clywedog. Williams watched the streaming cam and sure enough Dylan landed 25 minutes later with a trout on the nest for the Only Bob. I am certain Seren Blue5F was pleased too.

We know that Dylan is going to go as the crow flies – straight from Nanty-y-Moch Reservoir to Clywedog. But, wow. That is a good distance to travel for trout! Apparently there are too many people fishing for trout at the end of the Clywedog Reservoir and that could be the reason he is travelling so far. I am in awe.

Here is Seren Blue 5F feeding Only Bob that lovely fish:

I wanted to bring Blue 5F up today so you can see how well she is doing on this nest at Clywedogs with Dylan. Look at that lovely chick! I had a fantastic conversation with Tiger Mozone late last night. We talked about all things Osprey but one thing that Tiger mentioned early on is that Ospreys are not bonded to one another for life. It might appear that way and you have read over and over that they “bond for life”. Tiger had so many examples that it made perfect sense that they do not. So here is the thing with Blue 5F. Blue 5F hatched in Rutland in 2012. Chris Wood regularly sees her at the Tanji Marsh in Africa where she winters. She came to Glaslyn in 2015.

Aran, the mate of Mrs G, took a liking to Blue 5F and they mated in 2015. Eggs were laid on the Traeth Glaslyn Nest but as the Glaslyn Osprey News notes, “once the chicks hatched on the Glaslyn Nest he gradually lost interest” in Blue 5F and the future of their eggs. According to Glaslyn records and Tiger this went on for four years! I really hope right about now you are thinking about Iris and Louis. But, Blue 5F decided she didn’t like that arrangement so, she left! And she found the nest at Llyn Clwedog in 2020 where she is quite happy. Last year her and Dylan raised three male chicks to fledge when his regular mate did not return. This year they have the Only Bob! Give the girl a hand of applause! The entire issue of Aran and Blue 5F brought in discussions of how close nest platforms should be to one another. It might well be that they want to look into this again at Glaslyn. I am not entirely sure that the blue banded bird after Aran at the Cob was not Z2 Aeron from the Pont Croesor Nest. Time will tell if Aeron Z2 is trying to take over the Glaslyn territory.

Alan Poole, the author of Ospreys. The Revival of a Global Raptor did a 45 minute YouTube talk with nice visuals on Ospreys. It is definitely worth watching – you will learn something. You can stop and start!

Thanks for stopping in. I hope that you have a lovely weekend. Take the time to listen to Alan Poole’s talk. I think you will really enjoy it.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Llyn Clywedog and Carnyx Wildlife. Thanks to Tiger for the great conversation and to John Williams for tracking the travels of the trout!

Wednesday in Bird World

The rain is pouring down and it is so welcome. Thunder and lighting have sent the family cat scurrying off to her ‘tent’. The smell and the sound of the rain are a delight and the greens in the garden seem to have come alive. I cannot remember when last we had downpours like this. One of my friends in Regina, Saskatchewan says it has been four years for them.

Years ago I remember standing in the street in Chennai, South India. The skies opened up on the first day of the monsoon. It was around 4pm. People were dancing and raising their arms singing and shouting. It was a beautiful experience. Rain is certainly a gift.

A good friend of mine that lives south of the East Kootenays, at the base of the Purcell Mtns, wrote to me yesterday to tell me about the drought in their area. They have been warned that the wildfires in their area of British Columbia will be worse this year and already the creek beds are drying up and people are not able to find water when they try to drill wells. How sad. I wish I could share this downpour with her.

Today I went and checked on the tiny little third hatch at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest of White YW and Blue 35. The little one has been treated very aggressively by both of its older siblings. Today, it waited til they had eaten and then went up to get some fish. Many of you know that I cheer these little third hatches on with all the might I have – and I know that hundreds, if not thousands more, send them positive energy and love. If they survive, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey Nest is recent proof of what can happen when a third hatch is almost starved to death and survives. They become ‘street’ smart – so to speak. They refuse to take abuse. They learn how to fight. They are clever and they are not afraid to eat left over pieces of dry fish found in a nest to survive. Tiny Tot remains on the Achieva Osprey Nest and it is wonderful to see him.

Roy Dennis in his book, The Life of Ospreys, suggests sketching the plumage on the head and neck, particularly around the eye of these unringed birds. It can help in future identification. Believe me when I say that I hope that Tiny Tot takes over this nest he has so valiantly defended – and why not? I don’t even know why he should leave. There is no rule book that says he has to. And since Florida is a year round home for the Ospreys he doesn’t have to migrate – it is his instinctual choice.

Tiny Tot sleeping on the perch ready to defend his nest if any intruder comes in the morning.

But back to these little ones. Tiny Tot did survive and the wee Bob at the Foulshaw Moss, with its sore eye from the others pecking it, has learned to wait. Here he is. He has a crop from the last feed but he is going to go up and get some more. He has stayed away til the big ones were fed and have quieted down. He may only get the food left towards the tail but he will not get walloped by the others. He needs to learn to protect himself and it looks like he is figuring that out. Well done you.

Look at the size of those other siblings! Bob 3 is hardly the size of their wing.

If you know of any third hatches who have survived aggressive treatment and gone on to fledge, please do send me a note. I am collecting information on them. Of course, on my list are Tiny Tot, Z1 Tegid of the White Egg, and JJ7 Captain (who had amazing parents and did not get the treatment that Tiny or this one on Foulshaw Moss has received). It will be interesting to see their survival rate at the age of 2 moving forward. Z1 already has its own nest in Wales for the second year of breeding. His believed to be more survivable sister died shortly after fledging. Go figure. So thank you. There are so many nests and such a history I welcome any that come to your mind. Thanks so much!

Indeed, for awhile, I thought that the second Bob on the Loch of the Lowes nest was going to suffer but Laddie seems to have kept the fish coming and NC0 has grown into being a great mother. They are both doing well.

Here is Laddie flying in with a delivery.

Here is Laddie still on the nest after delivering a fish and NC0 feeding both of the Bobs. Bob 2 is still small compared to Bob One but they are both getting their beautiful curved juvenile feathers rimmed in white. Look at those cute little tails and the blood feathers coming in on their wings. This nest at the Loch of the Lowes is really a delight to watch – and such a beautiful landscape!

It has been a really nice day in Scotland and in southern England but it is raining in Wales.

Blue 5F Seren is keeping her wee Bob warm and dry.

A lonely fish waits at the Glaslyn Nest for Aran or Mrs G to come and fetch it (or an intruder).

Over in Storkland, the three White Storks in Czechoslovakia continue to grow and do well. Every morning I wake up and smile because of the kindness of this community. I wish it were everywhere!

Everyone is doing really well at the Red tail Hawk Nest of Big Red and Arthur. Arthur made a prey drop this morning. The two older siblings ate off of it and then Big Red flew in and fed little K3.

Yesterday Big Red spent a lot of time on the fledge ledge and the fledge post. She will continue to do this showing the Ks where is the best place to take that leap of faith. Big Red is an amazing mother. I honestly don’t know how she keeps it up encased in ice and snow, soaked to the bone with rain, loving each and every chick!

Thank you so very much for joining me today. It is a wonderful day because of the rain! And it warms my heart to see the tiny little one at Foulshaw Moss still alive. I hope that everyone is well. Stay safe. See you tomorrow.

Thank you so much to the following who have streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Carnyx Wildlife, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife Trust, Foulshaw Moss and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Achieva Osprey, Mlady Buky, and the Llyn Clywedog Osprey Project.

Leaving you with a lovely image of Tiny Tot. I have a collection of these noting the distinguishing markings of this beautiful Osprey. He will not be ringed so hopefully these marks and his behaviour will always help us to identify him.

Late Saturday and Early Sunday Nest Round Ups

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

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

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

There was a beautiful Cedar Waxwing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The scramble for the first prey drop.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isn’t she looking good?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The live camera to watch this family is here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday Nest Hopping in Bird World

After the continuing sadness on the Glaslyn Nest and the mounting attacks by the intruder on the Achieva Credit Union’s Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida, it felt like a good time to check on the other nests in Bird World to see what good news is going on.

There were three chicks on the Loch of the Lowes nest. The third, one of the tiniest I have ever seen, died shortly after it was born. The first hatch is doing well and growing like mad. The second is small. I attribute this to the aggressiveness when there is food to the first hatch and the lack of experience of NC0. Let’s hope they both keep going.

The following two images are from the Scottlish Wildlife Trust and the Loch of the Lowes streaming cam:

Being the armchair auntie that I am, Laddie needs to keep bringing the fish onto the nest – big and small. NC0 is hungry and she needs to have fish to top up Little Bob while Big Bob is in food coma!

Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes Nest Cam

Blue 33 (11) delivered a big fish to Maya for the Two Bobs early this morning and he is back checking on the pantry. Now problems and now worries at the Rutland Manton Bay Nest. Blue 33 (11) and Maya are a Super Osprey Couple.

The two chicks are starting to get their feathers and will look less and less reptilian in a few days!

LRWT

Idris and Telyn (Blue 3J) are on the Dyfi Nest. Idris caught a whale of a fish this morning. He is eating the head and then will deliver the rest to the nest. It is unknown whether the male Ospreys prefer the head or if this is a mechanism to help keep the chicks from being injured in the nest. Still, we know from experiences this year that the fish does not always stop flapping even if the head is off!

Dyfi Osprey Project Cam

Sweet little babies eating their fish.

Dyfi Osprey Project

Ready for another lunch two hours later!

Dyfi Osprey Project Cam

Oh, and just look at that first hatch of Blue 5F Seren and Dylan at Clywedog. This little one is finishing its late lunch resting on the two eggs left in the nest. The second egg is late in hatching and might not and we will see if the third hatches. Sometimes having one healthy chick is the best

Llyn Clywedog Osprey Project Cam

I don’t know if you can tell it but this nest is also still damp from the rain. I hope that Seren keeps Bob warm and dry!

Llyn Cleydewog Osprey Project Cam

Here you can see how damp the nest is better. Oh, little one. Stay well!

Llyn Clywedog Osprey Project Cam

There was other excitement at the Clywedog Nest early this morning. A second year juvenile, KA7 returned to his natal nest today at Llyn Clywedog. KA7 was originally believed to be a female due to its weight but it now believed to be a male. A success story – we need all of them we can get today.

Blue 35 and White YW are on the Foulshaw Moss Nest in Cumbria. The nest is certainly drier than those in Wales. You can see Blue 35 incubating but letting Big Bob get some air.

Cambrian Wildlife Trust

Fauci fledged yesterday at the UC Berkeley Campanile Peregrine Falcon Nest. Annie and Grinnell still have Kaknu and Wek-Wek and both of them seem to be more interested in eating and playing together than fledging.

UC Falcon Cam
UC Falcon Cam

Annie is bringing food to Wek-Wek.

It may be sunny in California but you would think that the Welsh rains have hit Ithaca, New York. The Ks woke up and it was a nice dry day and then the skies opened. Big Red is on the Fernow Lightstand Nest with the Ks and they are now drenched – soaked down to the bone.

Cornell Bird Lab
Cornell Bird Lab

Sadly, the weather is showing continual downpours on Big Red and the Ks through Saturday.

Cornell Bird Lab

The sun is setting on the Osprey Nest in Estonia and we are on hatch watch. The first egg was laid on 17 April, second on 20 April, and third on 23 April. We could wake up to a pip tomorrow morning!

Eagle Club of Estonia

You can watch this nest here:

I would like to introduce you to a new nest. It is an artificial platform that was rebuilt in 2021. This is the Black Stork in in Jõgeva County in Estonia. The Black Storks successfully bred in this nest for many years until 2004 when it was vacant. The male, Tooni, moved to another nest. The Black Storks on the nest have been here for two years. The Black Stork is on the Extreme Endangered List for Estonia and they are very rare. It is wonderful that these two have accepted the new nest.

The male arrived on 10 April to begin preparing the nest in the hope that the female mate would come.

Eagle Club of Estonia

The female arrived on 2 May. The female is incubating four eggs that were laid on 12, 14, 15, and 18 of May.

Eagle Club of Estonia

You can watch the nest here:

The Estonians are learning many things through watching the rare Black Storks. First, the fledge date depends on the amount of prey brought to the nest. Also, the longer the storklets stay on the nest after fledging the more successful they are. In North America, we also know this – the longer the Ospreys and the Bald Eagles remain on the nest after fledging, the more likely they will succeed and beat the odds. A good example is Legacy who fledged, was missing, found her nest and remained on the nest for nearly a month longer. The other case are E17 and E18 from the Fort Myers Bald Eagle nest of D Pritchett. The Estonian scientists also learned that any disturbance of the nest could cause the parents to abandon it at any time. If you see a nest, do not disturb it. And do not tell anyone where it is located. Caution is always the word.

Thank you for joining me today. With the chicks dying at the Glaslyn Nest and the Welsh nests still being cold and damp, it is good to see that many other nests are doing very well. Some have enjoyed good weather while others have had on and off heavy rain, like Big Red and the Ks. Fingers crossed for all of them keeping intruders away, making nestorations for the laying of eggs, and the incubating of their eggs. Take care everyone. Stay safe. Enjoy the weekend coming up.

I have put the names of the streaming cams where I get my screen shots under the images. I am thankful to these organizations for their streams because that is where I get my screen shots.

Thursday hoppin’ and skippin’ through Bird World

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

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

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

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

Mrs G is also alert to the intruders.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the link to the fledging camera:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Earth Day from Bird World

There are some days in Bird World where I just need to sit and appreciate the joy and magic that these feathered creatures bring to my life. Whether it is the hundreds of birds that are eat from my feeders every day or the ones on the streaming cams hundreds or thousands of kilometres away – each and every one has brought me great joy.

It is Earth Day and I want to think about what else it is that I can do to make their lives easier. I hope that you will join me in considering every way that you can to ensure a safer planet for all of the wildlife that enrich our lives. Perhaps make a donation to a wildlife rehabilitation centre or to a streaming cam. Maybe spend some time picking up litter from a highway or cleaning up around the shore of a river. Put up a bird feeder and keep it stocked with healthy food for birds. Write a letter to someone who can help push for ridding hunting and fishing equipment of lead. Write a letter to rid the world of hazardous poisons like rodenticide and sticky paper traps. Tell a friend it is OK to have balloons but don’t release them. Take them home and cut them up good! Plant flowers for the bees and the butterflies. There is so much you can do – the list is endless. Even putting out bowls of water for birds will help them so much.

Nothing brings a smile to my face bigger than a chick with a nice big crop, tho! Look at those happy eaglets. It looks like they have swallowed balls and look at their chubby little tummies. What I wouldn’t give for Tiny Tot to look like that today.

Decorah North Eaglets. 18 April 2021

This is the Decorah North Bald Eagle Nest in Decorah, Iowa. It is the home of Mr North and Mrs DNF. DN 13 is 27 days old (right). It hatched at 7:21 am on 25 March. DN 14 is 25 days old having hatched on 27 March (first time this one was seen on camera was at 7:21 am) (left).

The eaglets have their layer of dark charcoal grey thermal down. It is thicker than their natal down and gives them really good protection from the cold. At this stage their metabolism is developing that will help them be able to thermoregulate their temperatures. The thermal down grows out of a different follicle than the soft baby down. In fact, the thermal down just covers the baby down. You can see some of the dandelions. Eventually contour feathers will grow out of the baby down follicles.

They are adorable. The video below shows the eagles entertaining themselves in the nest with their great big crops. It is about 11 minutes long.

Legacy is such a beautiful eagle. She is exploring all of the branches of her nest tree in Jacksonville, Florida. She gets amazing height jumping up and down on the Spanish Moss lining of the nest. Soon she will fledge. It can happen any day now. She has given so many people such joy this year. We will miss her terribly.

Legacy. 21 April 2021

Legacy spends a lot of time playing with the branches and pinecones in her nest – pretending they are prey items!

And it seems every time I check on the two eaglets in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Nest they have grown much more. It is hard to imagine that Legacy was once this small – and despite using the term ‘small’, the eaglets are actually quite large. The young 4 year old Bald Eagle dad, harry, has done a terrific job along with his mate, Nancy.

21 April 2021
21 April 2021

In San Francisco, Grinnell is busy catching pigeons for the three little ones. Hatch watch tomorrow for the fourth eyass at the UC Berkeley campus.

More food please! 21 April 2021

Jackie and Shadow have given up any hope of having a family this year at their nest at Big Bear, California. Their first hatchling in the second clutch died trying to get out of the shell. The second hatchling stopped developing. When the egg broke the other day you could see an eaglet form. The Raven took the rest of the egg away. So sad for these two devoted eagles who tried twice to raise an eagle this year. We can only hope that next year will be better.

Jackie and Shadow will try again nest year. 21 April 2021

Meanwhile, the three eaglets are really keeping the parents busy on the Pittsburg Hayes Nest.

The nest is full with the trio at the Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Nest. 21 April 2021

And news from Wales is that Seren and Dylan on the Clywedog Osprey Nest have their third egg. Seren laid it at 8:45 pm.

Seren just finishing a snack. 22 April 2021
Middle of the Night on the Clywedog Nest. 22 April 2021
Dawn is rising. Dylan is with Seren on the nest. 22 April 2021

Tiny Tot update: There were three fish today. The first arrived at the Achieva Osprey nest at 8:27. Tiny Tot did not get any of that fish. The second fish came in at 1:07:24. Tiny Tot got to eat a little of that fish – for about six minutes. Diane offered it the tail. Diane left the nest and might have caught a big fish. She brought it to the nest around 8:50. Because of the light it is really hard to tell who got what. At 8:52:20 Tiny Tot was up by Diane and the fish and sibling 1 and might have gotten a little fish. Mostly it was 2 eating as far as I could tell. There simply is not enough fish coming on this nest and for Tiny Tot to really benefit, the fish need to come in closer together. Get 2 full and then Tiny Tot has a chance to eat. All in all it was not a great day for Tiny Tot getting food. But, Tiny Tot did well yesterday. Poor thing. Today he attacked 2 twice bonking him. Of course 2 took it out on Tiny – really going after Tiny’s neck. And I don’t buy the term ‘survival’ that is tossed about. 2 is monopolizing the food when the benefit for the nest at this stage -where the older sibs should be hovering and thinking about fledging – is for all to survive and fledge. Today 1 and 2 are fifty days old. The USFWS says that Ospreys in the US normally take their first flight at around sixty days. That is ten days away. But it doesn’t mean that Tiny Tot is alone on the nest to eat all the fish. Oh, no, the older sibs will return to the nest to be fed by the parents, too!

And just a correction to the location of this Osprey Nest. It is not in Dunedin but it is in St Petersburg, my original location. Here it is on Google Maps. There are some fresh water areas and Tampa Bay for fishing. It is the Credit Union location, red $ sign, nearest the top.

Thank you for joining me today. Happy Earth Day to all of you! Stay safe and wish for an abundance of fish on the Achieva Osprey Nest – it is all we can do.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Clywedog Nature Reserve, Achieva Credit Union, MN DNR Bald Eagle Nest, Pittsburgh Hayes Bald Eagle Nest, Decorah North and Explore.Org, UC Falcons, Raptor Resource Project, NWFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, and Friends of Big Bear.