8 June 2023
Good Morning Everyone,
Oh, it has been relatively quiet in the garden. In fact, eerily quiet. There has been no sign of the feral cats that visit this end of the neighbourhood, the birds have seemingly disappeared, and only Dyson and Co. have been coming for peanuts, along with a few Sparrows and Wrens. Is it the heat? I wonder. Lewis and Missey ‘decided’ that they would no longer allow me to trim their nails without putting up a big fuss. Well, guess what? Both carriers out; they went in out of curiosity and zipped up and off to the nail trimmer! They were both in such shock. Lewis howled as if I was pulling those toenails out, and Missey was a darling then, on the way home, they were both angels. No more nails for scratching one another – well, til they grow out.
We will start with some sad news that Alo, 45D, from the Bald Canyon Eagle nest has died. This eaglet swallowed a fish hook and line and underwent surgery under the care of the IWS. Completely unnecessary.
I thought that would be the only death but, no…sadly I woke up to news from ‘H’ and ‘SP’ that Rosie and Richmond have lost their only osplet this season to unknown causes. Our hearts go out to this devoted couple.
And then there are balloons…seriously. This one has a happy ending, thankfully.
As all of you are aware, Osprey nests can be a feast or famine. One day there will be six or seven fish deliveries and the next day, it might be only one. Weather and intruders contribute to these fluctuations. We remain grateful to the wildlife rehabbers that rescue and give the little ones a second chance (sometimes third and fourth).
One nest that is flourishing with four Osplets on it is PSEG’s Patchogue platform on Long Island. It is remarkable because of the difference in size between the first two hatches and the fourth, little Mini. Somehow I doubt if anyone seeing this nest for the first time believed there was any hope for little Mini and yet, here we are on the 7th of June and little Mini is growing and growing. What is the secret?
As we have seen, osplets get brooded and ‘normally’ have their last fish delivery about an hour before the sun sets. Yes, there are exceptions – the midnight feedings at Moorings Park in Naples, Florida, taught us that this year. But imagine, four osplets full or partially full at bedtime waiting for another 8 or 9 hours before another meal. They are hungry!
On the Patchogue platform on the morning of 7 June 2023, the male delivered four fish before 0850. Those deliveries were at 0545, 0642, 0711, and again at 0850. I do not know how much fish little Mini got at 0545 feeding but at the 0642 feeding, Mini was right up there and there was fish left for Mum. At 0711, Mini is eating alone, a private feeding from Mum. By 0725, Mini has a huge crop and Mum moves the fish over to the other side of the nest to feed the others if they want to eat. Mini is first up at the table at 0850 and is still eating at 0934. Then the others eat some.
0725 and little Mini has a big crop.
Private feeding. Fish 4. Mum has fed chicks for more than three hours with all these deliveries.
At 1004 others eat.
1043. Little Mini is preening.
1114: Little Mini and the bulging crop.
1204. Little Mini in food coma. What a lovely sight.
There has never been an attempt not to feed little Mini despite its small size in relation to the others. Everyone gets fed and Mum makes an extraordinary effort to check and see and moves the fish around the nest to assist in feeding all.
‘M’ sent me two really cute screen shots of Little Mini standing up to one of the big Bobs. My goodness, this fourth hatch has got nerve!
1549. Mini is right up there eating!
1856 and Little Mini is up there with a huge crop! Oh, the haze from the fires burning in Canada. Dreadful for all.
There is another fish at 1936. Little Mini gets itself right up under Mum’s beak and intercepts a piece of fish meant for Big. Now Little Mini already has a big crop – Big took exception and beaked Mini who went into submission. Mini did not need to eat and did not need to create the aggravation. All big ones and Mum enjoyed that nice big trout. Nite Mini!
One thing that is happening is that little Mini is in a period of rapid growth that requires much more food while the older chicks are beginning to taper off. They eat more but less often. This might help little Mini. What does appear to be working is that fish are getting on the nest in plenty early in the morning – perhaps the fishing is easier? – and this appears to have a calming effect on the older siblings causing them to be food secure and less aggressive (not that they have ever been very very aggressive on this nest with all the fish Dad brings in and the equitable feeds by Mum).
A nest that has a problem with differentiation in feeding is Achieva (and Severna). As of Wednesday afternoon Middle has been rescued by Birds in Helping Hands. He was underweight and well…I can only imagine how good that fish is going to taste to him.
Big eating the fish on the nest..Big was very aggressive – the nest lost one chick to siblicide/starvation and Middle was on the verge. So thankful to those people who helped — you know who you are.
Want to thank Birds with Helping Hands? Send them a donation. That is how they manage to stay afloat.
Middle in the carrier on the way to rehab and a second chance at life. What a shame it would have been for this beautiful bird to starve to death. It was noted that Middle was not critically endangered of starving to death as so many are and he should be back and fit – having enjoyed meals without having to fight big.
Shelley Vickery contacted me Wednesday evening. Penny, the rehabber, says that Middle “should be just fine”. Isn’t that fantastic news?!
Please consider a donation – every dollar helps, no matter how small. We must support those that get out there and answer our calls for help.
Go to: birdsinhelpinghands.org
‘H’ sends me word from a view nests that we have been monitoring. At Severna, Big got all of the early fish. Then “The next fish was brought at 1330, and feeding commenced 1333. Middle was on the other side of Olivia, and Olivia maintained her position for once. It was a 16 minute feeding and Olivia distributed bites evenly.” Thank heavens! Middle had another good meal at 1438. Oh, keep it up Mum!
At the Patuxent II nest, H reports, “This is the nest of three osplets where there had been some aggression, although no bird has been kept from eating at the feeds I have observed. Feeding from 1316 to 1434. I observed no aggression at all. All were very well fed. #2 had to wait his turn simply because of the strange configuration of that nest bowl. Mom just couldn’t reach #2. But at 1341, #2 started to get fed as others dropped out.”
‘H’ sent a good report on some of the changes at Forsythe Osprey nest and the new aggression towards the small osplet during meals – something that has not happened previously. “Fish 0912, feeding 0913 to 0927. Mini in front row beside Little. All got bites, no one touched Mini. Mini ended up in a food coma. 1011 fish, feeding from 1013-1052. Prior to the start of the feeding, Little beaked Mini and Middle, Mini tucked, Middle beaked back. Little beaked Big, and Big beaked back. At the start of the feeding Little beaked Middle again, Mini was still in submission. Mini had a hard time getting up to the food line through the wall of the three older siblings, went around the other side away from Little and waited. By 103842 Mini got its first bite, Big and Little dropped out, soon followed by Middle. So Mini had a private feeding until 1047 when the others started to come back. By 1048 Mini was in a food coma. 1222 fish, feeding from 1223 to 1232. When the fish arrived, before the feeding started, Little beaked at Mini pretty roughly. After the feeding started, Mini stayed back, nevertheless, Little turned around and beaked Mini on 4 different occasions. Mini never made it to the food line. After that feeding was over, Little beaked Mini at 1350, 1355, 1358 and 1403. I don’t know why Mini stayed close to Little and didn’t seek a safe spot beside Big or Middle.”
The feedings really depend on Mini being able to stay away from Little who appears to be a very aggressive third-hatch female. ‘H’ notes that Mini got ’52’ bites on the Thursday morning feed because it was buffered by Big and Middle away form Little.
The latest report from ‘H’ on the Forsythe platform is really interesting. “All lined up [3,2,4,1], so I thought, good, Mini stay away from Little. But due to the sheer size of Middle and Big reaching for bites with Mini in between, Mini got squeezed out to the back row (nothing intentional). When Little saw Mini, Little went on a mission to punish Mini. Little went to the back row, and beaked Mini intermittently from 1449 to 1454. Finally Big saw what was going on and reached back and beaked Little, so Little moved away! Finally at 1500 Mini was up between Big and Middle again and was able to eat. At 1503, Little tried to get back into the feeding and Big beaked Little, keeping it away, seeming to protect Mini, I kid you not. So, Mini got fed, and probably ended up with more bites than Little. If Little had just stayed in the original feeding line and not focused on beaking Mini, she would have been better off.”
Laddie LM12 delivered a whopper of a fish to the Loch of the Lowes Nest – late. Finally Middle gets to eat. Both osplets had full crops at the end of the feeding and even Blue NC0 got some fish.
Only osplet at Cowlitz PUD is still looking good. I sure hope some big fish come to this nest…that water area needs to be stocked!
Needed to check in on Victor and Abby. I think this is Victor screaming for a fish and then chowing down on one…talk about fantastic parents!
Oyster Bay osplets look like they are doing OK.
The trio at Outerbanks also look healthy with clear shiny eyes. I have not been able to ascertain about the equity in feeding but right now, each looks healthy.
Two babies at Seaside are looking good, too.
How much food the third hatch is getting at Barnegat Light is unclear. The two big ones did not allow it near to a nice big fish at the late feeding and I have not watched this nest closely but it did eat well at an earlier one.
Oh, just look at that Bob stand up for its fish at the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn!
At Glaslyn, Elen is feeding the chicks and Aran is on the branch with another fish!
Two years ago, CJ7 of Poole Harbour only dreamed of having a mate and osplets. Then a very young Blue 022 stopped by the nest. It was too late in the season and everyone hoped he would return. This is their second year for raising chicks and they have three adorable little osplets.
Tucked in tight for the night.
Big Red and Arthur are starting to get the Ms to be interested in self-feeding. M1 took on a chippie today and did well. The others will not go hungry during this period. Big Red will continue to feed them. Very different than an osprey nest!
San Jose City Halls little falcon sure is loud. Had a nice meal in the morning and – well, I don’t blame it – I didn’t see later prey. Screaming for food at noon! Hopefully a later meal.
Still screaming at 1525.
Locations of Waba and Bonus on 6 June.
Dmitri’s Storklet is growing and doing well…gosh, there is good news out there in Bird World.
Pi, one of the trio at the Dulles-Greenway Bald Eagle nest, was doing so well, she was released back into the wetlands to be fed and trained by her parents, Martin and Rosa. The metal you see around the tree is a raccoon protector.
Angel and Tom’s surviving hawklet now has a name – Deyani (Great and strong). Beautiful. ‘A’ writes: “Great name for RTH5. It was lovely to see Tom feeding Deyani yesterday – as I mentioned, it was more a matter of Tom pulling bits off that squirrel and Deyani grabbing them. Tom looked a little shocked the first time the hawklet grabbed dad’s bite from him, but then Tom continued with his work on the squirrel and eventually actually deliberately gave the hawklet some bites. I felt like a proud auntie.”
Fires are raging. No Arctic ice. Temperatures are rising and the situation at nests such at Achieva who are suffering from a severe drought are set to see this pattern continue. Nests burned, raptors dead…
One of my favourites, Bill McKibben on the haze…Thanks ‘B’!
Thank you to everyone who has sent e-mails worried about me and the wildfires. That was so sweet and so very kind. We have haze but it is not nearly as bad as other parts of Canada and the US. So far the recent rains have helped.
Thank you for being with me today. Please take care of yourself. Send your good wishes to our nests. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to create my blog today: ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘H’, ‘L’, ‘SP’, IWS, SF Bay Ospreys, Holly Parsons and The New Zealand Herald, PSEG, Achieva Credit Union, Birds in Helping Hands, Severna Ospreys, Forsythe Ospreys, LOTL, Cowlitz PUD, Moorings Park, Outerbans 24/7, Seaside Ospreys, Conservancy Conservation of NJ, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Cornell RTH, SJCH Falcons, Bird Map, Dmitri’s Storklet Cam, Dulles-Greenway Eagles, Gracie Shepherd and Raptors of the World, The Guardian, and The New York Times.
Featured Image: Chicks being fed by Daisy at Barnegat Light.