Dr Tim Mackrill, the Osprey specialist that worked with Glaslyn on how to set up the fish table for Aran and Mrs G this past late spring and early summer when Aran injured his wing, gave a wonderful Webinar on Osprey migration. He has taped the entire talk and you can watch it on YouTube. It is free – and worth every minute. You can, of course, start and stop the presentation as needed. Here is that link to everything you wanted to learn about Osprey migration and more!
The wait continues for the female adult at Port Lincoln’s first hatch. Any time! It’s 12 August in Australia and that was the day I guessed on the FB page. Come on hatch!!!!!!
The nest at Port Lincoln is known for its siblicide. There will be no intervention of any kind – other than putting on the Darvic rings and maybe another satellite tracker this year (if they choose to do this). If you take the number of days different from the day egg 1 was laid and egg 3 and then add the number of days between when they hatched, you will get a real number that tells you the difference in age between 1 and 3 – sometimes ten days. Some of these little ones survive. Tiny Little Bob at the Foulshaw Moss had extraordinary parents. Tiny Tot at the Achieva Nest was simply an extraordinary bird. Many aren’t. So please keep this in mind. Here is the link to the streaming cam.
There is news coming out of Loch Arkaig. Louis might still be at the lake along with one of the juveniles. Louis is very devoted to his chicks and he will wait til one of them leaves – for certain – before he does. Stay tuned. People will be checking this to make sure.
There has been no confirmation about Iris, the grand dame of all Ospreys, having left for her migration. The last certain sighting was by Sharon Leigh Miles on 6 September.
Put a bookmark on the Osprey migration video if you can’t watch it soon. On one of those rainy days when you are wanting something to watch, it is a great resource.
Thank you for joining me this morning. Take care everyone. Stay safe.
The featured image is Iris. Iris is believed to be the oldest Osprey in the world. She summers in Montana but no one knows where she stays for the winter.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project and Montana Osprey Project and the Cornell Bird Lab.
I love Ospreys – bet you can tell! Still, the anxiety rises when there are three eggs on a nest that, historically, simply cannot support that many mouths to feed. Right now the Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in Australia is incubating three eggs. In 2020, a drop in fish deliveries around day 16 of the youngest life meant that food insecurities hit the two older and much bigger siblings. Tapps was a victim of siblicide. Will 2021 be different?
So far the two adults are working like a super machine. Today Dad came in with a fish delivery for mom. She left and he incubated the eggs for a half hour. Have a look at that smooth exchange:
The 2019 female fledgling of the PLO nest has been seen and photographed at Tulka yesterday. Solly, the 2020 fledgling with the satellite tracker still seems to prefer Eba Anchorage but she has spent some crazy time at Streaky Bay again. Solly is 339 days old on 26 August Australian time.
If it has been awhile since you watched an Osprey catch a fish, have a look at this slow-motion video shot in the Scottish Highlands. Incredible. When you are watching this remember that Ospreys and Owls are the only birds whose outer toe is reversible to help them hold on to their prey. It allows them to grasp with two toes in the front. Great design.
The Ospreys that live in Australia along the coasts and the rivers are Eastern Ospreys, Pandion cristatus. Eastern Ospreys do not migrate. Their status ranges from secure to vulnerable and rare in various states of Australia.
Ospreys have a system of communication between one another that individuals, such as yourself, will recognize if you have been watching Osprey nests. There are 11 physical and visual displays that show they are resting, alarming, soliciting for food, in a defensive posture, nest protecting, under attack, or sky dancing to impress their mate. In addition to the body language Ospreys use they also have 8 sounds that they make alongside the physical signs. Those include alarming, food solicitation ranging from a very low sound to an extremely high pitched sound, a sound for guarding, being excited, screaming, and the sound during copulation. These findings were published in 1993 by Vincent Bretagnoll and Jean-Claude Thibault. The article is “Communicative Behavior in Breeding Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus): Description and Relationship of Signals to Life History.” It was published in The Auk, Volume 110, Issue 4, 1 October 1993, Pages 736–751.
The British Library and the Cornell Bird Lab have an extensive library of bird sounds that you can access. Also, just watch the birds intently on their nests in different situations. You will soon be able to recognize their different visual postures. For those working in situations that deal with Ospreys, it is essential that they learn the communication and behavioural signals of these birds. These skills would definitely have helped those reviewing Malin’s flight off the nest and, in the future, could save a bird’s life.
Blue 33 (11) has delivered Maya a nice fish for breakfast. So Maya is still here. It doesn’t mean she won’t eat and fly! We just need to wait and see.
Either White YW left Tiny Little an early fish or the silvery white object is a leftover piece of fish from last night’s late feed. Is Tiny home to eat it? and will she be in Cumbria all day?
Ooops. Looks like Tiny Little is too late!!!!!!!! Mr Crow has found a nice breakfast. Does this mean Tiny Little has started her first migration?
UPDATE: Tiny Little is still here. I didn’t get the photograph but someone else did. Yippee. Will try and chase her down today.
It is another misty morning. Aran is on his perch almost in the exact same position as he was yesterday morning.
And here is Aran with Mrs G. She remains in the UK still.
At the Dyfi nest, Telyn was last seen on 21 August at 12pm while Ystwyth was last seen on 24 August at 09:26. Dysynni and Idris were both at the nest on 25 August. Idris brought Dysynni a whopper.
Yesterday, Laddie, LM12, delivered a fish to LR2 on the nest. LR2 was 97 days old.
After a pesky crow flew around the nest, LM2 decided it was safer to take that whopper over to his favourite Birch tree to eat it. Wow, Laddie, great fish!
LR1 left for her migration on 15 August. This was only the second time in the history of this nest that a fledgling has left before the female.
Oh, it is lovely to see some of them still home. Thank you, Tiny Little! News in other news is there are now three eggs for the Collins Street Falcons! That last egg arrived at 23:53 last night. Congratulations. And last, if you follow the Loch of the Lowes Nest a wonderful surprise. A 2015 fledgling, FR2, flew over Guardbridge in Fife yesterday. They got a photo. Fantastic. A survivor! There is sad news today. The Black Stork fledglings received their names yesterday. 7181 (no 1) was named Julge meaning Brave. 7181 (no 2) was named Malbe meaning Sedate. 7183 (no 3) was named Tasane meaning Peaceful. You might have recalled some animal sounds being heard at the base of the nest tree. It is now confirmed, so sadly, that Malbe has been killed by an animal. Urmas has taken the body of Malbe to be examined. Word has also come that Tuul, Karl’s fledgling, has also perished. The Black Storks are so rare – it is so sad to hear of these deaths. Our hearts go out to all who loved these beautiful families and to those who so diligently worked to make sure Jan’s nestlings were fed and healthy to fledge. There has been some problems with the tracking and posting of Karl II and his fledglings locations. I will bring this to you as I locate it. Did you follow Milda? You will know that this brave White Tailed Eagle from Durbe lost her mate and sat on her eggs for eight days without food and then a potential mate came. But last year turned to be a sad year for Milda. She is now working on the nest with her new mate, Mr K. So happy for her. There is word that WBSE 28 did, finally, get some food. Send your warm and positive wishes off to all of the birds.
Correction to earlier news letter. Karl II has only had a transmitter for two years. I said ‘many’. Thank you!
Have a wonderful day everyone. Take care. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and The Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, The Scottish Woodland Trust and the Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, LWRT and the Manton Bay Osprey Nest, the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and FB Page.
There is an excellent and rather cheeky article on the penthouse of our Collins Street Peregrine Falcons in Meanjin Quarterly coming out of Australia. The author is Ester Anatolitis. It is outrageously funny and clever. Check it out!
For anyone who missed the news, the female at Collins Street laid that second egg today at 16:43. Yahoo!
I am posting a video that was shared on one of my Osprey FB groups today. There is a bit of foul language but it is the subject and the ‘heart’ of what is going on that is important and that is why I want you to find it and watch it. It also happened in Canada! Near Ottawa. A juvenile Osprey takes its first flight. Where does it land up? On the ground, of course! It is found by this couple who help it. If you have read my posts about Malin, this is what should have happened Thursday night. The wildlife rehabber should have been allowed access to the gate and stairs to get to the top of the tower with her binoculars. She could have found Malin and helped him – just like this couple did this Osprey!
I was actually trying not to mention Malin for once but, this video caught my eye because it is the ‘right thing to do’. The man found the Osprey in the grass after its first flight. He helped the little one out of the grass. And flapped his arms and helped it until it could fly back to its nest. Bravo.
I am really keen on tracking and banding. Originally satellite trackers were used to study the foraging ranges of sea birds. In fact, that is precisely what is going on with the Royal Cam adults in New Zealand currently. More recently, however, trackers are used to study the migratory strategies and to identify the wintering grounds of several species. Others use them to study how weather conditions influence migration. This information and much more data like it will become paramount as we try to establish if the climate crisis has an impact on breeding and wintering grounds.
This is Karl II. Karl has been fitted with a satellite transmitter for a number of years. This is his last appearance of the nest that she shares with Grafiene in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The couple raised three healthy fledglings this year. Karl II was last seen on 22 August at 15:50. Satellite tracking indicated that Karl II was on his usual routing towards the Black Sea.
Karl II is an expert at migration. He travels from his breeding area in the Karula National Park in Estonia to spend the night in the Sebezhsky National Part in northwest Russia.
The latest transmission on the 24th shows Karl II travelled 278 km and is now near the Berezina River east of Minsk in Belarus.
The satellite tracking further showed that Karl II looked for food in the wet areas around the river and went to sleep in a forest on the bank of the river. It is an area known as the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve.
The following information was posted about the place where Karl II is located.
“It is situated on the flat watershed of the Baltic and Black Seas, in low valley in the basin of the Berezina River. Landscape is a mosaic of coniferous and deciduous forests, lakes, peatlands (60 %), rivers, floodplain and small arable fields. Climate is temperate continental, humid, precipitation total: 690 mm/year. Average annual air temperature is 5.2 °C. The Berezina is the main river in the reserve, flowing through its territory for over 110 km. There are 7 small lakes with the total area being about 2000 hectares in the reserve. The flora comprises more then 2000 species with 804 species of vascular plants (42 rare for Belarus).”
The female, Pikne, was the last fledgling to leave the nest for her migration. She loved being fed by dad. She is also the fledgling that has made the most straightforward routing. She flew from Latvia to Belarus and then on to the Ukraine. The map below shows the leg from Belarus to the Ukraine. She will do doubt be further still when her transmitter data is next recorded. In one day she flew 379 km.
Udu was confused in his travels. Everything seems corrected now. It is like driving a different way than Google Maps tells you and Google adjusts for the error. At the time of the latest satellite transmission, Udu had traveled 604 km in total. What the researchers are noticing is that while, Pikne is going the normal Asia Minor or Eastern route, Udu is heading towards Germany and the Western route. He was last in Poland heading southwest to Germany. This is very interesting.
There are issues, as I stated in an earlier posting, with the transmissions from the other male, Tuul. The transmission data showed little movement. I am awaiting news. It is possible that the transmitter is faulty.
The last combined image of the routes of the three for comparison.
At the same time I would like to show you what other information that the researchers and citizen birders can access. On the left hand side you can find the precise location of the bird, the speed they are travelling, and their altitude – just as if you were tracking a plane on FlightRadar. This particular information is for Pikne.
Things are not going well on the WBSE nest of Lady and Dad in the Sydney Olympic Park. Everyone was hopeful that the two sea eaglets, similar size, would get along and thrive. There was some bonking in the beginning but not a lot. That, however, has changed significantly because of the lack of prey delivered to the nest. WBSE 27 totally dominates the now much smaller 28. 27 is 27 days old and 28 is 25 days old. The rains started the issues related to prey delivery.
In the image below 27 has completely controlled the feeding and has a large crop. 28 was too frightened to try and eat.
Even when the parent is gone Little 28 is afraid to move. Like every little abused second or third hatch, 28 knows to keep its eyes open, to listen, and to keep its head down.
Little 27 waits til 28’s food starts making it sleepy and the little one moves up to the piece of prey left on the nest. 27 doesn’t care now. This is the perfect time for the parent to return to the nest and feed this baby who is so hungry.
The survival stories of our Ospreys Tiny Tot and Tiny Little are being played out on this nest in the life of 28. The Little one is starving. It needs food. It will be the first to self-feed. It is unclear if 28 got any of the food but it knows what to do. Let us hope that it is as clever as our two great survivors this year!
27 has fallen asleep. It is unclear if 28 was able to get any food. I somehow doubt it.
Lady returns. Wakes up the ‘beast’ and 27 begins hammering 28. This is turning into a horrible situation. Please send your positive energy that lots of food will come to this nest so that both are fed full! This little one needs to eat to survive.
This image was shot later in the day, hours after the morning attacks by WBSE 27.
I was told that a big fish had come on to the nest and both were fed well but I cannot find that in the footage of the streaming cam. What I do see is continued dominance and abuse by 27 over 28. No one will intervene.
I want to close with something nice because it is out there and we have to remind ourselves continually that there is ‘light’. At the same time, positive energy needs to go out to little 28 so that he can survive and thrive like Tiny Tot and Tiny Little.
One of the chicks destined to die of starvation on a nest was Tiny Little Bob, Blue 463, at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest in Cumbria. But, she didn’t. She lived to become the dominant one on the nest (as did Tiny Tot at Achieva). My last post had Blue 463 screaming her head off for a fish. Well, guess what? It worked! Dad, White YW, brought her in a really nice headless fish. Tiny Little went to bed with her crop full.
So when you think that the worst is happening with WBSE 28 just remember that the ones who survive do it by being clever, by watching and listening, learning how to overcome and get what they want ——— just like that big fish about to arrive on the Foulshaw Moss nest for her queen, Tiny Little!
Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me. I hope you do not mind my including some repetition on the satellite tracking of the Estonian Black Storks. I wanted you to know where Karl II had been and is. Some do not read the newsletter every day and it is good to remember that banding and tracking are valuable tools in studying our beloved birds. I hope to have updated information on the Udu and Pikne’s locations tomorrow. Perhaps there will also be word on Tuul.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Eagle Club of Estonia, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre, The Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam.
We were so concerned about the big storm that went through Wisconsin and the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest that nothing else mattered in the wee hours of the night the other day. In our mind’s eye, we could see that wee chick flying off that 120 ft retired fire watchtower.
Well, over in New Jersey, the mother on the Barnegat Light Osprey Nest did get blow off! The Conserve Wildlife Foundation wrote:
“On the evening of July 29, 2021 a line of severe storms moved across New Jersey. Many of these storms held the potential to produce damaging winds, hail and possible tornados. One such storm went straight for Barnegat Light, where our osprey cam is located. Watch as the wind shifts from east to west and the adult female was blown from the nest. Luckily she and her nestlings all survived unharmed, but there are many osprey who were right in the path of what looked to be a tornado, which hit High Bar Bar — just to the north of the osprey cam nest. Hopefully that the damage is not too severe to both people and ospreys.”
Here is that video of Daisy, the mother on the perch, and her two chicks on the nest.
The male, Duke, went missing in the storm. He showed up around 4pm today delivering a fish on that nest. Yippee.
Daisy and the chicks are sleeping well tonight. The family is back together again!
Fledge is over but the chicks are still actively coming to the nest for fish drops. Here is the link to that camera.
I will add a note. There were originally three chicks on this nest. The vast age and size difference meant that the third hatch became a victim of siblicide.
The Montana Osprey Project is having a fundraiser and it is really neat. Dr Ericke Green collects the twigs that fall off Iris’s nest at Hellgate, Montana. I know that almost everyone knows who ‘Iris’ is but, in case you do not, she is the oldest Osprey in the world. She has her nest in Missoula, Montana. She has spent the days since arrival and until recently adding twigs. Well, some of the twigs she adds fall off. Those that Dr Green picks up are sent to Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles in South Carolina who turn those twigs that Iris touched into pens. They cost $45 and that includes postage. I understand they sell out quickly if you are interested please go to the Montana Osprey Project FB Page. Scroll through their threads and you will find the information.
I was so excited to find this fundraiser. Can’t wait til my pen arrives!
WBSE 28 is working steady to get out of that shell! This was the progress around 10 am Saturday nest time. This sweet babe should be joining its ‘snowman’ looking sibling 27 late Saturday in the Sydney Olympic Ironbark Nest.
My first introduction to the White-Bellied Sea Eagle was last year. I am a ‘hawk and falcon’ person – smaller raptors – more than the eagles. I came across the WBSE streaming cam purely by accident. I have learned a lot about eagle behaviour over the past year.
This cute little bundle of fur is destined to be one of the largest eagles in the world. Look at its cute little wings. One of the worst things about eagle nests is the sibling rivalry – although I can say that this also happens on Osprey nests and to a much lesser extend the smaller raptors. Last year the sibling rivalry only lasted a few days. It seemed that WBSE 25 sensed that ’26’ was injured and I have said many times helped the little sibling. That said, one of the old timers told me that the second egg is the ‘insurance’ egg – there only if the first chick does not survive. When I heard that I shook my head. There can be siblicide on this nest. It is the only White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest with a live stream that I am aware of.
I am including the link to the camera. If you are concerned about what appears to siblicide happening on this nest, this year, I urge you to stop watching especially if you have younger children. I will provide simple updates on the nest without graphic content. Hopefully there will be plenty of fish brought in at all the right times so that nothing triggers food insecurity behaviour. That said, siblicide has occurred on nests where food is plentiful.
Here is the link to Cam 4 for the Sydney Sea Eagles:
Ferris made it to the Cornell Campus tonight. He was able to spot Arthur fairly quickly but the Ks and Big Red were in hiding. He will probably return to the campus tomorrow on his regular Saturday tour. I know he will be stopping to see about the Roseate Spoonbill. Like all of us, it is a joy to see a bird outside of its territory but it is also a worry and as Ferris said, he would like this bird to get back to where it belongs.
Here is Arthur on the ‘throne’:
The chick on the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest in Wisconsin was left alone as dark was coming. It had been fed reasonably well today with fish caught by Mom and brought in and at least one delivery by Dad.
I went back and checked again and Mom was on the nest with the babe. Whew!
The last check in for today is at the Loch of the Lowes where NC0, the female, landed a whopper and brought it to the nest. That fish was so large it would feed both fledglings and mom. There might have been some leftover for Laddie! NC0 is really turning into a super mom. She doesn’t sit around and wait for Laddie. Once the chicks were old enough, she joined in the fishing for the family!
It’s late Friday evening on the Canadian Prairies. My blog on Saturday will be in the late afternoon or early evening. I want to do a lot of nest checks.
Thank you so much for joining me. It is nice to hear from you – always – and it is so wonderful to know that there are so many people who care for our birds. Take care. Stay safe.
Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, Barnegat Osprey Light Cam and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, Collins Marsh Nature Centre Osprey Cam, the Ferris Akel Live Stream and the Sea Eagle, Birdlife Australia, and Discovery Centre Sydney for the WBSE captures.
Have you ever started looking for something and found something else, equally as interesting? As it happens, yesterday I was looking for a short film about a Japanese man living in Hokkaido with his falcon. What was found was a new film released on 1 June 2021.
The documentary is the story of the only African American falconer, Rodney Stotts. Stotts says falconering for him is all about second chances – for people and for the birds. Have a look at the trailer for The Falconer:
Yesterday there seemed to be no news in Bird World and then there was. Do you follow the Welsh Osprey Nests? If you do, you will recognize the name Aran immediately because he is currently Mrs G’s mate. Aran injured his wing (primary flight feathers) at the end of May or beginning of June. He had been battling crows around the nest and then the storm came. No one knows how he got his injury. No one saw. But he was unable to provide fish for the nest while Mrs G was hatching the chicks. The volunteers and people of Glaslyn set up a fish table for Aran and Mrs G. They lost their chicks and both have been rebuilding their strength.
Yesterday, Aran was in a ferocious battle with a blue ringed bird a distance enough from the nest that it caught the attention of Elfyn Lewis of the Glaslyn FB group who posted the following image that made the rounds of several groups so I am reposting it here. Aran is the bird on the bottom. The white is the injury he sustained earlier. Are there birds attempting to usurp Aran from the Glaslyn nest? Always it would seem.
Other news comes out of Hawaii. The State of Hawaii bans the release of ‘Albatross Killing helium balloons’. It seems they are not banning the balloons but the intentional release of them. Here is that announcement through the AP:
What child does not love a balloon? and how many young women did I see lined up at a shop with balloons in hand for a party the other day? The question is how to dispose of them properly — and it isn’t sending them off in the air with wishes attached! Release the air, put them safely in a scrapbook, etc. Or eliminate balloons from festivities altogether. It is not only the helium balloons that injure the birds, it is also the normal ones that blow away in the wind. It is a good way to educate your children about the many challenges the birds face and that balloons and strings can kill them.
Speaking of Albatross, the Royal Cam chick, Taiki, is now 165 days old (nest time). On 5 July she weighed 8.3 kg or 18.3 lbs. She will be stabilizing her weight so that she can fledge in mid-September. Her dad, Lime-Green-Black (LGK) has now travelled over 42,000 km or 26,000 miles in total since he received his satellite tracker in February to feed his precious chick. (The mother is alive but her tracker stopped working).
It is still two months until Taiki fledges in mid-September. She is just getting her beautiful black wings, she is building play nests, and the parents are flying in to feed her. It is all very interesting and it is such a calm nest to watch. The Rangers weigh all of the chicks on Tuesday morning and that is fascinating to watch also. Humiliating for such a beautiful girl to be stuffed in a laundry basket but – it is necessary. Supplementary feedings are given should any of the chicks require it. NZ really takes good care of their birds! As North American streaming cams wind down for the breeding season, why not have a look at some of the amazing birds in the Southern hemisphere?
Here is the link to the Royal Cam chick on Taiaroa Head New Zealand:
Lady and Dad will be on hatch watch in about two weeks time. This is the only White Bellied Sea Eagle Cam in the world. These beautiful birds are the second largest group of eagles in Australia. The nest is in an old Ironbark Tree in Sydney’s Olympic Park. It is not always an easy nest to watch because their can be sibling rivalry but the sea eagle chicks are so cute and the juvenile plumage is simply gorgeous.
If you are a lover of Ospreys, there is still plenty of action in the UK nests where the nestlings have fledged or are getting ready to fledge. They will be around for another five weeks or so until they leave for their migration to Africa.
In Australia, the Osprey couple on the barge in Port Lincoln have just finished lining their nest with soft materials and the streaming cam is now live. These are the parents of Solly and DEW. Solly is the female Osprey with the satellite tracker. This is also not an easy nest to watch because of siblicide.
There are two falcon cams in Australia. One is on year round and the other, the CBD Peregrine Falcons in Melbourne, will start once the falcons are back in the scrape box. Here is the link to Xavier and Diamond’s scrape box on top of the water tower on the campus of Charles Stuart University. No one knows what will happen this year. The couples’ 9 month old son, Izzi, still continues to come to the scrape box and might even believe it is his own home. In the UK, chicks from an earlier hatch have helped the parents raise their new brood. In Australia, we watch and wait!
In Eastern Europe, there has been some concern over the amount of prey being brought in to the little Golden Eaglet in Buconovia, Romania. Lady Hawk was able to capture the delivery of a hare by the father and a really good feeding yesterday. That is excellent news! When the camera was first installed he was afraid of it and he is becoming more comfortable day by day.
That’s it for Friday. The Achieva Osprey Nest has not return visit from Tiny Tot and Electra is at the nest less and less. The Canadian chicks in Alberta seem to be doing fine as is Kindness up in the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Nest. Fingers crossed for continuing good health to all the birds.
Thank you for joining me today in Bird World. Have a wonderful Friday. Take care, stay safe.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC Albatross Cam.
It has been one of those days. Two things happened that were expected. One was a good expectation that almost turned into a tragedy – and sadly, the other one was the siblicide of one of the chicks on the Cowlitz Osprey Nest in Longview, Washington.
K3 fledged from the Fernow Light Tower at 13:42. K3 is 49 days old and is a tiny little hawklet standing at just a little less than 30 cm (12 inches) tall. The flight was dramatic. K1 had been visiting the nest. Indeed, the K1 had spent the night on the nest with her little brother, K3. They were sooooo cute.
K1 is a great big hawklet – a big female and a cute tiny little male. K1 flew over to the Oak Tree where she had fledged yesterday at 13:38. I don’t think K3 wanted to be left out of the action that his big sis had described. If you missed it, here is that fledge:
K3 flew around the Oak tree where K1 was, did a turn, and tried to grab onto Bradfield and missed. But he was not injured and has spent the afternoon exploring the ledges and being dive bombed by Robins.
Here is an image of K3 after fledging taken from the nest cam:
K3 has even had a rest. Meanwhile K1 flew back to the nest where a chippie was dropped off for a tea time snack.
After all the stress I thought that I should just follow it up with a check on Tiny Little Bob on the Foulshaw Moss Nest. There are three chicks on that nest and Great Big Bob is a bully. It was not certain that Tiny Little Bob would survive but it seems like he will. Fingers continue to be crossed. The older and bigger that Tiny Little gets the more chance he has.
When I turned on the nest cam the chicks were looking around and you just knew something was happening. They were looking around everywhere. Mom landed on the nest followed by White YW, Dad, with a Flounder!
Here is that video clip of the arrival of that fish:
Tiny Little was not comfortable eating first as you can see and then Tiny Little Bob realized that Great Big Bob wasn’t pushing for food so Tiny Little went for it. He ate for about 4 or 5 minutes without stopping. You could tell he kept wanting Blue 35 to hurry up before Great Big got hungry!
Seeing Tiny Little eat made me feel really good but, of course, I am still uneasy about the size difference between Great Big and Tiny Little. I needed one of those feel good moments and that sent me checking on Richmond and Rosie. Richmond and Rosie are the equivalent of going over to check on the Royal Cam chick in New Zealand. You just know before you look that everything will be alright.
Richmond and Rosie had three boys this year. Gosh, there are a lot of male ospreys being born! I also wanted to see what names were selected for the trio. There they are on the natal nest on the historic Whirley Crane on the Richmond Shipping Yards. The third chick is on the other side of Rosie.
The Golden Gate Osprey FB – the SF Bay Ospreys – posted the image below with pictures of the boys, their ring numbers, and their names. Over 700 people voted. That is pretty amazing. Now look at the beautiful necklaces on those boys! Don’t let anyone tell you that only female ospreys have necklaces. 022 on the Poole Harbour nest has one of the best necklaces I have ever seen! And look here at Sage.
Richmond and Rosie always make me feel good. They are a stable couple with a male who provides well for his mate and children. There is never the issues of sibling rivalry and siblicide as we have seen on the Cowlitz Nest. It is refreshing and calming.
Jack brought Tiny Tot a fish at tea time so everything is all right with the world on the Achieva Osprey Nest. Oh, Tiny has grown into such a beautiful bird and a great protector of the realm. Who ever would have believed this in March? A whole lot of love went out to this third hatch – so many people wanted 3 to survive and well…just look!
There is Tiny mantling really big and tight! S/he wants that fish. Thanks, Jack!
Thanks for joining me today. Looks like it could be a stormy evening on the Canadian prairies. Take care everyone. Be safe!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my video clips and screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, and the Cornell Bird Lab and RTH.
Congratulations to Richmond and Rosie. Their second hatch for 2021 arrived on the nest on top of the Whirley Crane at the Richmond Shipyards in San Francisco on 3 May.
In the image below, Rosie and Richmond’s first hatch of 2021 is right beside the egg that is pipping. You can see the end of the beak and the egg tooth breaking up that shell.
Rosie is really excited to show Richmond the second hatch!
Here we are dad! Can we have some fish, please?
Legacy stayed around her natal nest today. As I sat and watched her, I was reminded of an incident with one of our cats, Melvin. At the time, cats were allowed outside and Melvin loved to roll around in the grass and dirt in the garden. He was content not to leave the yard and never wandered away. One day he didn’t come when we called him. We searched high and lo at all hours of the day and night. Then about four days later, in the middle of the night, we heard him yowling at the door. Melvin ran into the house and went under the bed. For the next 15 years of his life he rarely left that one room. We will never know what happened to him while he was away, but it scared the wits out of him. There were marks on his paws where the fur was gone and holes. We wondered if he had gotten caught in a trap or barbed wire.
Looking at Legacy I have a feeling that she was lost. Of course, I could be all washed up! This evening Samson brought in a fish for Legacy at 4:52:41. It was 32 degrees in Jacksonville and it was windy.
Legacy started mantling when she saw her father coming in with that fish. She was also squealing very loud.
Legacy held on tight to the fish. Samson had eaten the head so it was easy for Legacy to self-feed. She did it like a pro!
Legacy ate every last bite of that fish. When she got to the tail she wasn’t quite certain what to do with it. She tried to pull it off like skin. If the parents were watching they would have been very proud. Good work Legacy!
Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot on the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida is the most beautiful bird. Tiny is a survivor. As the sun is setting Tiny had not had any of the last fish. He spent some of the time when he was alone on the nest chewing what fish was left on that bone in the middle of the nest.
At 7:59:46, there was a fish delivery and Tiny mantled it. ‘Mine!’
Tiny had not moved. He was still working hard on that fish as the sun set even more. Good night, Tiny!
Diane, #2 and Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot are ready and waiting for breakfast on 5 May. If you are wondering, #1 sibling has not returned to the nest. It is unclear if she is being fed elsewhere or what her status is.
You might recall my concern over The Landings Skidaway Island Osprey nest. The aggression from the oldest sibling was amping up as the food deliveries were irregular. That aggression continues. However, this morning the youngest got a nice big feed and it was a delight to see. They are still in their reptilian phase.
The oldest is getting fed and the youngest is cowering (on the left) afraid to go over to mom.
But like Tiny Tot, the youngest is waiting and watching for an opportunity. It moves around the long way once the biggest is full. If allowed, these little ones that are bonked/abused become quite clever. We have seen what an amazing bird Tiny Tot is. It is interesting, speaking of Tiny Tot, that the Achieva Osprey nest became peaceful the instant the oldest sibling fledged despite the fact that the eldest did not directly attach Tiny Tot after the third week in March. It became the duty of #2. Sorry – the behaviour of the birds is very interesting. I bet you never thought their lives could be so complicated?
There is number 2 – the darkest plumaged of the osplets – getting a nice big feed from mom. How wonderful!
Oh, goodness. Over at Big Red and Arthur’s Red Tail Hawk nest, K3 is coming!
It is a very soggy morning at the Fernow Light tower nest and here are K1 and K2 waiting for their little sib! It won’t be long and the entire K clan will be with us! There will be bonking bobble heads for a couple of days til their eyes focus and they realize that it is mom’s beak they need to connect with not their siblings!
I have checked on many more nests this morning but this blog would go on for a kilometre. Suffice it to say that Kistachie at the KNF Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana is doing a pretty good job self-feeding. He is not branching yet and Anna helps when he has trouble eating. Blue 152, a female, has landed again on the Loch Arkaig nest. Maybe a new male will appear! This morning Li’l and Big at the Duke Farms Nest were doing great. Mom was feeding both of them and that silly squirrel continues to bug the Pittsburg Hays trio. The last notice for today is 8 May is Bird Count Day. This is the day that people around the world stop and count the birds that they see. It is a major migration study and is how we know if populations are declining, growing, or if there are environmental issues impacting them. You, too, can take part. In fact, I urge you too. I will give you that information tonight.
Take care and thanks for joining me today. K3 is coming!!!!!!!!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Cornell BirdLab and Skidaway Audubon, Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, NE Florida Eagle Cam and AEF, and Achieva Credit Union. I get my screen shots from these cameras.
Congratulations to Annie and Grinnell on the third hatch at the University of California Peregrine Falcon nest in the Campanile. What a glorious site to hatch! Looks like the time was about 6:00:09.
Three and a half hours later, soft and fluffy like its two older sibs. One more hatch to go for Annie and Grinnell! Oh, aren’t they cute!!!
Congratulations to the entire team at Rutland and Urdaibai Ospreys in Northern Spain. The first egg for the translocated Ospreys was laid this morning. The male is Roy – after Roy Dennis and his boundless energy and commitment to the project. The female is Landa. This is just fantastic news in trying to get more Ospreys breeding in different parts of Europe.
Some are thinking that there could be a hatch at The Landings, Savannah Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island happening. Here is a close up of 1 and 2 and that third egg taken at 16:38 today. Am I missing something? Is there a pip?
Congratulations to Clywedog’s Dylan and Blue 5 F Seren on the arrival of the second egg! Oh, that nest is soggy.
There has been a visitor to the Loch Arkaig nest when Louis was there. Females generally have darker necklaces than the males. Look at Louis’s for a comparison. If this is a potential mate, she is quite beautiful. Still, we are all remaining hopeful for Aila to return despite rumours that there were some sounds of ‘rumpy pumping’ on the microphone out of view of the camera.
As we continue to track the condition of Tiny Tot at the Achieva Osprey nest, there have been two fish deliveries today, so far. The first came at 7:13:11. Tiny Tot got a little – and I do mean a little – food. The rain has been coming down and the babies were soaked around 8:57.
The second fish delivery came at 12:35:37. Tiny Tot was able to steal some bites from Diane feeding 1 and was eating with 1 until 2 came up. Again, Tiny Tot had some bites but he simply has not had enough food.
As I have argued in an earlier blog, Tiny Tot’s getting a good meal – at this moment in time – will not impact the survival of 1 and 2. Tiny Tot is not a threat to them like he might have been at 2 or 3 days old. That was when the elimination of a competitor would enhance the survival of the older two. The big sibs are nearly ready to fledge. Tiny Tot having some good meals will be good for the entire family whose DNA will be added to the natural world. Remember, 1 and 2 also share DNA with Tiny and the parents. The survival of the three promotes the DNA of Jack and Diane and the survival enhances their place in the natural selection process. It makes their success in raising three healthy ospreys to fledge – glowing! Tiny Tot is too old and it simply does not make sense to deprive him of food at this stage!
People on the streaming cam chat have gotten upset at one another and emotional. In their article on ‘Avian Siblicide’, D. Mock et al do discuss the fact that some birds are ‘selfish’. The observation by some chatters that 2 will keep Tiny Tot away from food even when its crop is more than full is directly related to that behaviour of monopolization. Mock et al argue that being selfish is a trait that can be passed thru DNA and that it should not be the guiding principle of natural selection (445). Those who have been alarmed by 2 have used terms that, indeed, indicate an action that is selfish – ‘2 is being a piggy.’ The adjective is, according to Mock et al, appropriate for the actions of 2. We all hope that the three will be healthy and fledge – it is clear that all persons care. It is clear, at this junction, that the nest and the family would benefit from the survival of Tiny Tot. Hopefully, everyone can join together and wish all the best without being defensive or argumentative. Birds, like people, are not immune to being selfish and monopolizing resources. In the end, though, it sure helps if they share.
Over in Kansas, Bonnie looks adoringly at the two little Great Horned Owls her and Clyde raised on the stolen Bald Eagle Nest. They are branching and nearing fledge watch. What a magical nest to watch with two parents who worked really hard for the success of their owlets!
White-bellied sea eagles, Lady and Dad, have been spending more and more time at their nest in the old Ironwood Tree in Sydney Olympic Park. You might remember that Daisy, the Pacific Black Duck, commandeered the space to lay her eggs only to have the ravens eat them all! Very disappointing. Lady and Dad are now doing some nestorations and are filling in that hole a little. Everyone is excited for June to come. You can almost hear them say, ‘Look at the mess that Little Duck made!’
It is nearing dinner time and Big Red is incubating the eggs. Arthur will be around shortly so that she can have dinner and a break before night duty. She looks really comfy on that nest on the light well on the grounds of Cornell University. What a beauty at 18. The grand dame of Red Tail Hawks!
Thank you so much for joining me today. It is still cold on the Canadian prairies and the snow is not melting in my garden. The normal cast of characters was joined by Fox Sparrows in droves this morning. Their song is incredibly lovely. What a joy! Take care. Stay safe. See you soon.
Thank you to the following streaming cams where I obtained my screen shots: Farmer Derek, Cornwall Bird Lab and Savannah Osprey, Woodland Trust, Post Code Lottery, UC Berkeley Falcon Cam, Achieva Credit Union, Clywedog, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Center, and Cornell Bird Lab and Red Tail Hawks.
You can really get into a cuteness overload watching all the little bobbleheads that are less than a week old. The UC Berkeley Peregrine Falcons are a case in point. Soft little balls of white down with pink beaks and feet that are being taught the sounds the parents make when they are there to feed them. The team at UC Berkeley Falcon Cam posted this short video of Annie, Grinnell, and the two chicks at dinner time. Listen to the sounds the adults make to alert the chicks that it is time for lunch.
We should be looking for one or two hatches tomorrow at this falcon nest.
You can just see the two osplets at the Savannah Osprey nest peering over the edge of the nest cup their necks stretched. They are both doing fantastic! All good news. I continue to hope that the third egg is not viable – these two are doing fine and this nest has a reputation for issues relating to siblicide if there is a third hatch.
Louis has been doing his regular visit to Iris’s nest. It is a good think thing that Iris is a great fisher and doesn’t sit around and wait for someone else to bring her a fish. No sign of the third osprey that was on the nest yesterday.
Everyone has an opinion about Iris. Indeed, I fell victim to wanting to see the oldest breeding osprey in the world raise another batch of chicks. But after watching Diane at the Achieva osprey nest and the toll that it is taking on Diane physically, it could well be a blessing that Louis does his hello and thank you. Unless there is a dramatic change, Iris will continue catching big fish and feeding herself, fixing up her nest so that it is the envy of everyone. She will lay her eggs and the Raven will steal them —— and then, after a bit, she will enjoy herself for the summer while others work day and night to feed their growing chicks.
Iris has really been fixing up her nest. Look at how healthy she is – she is absolutely majestic. And she deserves a break from the rigours of motherhood. After all, she has given no less than thirty or forty offspring and who knows how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren to the natural world. I would like to think of her watching the setting sun eating her fish instead of being exhausted at the end of the day.
At the NCTC Bald Eagle nest, we have a group portrait with mom, Bella, and the two little ones. They are 30 and 28 days old now. They look like they are posing just for us! Oh, they are cute.
E17 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest has fledged. E18 has not taken that first flight from the nest but did join E17 up on the attic today.
Jackie and Shadow can now move on with their lives. They have been incubating an unviable egg ever since their first chick died during hatch. Today the raven came and took the other egg. This couple up at the Big Bear Nest in Northern California can try again next year!
In the image below, Ma is feeding FSV44 who started piping on 16 April, the day that its older sibling died during brooding. No one knows what happened to the first hatch at this nest in Platteville, Colorado. Ma and Pa Jr were taking their turns and the eaglet appeared healthy. Glad to see that this little one is fine and is eating well!
The sun is just rising in Latvia and Milda continues to incubate her eggs at the White-tailed eagle nest in Durbe. Rumour has it that her and Mr C – now called Chips – might be bonding more as a couple. Only time will tell. Milda lost her mate Raimis on 27 March after he did not return from hunting prey. He was either too injured or died. Several suitors and intruders have been around the nest, some of them fighting. Milda is incubating three eggs. She spent days on the nest without eating – eight of them! She has left the eggs for around five hours uncovered and it is believed that are no longer viable.
A new day is beginning in Latvia and in Florida it is just past midnight. There has been a storm already with lightning, winds, and rain. The weather service says there is a lull and then it will begin again early in the morning. As evening closed on the Achieva Osprey nest, a fifth fish had come in and Tiny Tot had been fed some. How much is not really clear but not enough for him to get a crop. Tiny Tot did retrieve the fish tail and was self-feeding and then Diane turned around and gave it to 1. 1 did eat from the tail and then Diane came over and fed 1. Tiny Tot moved in and was also stealing some bite from one. It could be a long day tomorrow if it is real stormy and the weather forecast looks dire for a few days. I will keep you posted on all developments.
1 got nasty – like she used to do – and had a threatening posture directed towards Tiny. There is no reason for the aggressive stanch. Tiny Tot is not a threat to their survival at this stage. 2 is actually larger than Diane and both eat all day. Tiny Tot needs only a small portion to survive and thrive which is good for this nest.
Thank you for joining me in Bird World. It continues to be cold on the Canadian Prairies. I will do updates on the UK Osprey Nests tomorrow, the hatch at UC Berkeley and, of course, will keep an eye on what is happening to Tiny Tot. Continue to send your warm wishes his way.
I would like to thank the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: The Latvian Fund for Nature, Xcel Energy Fort St. Vrian Bald Eagle Nest, Friends of Big Bear Bald Eagle Nest, SWFlorida Bald Eagle Nest and D Pritchett real estate, NCTC Bald Eagle Cam, Cornell Bird Cams and the Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Cams and the Savannah Osprey Nest, and the Achieva Credit Union.
By 11:44:36, Tiny Tot had precisely nine bites of fish and a piece of fish skin.
I have felt, like so many others, gutted. Tiny Tot has survived, well beyond the first couple of weeks, through food famines and intimidation. Neither 1 or 2 pecked it to death and, indeed, if they had directly wanted to kill Tiny Tot, it would have been easier when he was smaller. Instead, the need for more food on this nest has been the main driver of the pecks and the intimidation directly and indirectly on Tiny Tot.
There are general reasons for siblicide to occur and the one most common to Ospreys is when food either becomes scarce or is perceived to be scarce. On the Achieva Osprey, this takes the form of both direct and indirect aggression to Tiny Tot. #2 sibling hovers over Tiny Tot to frighten him even though Tiny Tot might have been the first up to be fed. Individuals might also have noticed that even though #2 sibling is full, it will come and demand that Diane, the mother, feed it, instead of Tiny Tot. So, instead of direct pecking leading to death, the threats from #2 might cause Tiny Tot to starve to death. The elimination of Tiny Tot just before the older siblings fledge has no benefit to them in terms of food competition. They are grown and will not starve to death if he eats.
What I have been fighting against is the simplicity of the argument that eliminating Tiny is advantageous to both 1 and 2. As Mock et al state in their article, Avian Siblicide (1990), ‘According to this simple analysis, natural selection should always reward the most selfish act, and siblicide is the epitome of selfishness.’ Even looking at the work of Mendel and that of several British geneticists, the authors understand that helping a sibling assists the entire family – in this case ospreys – to survive. They ask, ‘Since selection favours genes that promote their own numerical increase, what advantage might there be in destroying a sibling – an organism with a high probability of carrying one’s own genes?‘ To continue to understand what could be playing out on the Achieva nest, we have to look at the youngest sibling as the marginal individual. If Tiny Tot were to survive, Diane and Jack would congratulate themselves in the way birds do on raising three healthy chicks to fledge. It is parental success! And when everyone worried that chick #2 had crop rot, Tiny Tot would have been a replacement for that bird had it died. Tiny Tot is a kind of insurance policy.
Food shortages appear to persist at the Achieva Osprey nest and those food shortages along with periods of bad weather have certainly contributed to instability. In addition, the frequency of food deliveries appears to have stimulated the aggression on this nest. Indeed, Diane, the mother, has waited to feed her chicks with no fish arriving until late afternoons sometimes. She has taken it upon herself, like today, to go and fish in order that she has food herself. She has ignored Tiny Tot at times when he is screaming and wanting to be fed – feeding instead the two older siblings. Chick #2 has been aggressive towards the mother. When Diane was feeding Tiny Tot in the wind today, even though #2 was full, it heard Tiny Tot crying for food and came and interfered in the feeding. Does chick #2 intimidate Diane the mother who is hungry and tired? Chick 2 is larger now than Diane is. Diane has had to do all of the roles on the nest. Interestingly, for two days now fish have been left on the nest in anticipation that either 1 or 2 or both would begin self-feeding. The only chick to have done this is Tiny Tot – and that was for survival. I suggest that if allowed, Tiny Tot would be feeding itself from the fish brought onto the nest provided they were unzipped far sooner than its two older siblings who simply seem to not understand what to do with the fish attached to their talons when they step on it. Perhaps this has been a blessing in disguise as Diane has fed Tiny and if the bigger ones mantled all the deliveries and ate them, would Tiny get any food? We don’t know.
So today, five fish have now been delivered to the nest. At 3:55:01 Diane brings in one of her huge catfish. There is going to be a lot of bone and skin but, the other two had three other deliveries including a large fish coming in at 1:01:20. Surely to goodness both Diane and Tiny Tot will get some of this whopper.
Tiny Tot got himself right up by Diane. If he is going to be fed, this is the place to be. The two big siblings cannot be that hungry. Look at Diane’s thin legs. They say that the parents, especially the mother birds, lose weight taking care of the chicks. It is often cited as being at least 30% of their body weight. Some bird species only breed every other year so that the adults can get into good physical shape. A good example of are the Albatross. I wonder why evolution has not allowed for that in other species like the Osprey?
I love this image. Both 1 and 2 are still up at the rim of the nest but there is Diane feeding Tiny Tot. Yesterday, I wondered if she had decided to stop feeding him.
In reality, Tiny needs to survive the self-feeding and fledging of the two older siblings. Then Diane can feed him and her alone. He is determined and clever and I would hope that those qualities might trump selfishness. But that is me being human.
It is 5:11 and Diane has been feeding Tiny Tot and 2 has decided to get antsy and aggressive. Tiny is very aware of what is happening. That is one reason he has survived.
I wonder how much food Tiny Tot will get?
In the image below, 2 is walking away from Diane. 1 is still up wanting some bites and Tiny Tot has his eye open. He is listening and watching for a chance of more fish.
There is still more fish. You can see it between Diane’s legs above. It is hoped that Tiny will get another opportunity to feed. But, he got some nice big bites of fish, more than the nine that he had this morning. Everything helps him live for another day. Some people wonder why he doesn’t fight? My first response is it uses up too much precious energy. And being clever, Tiny would know that the others are too big now and could if they wanted kill him. So Tiny Tot is being smart and taking advantage of any opening for food he can – whether it is chewing a bone or sticking right up front with Diane as long as he can!
The fifth fish came in at 7:33:46. Diane fed the older siblings and at around 7:46 she began to feed Tiny Tot and did so for approximately eight minutes. So he has gotten food from at least three fish – not huge amounts but food nonetheless. Remember, Tiny Tot just has to survive the older two til they fledge and hopefully he will be fed well til he can fledge. It needs to be noted that the older ones will also require supplemental feedings after fledging so it could get a bit tricky.
Thank you for joining me on this update. Please send your warm wishes to this nest. At midnight the weather is showing a 40% chance of thunderstorms increasing to 80% during the day on Monday and 90% on Tuesday. Tiny needs all the food he can muster!
Thank you to the Achieva Credit Union in Dunedin, Florida for their streaming cam. That is where I took my screen shots.
Good article on siblicide comparing five bird species: Mock, Drummond, and Stinson (1990). ‘ Avian Siblicide.’ American Scientist, 78, pp. 438-449.