There was quite a bit of worry a couple of days ago when there had beern no transmissions received from Karl II, Udu, or Pikne.
Sometimes we just have to trust and hope that the birds are alright. One of the best ways to keep the GPS trackers very light weight is to power them by the sun. Even in the Mediterranean, the sun does not always shine and the batteries can run very low and need a charge OR the birds can be outside of an areas with signals OR both. Today, we are going to celebrate! Just look at the tracking below for Karl II, Udu, and Pikne, the Black Storks from the Karula Forest in Estonia. Tears.
Ladies first today. Pikne is in the Eastern Desert of either Ethiopia or Eritrea and is currently out of signalling range. She has moved and is making great time!
The Eastern Desert is simply the area of the Sahara Desert on the east side of the Nile River. It is sometimes called the Red Sea Hills. There are mountains as well as the coastal waters along the Nile. The area is known for its beautiful clear waters and excellent scuba diving.
Udu successfully crossed the Mediterranean and is now in the Western Desert of Egypt. So, Udu is west of the Nile River. That is incredible news. It is extremely challenging for the birds to cross the Mediterranean Sea and this fledgling did it on his first trip. What a strong bird Udu is!
Dad may have stayed around the Baltic Sea for awhile but he has really moved and look – he is at the Merave Reservoir in Sudan along the Nile River. He is alive!
The whole family is safe. What an incredible relief for everyone.
People in New Zealand and all the followers of Tiaki, the Royal Albatross Cam Princess for 2021, can also celebrate. She has reached the waters off the coast of Chile.
Another tracker that has been on the ‘fritz’ is Solly, the 2020 female fledgling from the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge. People were also getting worried, just like they did for Karl II and his two children. But all is well with Solly, too. She is still staying at her favourite tree at Eba Anchorage.
In a week or so, one or all of the three Bobs at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge will be fitted with a tracker like Solly. It is going to be so interesting to follow their travels and to see where those wings take them to fish and live.
Here is a great article on the use and benefits of satellite telemetry to study birds and their migration. It was written in 2012 but everything still applies today.
It is raining on the Canadian Prairies just like it has been in Melbourne and Port Lincoln. Even so, the birds were fed and all are well. The falcons at Melbourne learned about thunder and lightning! It is hard to imagine but we will be on fledge watch in two weeks for those four running up and down the gutter – and the week after that we will be expecting Yurruga to fledge. My, my. Time passes so quickly.
Thank you for joining me today. For those of you who did get to see Season of the Osprey, drop me a line and tell me what you think. Take care all. Stay warm and dry and safe.
Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey FB page for the figure showing where Solly is, for the NZ DOC and Wildlife Computers for the tracking of Tiaki, and to the Eagle Club of Estonia for its Forum page and its streaming cam where I took screen grabs of the family and the map showing where Karl and his family are currently located.
As people in North America wait for the Bald Eagles to begin preparing their nest and breeding, much of the ‘bird’ action is in Australia. I pulled up a map so that we can locate the nests that are on streaming cams in Australia – fondly known as ‘Down Under’ here in Canada.
I made the map a little larger just so it is easier to see. Or is it just me that is having trouble reading all that small print?!
The White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest is in Sydney. On the map it is in bold letters on the lower right hand side. The Peregrine Falcon Nest of Xavier and Diamond is in Orange. Orange is just outside of Sydney. Trace your finger to 10 o’clock from Sydney and you should see Orange in grey letters. The 367 Collins Street Falcons are in Melbourne. It is at the very bottom in black letters. The Port Lincoln Osprey Barge is in Port Lincoln. This is a small place. Locate Adelaide which is up the coast from Melbourne on the left. Take your finger and move it over in a straight line to the left from Adelaide to the bottom of the second peninsula. There is Port Lincoln. I am also going to include Solly’s Location so you can see where she is relative to where she hatched and fledged at Port Lincoln. Solly is currently staying the majority of the time at Eba Anchorage. Solly is 311 km from the place she fledged. Prior to Solly, the general understanding was that Eastern Ospreys stayed much closer to their natal nest. The evidence from the satellite tracking is changing the understanding of how far these fledglings might travel upon fledging.
Time flies. It was only a blink and Pippa Atawhai, the 2020 Royal Cam chick, had fledged — BUT, that was a year ago. Now we are waiting for Tiaki to fledge soon. It seemed like the month of August just melted. It was on the 3rd, the 6th, and the 9th that Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge laid her eggs for the 2021 season. At this very moment, the PLO FB Page is taking guesses on when the eggs will hatch. Yes, we will be moving into hatch watch within a week. Baby Ospreys are coming. Oh, those lovely little reptiles!
Dad continues to bring in materials for the nest. They are all over the place – big strips of bark and moss – even some more rope. He is a bit of a pack rat. Thank goodness he hasn’t been bringing in toys like Richmond and Jack in the US. It would be awfully crowded if that were to happen.
Watching this nest is not for the faint of heart. Siblicide is a regular occurrence.
The dominant hatch of 2021 was Solly. She is 352 days old on 7 August, Australian time. Solly was considered, out of the two surviving chicks, to be the one that would succeed. We have no news of DEW and unlike Solly, DEW was not equipped with a satellite transmitter. Solly has, however, demonstrated that she can survive and today she flew rom her normal home tree in Eba Anchorage to Perlubie to check out the fish. This is the graph from the satellite transmission.
The Port Lincoln Osprey Project is taking guesses as to the date of the first hatch on their FB page. You don’t need to be a member to pick a day – go and have some fun!
The White Bellied Sea Eaglets are doing fine. They are well fed and protected and they are growing so fast. Those beautiful juvenile feathers are coming in changing their appearance almost daily. They had a good fish feast the morning of the 6th and the wee ones slept and then woke up and began picking up sticks and leaves on the nest moving them about with their beak. They are not yet steady on their feet but they are standing more and 27 was attempting to walk today.
Both still had big crops after the fish breakfast. 28 got the majority.
Just look at those beautiful colours coming in. 27 is on the left and 28 is on the right.
Here 27 is standing watching 28 play with some sticks with its beak and talons. The sea eaglets are developing at a normal pace. It is all good.
The golden glow of morning fills the scrape box of the Peregrine Falcons, Xavier and Diamond, in Orange.
Each parent takes turns incubating the eggs so that the other can have a break. Diamond will do the overnight incubation and Xavier will be the security guard.
Here is a short video of the hand over of incubating duties from Diamond to Xavier:
Remember that the males are about 30% smaller than the females. Xavier works with his feet and wings to get those three large eggs under him so they can all be warm.
It is even harder for the tiny male at the 367 Collins Street nest who has four eggs to warm!
Mom arrives for her turn.
She is working her wings too to get those four eggs under her.
Looked at how poofed out all those feathers are. Wow.
Here is Dad. His feathers are all poofed, too. He is so tiny compared to mom. My goodness – he really does have to work to get all four under him properly.
After wiggling about he gets everything settled. We will be looking for hatch towards the end of September.
Thank you so much for joining me. All of the birds in Australia seem to be doing just fine. We will watch the sea eagles change colour before our eyes and anticipate the arrival of the Ospreys. It’s a few weeks before falcons start hatching. Take care everyone.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: The 367 Collins Street Falcons, The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross, Sea Eagle Cam @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and FB Page.
PLEASE NOTE: I am taking my computer in for servicing. I hope to have it returned to me sometimes on Thursday so I will be back with another newsletter Thursday or Friday.
Hurricane Ida has made landfall on the sixteenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that wrecked havoc and caused so much destruction to Louisiana. Throughout the day I have been checking on the Kisatchie National Forest, the home of Bald Eagles, Anna and Louis. The Bald Eagles are likely north of the storm area as they do not spend the hot summer, as far as is known, at Lake Kincaid (although they could).
The winds were getting stronger and the waves more choppy as the morning broke into the afternoon. That camera quit working at 15:39:19. You just get a circle. The KNF is in parishes that are northwest of New Orleans. They include Grant, Natchitoches, Winn, Rapides, and Vernon.
Isn’t that just the most beautiful area to raise a Bald Eagle family?
Cody and Steve did a great job running the camera, answering all of the chatters questions, and even held a contest to name the eaglet. Please send them warm wishes to stay safe.
At 18:00, Hurricane Ida just went through Mathews, Louisiana.
There are several other maps that I am also watching today. One of those is just fantastic. If you want to follow the Black Storks on their migration, you need to know this link.
The ‘Birdmap’ has several Ospreys along with the Black Storks who have satellite trackers. They are first sorted into species and then by name of the bird. Click on the name of the bird and you can see where the birds are located. It is magnificent.
I clicked on Karl II’s name. Then I clicked on the player at the bottom and I could see the precise route that Karl II has taken since he left the nest in the Karula National Forest. He is heading to the Black Sea. I wonder if Karl has a favourite spot there?
I owe Karl a big apology, too. I know that Pikne and Udu are ‘his’ storklings and brain keeps telling my fingers to type Grafs. Big apology, Karl!
Oh, how I wish Tiny Little had a tracker. It would be so much fun (well, if everything went well) to watch her journey rather than hoping by mere chance that someone would see her blue Darvic Ring and record the number. Perhaps it would be too much to ask them to take a photo, too?
There is not a lot of news in Bird World. Maya was photographed at Rutland Water today so she has not left for her migration. The Collins Street Falcons have started the hard incubation now that the 4th egg has been laid.
This is mom. She always has a bit of grumpy face and she takes up most of the scrape box.
This is cute little dad. He is much smaller as you can see – he doesn’t take up so much room in that scrape box. If in doubt, he has really neat bright yellow “goggles” around his eyes.
I know that it is hard to see what is going on and you are afraid that you will miss all of the action. There is another scrape box at the other end of the ledge with a camera and these parents have a tendency to move the chicks about. There is nothing funnier than seeing 3 large juvenile females chase after poor little dad with his pigeon. This year it will be 4! I hope the pigeon population in Melbourne is robust!
Diamond is keeping everyone guessing. The latest that she has ever laid an egg is the 31st of August and that is tomorrow, Australia time! At this point I am not even going to guess. Diamond has been fooling me for days on end.
When in Australia, I have to remind myself to check on Solly. She is 344 days old – my goodness, almost a year since she hatched on the PLO barge. Look at this map of her travels. She is so confident now that she is taking the short cut back to Eba Anchorage from the coast near Streaky Bay instead of going the land route. Well done, Solly! So proud of you.
The nest of Mom and Dad looks so much more together than it did after Solly and DEW fledged last year! Oh, I hope that there is lots of food and all three of those eggs hatch and fledge. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? I have to admit that I did not feel so kind towards Solly last year but, in the end, I was glad to see two strong birds fly off that old boat. The satellite tracker put on Solly opened up everyone’s eyes to how far the Eastern Ospreys travel from their natal nest. I do hope they will do this again this year. At the same time, I would like to see trackers on all the birds from this nest. Everyone wants to also know where DEW is. If it is the cost, do some crowd funding up front – there will be people from around the world willing to chip in and help with the costs.
‘S’ sent me some images of the Osprey juveniles in Alberta this morning. My goodness did I ever feel guilty. I checked in on them for the first time yesterday in ever so long – and that was because I had heard of an unmonitored nest fledging two from the interior of British Columbia this morning.
There were three eggs that hatched at the Red Deer Osprey nest in June. Two of the three died on 3 July during the wretched heat and then rainy/stormy weather.
This beautiful juvenile fledged sometime the first two weeks of August when the cameras were down. This is a strong bird, a real survivor. It has been given the name, Little Braveheart, by her fans.
The two juveniles at the Fortis Exshaw nest up at Canmore are doing really well, too. Both fledged and they are waiting, just like the juvenile in Red Deer, for the call to fly south. That is such an incredibly beautiful spot to have an Osprey platform with the Canadian Rockies in the background.
Thank you so much for joining me. Do check the Birdmap and see how it works. Satellite trackers are wonderful tools. And please send your warm wishes and positive thoughts to those in the path of Hurricane Ida. Take care and stay safe. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Fortis Alberta Red Deer, Fortis Alberta Exshaw, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, The Falcon Cam Project at Charles Sturt University in Orange and Cilla Kinross, the KNF Bald Eagle Cam, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project.
There is good news. K3 is alright. The little one was blown off the Red tail hawk nest on the Cornell Campus today. K3 is the third hatch of the 2021 season. Suzanne Arnold Horning who takes beautiful images of the hawks has located both K3 and K1 and says that Big Red and Arthur are fully aware of where their kids are. This is wonderful news. That little K3 is going to give us all quite a few worries it seems! So glad he is OK.
It has been a very sad week in Bird World. The death of Alma and one chick in the Finnish Osprey Nest today is a tragedy. My friend T thinks that the Raven, had it been able to get to the fish tail under the chicks, might have taken that food and left everything alone. But that was sadly not to be the case. The surviving chicks are now in the care of a foster mother. Then there was the death of the chick on the Cowlitz Nest and the announcement that K2 had to be euthanized due to a severe beak injury. The week ended badly.
There are still, however, many things to celebrate in Bird World so let us hop through the nests and see what has been happening.
Little Tiny Bob and Middle Bob were eating a good sized fish on the Foulshaw Moss Nest this evening. Great Big Bob was over wingersizing. It is always nice when she is preoccupied so the other two can eat in peace. Look closely. Little Tiny Bob looks like an osprey! There he is with his juvenile feathers on the right. Mom is busy giving them both bites. These two are not competitive and get a long really well. That is so nice.
Mom and Dad have been on the barge in Port Lincoln, Australia and things will be ramping up there soon. In the image below, Mom is still on the nest and you can see Dad’s ‘man cave’ lower down. This nest is known for siblicide. When things begin to happen, I will post a link so you can watch if you like.
During the 2021 season, the third hatch, little Tapps, was so so tiny compared to the other two and there was clearly not enough food for Mom and three babies. Tapps died when he was 18 days old. It was hard to watch. Solly, the eldest and a female, received a satellite tracker. Dew was the middle chick. We have been able to follow Solly and she is changing the understanding of how far Ospreys go when they leave the nest. Dew was ringed but has no tracker. To my knowledge there have been no sightings of Dew.
Solly is 278 days old today. Let us see where she is staying.
Solly really does love that area around Eba Anchorage. Maybe this will be her forever home. She has shown no interest in returning to Port Lincoln.
Tiny Tot had two nice fish meals today compliments of dad, Jack. The first came at 11:26 and the second was at 4:56. Spaced out nicely!
This image shows the last fish delivery. It is quite a big fish and if you look carefully you will notice that Tiny Tot still has a crop from the morning’s meal. Nice.
There was a big storm near the nest of the Black Storks in Estonia today. The trees were swaying in the forest but oddly, the nest wasn’t. It was an odd sensation. The rain was just beginning to come down when I took these images.
Look how much the storklets have grown. Their beautiful juvenile plumage is starting to show through.
The Black Storks are fine. There continue to be three and that is such good news. Karl II and Kaia are very good parents!
The White Storks at the Mlade Burky nest in Czechoslovakia are really growing, too. The community really worked together to make certain that this family thrived. Just look at these beautiful storklets today.
I am, however, just hoping that it is the angle of the camera and the light outside that is causing the stork’s left leg to appear grey or black – the one at the back on the right. Could that band be too tight? Otherwise they seem impressibly healthy. Hats off to everyone in the community for their kindness!
The remaining chick on the Cowlitz nest had some fish today and has a bit of a crop. Whether there was enough for the chick and Electra is unknown. I did not watch this nest that closely today. I was happy, however, to see the baby ate. So small and so undernourished. It is supposed to be extremely hot on this nest on Saturday – it is the heat wave that is hitting that part of the Pacific Northwest. This chick is going to need lots more fish! Electra, please forget about Wattsworth. Go and get the fish yourself – unhook 65 million years of hardwiring that tells you to stay on the nest and feed the babies the fish Wattsworth brings. Just go. You can fish.
Idris brought in a late day fish for Dysnni and Ystwyth on the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Wales. When he arrived Telyn was not on the nest. Ystwyth was hungry. So what does any good dad do? He feeds his chicks! And that is precisely what Idris did – great guy.
By the time Ystwyth was finished, Dysnni decided he would like some fish, too! Way to go Idris!
And someone at the Falcon Cam Project on the UC Berkeley Campus, put together a compilation video of the Fifth Season of Annie and Grinnell and their chicks – Fauci, Kaknu, and Wek-Wek.
Gosh, by the time the chicks fledge you have forgotten what it was like at the beginning when Annie and Grinnell were just thinking about chicks. So this video is a bit of fun! Not sure about the choice of music but you can mute the sound if you like. Enjoy.
The Muscovy Duck has returned to her eggs and seems to continue building up the nest higher and higher using the bark mulch. Glad to see the bamboo fence to protect her did not frighten her away.
Thank you for joining me today. So glad to hear that K3 is safe – and K1. We can all rest a little easier tonight.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Parkland Florida Duck Cam, Cowlitz PUD, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Dyni Osprey Nest, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Mlade Buky, The Eagle Club of Estonia, Achieva Credit Union, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project. I would also like to thank the Port Lincoln FB Page for posting the images of Solly’s satellite tracking.
My regular readers will know and might be scratching their heads about all the Osprey posts. Like 400,000 others, I rejoiced when Louis helped Aila feed the three chicks on the Loch Arkaig Osprey Nest. It renewed my faith in Ospreys after having had a rough season with a couple of other nests. Mary Cheadle posted this image taken from the streaming cam last year of Louis helping with the three little ones. That is JJ7 Captain being fed alone so he is not bothered by the two older and bigger siblings. I mean how brilliant is that! It was 3 June 2020. What a beautiful family photo. They all fledged. Sadly, Aila did not return from her winter migration this year. Louis has a new mate off camera on another nest. I hope he is helping with the little ones too. This family gave me hope – hope that not every third chick died of siblicide. And then there was Port Lincoln and Tiny Tot – but Tiny Tot’s survival has really moved me. So, I haven’t stopped my love for Ospreys – it has grown!
Osprey dads vary in their dedication and care of their family just like human dads. Some help with incubation and feeding the wee ones while others bring in lots of fish and do territorial protection. And then there are some who don’t have another nest but still do not bring in any fish and their children starve to death. Then there are the moonlighters like Louis in Missoula, Montana who has two nests but he only takes care of one. A reader asked me if I had heard of or watched the Cowlitz Nest in Washington State. I don’t. I know about it. It is the nest of Electra and Wadsworth. At present there are two chicks. Wadsworth helped incubate the eggs and everyone thought he might have changed his ways but no fish deliveries til this morning – when people feared the little ones would die. After Tiny Tot and then Glaslyn, I am afraid that I do not need the drama. I hope that Wadsworth continues to provide for his family – that is HIS job. Electra’s is to keep the chicks warm and dry and to feed them.
We now know that Ospreys in need will accept fish that they did not catch. The laws in Europe and the UK permit feeding tables. In 2012, Rutland provided one for one of their nests. I heard of an instance in Canada but it is not clear to me what the circumstances were or even when the event took place. I understand the Ospreys did not accept the fish. Mrs G and Aran readily accepted the fish from the staff and volunteers at Glaslyn. They are alive today because of the insights and generosity of these fine caring people. So what about the situation with Electra? On the surface it appears that intervention cannot take place unless the situation has been caused by humans – according to US wildlife laws written more than 50 years ago. But that cannot strictly be the case. This February E17 and E18 were removed from their natal nest by CROW, a wildlife rehabilitation clinic in Fort Myers, Florida, because the eaglets had conjunctivitis. This is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. Humans tend to call it pink eye. The eaglets remained in the care of CROW for five days. To the people that had the backbone to get the care those eaglets needed – bravo! Just how they got around that archaic law of non-interference is unknown to me but they did and I am glad. I put out a call to help Legacy if, in fact, the bout of Avian Pox she had worsened. Thankfully, it was not necessary. But I sure did ruffle a lot of feathers – and they weren’t on birds! At this point in the history of the planet, the unseasonal weather, the lack of prey, the loss of habitat and the resulting woes of the wildlife rests right on the shoulders of us, humans. But if the community were to get permission to supplement the feeding of Electra and her chicks, I would highly recommend that they contact the Glaslyn Center in Wales. It is the fine details that matter. You don’t want Electra to bolt and not return! Still, I hope that Wadsworth shapes up and takes responsibility for his family.
This morning the intruder was back on the Achieva Osprey Nest. Today, it successfully got Tiny Tot off the nest. Jack flew in and dispensed with the intruder and stayed doing guard duty on the perch pole til late in the afternoon.
At 3:58:58 Tiny Tot returned to the nest very hungry! Here is his approach and landing – gosh he is a good pilot!
Here comes Tiny lining up with the runway.
Landing gear down.
Wing tips going down. Perfect.
Now that he is safely home and there is no intruder, Tiny Tot is rather impatient and would really like some lunch!
Looks like sibling 2 has a similar idea. Oh, dear.
Tiny Tot isn’t the only one waiting for dinner rather impatiently. Big and Little from Duke Farms have been sitting on the nest or the branches around the nest hoping for a food drop. You might recall that the pair of them fludged and the parents were able, after a few days, to get them back to the nest. The parents come with prey but sometimes the youngsters timing is wrong. Big got the last drop. Little has to be really hungry. The amount of time they are hanging around the nest tells me two things. The parents are not doing prey drops elsewhere and the juveniles haven’t had much luck hunting on their own. Fingers crossed for them today.
The storks that are being fed by the villagers of Mlade Buky in Czechoslavkia are really growing. Here is their delivery of little fish today.
And here is them with their dad a little later. What a wonderful caring community. It looks like these three are going to survive thanks to their help. Let us hope the storks bless this village!
The kindness of the Glaslyn community is helping Mrs G and Aran gather their strength. They continue to provide fish for the pair and will do us until such time Aran is healed and can fish.
Laddie has joined NC0 on the nest. NC0 has just had a bath and her hair has that wind swept pandemic look! Laddie looks at her adoringly! Meanwhile Little Bob is thinking it is time for some fish. Laddie is thinking intruders! He will stay on the nest for awhile helping keep NC0 and the two Bobs safe.
When it is all quiet Laddie brings in a nice fish. Little Bob eats his fill and doesn’t want anymore. NC0 offers to both of them several times before tucking in herself.
There were several other feedings throughout the day. This is the last one as the sun is setting. Take a glimpse of Little Bob. He is beginning to get that reptilian look.
Big Red and the Ks are definitely enjoying the sun. Look at those feathers coming in and it looks like Arthur made another squirrel delivery!
Soon these Ks are going to be running up and down that ledge jumping and flapping and causing everyone to have a small heart attack.
Mom is back on the barge at Port Lincoln and Solly with her satellite tracker is north of Eba Anchorage, past Kiffin Island and Perlubie. Gosh, it is sure good to know that she is alive and surviving. She is 284 days old today. Thanks for the satellite tracking!
It is a beautiful day in Canada. Happy Memorial Day to my friends in the US and Happy Bank Holiday to those in the UK. Thank you for joining me.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Duke Farms, Mlade Buky Streaming Cam, Scottish Woodland Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Scottish Wildlife Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, and the Port Lincoln Osprey FB Page for the information on Solly.
The Scottish Osprey nests were almost blown off their platforms on Sunday. Laddie (LM12) had no more brought a fish to the nest for NC0 than the wind began to stir. You can see the choppy waves beginning on the Loch of the Lowes. Thank goodness there were no eggs in the nest! At the beginning of the migration season, Laddie arrived early in hopes that NC0 would return to his nest and be his mate. He worked daily making sure that everything was perfect for her arrival.
In the image below, NC0 has accepted Laddie’s gift of a fish. In the background you might not be able to tell the branches are blowing but you can begin to see that the water is getting choppy. Look at their fine nest and hold that image in your mind.
Now look at the image below. This is the same nest that Laddie and NC0 were standing on. There are huge waves on the loch. The trees are twisting and the winds simply picked up the part of the nest facing away from the loch and dumped it over the egg cup.
The running joke is that the situation is so dire it would make an Osprey sea sick.
Blue NC0 stands on the nest the morning after the winds, Monday 5 April. Laddie must have been disappointed after all his hard work. They are so close to needing the nest for NC0 to lay her eggs.
NC0 got busy cleaning up undaunted by the task!
Wow. NC0 worked hard and got everything back in order. And Laddie who was MIA most of the rebuilding rewarded her with a nice fish after!
Louis is expected on the Loch Arkaig Nest on 5 April to be followed by his mate, Aila. The snow and blowing winds could cause a delayed return. We will keep an eye out! Some snow remains on the nest.
In contrast Mrs G and Aran at the Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Nest in Wales had a partially sunny day with no strong winds. And it wasn’t pitching down rain.
The new parent, Harry, on the Minnesota DNR Nest, stared at his eaglets for quite a long time today. Was he admiring them? was he wondering why they weren’t moving? did he think they were dead? Well, they weren’t dead. Just food comas!
The drama at the Durbes White Tailed Eagle Nest in Latvia continues. Milda and her mate, Raimis, had been together for six years when Raimis disappeared on 27 March. It is not known if he is severely injured and cannot return or if he is dead. It is a long time for him to be away from the nest. Milda is incubating three eggs and has been protecting it from a male intruder. She has gone without food to keep her precious eggs warm. The touching story of this female eagle protecting her eggs and not leaving the nest to hunt so she can eat has captured the attention of people in Latvia and around the world. She was the feature of a recent Latvian Panorama television programme. 4 April marks what would be her eighth day without food. Today, however, Milda left with the male intruder. It is not known but is assumed that she ate while she was away from the nest. She returned with a large crop. The unringed male could form a bond with Milda and feed her while she incubates her eggs. As we have learned from the nest of Spilve, a Golden Eagle, a single parent cannot forage, incubate, feed, and protect little ones alone. The next few days should clarify the situation at the nest in Kurzeme, Durbe County, in western Latvia. This is a short video of Milda flying in with the male intruder who has been named Mr. X.
Milda had her own bad weather with high winds and snow with clearing up in the late afternoon. Milda left the nest for a few minutes when the snow cleared. There is some indication that there is some fighting going on on the ground. Is it dogs? or is it Milda’s new potential mate and another male?
Some of you might be wondering what is happening at some of the other Bald Eagle nests. It is hard to keep up this time of year with Ospreys landing in the UK, eggs hatching all over the US, eggs being laid, birds coming and going and migration still on going in Manitoba. I will try and bring news of a few nests over the next few days that I have been following just to keep you up to speed.
One of those nests is The Trio over near Fulton, Illinois on the Mississippi River. There was a streaming cam on their old nest but the high winds last year destroyed it and they rebuilt. All images are from birders on the ground with their cameras. One of those is Dennis Becht. He caught this image today. If you squint you will see the head of a wee eaglet sticking up between the adults.
Solly, the Port Lincoln female Osprey, is 198 days old today. She spent Easter Sunday at Eba Anchorage and today she is back at her favourite haunts in Streaky Bay. It is wonderful to ‘see’ the satellite tracking on Solly and to know that she is well. Birders on the ground saw her with a salmon on Easter Sunday eating on a post. How grand.
Tiny Tot’s crop has gone up and then down and back up again. He had two feedings today at the Osprey Nest in St Petersburg. Jack brought in a very large fish yesterday that came and went 3 times and today, a large fish arrived at 8:02. The two older ate and Tiny Tot had a private feeding from around 8:36-9:07. He was eating again around 10:27 with the others. The regular delivery of large fish and the energy that Tiny has derived from eating plus his being clever are helping this little one to start growing and get its confidence back. Tiny hangs back and let the others eat – it protects his head and neck from bonking. But he also keeps a sharp eye on what is going on and when he senses it is nearly his time to eat, he moves up carefully without causing attention. He is extremely clever and we are all hoping that the good feedings continue. His growth is a little slowed because of so many days without food. No doubt the very large fish that have come in are working to his advantage. There is always food left for him and Diane. Gold stars for Jack.
Tiny had dropped his crop (moving food from the holding area to the stomach) this morning. There had been some concern by chatters yesterday that he might not be able to do this after he was so dehydrated from not eating for three days but, luckily that was not the case. He ate for approximately 43 minutes and then ate again. Tiny is full! And the nest is peaceful.
I wonder if Jack has found a new place to fish? The fish brought in the last two days have been much larger than some of the deliveries a few days ago.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I don’t know about the rest of you but if Tiny has a full crop in the morning my day is much brighter! Stay safe. Wish for good weather for all the birds and large fish on the Achieva Osprey nest!
Thank you to all the streaming cams where I get my screen shots: the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, The LTV Juras erglis Durbe, the MN DNR, the FB Page and Dennis Becht for the Trio, The Woodland Trust and People Play Lottery, Scottish Wildlife and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Port Lincoln Osprey FB page, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.
The University of California Campus at Berkeley is ‘falcon crazy.’ They even named their basketball team the Falcons. Indeed, the feathered pair nesting on top of this beautiful building are ‘stars’. Everyone knows about them and gets excited – how grand is that?!
The Campanile was designed in the Gothic Revival style and was completed in 1914. The tower, reminiscent of the Campanile di San Marco in Venice, is ninety-four metres or 308 feet hight and has four bells. It is the most recognized building on the University campus.
This is the view from the roof:
In 2016, a pair of Peregrine Falcons began to roost on the roof of the Campanile. Their scrape box is two floors up from the bells and to everyone’s amazement the bell concerts do not seem to bother the raptors. If it did, we can imagine that they would have left quickly. Most of the time it is a safe place to raise their young but they have had, like other nests, intruders checking out their prime real estate.
In 2017, the same pair returned to raise eyases. They were given the names Annie and Grinnell in honour of the founder and first director of UC Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Annie Grinnell. Annie is not banded and her history including how old she is remains unknown. However, Grinnell was banded in 2013 as a nestling near Martinez, California. All of their chicks are banded in the nest.
If you have read most of my blogs you will know that I am a great proponent of banding. The amount of information that can be discovered is significant. And for Birders on the Ground it is an opportunity to take part. It takes a village to chase after falcons and check their bands, photograph them, and then find the right person to contact to tell them of the sighting.
If you have never seen a nestling banded, here is your opportunity. This is a short video of Poppy, Sequoia, and Redwood being banded in the scrape box in 2020 along with a Q&A:
Annie and Grinnell made their first nest on a sand bag on the roof of the Campanile in March of 2017. Poor things! But they had nothing else. In the wild, Peregrine falcons make their nests on a the edges of cliffs with a sandy base or in gravel.
In the image below, Grinnell is incubating the eggs in the permanent scrape box. Notice that it is a simple enclosure, with a single opening at the front. Wooden rulers have been fixed to the frame of the door and the corners so researchers can check the height of the young. Simple pea gravel or small river stones line the bottom. This is the ‘nest’. No other materials will be brought in. The falcons will rub their breast into the gravel to make a hollow for the eggs.
When two of the eggs of Annie and Grinnell’s first clutch rolled off the sandbox and broke, the University decided to install a temporary scrape box. Annie and Grinnell accepted the box and fledged their first babies – two eyases- from the Campanile. They were a male named Fiat and a female named Lux. The names were derived from the University motto, Fiat lux, which means bringing knowledge to light. Fiat survived but Lux was killed by window strike.
The following year the University installed a permanent nest box for the pair hoping that they would return and lay their eggs again. In April of 2018, Annie and Grinnell had three eggs hatch. Named after three elements discovered at Berkeley the chicks were a male named Berkelium, another male named Californium, and a female named Lawrencium. All three fledged. Lawrencium is the only one of Annie and Grinnell’s chicks that has been spotted. She is nesting on the island of Alcatraz.
In 2019, the exploits of Annie and Grinnell were streamed to the world. That year two chicks hatched and were successful fledges. One was named Carson after Rachel Carson. Hers is a name that you should know. Carson is the author of the book Silent Spring that led to the banning of DDT. Cade was named after Tom Cade, an Ornithologist recognized for his efforts to both protect and reestablish Peregrine Falcon populations after they were wiped out by DDT. Cade was the founder of the Peregrine Fund. He died in 2019 at the age of 91.
In 2020, Annie and Grinnell fledged three – a female named Poppy, a male named Sequoia, and another male named Redwood.
It’s 2021 and Annie and Grinnell are incubating four eggs! The first was laid on 10 March, followed by the second on 12 March, the third on the 14th and the final egg on St. Patrick’s Day.
In the image below, Grinnell has arrived to partially incubate the first three eggs. The eggs can actually range from a cream colour to red but here you see that Annie has laid three lovely red eggs.
While it is known that falcons sometimes lay five eggs, it is rare. And this brings me to why I love falcons so much and it isn’t just their very ‘cute’ plumage. It is because of delayed incubation. Annie and Grinnell can hatch four eyases but I am not up worrying all night when one didn’t get fed or the eldest was aggressive – it would be rare for that to happen but I am aware that it does.
The embryos inside eggs only develop when they are warm. Peregrine falcons, Red Tail Hawks and other raptor species (other than Ospreys and various species of eagles) want their eggs to hatch at roughly the same time. That way there is not a significant difference in development. To achieve this synchronization, the early eggs are only partially incubated until all are laid. Then hard incubation begins. Annie and Grinnell will take turns incubating the eggs. After hard incubation starts the eggs will hatch in roughly 32-33 days after the last egg was laid. The eyases use their ‘egg tooth’ to help them get through the thick shell which can take from 24-48 hours. Pip watch should start about 19 April! I am so excited!
UPDATES: Speaking of pip watch, Jackie and Shadow can hear one of their little ones chirping in the shell. Big Bear Eagle fans are on hatch alert!
Maya and Blue 33 have both arrived at the Mantou Bay Nest at Rutland in the UK on 19 March. Blue 33 (11) came in at 12:29 and Maya was right behind him at 12:56.
So far it appears that Blue 25 (10) is still waiting for her mate at Rutland.
The three on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida have now been fed to the relief of everyone. The storm caused Jack to bring in only a small fish last evening. Brutus, the eldest, was very aggressive towards the smaller two and they went to sleep without any fish. (Brutus is the name given to the eldest by the chat group). First fish this morning was also small and caused aggressive behaviour. However, Jack went and brought in a nice sized second fish right away and everyone ate and were congenial.
Both were fed at the Duke Farms Bald Eagle Nest in Hillsborough, New Jersey so all is well on that nest.
Solly, the Port Lincoln Osprey, is 181 days old today. She spent the night at the Streaky Bay Hospital and has been out and about looking for fish. She loves this area. I hope it keeps her safe and is her forever home.
It’s nearly 4pm on a beautiful sunny day on the Canadian prairies. Let’s hope it stays that way so that everyone can get out for a walk and check on the local wildlife in their area.
Thanks to UC Berkeley Falcons, Duke Farms, Achieva Credit Union in St Petersburg, Big Bear for their steaming cams and Rutland Wildlife where I took my scaps and to Port Lincoln Ospreys and the PLO researchers for the satellite tracking for Solly.
What is World Osprey Week? It is when the world joins with all our friends in the United Kingdom to celebrate the return of the Ospreys from their winter migration. It is a time for celebration, educational fun, and competitions – especially for children. There will also be a lot of videos for those of us who do not live in the UK. Congratulations to the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust who are celebrating the 25th anniversary of Osprey Week!
Ospreys are large ‘fish hawks’. In fact, they used to be included with all species of hawk but, now, they have their own category among avians. They live near water. It can be either fresh water or salt water – rivers like the one show in the image below or coastal estuaries, lakes, reservoirs, or fish hatching ponds. You will find them anywhere there are large numbers of fish. They are known for their ability to hover, like a helicopter. They do this often when landing at their nest or when fishing where they will hover over the fish until they plunge into catch that fish – feet first!
The history of Ospreys in the United Kingdom is a sad one. By the middle of World War I (1916), they were almost extinct. The demise of the Ospreys was due to shootings and egg collecting. Later, in the twentieth century, more were dying because of pesticides like DDT. Indeed, the Ospreys were one of the first of the large birds to alert the world to the threat of these harmful chemicals. Electricity is something that each of us use daily. My laptop computer is plugged in right now recharging as I write. The lamp to my right allows me to see. But this modern convenience – electricity – is a real threat to raptors such as the Osprey. Indeed, the main threats today are loss of habitat, power line collisions, and electrocution.
Operation Jimmy honours Blue CU2 ‘Jimmy’ an Osprey born in Scotland. On his migration home, Jimmy stopped in Wales and continued to return. Jimmy was very popular. Sadly, he was electrocuted on a killer pole on a windy rainy day after he had caught his last fish. People were sad and angry. But they got to work. In an effort to stop birds from landing on these electrical poles and being killed, artificial nests started being constructed for the Osprey. In this video you can see one being installed. With the addition of natural perches, it is hoped that there will not be another electrocution.
Last year there were four breeding pairs in Wales. Today I will take a quick peek at two of those nests: Glaslyn and Dyfi. The streaming cam links are posted so you can join in the fun welcoming back these very famous Osprey.
Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife (BGGW) started when the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) ended his stewardship program of the Glaslyn Ospreys in 2013. BGGW is a small community not-for-profit group that is dedicated to the care of the wildlife in the Glaslyn Valley including the current resident pair of Ospreys, Mrs G and Aran (since 2015).
What a gorgeous place for an Osprey nest!
Mrs G is the oldest breeding female Osprey in Wales. She has been breeding at the Glaslyn nest since 2004. She is estimated to be nineteen or twenty years old. Mrs G has laid at least fifty-one known eggs to date. Forty-one of those hatched and thirty-eight fledged. Mrs G has at least eight-five grandchildren – some have revised this figure to 100. Whew! Those are the ones they know about. What a legacy! Here is the link to their live streaming cam:
Another nest in Wales is the Dyfi Ospreys near Machynlleth. The current resident pair are Idris and Telyn and they are passionately adored by their followers. This project began in 2009 with the erection of artificial nest and perches. The first breeding pair were Monty and Nora. Nora, however, did not return from the winter migration. A new female Blue 12/10 took Nora’s place and was subsequently named Glensi. The couple fledged thirteen chicks between 2009 and including 2017. Glensi did not return to the nest in 2018. Did I say that migrating back and forth from the United Kingdom to Africa is dangerous? That spring Monty bonded with Blue 3J/13 named Telyn. Together the pair have raised six to fledge – three females and three males in the 2018 and 2019 season. Monty did not return after the 2019 season.
I love seeing Osprey catch fish to feed their little ones. Here is a look at Monty and Telyn in 2019 when there were three hungry mouths. Sadly, this will be Monty’s last clutch. He was an incredible provider:
Here is the link to the Dyfi Osprey Project and its streaming cam:
All over the United Kingdom individuals are posting their sightings of returning Ospreys. There are currently contests at many nests to predict when the resident pair will land. One of those is Loch Arkaig and I will be taking a look at that nest tomorrow.
I have not checked in on Solly lately and it is time. Solly, the Eastern Osprey born on the barge in Port Lincoln is 172 days old today. She has been moving between the Streaky Bay area and Eba Anchorage with a couple of flights to Haslam for several weeks. Today she is back in Streaky Bay! These satellite trackers are really quite amazing.
These three images show her movements for today (the top one) and yesterday (the bottom one). This girl loves to fly around.
It is unclear if there have been any sightings of her sibling, DEW.
Thank you so much for joining me today. Stay safe!
Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for the satellite tracking imagery of Solly.
The 38 day old Royal Cam chick at Taiaroa Head is having some time on its own as the ‘pre guard’ stage sets in. The parents are leaving their little one alone for various short periods. The satellite trackers on both Lime-Green-Lime (LGL, mom) and Lime-Green-Black (LGK, dad) indicate that they are fishing just off the shores of this peninsula near Dunedin, New Zealand.
LGL gave a sky call as she approached her beautiful little chick. The Royal chick had a really good feeding before LGL headed out to sea to fish.
After LGL left to go fishing around 9:30 NZ time, the little one kept itself busy playing with the nest, preening, looking around, and enjoying the sprinklers at the NZ DOC bring out to keep the chicks cool. This helps the chicks to not get stressed by the 25 degree Celsius heat (77 F).
And sometimes, when you are all alone, you have to defend your nest in case a stranger walks by! As the stranger approaches, the Royal Cam chick stands alert and begins clacking its bill mimicking precisely what its parents would do.
Chick is on alert!
And here comes Henry the Heron! Henry lives on Taiaroa Head and loves to photo bomb the Royal cam chick! Sometimes Henry even does a kind of snake dance with its neck. Henry would never hurt the little chick but he does love to come for a visit to check in on the little one. We will see him often before the fledge in September.
Where’s Solly? Solly is the 163 day old Eastern Osprey that was born on a barge in Port Lincoln. We checked in on Solly a couple of days ago and she was heading south from Eba Anchorage back to the Streaky Bay area. Well, Solly is now back in Eba Anchorage! Solly spent the night in the same marshy area as she did on her previous visit. You can see the green pin in the satellite image below. From that central point Solly has been busy going out fishing. It is always so nice to know where the birds are. These satellite trackers are quite amazing.
It is early March. The White Bellied Sea Eagles whose nest is in the forest of Sydney’s Olympic Park will not be actively undertaking nestorations for a few months but already they have come back to the nest to do some inspections. I wonder if Daisy the Duck making a deep hole for her eggs will cause them any extra work? Last night the bonded couple, Lady and Dad, spent their night sleeping on the ‘parent branch’ of the natal nest after checking out the condition of the nest earlier and making a list of what they needed to do.
The Kakapo Recovery had sad news. Uri was taken into care because he was unwell. He had lost weight and the team felt that he would improve significantly with regular food and some checkups. Uri’s blood tests looked good and he had gained weight. But Uri seriously did not like being in a building with humans. The decision was made to return him to the island and to provide supplementary feedings and check ups for him there. When the team showed up this morning to do their check up, Uri had died. Uri had no outward signs or symptoms of Aspergillosis, a fungal disease that affects Kakapo. A necroscopy will be performed to determine the precise cause of death. There are currently 205 Kakapo.
Aren’t they cute? Three little Kakapo chicks.
This is a link about the disease and the treatment that you might find interesting. The Kakapo in the video is such a sweetie as are all of these non-flying parrots. Everyone is working hard for their care and welfare.
Wonder what Port Lincoln’s female Osprey fledgling is up to today? Solly was born on a barge tied at Port Lincoln. She is 163 days old today. For research purposes, Solly was fitted with a satellite tracking systems. You can see it on her back in the picture below taken by C. Crowder at Streaky Bay, Australia several weeks ago.
The transmitter has worked perfectly and early on Solly’s travels away from her natal nest changed what was known about the movements of the Eastern Osprey. Solly travelled north to Streaky Bay and then further to Eba Anchorage and on to Perlubie and then on to Haslam. At that point she turned back, spent several days back in Eba Anchorage and today is back in Streaky Bay.
These are the latest satellite images of Solly’s tracking. In the images below, you can see Solly’s movements. She has a central place of interest and from there she flies out to fish.
The most fascinating information coming from these satellite images is that Solly has chosen to stay close to people. The image below shows the house where Solly spends much of her time.
Just think how much our knowledge of these large birds is changing with the introduction of satellite tracking devices, light weight enough to fit without harming the bird.
In 2018, satellite trackers became part of a criminal investigation into the loss of a Golden Eagle. Raptor Persecution UK investigated a ‘highly suspicious’ disappearance of Fred, a golden eagle, in a nest in the Scottish Borders. Scotland is trying to reintroduce Golden Eagles and Fred was one of a breeding pair in that region. At the time, investigators thought that the Golden Eagle was killed and the body and its tracker dumped in the North Sea to hide the evidence. The Environment Secretary for Scotland, Roseanna Cunningham, said that they were taken this disappearance ‘very seriously.’
The Golden Eagle was in the Pentland Hills before its tag signal was lost. That signal was then picked up on 26 January 2018 off the coast of Scotland near St Andrews. The problem is this. Golden Eagles do not, of their own accord, fly out over large bodies of water. So what happened? Did someone accidentally kill the eagle and want to dispose of the evidence? was the eagle stolen and the transmitter destroyed? Both are sad possibilities.
The Department of Conservation in New Zealand gave permission and provided two solar powered GPS satellite trackers to follow the parents of the Royal Albatross Cam Chick at Taiaroa Head, New Zealand. Those Royal Albies with the trackers are Lime-Green-Black (father, LGK) and Lime-Green-Lime (mother, LGL). The twenty gram trackers were carefully and quickly attached to the feathers on the back of these large sea birds. Like many other trackers, they will continue to operate until the Royal Albatross molts in about a year.
What do trackers tell us about the birds? The Department of Conservation is hoping that the tracking will help them understand more about the locations where the birds hunt for food, the legal and illegal fishing activities that attract these birds (and sadly some become bycatch), and how climate change is impacting them. It is getting hotter and hotter in the Southern Hemisphere where these lovely seabirds live. How can people and government agencies support the Albatross long term survival? That is another question the researchers want to ask. Tracking information will be shared on the FB page of the Royal Albatross group on a regular basis.
Below is an image of the last posted tracking information on Lime Green Lime, the Royal Cam chick’s mother.
You might enjoy the comings and goings of the Royal Albatross at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head. These are extremely social birds and the little fluff ball who will be given a Maori name before it fledges is now in the ‘pre guard’ stage. This means that the parents will leave it alone for periods of time easing it in to when both parents will go to sea to forage to feed their baby. As the chick grows so does its needs for more and more squid shakes! The Royal Cam is on twenty-four hours a day every day of the week. You can access it here: