Ospreyland with Telyn and the Port Lincoln Gang

This is just a glorious fall afternoon and with 27 and 28 degrees C, I have spent much of my time today outside.

Underneath all of these beautiful Creepers is a very ugly chain link fence.

‘Something’ decided to break the large cylinder suet holder. All the normal suspects eat without doing any damage. Little Woodpecker loved to hold on to the bars. So what was it? The obvious is the raccoon. But do raccoons eat bug and nut suet with fruit? Or maybe one of the well-fed domestic cats have reached up and pulled it down trying to get to the birds. The nuts and bolts were scattered and a piece broken. It is definitely a mystery. These incidents continually remind me that a feeder cam might come in handy.

Idris brings Telyn a fish after her commanding performance during Storm Hannah.

I have been meaning to share a video with you and until someone else mentioned it today on the PLO chat, I had forgotten. It is about Telyn. Telyn is the mate of Idris at the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Montgomeryshire, Wales. I think you will have a genuine appreciation of how protective and fierce these Osprey mothers can be!

This is the backstory. This is a weather warming that the BBC Weather Service issued on the 25th of April 2019 as the storm ravages.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-48050305

And here is the video of Telyn incubating her three eggs in 2019 during that monster of a storm:

Wasn’t that incredible?! She just hunkered down deep into that nest. Wow.

What a gorgeous sight – the sun coming up over the horizon full of energy, joy, and hope at Port Lincoln.

It is 16 degrees C with 84% humidit. The weather network mentions the potential for rain and a thunderstorm. The wind is blowing at 13 km/h.

Mum and the babies are all sleeping with the gentle rock of the barge. Oh, just look at them! Old enough to regulate their own temperatures and too big to fit under mom. I bet if it rains she will quickly become the Mombrella! or she will stuff them under her. What do you think?

Sometimes breakfast is early but it seems the average is around often around 9:30 lately.

Mom is standing up looking for a fish delivery. Meanwhile, just look at those chicks and how dark they are today. Will we be able to tell who is Little Bob anymore?

Those feathers must be really itchy.

At 8:57:45 Dad brought in a whopper for Mum and the kids.

Everyone is going to be full. Great fish, Dad!

Little Bob is eating first (of course).

Oh, my gosh. I see food comas coming on quickly. Every chick ate. Every chick has an enormous tight crop. They were completely civilized. Mom and Dad PLO you are doing good!

That is Little Bob closest to the fish. So far I can identify him by his cere. Look at his crop. Do you think Ospreys ever get indigestion? And look at how much of that nice fish is left. Mom eat it up! There will be some left for Dad, too.

Oh, my. Itchy feathers and colossal crops. Time to snooze in the warm Australian sun while Mom has some nice fish for breakfast.

Every once in awhile I get little tears. They start and they must won’t stop. Not because I am sad. It is because I am so joyful and full of hope for this nest this year. Let’s keep up the momentum. Each chick will be rewarded with their very own sat-pak! We can follow them like we do Solly.

Speaking of Solly, she is a year old. Her tracker was out of sorts for a few days and had people worried but she was fine. Boots on the ground spotted her on her favourite tree at Eba Anchorage. Solly, you have done well! We are all so very pleased for you. Happy Birthday!

Just a peek at ‘not an Osprey’. Everyone seems to be fine eating in the beautiful warm sun at Port Lincoln, but in Melbourne, all eyes are on the Mum at 367 Collins Street. Will those four eggs start hatching at once? and how soon will that be?

Gosh, she’s beautiful!

That is it. I waited to make sure that everyone was fed and full at the PLO and they certainly are.

Thanks for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon!!!!

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and FB page and the 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots.

Oh, our lovely fish eating birds

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big Red with Squirrel. @ Suzanne Arnold Horning

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turkey Vulture at Cornell. @Suzanne Arnold Horning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blue 095

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

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

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

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

Early Morning at Loch of the Lowes. 18 July 2021

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

Early morning at Glaslyn. 18 July 2021

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

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

Bird World Happenings, Late June 25

There is good news. K3 is alright. The little one was blown off the Red tail hawk nest on the Cornell Campus today. K3 is the third hatch of the 2021 season. Suzanne Arnold Horning who takes beautiful images of the hawks has located both K3 and K1 and says that Big Red and Arthur are fully aware of where their kids are. This is wonderful news. That little K3 is going to give us all quite a few worries it seems! So glad he is OK.

It has been a very sad week in Bird World. The death of Alma and one chick in the Finnish Osprey Nest today is a tragedy. My friend T thinks that the Raven, had it been able to get to the fish tail under the chicks, might have taken that food and left everything alone. But that was sadly not to be the case. The surviving chicks are now in the care of a foster mother. Then there was the death of the chick on the Cowlitz Nest and the announcement that K2 had to be euthanized due to a severe beak injury. The week ended badly.

There are still, however, many things to celebrate in Bird World so let us hop through the nests and see what has been happening.

Little Tiny Bob and Middle Bob were eating a good sized fish on the Foulshaw Moss Nest this evening. Great Big Bob was over wingersizing. It is always nice when she is preoccupied so the other two can eat in peace. Look closely. Little Tiny Bob looks like an osprey! There he is with his juvenile feathers on the right. Mom is busy giving them both bites. These two are not competitive and get a long really well. That is so nice.

Mom and Dad have been on the barge in Port Lincoln, Australia and things will be ramping up there soon. In the image below, Mom is still on the nest and you can see Dad’s ‘man cave’ lower down. This nest is known for siblicide. When things begin to happen, I will post a link so you can watch if you like.

During the 2021 season, the third hatch, little Tapps, was so so tiny compared to the other two and there was clearly not enough food for Mom and three babies. Tapps died when he was 18 days old. It was hard to watch. Solly, the eldest and a female, received a satellite tracker. Dew was the middle chick. We have been able to follow Solly and she is changing the understanding of how far Ospreys go when they leave the nest. Dew was ringed but has no tracker. To my knowledge there have been no sightings of Dew.

Solly is 278 days old today. Let us see where she is staying.

Solly really does love that area around Eba Anchorage. Maybe this will be her forever home. She has shown no interest in returning to Port Lincoln.

Tiny Tot had two nice fish meals today compliments of dad, Jack. The first came at 11:26 and the second was at 4:56. Spaced out nicely!

This image shows the last fish delivery. It is quite a big fish and if you look carefully you will notice that Tiny Tot still has a crop from the morning’s meal. Nice.

There was a big storm near the nest of the Black Storks in Estonia today. The trees were swaying in the forest but oddly, the nest wasn’t. It was an odd sensation. The rain was just beginning to come down when I took these images.

Look how much the storklets have grown. Their beautiful juvenile plumage is starting to show through.

The Black Storks are fine. There continue to be three and that is such good news. Karl II and Kaia are very good parents!

The White Storks at the Mlade Burky nest in Czechoslovakia are really growing, too. The community really worked together to make certain that this family thrived. Just look at these beautiful storklets today.

I am, however, just hoping that it is the angle of the camera and the light outside that is causing the stork’s left leg to appear grey or black – the one at the back on the right. Could that band be too tight? Otherwise they seem impressibly healthy. Hats off to everyone in the community for their kindness!

The remaining chick on the Cowlitz nest had some fish today and has a bit of a crop. Whether there was enough for the chick and Electra is unknown. I did not watch this nest that closely today. I was happy, however, to see the baby ate. So small and so undernourished. It is supposed to be extremely hot on this nest on Saturday – it is the heat wave that is hitting that part of the Pacific Northwest. This chick is going to need lots more fish! Electra, please forget about Wattsworth. Go and get the fish yourself – unhook 65 million years of hardwiring that tells you to stay on the nest and feed the babies the fish Wattsworth brings. Just go. You can fish.

Idris brought in a late day fish for Dysnni and Ystwyth on the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Wales. When he arrived Telyn was not on the nest. Ystwyth was hungry. So what does any good dad do? He feeds his chicks! And that is precisely what Idris did – great guy.

By the time Ystwyth was finished, Dysnni decided he would like some fish, too! Way to go Idris!

And someone at the Falcon Cam Project on the UC Berkeley Campus, put together a compilation video of the Fifth Season of Annie and Grinnell and their chicks – Fauci, Kaknu, and Wek-Wek.

Gosh, by the time the chicks fledge you have forgotten what it was like at the beginning when Annie and Grinnell were just thinking about chicks. So this video is a bit of fun! Not sure about the choice of music but you can mute the sound if you like. Enjoy.

The Muscovy Duck has returned to her eggs and seems to continue building up the nest higher and higher using the bark mulch. Glad to see the bamboo fence to protect her did not frighten her away.

Thank you for joining me today. So glad to hear that K3 is safe – and K1. We can all rest a little easier tonight.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Parkland Florida Duck Cam, Cowlitz PUD, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Dyni Osprey Nest, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Mlade Buky, The Eagle Club of Estonia, Achieva Credit Union, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project. I would also like to thank the Port Lincoln FB Page for posting the images of Solly’s satellite tracking.

Osprey Lessons and Sharpie pays a visit

A couple of weeks ago, a really good book landed on my desk. It is The Rutland Water Ospreys. It is beautiful, full of colour photographs, drawings, and brimming with all the information that Roy Dennis, Tim Appleton, Tim Mackrill, and Helen McIntryre learned when Rutland Water set about to increase the number of Ospreys in the United Kingdom. What they and other researchers learned through direct observation, banding, and using satellite monitored trackers has changed many commonly held beliefs about Osprey. I hope, over the course of the next weeks to introduce you to some of the things they learned, along with others.

Translocating. When Roy Dennis set about to take young osprey from their nests in Scotland and introduce them to Rutland, the team learned one big important aspect that increased their success. I mention this first because I am once again hoping there would be a break at the Achieva Osprey Nest in Dunedin, Florida. Tiny Tot has not had anything to eat since 11 am on April 11. Despite fish deliveries including a whopper by Diane, Tiny did not get that much food. How could Tiny thrive too? I wished that the rangers in Florida that work with USFWS would remove Tiny from the nest and hand feed him til he was strong enough to be introduced. And this is precisely what they did at Rutland in the beginning. What they learned is you do not remove the runt from the nest. Instead you take one of the larger, older chicks leaving the little one with its parents and possibly another sibling. By removing the bigger older chick that required more food and was being the most aggressive, the little one grew and thrived. At the same time the bigger old chick did better being translocated. It did not have to be fed by hand but could eat on its own and did not have difficulties being removed from the nest.

The image below is of the 2011 chicks of Monty and Nora from the Cors Dyfi Nest in Wales. There they are: Einion Blue DH, Dulas Blue 99, and Leri Blue DJ. They have just received their trackers. Look how the trackers fit in a little pack on their backs. [Note: 3 healthy Osprey chicks raised in the same nest. No problems with rivalry].

The satellite trackers do not harm the birds. There are various models, some are battery powered while some are solar. Many weight only 0.15 grams. They get very sophisticated and expensive depending on what data the researchers want. Some fit directly on the feathers while others are inside a kind of backpack. Using super glue, some plastic tubing, and some dental floss the tracker is fitted onto the central shaft of the tail feather if it was a tail mounted device or on the back.

Researchers check to make sure that the feathers of the young Osprey are hard-penned. When feathers begin to grow, there is blood flowing through the shaft. As the birds ready to fledge, the blood supply to the feather stops flowing and the shaft turns white. At that stage, the feather is hard penned. Some of you might remember that Joe and Connie’s oldest chick, Hope, in the Captiva Florida Bald Eagle Nest on Santibel Island died from a broken blood feather. The real cause was rodenticide but the young bird, having ingested the poison from prey she was fed, broke off one of her feathers jumping about the nest. Because the poison was an anti-coagulant, she literally bled to death. Blood feather versus hard penned.

Solly, the Port Lincoln Osprey is wearing a tracker positioned on her back that is expected to last for seven years. Others are only intended to last a year – for short term research projects. They will come off during the moult. That is the kind that the two Royal Albatross, LGL and LGK, have on their back.

Solly is 205 days old. From her backpack satellite transmitter, we know that she spent last night at Eba Anchorage. We have also learned from Solly that juvenile Eastern Osprey travel as much as 200 kilometres from their natal nest. The assumption had always been that juvenile osprey stayed closer to home. Not true!

Another common held belief was that male Ospreys always return to the area of their natal nest after their first migration to breed. The evidence this time came from banding, the coloured Darvic rings. The sighting of a male Osprey, orange/black 11 (98), a Rutland bird, in a Scots pine in north Wales, some 200 miles west of Rutland, proved that belief to be wrong. In fact, the sighting of orange/black 11 (98) in Wales did something else – it confirmed that the bird had survived. When it did not return to Rutland, it was wrongly assumed to be dead. Another sighting on that trip enroute home was of another Rutland male. This time 07 (97) was not dead either but had a female and a chick in a nest in mid-Wales.

These are only a few of the common beliefs that have been debunked through the use of logic, banding, or satellite transmitters. Every day researchers are learning something new and exciting. It is a great time to be learning about birds.

———————————————————————————-Some fun images to close off. Louis at the Loch Arkaig Osprey Nest. Instead of pacing and waiting for Aila to arrive, Louis (pronounced Lou-ee) is using his talons to dig up the nest and refurbish it. His digging is quite efficient. Everyone is holding their breath waiting for Aila to arrive.

12 April 2021. Louis is doing nestorations.

Louis continues to wait for Aila on the 13th. Oh that she would arrive. The migration is so difficult. A healthy Kielder Osprey, Blue Y6 (18) female was spotted in Santander, Spain a couple of days ago. She was healthy. Then she was found a couple of days later dehydrated and with a broken leg. All of Louis and Aila’s fans are hoping that she is in the last group of ospreys moving north from Africa into the United Kingdom.

And a glimpse at the cutes little baby osprey – the first hatch of the year in the Savannah, Georgia Osprey nest on 13 April. The pip started at 10:58 on the 12th. There are three eggs on this nest. If you want to follow this new little one and its siblings, I have posted the information below.

Sharpie must have known that I am feeling a ‘little blue’ over Tiny Tot and he decided to pay me an early morning visit. He caused quite the commotion on his arrival. There had been a glut of European Starlings at the feeders. I am not exaggerating when I say that there were no less than 35. And then we got the most beautiful murmurations – two of them – thanks to Sharpie! It is always a treat to see that Sharpie is surviving. He stays with us in the cold Canadian winter, never migrates and made a bit of history on Cornell birds because of that. Here he is today another snowy day – in April!

Thank you for joining me today – as I wait, impatiently, for Tiny Tot to be fed enough to survive. It is lovely hearing from you, too. Stay safe. Enjoy the birds!

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Woodland Trust and Post Code Lottery and Rutland Water, Cornell Lab & Skidaway Audubon. Thanks also to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the telemetry they post on their FB Page.

Happy Saturday in Bird World

It might be hot and windy but Jack has delivered one big fish and another piece onto the Achieva Osprey nest this morning. Thank you, Jack! All is well on that nest! Tiny Tot still had his crop from yesterdays big feed when a big fish arrived at 7:16:50. Despite the fact that he was right there when that whopper landed, Diane pulled the fish around to feed the bigger ones first. She knows what she is doing. Feeding them first kept peace on the nest and she knew there would be enough left for her and Tiny.

Tiny Tot remained in his position when the fish arrived while the older sibs ate their breakfast. Without calling attention to himself, he pivots so that he can eat when they are finished. Very smart.

Tiny Tot is a survivor. He is clever and he keeps his eye on everything that is going on in the nest. Today, there have been no attacks on him. Did the arrival of all that fish yesterday help calm the food competition on the nest?

Tiny eats! At 9:20:03 Tiny Tot looks like he has swallowed a beach ball! Look at that crop. I just think this is the silliest pose I have ever seen in a bird. Tiny is preening his tail.

In the image below you can also get an idea of how much bigger the older sibling is than Tiny. Look at the difference in their wings. Tiny is getting his juvenile feathering on his back and wings. For sure, a total of about 7 full days without food (if you add it all up) stunted his growth. Let’s hope that these good feedings help him get bigger quicker.

Jack is working on more gold stars today. Everyone is looking up as the second food item arrives at 11:10:22. It is hard to tell but it looks like a piece of fish not a whole fish. Once again our little trooper is jolly on the spot.

This time Diane did not move the fish. She kept it by Tiny Tot and started feeding him immediately. The older ones were watching the traffic together.

At some point the older siblings came over to get a few bites. There was no bonking. Tiny had eaten a lot and he quietly turned to the rim of the nest. When they left, he turned back to mom to eat some more. Diane also ate some very good bites but before she finished the last bit, she stretched her neck to Tiny who, at first, refused any more food. In the end, he did eat a little more at 11:46:44 after mom insisting. Here he is full, Diane tidying up the tail, and a very happy nest on a hot, very windy day in St Pete’s.

In other Osprey news, Mrs G has laid her first egg of the 2021 season! Mrs G is the oldest Osprey in the United Kingdom and is the mate of the unringed male known as Aran at the Glaslyn nest in Wales. Congratulations!

And poor Dylan. The weather in the United Kingdom has been strange. It snowed on the Clywedog nest in Wales on the afternoon of 10 April. Here is that beautiful Dylan posing for us.

The mystery at the Loch Arkaig nest continues. Everyone believed that Louis had arrived the other day but it looks like it was a male intruder who is still hanging around the nest. As far as anyone knows, Louis and Aila have not returned. (I erroneously reported Louis had arrived as did everyone else!) The weather and the winds continue to be an issue and this very popular Osprey couple could be waiting it out. Meanwhile, the nice looking male looks like he owns the place.

I really wish Louis and Aila had trackers so we knew they are alright and just progressing slowly. In the satellite image below, we can see Rutland 4K (13) making his way through France on his return trip from Africa. In this 250 kilometre or 155 mile section, Rutland 4K (13) reached heights of 650 metres or 2132 feet above sea level.

These advanced backpack transmitters are amazing. They can tell you where the raptor went for their migration and if they are near to any dangerous issues such as Avian Pox along the coast of Senegal in 2021. They tell us their travel speed, the height, where they are enroute during migration. Researchers can then match this data with wind thermals. We are learning so much!

This is the most recent tracking data on Solly, the female osprey from the Port Lincoln Osprey nest. Solly is 203 days old today and she spent the night up at Eba Anchorage. Ever since she left her natal nest on the barge at Port Lincoln, Solly has been traveling north but she has continually returned, if she went much beyond Perlubie, to either Streaky Bay or Eba Anchorage. Solly has already provided the researchers in Australia with a dirth of material. We know where she spends the night, where she goes to fish, how she responds to crowds on a beach and how far away from her natal nest she went – which changed our understanding of the distance juveniles travel when they leave home.

Switching over to the United States again, it is a beautiful sunny day in Ithaca, New York and our favourite male Red-tail Hawk has been on incubation duty. In fact it is 23 degrees C and no snow in sight! Arthur, you really are a cutie. Look at that gorgeous red tail. Big Red seems to be trusting you more with nest duties.

The little eaglets born on the Minnesota DNR nest are growing. The eldest stretches its neck and watches Nancy, the female, eat the fish tail. Look at that little crop. This nest is doing really well. Everyone has learned how to feed or eat and the supply of food seems just right.

It is a good day just to pop in and check on those Great Horn Owlets, Tiger and Lily. Here is Tiger this morning standing next to Bonnie. How is that for growth? The time passed so quickly from the day the pair of owls decided to take over this Bald Eagle nest for their owlets. That was 1 February. The owlets were born on 7 and 9 March and are now 33 and 31 days old. We will see them climbing all over the nest and upon the branches soon. In a little over two weeks, around 47 days old, the owlets should be trying to fly. That should be around 24-26th of April. They will stay around the nest, improving their flying and hunting skills before dispersing to their own territory.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope that your Saturday is as beautiful as it is here on the Canadian prairie – gorgeous blue sky and no wind. Looking forward to 14 Celsius about the time for my walk. Take care everyone. Enjoy your weekend.

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Farmer Derek, the MN DNR, Cornell Bird Lab Red-Tail Hawk Cam at Ithaca, Achieva Osprey, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Woodland Trust, Lyn Clywedog and Cyfoeth Natural Resources

World Osprey Week 22-26 March 2021

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!

“One More Shot of the Wales Countryside” by Monkey Boson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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.

“Ospreys Mean Spring” by Me in ME is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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!

“Llyn Gwynant” by Joe Dunckley is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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.

“Storm clouds over the Dyfi estuary” by Ruth and Dave is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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:

We are related to dinosaurs, can you tell?

Here is the link to the Dyfi Osprey Project and its streaming cam:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk70QelhKG9mVuj7jN4I5Cg

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.