I needed to check my glasses

It took me a few minutes to comprehend what I was looking at. For several weeks now the osplets on the Port Lincoln Barge nest have been looking more like dinosaurs than fish eagles. But, this morning with the rain, their plumage looked much different. There was a strange white over the water so my first response was – the camera has a problem. Then the water was blue and the chicks were having their meal and well——.

Here they are lined up for the 12:36:06 delivery. Gosh, they had to have been hungry despite all those feedings yesterday. The weather must have hampered Dad’s fishing.

Still, there was no fighting. The chicks are all lined up as normal with Tiny Little right up at Mum’s beak! Oh, this kid really does love its fish.

So let us remember what we know about osplets plumage. When they hatch, they are covered with a very light greyish coat of down. You can see this in the image below.

It is 21 September. That was 22 days ago. Little Bob is 5 days old; the other two are 7 days old. Note the prominent dark eye line and the light soft down. Gosh they were so little! The hatchlings will keep this light coat of down from hatch until they are 10-12 days old, according to Alan Poole.

Oh, just look at Little Bob. So cute with that great big crop. He is the one closest to the viewer.

It is 5 days later. A darker charcoal coloured woolier down replaces that soft light grey down.

This is a huge period of change in terms of plumage. As the dark wooly down comes so do the feathers. The feathers show up first on the head and back and then on the body, later on the wings and tail. The feathers on the head and neck are a coppery-gold colour. This phase is called the Reptilian phase because they look more like their ancestors of 65 million years ago than the juvenile ospreys they are becoming.

You can see those coppery-gold feathers in the image below. The osplets are also growing at a fantastic rate.

The image below of Little Bob was taken three days ago. He was definitely in the Clown Foot stage! You can also see the dark grey wooly down as well as a few of the copper feathers on the back of his neck.

The image below was taken yesterday. You can see that the juvenile plumage is really starting to come in. It appears as little round tufts growing out of the blood quills.

In the image below, Little Bob is eating the prize fish tail. He is in his usual spot near the beak of Mum!

The image below was taken just a few minutes ago. I realize that feathers, like hair and paint, can appear darker when wet so use your imagination. It is as if a huge amount of juvenile plumage came in since last evening. Those feathers are really pushing out of those quills!

That is Little Bob at the very back. He is facing to the left and looking down slightly. He still has that spot and the white on the cere with the white swipe under his eye. Right now I can still find him but I might not be able to tomorrow.

In a blink. We will begin to notice considerable changes in their size along with the continued growth of feathers. The very last feathers to emerge will be the primaries and secondaries also known as the flight feathers. Only when all of their feathers have emerged from the blood quills will the osplets be ready to fly. We will know that when they really begin to exercise those wings and attempt hovering.

To give you an idea of the ‘look’ of the plumage and the size of the feathers I have included an image of Tiny Little, the third hatch of the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest in Cumbria. This was taken on 24 August just before she migrated. Blue 463. Look at the length of her tail and the beautiful symmetry of her feathers. This is how the trio on the Port Lincoln nest will look by the time they are 50-60 days old.

As a reminder, Little Bob hatched on 16 September so he is now 26 days old. They have a long way to go but their plumage and their size are going to change right before our eyes. We really do not need to get our glasses adjusted! It is them, not us.

Beautiful Tiny Little Blue 463 survived and became the dominant bird on the nest. She is on her way to Africa. We hope to see her again.

I couldn’t wait to show you those miraculous changes in the plumage of the three. It really is miraculous. Thank you so much for joining me. I hope to see you soon. Take care.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots.

Late Saturday in Bird World

I want to thank the person who wrote and thanked me for keeping everyone abreast of what is happening with the Port Lincoln Osplets. It is truly my pleasure. The situation of siblicide last year with Tapps really touched our or tore out our hearts. People can say that nature is not like Disneyland – and it surely isn’t – but, it is still hard. How many times did we want to scoop up little Tapps and feed him? I almost quit watching Ospreys entirely because of Tapps. I do understand – completely.

I began to wonder about these third hatches. The Osprey nests had such a hard time last year that there were few with three hatches that survived. The first was Tiny Tot at Achieva. Aka Tumbles. What an amazing bird. I will not bore you with all of the intricate details but, in the first two six weeks of her life, Tiny Tot had 12 days – 12 whole days – without food. At least twice, she went for 72 hours. That bird wanted to live. She was clever! And, yes, she got angry and lashed out at the older ones twice. I believe it was the last instance when Diane, the female, took notice. She began bringing in food to the nest. Those big catfish saved Tiny Tot’s life. And then Tiny Little at Foulshaw Moss. Neither of the Tinys should have survived but they did and were stronger birds for it. My interest in third hatches was cemented with the two Tinys. I want to see if their survival rate is higher than the big siblings. The problem is that so few of them are ringed or have satellite trackers. Someone in France just photographed Blue 494 from the Dyfi Nest. Maybe they will see Blue 463, Tiny Little, too. Oh, I hope so.

What I can tell you is that the PLO are doing fine. Little Bob has a good appetite. He can’t eat as many bites as Big Bob but at the most recent feeding, Little Bob ate enough to go into food coma! Mom seems particularly focused on making sure that each gets bites. She is doing really well this year and so is Dad with bringing in the fish. It is 11 degrees C in Port Lincoln and the winds are still blowing strong at 24 kmh. That is 14.91 miles an hour. It might not sound like a lot but it can certainly disrupt fishing.

Here is a close up. Little Bob is the one that is being fed. You can see that he already has the makings of a very good crop.

This is Little Bob getting some nice bites. The one that looks asleep is actually Big Bob. She has eaten and is taking a ‘breather’. Meanwhile Little and Middle Bob are enjoying the morning breakfast.

There is Big Bob back up at the table! Doesn’t take long. She can eat bigger pieces and more of them now. But there is no problem with Little or Middle Bobs eating. Everyone is doing well.

Every once in awhile their eyes lock on one another and my body goes rigid but, so far, nothing. Mom goes around making sure everyone has bites. It is that kind of security that keeps things tranquil.*

These are really well behaved youngsters. Food is plentiful and they line up with mouths open letting out little peeps. Middle Bob is getting some bites now while Little and Big wait their turns.

As I said, Little Bob has a very good appetite and he won’t leave the table until he falls over in food coma or mom calls it quits. Remember, she does not want them to catch cold. Right now the feedings are lasting about nine minutes.

Little Bob is full and in a food coma. The crops are filling on the older two. Oh, what a delight this nest is to watch this year. Of course, it can all change. Just continue to send the warmest of wishes to this family. We want three survivors! Three.

Closer to home. I was heading out to check on the Wood Ducks at the park. The last time I was there the male Wood Ducks – save for one – were in the equinox. They were moulting and getting their fall plumage. They were certainly not their brilliant beautiful selves.

As soon as I was out the door I could hear the familiar pecking of the male Downy Woodpecker in the garden. He comes several times a day. Rumour has it that he lives inside the 123 year-old Maple tree in front of my house.

In the winter I rub peanut butter suet on the bark and I often see him eating away. This summer he brought his baby to find the suet. The strange thing is – we have never seen the female. It is so odd.

Little Woodpecker is such a sweetie. One day when Sharpie, the Sharp-shinned Hawk, was in the garden, the little woodpecker was on the suet like he is today. For 45 minutes, he held on tight, not moving, just blinking his eyes rapidly. He was so afraid he was going to be Sharpie’s lunch. I felt so sorry for him. Sharpie was sitting on a branch under him pretending to be. feeder! Needless to say Sharpie wasn’t successful that day.

It is a beautiful fall day and the park was full of Canada geese and people having picnics and playing cricket.

Over in the pond, the male Wood Ducks really stand out. They have finished their moult. Just look at the range of colour in those feathers. Even the golden beige ones are gorgeous.

Here is a different one. The shape of the head is slightly different on this one.

The female Wood Ducks have really grown, too. My goodness. What a change in a a week. They were so tiny when I left but they seem to be growing by leaps and bounds.

There were definitely more females than males.

The Mallards were particularly annoying today. We noticed that the female Wood Ducks tended to stay close to one another.

Isn’t she beautiful?

The male Mallards are in the middle of moulting. Soon they will have those beautiful emerald green heads that are so characteristic. For now, they look a little bit like peeling duck decoys instead of living breathing water fowl.

There were lots of female Mallards in the pond today.

Two Canada Geese came flying in creating a bit of a ruckus.

Then they slithered along the surface of the pond. They looked rather strange and everyone stopped to try and figure out what they were doing.

We presumed that they were sipping water.

Speaking of water. The pond is pretty clean this year. There are two fountains and everyone is abiding by the signs and not feeding the ducks. If they do it is wild bird seed. What a huge difference from the algae infested muck of last year.

It is early morning in Australia. There will be more meals for the youngsters. All of the birds in our park are safe and sound tonight. We have had no frost. In decades past there was always a freeze in August. I wonder if this might impact migration dates?

Thank you so much for joining me. Have a lovely rest of the weekend. Tomorrow I am going to try and break my unlucky streak and catch that juvenile Green Heron that is hanging about our City. Take care all. Stay safe.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Bird World 9 September 2021

WBSE 27 and 28, the two little sea eaglets in the old Ironbark Nest in Sydney’s Olympic Park, had an early morning breakfast of bird.

Ah, just guess who was the first one up at the breakfast table? If you said, 28 you are absolutely right.

The little bird filled up their empty tummies but it wasn’t big enough -like a grand fish -to fill their crops, too. After breakfast the pair did some wing flapping, standing, and attempts at walking. They still need their wing tips to help with their balance.

Look at the tail that is growing on WBSE27! 27 is the one flapping its wings below.

Well, the Australian Magpie was not giving the White-bellied Sea Eagles a break today. For a couple of hours after feeding the eaglets, Lady defended the nest ducking and honking as the Magpie swooped down trying to hit her.

In the image below, Lady is honking at the Magpie.

Here is a good image of the bird as it goes to land on a branch of the nest tree. This bird is cheeky – they must taste terrible or Lady could have that Magpie for lunch! I would not blame her.

In this image you can see the Magpie caught in flight right above Lady’s head.

Here the Magpie is flying around Lady. It is right over her head.

Dad came to help Lady. All of the big raptors – at the top of the food chain – attract all the small birds and owls. It is surprising how much physical damage these small feathered creatures can do. Last year, BooBook Owl injured Lady’s eye. They can, of course, knock the eaglets out of the nest.

Tiaki looks out to the world that awaits her. Her name means protector of the land and the seas. I hope that they also protect her.

As Albies fly around her in the strong winds, Tiaki raises her wings. She will be off on her big adventure soon.

The chicks are all hovering in the strong winds. In a blink they will be gone. I think I put down 12 September on the guessing game but it could just be any time. Quarry Chick fledged 3 days ago.

Tiaki received her GPS tracker today. Ranger Sharyn Bronte said, “A wider study of the entire Northern Royal Albatross is being conducted this year. And in a first for a Royalcam chick Tiaki as received a tracker. Trackers have deployed on northern royals on the Chathams where 99% of the world population of this species breeds.We are extremely lucky to have 20g devices are available to track LGK, LGL and Tiaki. Although LGL’s device failed it has provided valuable data. Devices are extremely light compared to the weight of the bird and attached to back feathers. These feathers molt within a year and the device will fall off. The device is solar powered and will remotely send data until molting.”

If you read my column regularly, you will know that I am a big supporter of GPS trackers. I also support Darvic bands. Much new information on the migrations, winter and summer breeding grounds – and yes, deaths, are revealed amongst other things. Studying birds or watching them in their nests is never for the faint of heart. Their lives are full of challenges, most placed on them by humans.

Last year, a lovely Polish woman wrote to me to tell me she didn’t know how I could be so calm when ‘bad things’ happened to the birds. Those were not her exact words but that is what she meant. I was not the least bit offended. The truth is I feel for each and every one of them. That caring is inside a bigger box that is now labelled ‘ avian activist’. I want to help stop those things that cause the birds injury or death when it can be avoided. Rodenticides, sticky paper traps, lead shot, lead bullets, lead in fishing equipment, fishing line, fishing nets, windows, garbage dumped on the roads, habitat loss, wild fires caused by arson, electrocution, bread fed to the birds —— and simple neglect or oversight. Like having emergency contact numbers for the streaming cams where there is no 24/7 chat with knowledgable moderators.

I am working on a way to remember Malin, the Osprey nestling at the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, whose life was needlessly cut short. The Malin Code. Osprey streaming cams that follow The Malin Code would have either 24/7 moderators who can access emergency help immediately or emergency numbers at the top of the historical information on the nests. Individuals who are in charge of parks or areas with nests would be trained to recognize the physical signs (11 of them) from food begging to alerting and the 8 vocalizations. It is the least requirement. The other is that they pay attention to what is happening on the nest. They need to know the difference between a juvenile and an adult. Etc. Whew. Yes, I get worked up. If you can think of anything else that these organizations should be doing, let me know. Don’t be shy! At the end of the year, the streaming cam that best implemented The Malin Code would get a donation, big enough to motivate them to do what is right for the birds.

OK. On to what is happening in some of the scrape boxes:

Diamond and Xavier spent some time in the scrape box together today. There was a bit of a conversation between Diamond and Xavier. I need to learn to speak falcon.

There is a real soft spot in my heart for the little male Peregrine Falcon in Melbourne. Maybe it is the ledge where he comes scurrying in to take his turn incubating the eggs or when he brings prey to the eyases.

He is the cutest thing and makes the biggest messes plucking pigeons right in the nest with the eyases. But, last year, I noticed that those three girls really knew what to do with a feathered bird. They were not shy. By the time they fledged, they were professional pigeon pluckers. Can you say that fast 10x?

What a cutie! Our stealth raptor.

Have you ever wondered about the black faces of the Peregrine Falcons? Did you know that the size and intensity of the black varies by region? Have a read.

Cody and the lads down in Kisatchie National Forest have done a great job with the camera for the Bald Eagle Nest of Anna and Louis. Cody says that the sound is going to be fantastic.

Isn’t that a gorgeous sunset over Lake Kincaid? Such a lovely spot for a Bald Eagle nest —- and, of course, there is the lake that is stocked with some really nice fish. Couldn’t get much better. Everyone is just waiting for the Eagles to return.

Speaking of Bald Eagles returning, both Samson and Gabby are at home in Jacksonville and Harriet and M15 are in Fort Myers. All that reminds me I have to check and see what is happening at Captiva.

I want to leave you with an image of Tiny Little. She is one of the fledgling Ospreys in my long time study of third hatch survivors. She has a Darvic ring-Blue 463. Here she is as a wee one.

Blue 35 is feeding Tiny Little by herself. Look at ‘big nasty sister’ in the middle. It really is thanks to excellent parenting that Tiny survived – and became the dominant bird. Gosh, I wish she had a tracker. Is she at Poole Harbour? has she made it to Brittany? will she go to The Gambia? or Senegal? or Southern Spain? My ‘wish list’ includes getting someone to look for her if I can’t be there myself during the winter of 2022.

That’s it for me tonight. Tomorrow I am off in search of a Green Heron. Take care everyone. Stay safe. Be kind. Remember: Life is for living.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: 367 Collins Street Falcons, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, The Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle Cam, The Falcon Cam Project Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ Doc Royal Albatross Cam and FB Page and The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Early Friday in Bird World

The Scottish Wildlife Trust has confirmed that the female, NC0, has left the Loch of the Lowes for her migration after receiving a fish from LM12, Laddie, on Sunday 22 August. This is a late departure. The female fledgling, LM1, migrated on 15 August, a week prior to her mother which is also unusual. The Scottish Wildlife Trust says that is only the second time in the history of the nest that a juvenile has left prior to the female adult. Laddie, LM12 and the male juvenile, LM2, are the only ones left at Loch of the Lowes. Here is the video of that last sighting of NC0:

Tiny Little was still on the Foulshaw Moss Nest this morning, 27 August, around 07:00 as confirmed by this image taken by my friend ‘SS’. I have tried to catch her on that nest so many times – even late in the night from the Canadian prairies but those efforts were to no avail. So glad to see this. Is it my imagination or does that crop look full? Maybe she is just hunched down.

Mrs G and Aran were still on the Glaslyn nest. For a bit of time, Mrs G was enjoying a flounder. However, there was other action around. It appears that KA3, Hesgyn, and Z2 Aeron, have been over at the Glaslyn nest.

Here is Aeron, Z2, one of Monty’s boys at the Glaslyn nest caught on camera:

Aran has been dealing with intruders. Are Monty’s lads helping? or are they the intruders Aran is dealing with?

You may recall earlier in the summer before Aran’s wing injury was much better that there was a suggestion that Z2 was the Osprey that Aran battled with over the river. Z2 even spent some time sitting on the Glaslyn Nest as you can see from the image above.

Z2, Aeron, occupies the Pont Cresor nest with 014 nearby. I would not draw the conclusion that Monty’s lad is being a friendly neighbour to Aran – you might be humanizing the situation too much. Perhaps Z2 would like that piece of prime real estate and Mrs G to go with it.

Hopefully Aran and Mrs G will put an end to that nonsense if it is true.

Watching over the territory.

Mrs G and Aran remained on or around the nest for some time. I wonder if Mrs G is waiting for Aran to be fully healed and ready for migration before she leaves? I just love seeing them together!

A quick check on the Black Storks in Latvia and Estonia. At the Jegova County Nest of Jan and Janika, one of their storklings, Julge, was on and off the nest during the day. This image was taken right before 20:00 as you can see from the time stamp.

There is now concern rising for Tasane. This is the most recent message from Urmas: “looking data I suspect problems with 7183, probably killed last evening quite near the nest. I can go there maybe afternoon, but depends how other duties can be solved. It is only warning, yet. … “

Karl II’s daughter, Pikne, is in the Ukraine, on 26 August according to her tracker. This is good news.

On 26 August, Karl II was in a small forest near Hlusk in Belarus. He is headed towards the Black Sea.

I seem to be unable to find data for Udu on the 26th.

There has been no sightings of the storklings at the Latvian nest. People are anxious and hoping that Jan Kuze will go and check around the nests just to make sure. This is such a very difficult time for all. The deaths of Jogeva’s Malbe and Karula’s Tuul have really hit the hearts of so many. The fear that another, Tasane, is lost is just spiking anxiety. Will Julge be the only one to survive? My thoughts go out to all the people who loved these storklings so much. Seeing them perish after thriving and all the efforts to feed them, drains everyone of what energy they have left. And that brings me to the end of this updating, almost.

As I said many times, the circumstances of Malin’s death ‘rattled’ me because they pointed out how governmental agencies like the Department of Natural Resources are more concerned with selling hunting licenses than protecting wildlife. That is the precise reason that Rosalie Edge bought Hawk Mountain – to get rid of the hunters and protect the birds! Malin’s death has showed me that any person can put the title ‘naturalist’ behind their name. It means nothing. Malin’s death has raised so many issues. Sexism has been revealed to be alive and well in Wisconsin! I could go on and on. It feels like Malin was a ‘canary in the mine’ – my canary. As the layers of the onion are peeled away, more is revealed and the more that is exposed the more troubling it is. And so, I have been slightly distracted and there was a misunderstanding that led to my reporting that Diamond laid her egg yesterday. She laid her egg on 27 August last year.

Diamond looks like she is about to pop. She must not feel so good. Today, Xavier brought her an Eastern Rosella for her lunch. Diamond would be delighted!

I hope while I have been writing that she lays that egg. She is starting to make me uncomfortable!

Word has come that WBSE 28 has had some food and remains with us. 28 needs to get large enough but, for now, it is learning to stay clear of 27 until it is so full it doesn’t care and goes into a food coma.

Take care everyone. Keep all the Black storklings in your heart. Indeed, keep all of the birds in your heart especially those that are migrating or beginning their migration.

Thank you to the following persons or the streaming cams where I took my screen shots: To ‘SS’ and the The Cumbrian Wilife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest for the snap of Tiny Little, ‘S’ and the Falcon Cam on the grounds of Charles Sturt University in Orange, The Latvian Fund for Nature, The Eagle Club of Estonia, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

Waiting for diamond to lay her first egg, 2021

Diamond laid her first egg of the 2020 season at 04:16:09 on 27 August! She looked uncomfortable during the day with her rear all puffed up. How grand! Here is the video of that magical moment last year. If you have never seen a bird lay an egg, have a good look. They go into labour just like human females. The egg inside is very soft. You have probably noticed that the female birds do not immediately begin incubating the egg once they have laid it. This is so the air can harden the shell. In fact, Diamond is not going to start serious hard incubation til all of the eggs are laid. This is so the eyases will be born closer together, be a similar size, and not have the issues that eagles and ospreys have with the tiny third hatch.

There are now two Peregrine Falcon nests in Australia on streaming cam. If you miss Annie and Grinnell then please check out either of these. This is the link to Diamond and Xavier’s camera. There is a chat and excellent moderators. There is also a FB page.

We continue to wait for the 2021 egg!

The other Peregrine Falcon nest is on Collins Street in Melbourne and that happy couple are already incubating three eggs. Last year they raised triplet girls. I just love this couple.

And before everyone gets nervous, don’t. There is more of a ledge in front of this scrape box than in Diamond and Xavier’s.

Falcons are amazing to watch raise their clutches. You do not get the sibling rivalry like you do in WBSE, Eagles, or Ospreys. That again is because the eggs are not hard incubated until all of them are laid. So sit back, relax and watch the fun!

Here is the link to their camera. There is no chat.

Tiny ‘Not so Little’ is still around! She was eating a nice fish after 20:00 last night. Some are beginning to wonder if she will be too heavy to fly for migration! LOL. She certainly will be well prepared. Tiny Not so Little is a very clever girl. Let those others go first. Let dad work and stay a little later, too.

Tiny Little, there are so many people who admire you and cannot wait for you to return in 2023. Meanwhile I keep thinking that you might be like the Sharp-shinned Hawk that frequents my garden in the winter. He is an anomaly. Are you?

Migration is really in full swing here in Manitoba. There will be a number of celebrations beginning in a week as the various species make their way south to get away from the harsh winters of northern Canada. I headed off to one of the biggest environmental projects in our City – Fort Whyte. More about that later. Surely there would be ducks and geese and other species. Well, not so many. A very cranky male Canada goose did not like me within 13 metres or about 40 feet of his two juveniles and the female. He kept a good close eye on what I was doing.

It was early afternoon and the geese were obviously very thirsty. Their goal before the male noticed me was to get to the pond and have a big drink.

Some of them did this sort of gargling motion!

This beautiful little female mallard didn’t seem to mind my presence across the boardwalk. She watched me for awhile and then began preening.

And if you ever wondered, mallards are dabbling ducks. Much of the time this afternoon they were busy searching for food.

Often nature centres have special events surrounding migration. Our first is on 2 September but the one that I really look forward to is later in September or early October. It is the Goose Flight dinners at this very nature reserve I visited today. Enjoy a great meal with local ‘everything’ and then enjoy the thousands of Canada geese that fly in at dusk. It is unforgettable.

We are now putting out extra suet cylinders and topping up the feeders during the day plus all the water bowls. Just like Tiny Little needs a nice layer of fat reserves, all of the migrating birds need to eat well to help them be successful.

Brush up on the difference between the terms environmentalism and conservation. We are going to play a game in my blog on Saturday!

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cilla Kinross and The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University in Orange, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam.

The featured image is Xavier in the scrape box.

Iris and Louis defend nest

In my last post, Tiny Little Bob or Blue 463 from the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest was screaming at White YW (aka dad) for a fish. He could have flown to Wales and he would have still heard her.

What is that about the squeaky wheel always gets the oil first? Perhaps screaming daughters do, too. It is the last fish of the evening probably and Tiny Little is eating it. Blue 462, the other female on the nest, would like Tiny Little to share. Somehow I don’t think so ——- it was, after all, Blue 462 who was such a meanie to Tiny Little when she hatched. Birds have good memories.

These are the areas adjacent to Iris’s nest in Hellgate, Missoula, Montana. It is very beautiful. We always see the nest in the parking lot but just on the other side are trees, grass, and water.

Iris is the oldest living Osprey in the world. Her nest is at Hellgate in Missoula, Montana. After her mate Stanley died, she bonded with Louis. They had one chick survive, Lele, in 2018. Louis has another nest at the baseball park with Starr. They fledged two chicks this summer. When Stanley died, Louis also took over the territory that includes the two nests. Every year Iris returns, goes through the rituals of breeding, lays her eggs, and everything falls apart. People get upset. They think very little of Louis. I am of a divided mind. Right now I prefer Iris taking care of herself, eating well, and bulking up for migration than running around with a nest full of juvenile fledglings. She has done her bit for the DNA of the species. But that is just my opinion. Everyone is entitled to theirs, for sure. But the one solid thing that binds all of us together is our love for this most amazing of Ospreys.

Iris tends to spend more time at her nest before she leaves on migration. Last year she departed on 8 September. Everyone gets a little teary eyed right about now because there is no promise that Iris will return but, we live in hope that this strongest of female Ospreys graces the screens next spring. Along with that hope is that the rains come and there is plenty of food for all.

There have been a number of intruders, both male and female, this summer. Do they want to usurp Louis? take Iris for a mate? Certainly when Dunrovin’s Congo came on the scene everyone was hopeful! or are they just curious and checking out what nests are available? Perhaps all of those things. Today, Louis flew to the nest alarming and Iris flew in and joined him – showing off her big crop!

Erick Greene and his team in Montana are considering many ways in which to commemorate Iris. Stay tuned or check out the Montana Osprey FB page. If you wanted to order an Iris pen and forgot, if you will send me a note I will send you the details. They are gorgeous and made from those sticks she brought to the nest.

In the image below, Rosie, the female adult on the San Francisco Bay Osprey cam at the Richmond Yards, is bringing Poppy, one of two female hatches, a beautiful trout. Poppy is 110 days old today.

The average age for Richmond and Rosie’s female chicks to stop feeding at the nest is 105 days. The longest a female stayed was in 2018 and that was Kiskasit who was 124 days old. Lupine was last seen on Monday. She was 103 days old. Sage, the only male, was last seen on 28 July at the age of 86 days. The average for the males to stop feeding on this nest is 93 days so Sage left a little early. There is no reason to believe that Sage and Lupine have begun any type of migration. Richmond stays in the SF Bay area year round. Mom Rosie will migrate and the female adults normally leave before the fledglings. And whose to say they will migrate! If there is plenty of food and the weather is fine – well, it certainly agrees with Richmond – may be they will stay!

And, of course, just thinking about fledglings returning to the nest to be fed until they are 90-100 days old just makes me think about Malin. Susan, the wildlife rehabber that is over the area where Collins Marsh is located, was to get in touch me later today. She wrote me a long note yesterday and she is also firm in her knowledge that Malin was a forced fledge. As we have learned, normal fledges do not require our attention. The chicks return to the nest, take short flights, and are fed by the parents. Malin was not ready despite his age. He had suffered a lack of food. His forced fledge meant that he was in jeopardy and boots on the ground were needed immediately. This did not happen. As noted earlier, she found two chicks – one dead, one alive. I am hoping that ‘no news is good news’.

Suzanne Arnold Horning was on the Cornell Campus and she found the two Ks. No sightings of Big Red and Arthur but, guess what? Getting to see K1 and K3 on the 22nd of August is a bonus. Here they are hunting. That is K1 on the top. She looks so much like Big Red and has turned out to be such a fantastic hunter. Suzanne said they were not food calling – just being quiet and hunting. These two seem so much more independent this year.

Ah, the little cutie, K3 looking down and hoping to find a chippie.

What a nice treat to get to see the Ks. And, of course, theirs could be a migration dilemma. Big Red and Arthur stay in the area year round. Perhaps with the changes in weather so will the Ks. If someone could put the average date that birds leave for migration this year against last and create a global directory (surely someone does this already), tracking of changes related to climate could be measured. We have seen Poppy stay longer as are many others and now perhaps the Ks.

Thank you for joining me today. I will let you know as soon as I hear about Malin – it is heartwarming to hear from so many around the world who came to love that little nestling. If you are in line with any of the storms hitting the coast of the US, going over Hawaii, or elsewhere, take care of yourselves. Stay safe.

UPDATE: Aug 23 at 17:35:35 No2 (7182) fledged at the Estonian nest of Jan and Janika. Slept as an adult off nest.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and video clips: Montana Osprey Project, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon. I would also like to thank Suzanne Arnold Horning who allows me to download her images to share with you.

The First Egg for the Collins Street Falcons

Oh, my goodness. The male at the Collins Street Peregrine Falcon nest is nothing short of adorable. I spent all last year wanting to scoop up this stealth fighter in my arms and cuddle with him. Or dreaming of a Peregrine Falcon onsie. Wouldn’t that be cute on a toddler?

The first egg of the 2021 season has been laid on 21 August. Wow. It is eggciting.

You might be asking why the female is not incubating that egg. The female will not start incubating the eggs until the last one is laid. This is because the adults want the nestlings to be about the same size for the first fortnight so that there is no rivalry over food. Last year, the three big girls all hatched within a 24 hour period. There was never any sibling rivalry – that is what I love about falcons and kestrels. Once the last egg is hatched, they will be incubated for 32-40 days.

Mom looks so proud of herself!

These are some images from last year:

Mom brooding the triplets.

Dad feeding the girls when they are a little older – before they lose all that fluffy white down.

This year Mirvac, the property owners, are in charge of the streaming cams of the Victorian Falcon Project. You can watch these falcons from the very beginning.

Telyn at the Dyfi Nest, Wales. 20 August 2021

Some more great news. The Season of the Osprey will premier on PBS October 27 at 8pm! Please check your local stations for the exact time in your area. This is what they are saying about this documentary:

“Birds of prey exist in myriad shapes and sizes. Scores of eagles, hundreds of hawks and countless kites and falcons have all adapted form and behavior to fit diverse habitats. But in all the world, there is only one osprey. Following a single evolutionary path, it has conquered every continent save Antarctica. One bird, one design, unchanged. It is the only truly aquatic raptor, the sole member of its own taxonomic family. This one-hour, blue-chip special brings viewers into the life to this incredible raptor with a depth and intimacy never before attempted. Shot in and around Great Island Marsh, where the Connecticut River meets the Long Island Sound, cameraman Jacob Steinberg has achieved unlimited access to an osprey nest and captured the struggles, failures and triumphs of a single osprey family.”

Oh, I can’t wait!

I am afraid that I am having Malin withdrawal. A week or more ago I took a few video clips of Malin being fed by Marsha. I would like to share one of those with you now.

And another one of Malin exercising his wings.

It is so much easier when you know that the little one fledged, returned to the nest for food for 36 days or so, and then flew off to find their life. There is a level of anxiety when it doesn’t happen that way. I sure miss that little one. I have not, as yet, received any images of the two Osprey chicks found or any other news. I am hoping for tomorrow or Monday. It is a busy time of year for the wildlife rehabbers.

Two of the storklings have fledged at the nest of Grafs and Grafiene near Siguldas – the youngest was first and then the oldest yesterday. Only the middle remains. All have returned to the nest safely. The one that had its wing up against the far branch seems to be alright as well. That is good news. I have heard of no feedings since Grafs came in with some very small fish for the trio on 19 August. That means that if the storklings did not find the feeder – the two that fledged – they have had little food but nothing for two days. This is critical. There is concern that Grafs has left for his migration — it was the very initial concern. I want to remain hopeful.

Jan has fed his storklings but the meal was only tiny fish or worms. Urmas has not brought any more fish to the nest. Since he has fed them once and they accepted the fish, I hope that Urmas will do this again (he also left fish when he banded them and put on the trackers). It is not clear whether the anxiety of starvation is worse than having a human bring food to the nest.

These are very difficult times for everyone but they are especially difficult circumstances for these six starving Black Storks – rare Black Storks!

At the Black Stork Nest in the Karula Forest in Estonia, Karl II was still in the nest area. His transmitter told us. The two early fledges, Tuul and Udu, headed the wrong direction due to weather concerns and then turned south. Pikne travelled south from the beginning. New tracker information should be coming in soon. Safe travels all of you!

Oh, this youngster can really scream for food on the Loch of the Lowes nest. What a beauty. This is another good example of a ‘normal’ fledge. The chicks return to the nest to be fed and fattened up for migration.

I really want to put a plug in for the administration of the lochs in Scotland. No one is allowed on those lakes from April to the end of September so that humans do not disturb the birds. It means that motor boats with their leaking fuel are not chasing the Ospreys and making the water toxic. Gosh, I hope that only human powered boats are allowed. What a great idea – leave the lakes to the birds during breeding season. Three cheers for Scotland! This could well be the case throughout England and Wales also. I will try and find out.

And look what is on the Foulshaw Moss Nest. It is a flounder for the lucky chick that makes it to the nest first. Tiny Little!!!!!!!!! Where are you Tiny Little?

It’s a few minutes later and I missed that lucky fledgling that snagged that flounder! It’s gone. That leads me to believe that it was probably Blue 464, the male, the first to fledge. He likes to take the fish and eat it on the branch of the parent tree.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you are looking forward to those falcons hatching as much as I am. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Mirvac Corporation and the Collins Street Falcon Cam, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, The Eagle Club of Estonia, The Latvian Club for Nature, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, and The Dyfi Osprey Project.

Sadly, no word about Malin

I want to thank everyone that took the time to write to me and tell me how much Malin meant to them. My inbox was overflowing with letters expressing love and concern for Malin. Everyone wanted to know if there had been any word. Mom and Dad have both been on the nest with fish and today Marsha (mum) was there around 13:00. She did not have any fish that visit. During her morning visit she called out for Malin. So far there has been no sighting of Malin.

After going through the FB postings of the Nature Center, we were able to determine that Malin was the middle hatch. The youngest just disappeared from the nest and the eldest died in the middle of June leaving Malin, the chick that hatched on 18 June, alive. Malin was then the middle hatch of 18 June. Malin then was 63 days old at fledge. The average age for ospreys to fledge in Wisconsin appears to be 55 days. That would make Malin’s timing within range. Most ospreys spend at least 2 weeks flying and letting their parents feed them. Many stay much longer. Two examples that I give are Tiny Tot and Tiny Little because they were both hatches that suffered from lack of food. Tiny Tot stayed on the nest for a total of four months or 120 days. That is more than twice as long as Malin. Tiny Little remains on the nest in Cumbria. She will probably fledge before Tiny Tot’s 120 days – but she could be on the nest for 90 days.

There is disagreement over whether Malin simply flew or whether or not Malin was frightened off the nest by an intruder. Experts on both sides see that exit differently. It is unfortunate. The result is the same – Malin has not returned to the nest. The reactions to looking for Malin are different depending on which you believe. If Malin just flew because he wanted to then no one would go and really look for him. If one believed that Malin was frightened off the nest, they might worry that he was injured and look harder. Something that has to be kept in mind is that Osprey feed their fledglings on the nest – it is preferable. They do sometimes feed on a branch but I haven’t found an Osprey expert that has ever seen an Osprey parent feed their fledgling on the ground. In fact, if a fish falls off a nest they will not go and retrieve it. Have you ever seen an Osprey eat or feed its chick on the ground?

The research continues to stress that the more food and the longer fledglings stay on the nest the higher the success rate. That is the reality. This nest is really empty. Malin defied the odds – he survived and thrived. We hope that the name we gave him carries him on into his life and that he is somewhere safe eating a fish.

Collins is looking down like he might be seeing Malin.

One of the last times the entire family was together on the nest. It was a real privilege to watch little Malin survive and then – thrive. Let us all continue to send this family positive energy.

19 August 2021. Malin, Marsha, and Collins.

It is about 7am in Latvia and Estonia as I write this. The Black Storklings are waking up and like all birds are a little more energetic than they are at mid-day.

The two images below are from Grafs and Grafiene’s nest near Sigulda, Latvia. At least one of the storklets has fledged. Perhaps today they will all fledge and find the feeder area with the beautiful Grafiene decoy.

It is now just after 9am in Latvia and there is only one storkling on Graf’s nest near Sigulda. This means two have fledged just like my source had indicated. The second fledge is the oldest at 7:43 am. He is 70 days old today. The youngest fledged at day 66 after hatch.

This was not the smooth flight of the youngest. The oldest hit the branch on the other side of the tree. There is concern about the condition of that wing. I will update you as soon as there is any information. Send your strong and positive wishes. I hope it looks worse than it was. How terrifying for this young bird to have that happen.

Even so, I hope that both of the storklings are at the feeder filling themselves with fish – just like we hope Malin is doing the same.

There is now only the middle hatch. Perhaps it will go today. They are 68 days old.

When I checked on Jan and Janika’s storklings in Estonia’s Jogeva County, no more fish have been delivered to the nest. It looks to me like every scrap of the old fish has been eaten – I thought that yesterday. Perhaps one really packed down in the nest is there, the one the storkling on the left is pecking at. All of the birds need food.

Hopefully all of them will fledge and find the feeder set up for them, too.

They are so beautiful with the sunlight filtering through the trees. The storks are 67 and 68 days old today. The average for fledging is 68-72 days. I wonder if Urmas will deliver some more fish?????

Do you watch the peregrine falcons, Xavier and Diamond? If you do, then you will know that part of the pair bonding ritual is Xavier presenting a prey item to Diamond. Diamond is not that particular but, she does not like Starlings. She cannot stand them. She has turned Xavier away when he had a Starling for her. They must taste terrible!

Well, today, Xavier hit the jackpot. Diamond was completely excited about her lunch – although some of you might not be. Xavier had a Superb Parrot for his beautiful Diamond. Make sure your sound is turned up.

Superb Parrots are also known as Green Leek Parrots or the Barraband’s Parakeet. These little beauties are native to southeast Australia living in the dry woodlands of New South Wales and Victoria. They were once considered vulnerable in terms of conservation and have been listed as Least Concern since 2012. Loss of habitation due to timber logging might well see this bird back as being vulnerable.

They are medium sized, growing up to a little over 15 cm or 16 inches in length. The bird in the image below is a juvenile. How do I know that? It has brown eyes while the adults have yellow-orange eyes. The adult male has a bright yellow face and throat while the female looks like the plumage that the juvenile has below. They eat fruits, berries, insects, as well as grains and nuts.

Awww. What a sweet face.

WBSE 27 and 28 continue to charm the socks off of everyone. That beautiful fluffy white down is in transition. They look a little like old terry cloth towels sleeping in their nest this morning in Sydney.

Look closely along the edge of the wing of WBSE 28 on the left. You will see the little pin feathers coming.

The pantaloons are growing too.

Just look at that sweet baby, WBSE 28, looking up at its parent. How adorable.

They are so young and yet, both of them know to pancake when there is an intruder near the nest. They hear their parents alarming and down they go. Look at the concern shown in the eye of WBSE 27 on the left. You can also see the black pin feathers coming in on both in this image better than the other one. But look – their cute little tails are growing!

You cam almost see them growing right before your very eyes.

Tiny Little still makes my heart skip a beat. Oh, what a wonderful bird you have turned out to be. You were so very tiny with that big older siblings but just look at you waiting for your breakfast to arrive.

Oh, you have that ferocious look like Mrs G. I have said that a couple of times but you do, Tiny Little. I hope you live as long as Mrs G and have lots of successful hatches. You really are quite amazing, Tiny Little.

Tomorrow is Saturday but there is no Ferris Akel tour this week. I was hoping to catch up with what is happening with Big Red and her family. It was raining yesterday but the Hornings were able to spot all four of them so we know that K1 and K3 are still with us – how grand, the 21st of August.

I am researching ‘Climate Driven Evolutionary Change’. If you know of bird arrivals or departures that are earlier than normal or later than what has been the norm, please let me know. It is much appreciated.

It is so nice to have you here with me. The rain is still falling – and that is a good thing. Please continue to send your positive wishes to Malin and all the bird families. Take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clip: The Falconcam Project at Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross. Collins Marsh Osprey Nest, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, The Eagle Club of Estonia, The Latvian Fund for Nature, and the Sea Eagles Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre.

Malin, the Strong Little Warrior

I reported earlier today that Malin, the Osprey chick on the Collins Marsh Nature Centre’s nest, had fledged. Malin flew off the nest at 3:42 pm.

We use the term ‘fludge’ when a bird accidentally falls out of the nest and flies. But what do you call it when a nestling is scared off their nest and flies?

For several minutes before Malin flew, his mother, Marsha, had been on the nest. She was watching and alerting. There was an intruder. Marsha even ducked on occasion. When Mom flew off the nest something happened to spook Malin. He had been pancaked. Malin had done this before. But this time, the intruder must have come near enough to the nest that it spooked Malin. Without thinking and scared out of his wits, Malin flew.

Here is a video clip. You can see the shadow of a bird flying at 10 o’clock – it is impossible to know who it was – at the end.

Malin was not prepared to leave the nest. He had been exercising his wings but he had never hovered. He really needed another couple of weeks to work his wings. His feathers were continuing to grow and he was catching up for his age but he was still behind. Today, Malin was 2 months old and a day – we think. He is the only one of three hatches to survive and it is not clear which hatch he was.

Mom immediately returned to the nest looking for Malin.

Collins, the dad, came in later with a nice piece of fish hoping to entice his son to the top of the tower. Collins did look over in the area of the trees and I am hoping he knew that Malin was there.

The nest is 120 feet up and I am told that flying up is much more difficult for a bird than down. Malin is not a sophisticated flier – could he make it to the top of the tower? Collins seems to think so. I hope he is right. Indeed, I hope that Malin is unharmed and makes his way home so that he can benefit from more food and more wing exercises.

This situation has heightened my call for all streaming cams to have emergency contact numbers immediately after the name of the site and before any historical or current information about the nest. That is so the numbers can be found quickly and easily. The minute this situation happened, the office at the Nature Centre was called. The message went to voice mail. At that instant a flurry of e-mails went out from the US and Canada to try and find someone who could go and look for Malin on the ground. FB Messages were sent. Luckily ‘S’ found the wildlife rehabber for the area, living 25 minutes away. By this time more than thirty minutes had passed, possibly 45. This individual listened to what had happened and got in their car and went to check on Malin. By the time they arrived it was getting dark. They reported that it was quiet around the marsh. Tomorrow this person will return and is hoping that Malin will be close by or food crying. Of course, it would be even better if Malin were sitting up on the nest or sleeping duckling style from all the activity. The three of us that named Malin are hoping that he lives up to the name he was given, ‘Mighty Little Warrior.’ Tonight we are anxious and fearful – all we can do is hope and wait. It will be a very long night.

For the past year I have been requesting that individuals responsible for streaming cams ensure that there is emergency information so that the community of birders watching these nests can contact someone – a responsible person who will provide assistance to the bird or animal – immediately. I realize that individuals do not wish to give out their private phone numbers. The park or nature centre with the streaming cam could have two dedicated cell phones only for emergency calls. Those could be provided to those in charge. Then they would not have to have their own numbers or phones used. The person at the end of that phone line would have their own list of specialists to contact for the specific emergency. It really is that simple.

The alternative is to have a 24/7 chat room with moderators who have emergency numbers. Moderators are volunteers. They do it because they love the birds. That is actually the simplest and cheapest way to handle emergencies.

The vast majority of individuals who watch the nests are bird lovers. If they see a tiny leg tangled in fishing line they want that bird to get help. If they hear a chick fall off a nest into water, they want to help. If they notice nestlings behaving strange, having tremors, refusing to eat, they want to fine someone who will listen and help. This year all of these things have happened, some many times, and it was thanks to the community birders that help came. Sometimes people did not listen to the alarms set off by fifty or more persons watching two eaglets on a nest in Florida. They were behaving poorly. One died. Then the second. The person who set off the first alarm said ‘rodenticide’ – and they were correct. Community birders are not quacks. Many have watched nests for more than a decade. They are informed and they want to help. They do not want to waste anyone’s time.

Thank you for sending your prayers and your warm wishes to Malin and to the boots on the ground who are trying to find him and care for him. Thank you for listening to my call for a solution so that help can come to the birds immediately when something happens. If you are in charge of a streaming cam or know someone who is, please talk to them about having emergency numbers or 24/7 moderators on the chat who can get in touch with the right person if something comes up. It is really important. Thank you!

Thank you to the Collins Marsh Nature Centre and the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and my video clip.

I plan to bring an updated report on the Black Storks in Latvia and Estonia later tomorrow. There is still someone who can pull at my heart strings even when I am so worried about Malin and that is Tiny Little! It is 6:30 on her nest in Cumbria and there she is having her breakfast fish compliments of White YW. Thank you, dad. Thank you, Tiny Little. You give me hope for Malin tonight.

Send love and positive energy to Latvia and Estonia

I want to begin with the Black Stork nests today. For those just learning about the situation of the Black Storklings in both Latvia and Estonia, here is a very brief summary. The storklings at the nest of Grafs and Grafiene in Latvia and that of Jan and Janika in Estonia are late hatchlings. There was concern from the beginning that both parents might leave for their migration before the storklets fledged. Currently, the mothers have left and the fathers, Jan and Grafs, are the sole providers. Neither male can provide enough food for three storklings to thrive. There is also a question of the supply of the fish. In both Latvia and Estonia, feeder situations have been established with decoy female Black Storks. To date, neither male has found these feeders.

‘S’ in Latvia reports, “The good news is that it seemed that yesterday Grafs had encountered a generous feeding place on the way, not so far away. We were already a bit sad thinking that the storklets will have to spend another day with just one small noon feeding, what a celebrated surprise it was when he came back less than 4 hours later with plenty of food. Many of us bursted into happy tears:) It is good to know that he can still manage to get food elsewhere even if it is not from the feeder. And the most important thing is that he is still here caring for his young.”

aGrafs and Grafiene’s Storklings, Sigulda, Latvia 19 August 2021

At the very beginning, M. Strazds, a Latvian Black Stork specialist, warned that he felt that there was only 0.1% chance that Grafs would find the feeder because birds do not normally search for new feeding spots at the end of the nesting season. Still, as I understand it, the storklings, once they fledge, will find the feeder and it will be very good for them.

In Estonia, Jan has made only one delivery that I am aware of. The storklings have supplemented that with the fish that Urmas delivered last night. I was made aware that the storklings were playing with the fish but, it appears now that they have been eating them as the pile of fish is almost gone as I write this. I am aware that there are controversies about the effect of humans getting close to the nest because of the stress that it causes on the birds. But starving is also a major stressor. I believe that Urmas and his team know what they are doing and I hope they continue to feed these birds.

Jan and Janika’s Storklings, Jegova County, Estonia

There is one other nest with a fledgling, Pikne, the female, still being fed by a parent and that is the nest of Karl and Kaia in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. ‘S’ reports, “The feeder approach has been very successful with Karl’s nest in Karula for the sole reason that he has a transmitter and it is possible to track his usual feeding places.”

Pilkne, the last remaining storkling being fed by Karl II at the nest in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The other two have fledged.

It has been a very difficult year for those who care for the birds and who watch the streaming cams. Osprey chicks died due to weather related issues and Cooper’s Hawk eyases got so hot on the nests in Canada, they lept off the nests to avoid literally being roasted. Many are dying as they undertake their migrations which are challenging enough without having fires and smoke enroute.

At the same time, there have been some remarkable situations. Around the world, humans have stepped in to save birds of every variety. In the interior of British Columbia, the wildlife rehabbers climbed the Osprey nests and removed the chicks taking them into care because of the extreme heat and fires. At various places around the world, Osprey chicks have been fostered and received a second lease on their life. A Canada Goose named Arnold had his digits fixed so that he could live a full life with his mate, Amelia. A very old Bald Eagle full of lead was given treatments and is now thriving and waiting for A Place for Hope to get its permit so he can be their ‘forever’ bird. Every day I read about a group of people and trying to help fix what many believe is unfixable. I hope that this is just the beginning of a change in intervention and our understanding of what works and what doesn’t. The key is not to give up.

There are, however, three miracles. I am thinking of the three Ospreys that should have died but did not – they have thrived – two of them to become dominant on their nests! Those were Tiny Tot aka Tumbles at the Achieva Osprey Nest in Florida and Tiny Little Bob aka Blue 463 on the Foulshaw Moss Nest in Cumbria. To me these are simply nothing short of a miracle.

Tiny Little Bob aka Blue 463, Foulshaw Moss Nest, 19 August 2021

The third has yet to fledge but has shown remarkable growth. I am aware that many on the chat rooms in Latvia and Estonia are concerned about feather growth. This was also a big concern for Malin on the Collins Marsh Nest in Wisconsin. Malin is our third miracle.

Malin, Collins Marsh Osprey Nest, 19 August 2021

I cannot tell you what happened to make the food deliveries on this nest turn around. All I can say is that they did and there are no more missing feathers, the tail now has 7 dark bands when 3 weeks ago there were 2 with the hint of a 3rd. It has been a remarkable recovery. At one time, there was concern that Malin might survive but not be able to fly. Those concerns have now vanished. Today, Malin has had 3 fish deliveries before 1pm and one of those was a whopper. Malin actually walked away from being fed by mom, Marsha, he was so full.

One of the major concerns for the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest is that the parents would also leave Malin on the nest and begin their migration. So far everything is going smoothly so I will just ‘knock on wood’ that it continues to be that way.

One other good news story is that the fires in Turkey are dying down or are out.

And there is more. Aran, the mate of Mrs G on the Glaslyn Valley Osprey Nest, was injured and was missing a couple of primary wing feathers,. There was a huge concern that he would not be able to fly — and consequently that he would not be able to fish or be able to migrate. Well, look at Aran’s feathers today! Yahoo. He is good to go. Tears. This is an amazing couple who lost their three chicks due to starvation when Aran was injured. The Glaslyn community kept the birds alive with a fish table until Aran was able to fly and fish.

Indeed, I do not want people to think that feeder areas or fish tables do not work. It depends on the circumstance and in the case of Aran and Mrs G as well as the Mlade Buky White Storklings, those fish tables saved the lives of those two families.

Aran at the top sitting on edge of nest! 19 August 2021.

We have a lot to be thankful for – and there is a lot of work to do to figure out how to help our precious birds – all of the wildlife. Humans stepping up to take responsibility and to “try” even if they are met with low odds and negativity should be the norm not the exception.

What can you do today to help the birds and all of the wildlife?

I want to close today with a bit of a giggle. If you watch Ospreys you understand how difficult it is for both the male and female to raise three. Actually that is true of eagles as well. Well, what about five? Now consider the fact that those five are all female. The poor dad would need a set of sound cancelling headphones!!!!!!!!!! You can hear females clear across a lake. Oh, my. The parents of these Westport, MA fledglings will certainly deserve their winter break.

Thank you for joining me on this quick update on what is happening in Latvia and Estonia. Send them all of your positive energy – and take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, the Eagle Club of Estonia, the Latvian Fund for Nature, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn and the anonymous reader of my blog that sent me the image of these five beautiful female Ospreys. Thank you.