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.

What is gorgeous in Ospreyland?

This entire day has been ‘weird’. It started with only four hours sleep after checking on Tiny Tot’s nest all night. I have no idea what I was thinking. Tiny wouldn’t have flown from wherever she was just to be bounced about, would she?

And then there was the intruder on the nest. This intruder is just giving me a headache. I think I want Tiny Tot to show up on that nest so bad that I forget that there have been a number of visitors to the nest, several that Tiny Tot fought off valiantly. Still there is some kind of family resemblance.

This bird is still bugging me. It is nearly 4:30 pm. I know that I took a screen shot similar to the top one where you could see the white ‘V’ and the scalloped white of the crest making the heart. Tiny Tot had that. This bird has the thick short legs of Tiny and the sweep of the feathers is long BUT it is not elegant like Tiny Tot. The eyes are not the same. But then who knows what your eyes would look like after a hurricane.

This picture of Tiny was taken on 4 July the day before she ‘seemingly’ left the nest permanently for broader horizons. You will notice the white line above the wing is the same. Each of the birds have some dark on their legs, a little strip like a band but not a band.

And this is Tiny mantling her fish on 4 July.

Sadly, these birds are not banded and we only have images to compare that aren’t always sharp and from the same angle. What do you think?

Now, I think every bird is extraordinarily beautiful, but some more so than others. Today, the Dyfi Osprey Project posted an image taken by the individual who ringed two Ospreys in a nest in the Lake District in Cumbria England. They are females, Blue 460 and Blue 461. I took a deep breath and knew that I had to redefine what ‘gorgeous’ means when looking at an Osprey chick.

These are Monty and Glesni’s grandchildren. Their father is Merin. He hatched at Dyfi in 2015. They have Monty’s piercing orange eyes! Gosh I hope they do not lose them to become yellow. Look at the crest with the peach, the soft little white beards. I will be staring at these two beauties for days.

There are reams of files, both analog and digital, tracking UK Ospreys. And this again shows why it is important to get these birds banded. It is now known that at least four of Monty and Glesni’s chicks have returned to successfully breed. Of course, there could well be others. There is Aeron (Z2) who has been chasing intruders away from his PC nest at Glaslyn, then there is Tegid (Z1), one of my third hatch wonder children, who has a nest in Snowdonia, and Clarach in Aberfoyle, Scotland. Gosh, I would love to get a close look at the chicks of Tegid and Aeron!

Mama and Legacy were both asleep when I checked in at the Fortis Red Deer Osprey Nest.

There are both parents on the nest with Legacy yesterday. She is really growing now that the hot weather is gone.

There has been a lot of bad weather going around Alberta and there are dark clouds still around the Fortis Osprey nest at Canmore today. You can just see the two Bobs if you squint. Everything in the nests seems stabilized after a turbulent period of heat and storms. Warm wishes that it stays this way.

Here is a quick check in of a few of the nests. The Two Bobs at Rutland Manton Bay continue to perfect their flying skills after fledging. The Only Bob in the Clywedog Nest in Wales has been doing some wingersizes and the Two Bobs up at Loch of the Lowes are starting to think they might like to hover and fly. There could be a number of fledges coming up in the nest week. Mrs G has been catching fish and so has Aran. The overzealous two year old, Blue 022 has been bonding some more with CJ7 at the Poole Harbour Nest. If they both return from migration it will be great to see some chicks on that nest – the first chicks in 200 years born in Poole Harbour. Will that be the headline? The eldest fledgling of Big Red and Arthur, K1, the Red tail hawks at Cornell, probably caught her first prey item today – a little vole – witnessed by the Hornings. K3 enjoyed observing! Those two are excellent fliers. Can’t wait to take another tour with Ferris Akel to see how they are doing. Will be sure to let you know.

My friend, ‘R’ knows more about Albatross and Petrels than I will ever know. She is curious about the Goony Albatross that ended up in Bempton Cliffs in the UK. He should be in the South Atlantic. Maybe he thinks he is a yellow headed Short-tailed Albatross of the North Pacific? or a gannet? ‘R’ and I will try and put our heads around this one over the coming week. Here is the story on the BBC:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-humber-57683184

And what is this about the fish being addicted to meth? What happens to the birds that eat the fish? I will be following up on that along with a tribute to Tiny Tot and a story of a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo in a Renaissance painting. Those are coming up this week.

Thank you for joining me today. Have a really enjoyable rest of the day no matter where you are.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Fortis Alberta Red Deer, Fortis Alberta Exshaw, and the Achieva Credit Union. I also want to thank the Dyfi Osprey FB Page where I took the screen shot of Merin’s chicks.

Tropical Storms, Hurricanes, rising water temperatures all impact our beloved birds

Is there anyone who is not aware of extreme heat that is in the Pacific Northwest? or the fact that the rivers and creeks are drying up? and the temperature of the water is getting hotter?

The Montana Osprey Project has just posted the following:

“In order to reduce the stress and disturbance on these fish, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has placed fishing restrictions on many rivers in Montana, including parts of the Clark Fork River, Big Hole River, Gallatin River, Madison River, Beaverhead River, Jefferson River, Ruby River and others. The trout populations in parts of the Clark Fork River (and other rivers) have dropped to fractions of their former sizes. The low water and warming temperatures are suspected to play a big role in these population declines.”

The river temperatures in Montana are at 75 degrees F. The authors of the FB Montana Osprey Project posting state that they will “not immediately kill the trout” but a long exposure could kill up to 50% of the fish. That is why they took such drastic actions. Those warm waters impact all the fish that the Ospreys consume including the grand dame, Iris. The authors say that they will follow up with a report on what they believe declining fish numbers due to heat will have on the Osprey populations.

“Mountain in a town” by Bitterroot is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

There has been much discussion about the impact of weather systems on our birds and all of us are watching Elsa. My inbox has been full of queries – for which I am very grateful. It shows the love and concern we all have for these gorgeous fish hawks (and the other birds).

I wanted to find out what had happened to the birds on the island in the Caribbean where my son lives – Grenada. The year before he moved to Grenada, 2004, there were two hurricanes that hit the island directly, Ivan and Emily. Each struck the island. Ivan was slow and deadly churning over the islands of the Atlantic for twenty-three days. Ivan was enormous sustaining winds of 165 mph or 270 kph. It was the strongest hurricane of the 2004 season and destroyed the growing economy of Grenada. The palm trees lining one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with its pure white sand, Grand Anse, were uprooted. Most houses lost their roofs. An old timer told me that they called the hurricane ‘Ivan Rufus’. People were in their houses and the roofs went spinning off. Centuries old nutmeg trees were destroyed along with much of the bird populations and their source of food. The worst hit were the birds that feed on nectar, fruit, and seeds. Nests in the forest were destroyed and breeding was delayed.

There is a really good article that my son sent me today that is called, “The effects of hurricanes on birds, with special reference to Caribbean Islands” by J.W. Wiley and J. M. Wunderle. It was printed in Bird Conservation International. While the article does deal with the Caribbean, it brings much insight to what could happen along the US Southern Coast.

Elsa is predicted to stay as a Tropical Storm so, as you do read the pages, please keep that in mind. There is nothing pointing to Elsa gaining strength to become a hurricane. Tiny Tot should weather the storm fine. She will be soaked and that nest could be missing some twigs but it should also have been built using hurricane standard methods. Still, all of us will keep watch and send warm wishes that all of the birds and wildlife are not impacted.

I am attaching the article here if any of you are interested. The same information could be applied to areas hit by hurricanes in the US.

At 4:55:17, Jack delivered Tiny Tot a really nice fish! Thank you, dad.

It looks like Mrs G gave up on Aran and went and got her own fish today!

At the Lyn Clywedog Nest, Seren has decided for their great Big Bob to see if he can begin self feeding. That is a really nice fish that Dylan brought in. Like all moms, Seren will give in and help Only Bob but he is giving it a good go before asking for help.

There is an easy way to deal with the rising temperatures, the droughts, and the declining fish stocks for the birds that rely solely on fish stocks for food. The first is for humans to take responsibility for climate change. Then build fish farms for these birds – not for humans, for the birds. When the Ospreys migrate to places in the northern part of South America, such as Columbia, they are often shot for stealing from the farms. So we know that they will get fish out of tanks – so build them if they are needed and put some enthusiasm behind the word ‘Conservation’.

That’s it for a hot Sunday in Canada. I do not know where the birds are that generally hang out in my garden but they are still not arriving and it is nearly 7pm. There is lots of water and food. Hopefully they will come soon.

Take care everyone. Thanks for joining me. Continue to monitor Elsa as she moves towards Florida. Stay safe Tiny Tot!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Lyn Clywedog and Carnyx Wild, Achieva Credit Union, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn. Thank you to my son for finding the academic article on the impact of hurricanes on our birds. So appreciated.

Featured image is Mrs G on the Glaslyn Osprey Nest, 4 July 2021.

Saturday Evening with the Ks and a Door Dash for Tiny

I cannot tell you how delighted I am that Ferris Akel has been taking his tour to the campus of Cornell University. Ferris has a gift for finding the fledglings and an attitude of pure innocence and joy as he watches them with us. This evening K1 and K3 could not have been any cuter. There they were on the top of the Rice Building together. It was their interaction with one another that was so precious and extraordinary.

I am going to let you make up your own story as you look through the images. K1, the bigger female and the mini-me of Big Red, is on the left. K3, the little brother whose tail might be muddy but sure looks reddish, is on the right throughout the sequence. Enjoy!

Aren’t they adorable? Big Red was sitting calmly on the light stand and Arthur was on Riley Robb Hall making his way later to another light stand. For awhile, K3 was food calling. As well all know, Big Red’s kiddos never go hungry. K3 was just wishing for a bedtime snack! All is wonderful in the world of Cornell’s most famous family, Big Red and Arthur, the Red Tail Hawks, and their Ks.

Jack who will possibly forever be known as Daddy Door Dash to me brought Tiny Tot a fish at 6:47:12 on the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest. Again, I have a sequence of images. The facial expression of Tiny Tot is incredible. Feel free to make up your own story – but as you do, imagine Jack, at least a couple of times, as a ballet dancer with those legs of his.

Tiny Tot has gotten really good at holding its fish! Remember when he used to lose them to sibling #2? I don’t think that would happen anymore. Actually, I don’t think either of the siblings would mess Tiny about anymore either. If they tried, they might wish they hadn’t.

I hope you enjoyed these few images tonight. It is always reassuring when Big Red, Arthur, and the fledglings are located – as it is when Tiny Tot goes to bed with a nice fully tummy.

I have just received a new book, Queen of the Sky. It is the story of a rescued Peregrine Falcon by a fabulous woman in Wales, Ffion Rees. I can’t wait to read it and tell you about it! I will continue to monitor Tropical Storm Elsa as it passes over Cuba on its way to Florida.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care. Stay well.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Ferris Akel’s Livestream on YouTube and Achieva Credit Union.

Nest Hopping News for 1 July

Juvenile Osprey Blue 096 has fledged from the Rutland Manton Bay Nest of Maya and Blue 33 (11). It happened at 12:12:27 pm.

He looks up.

Wings begin flapping. Blue 095 goes, “oh, not this again! This nest is getting too small for flapping. I wish you would just go away!”

He’s on tippy toes and grabs the wind and…

Blue 096, male chick of Maya and Blue 33 (11) fledges on 1 July 2021.

Jack delivers a breakfish to Tiny Tot this morning. Oh, thank goodness! It is 28 degrees C and the weather service says there is a 40% of a thunderstorm around 5pm in St Petersburg, Florida. Thanks, Jack!

By 9:29 Tiny Tot will have that fish out of dad’s talons and she will be saying ‘Yum’.

There were, to my knowledge no fish deliveries to Tiny last evening. She was really waiting and watching for dad. Turns out it is a small headless fish, a bit of a teaser for our gal who chowed down on that whopper the other day, this morning.

Look at those magnificent wings. Tiny, you are such a gorgeous bird!

Well, one of those nests that I suggested you watch when others get stressful just turned up the noise. Lady Hawk posted a video of the Royal Cam chick going to visit her neighbor SSTrig and the neighbour gets into a big territorial dispute. Taiki is very social and meant no harm but we now know there won’t be any afternoon tea parties with these two. Here is that video:

There is great news coming out of New Zealand. Remember I love this country for the way in which it takes care of its wildlife. Well, today, New Zealand announced that it is putting surveillance cameras on all of its fishing boats to make sure that they comply with safe fishing so that no seabirds are caught as bycatch. Way to go New Zealand!

The landscape at the Glaslyn Nest of Mrs G and Aran in Wales is stunningly beautiful. I admit to dreaming of trees and places where you can look out and see birds and not the concrete of the city. Of sitting and smelling the wet grass and hay and not the petrol fumes of cars. Of disappearing into the wilderness.

Aran and Mrs G are spending more and more time together. Aran is able to fish after his injury in early June but he is still healing. There will be no more chicks this year but the couple was seen bonding. That is fantastic!

Aran brought in a big fish earlier that he was eating. I wonder if he shared it with Mrs G who now has a nice chunk and the tail in her talons. He has provided at least one fish to her that was caught on camera which is a great indication of Aran’s continuing progress in healing.

The two Bobs at the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Wales are enjoying a lovely fish that Idris delivered. Telyn is a fantastic mom but that nest is getting a little crowded. She may have to stand on the rails to feed her babies soon. These two are growing like crazy! You might remember that Dysynni, the male, is the largest male Osprey born on this nest ever. Idris has really brought in some of the large fish. It has been determined that many of those fish actually weigh more than Idris – breaking another myth that Ospreys can only carry a % of their actual weight.

It also demonstrates how much food and the quantity of it matter to the health and well being of the chicks. This is the nest of a super dad – as are many of those in Wales and other parts of the UK.

Meanwhile, over in Scotland, the two Bobs on the Loch of the Lowes nest are waiting for NC0 or Laddie to bring them in a tea time fish. Gosh these Bobs are beautiful. The time has flown by and they will soon be hovering and fledging but, in those very first days, I really wondered if Bob 2 would survive the bonking from Bob 1.

And goodness, I woke up this morning and had to look twice to figure out which of the chicks on the Foulshaw Moss Nest of White YW and Blue 35 was Tiny Little Bob! Which one do you think is Tiny Little?

If you said the one closest to the right looking out, you would be right. She or he is watching for one of the parents to arrive with a fish! As noted from the people who ringed the chicks, they could not determine the gender of Tiny Little from the measurements because of its small size at the time. Rumours had gone around that Tiny Little is, in fact, a female.

Today, the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust put out their announcement about the ringing of these three Ospreys. Part of the celebration is that Tiny Little was the 100th osprey chick to be banded in Cumbria since 2001. That is amazing. Here is part of the text that was posted:

“I’m incredibly pleased that we have ringed another three osprey chicks at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve this year. For a time we we’re unsure if the smallest chick was going to make it. It was rapidly being outgrown by its bigger siblings but it carried on fighting for its share of the food from mum and dad. Now there’s not much difference in weight – and it was the smallest one that was the 100th osprey chick to be ringed in Cumbria since 2001! Osprey chicks are weighed by the licenced bird ringer and each chick is given a coloured leg ring. This year we have Blue 462, a female weighing 1.6kg, Blue 463 weighing 1.5kg – gender unknown, and Blue 464, a male weighing 1.6kg”.

Paul Waterhouse, Cumbria Wildlife Trust

I wanted to check in on the little Golden Eaglet in Bucovina, Romania. He has changed so much in just a few days. Most of the white feathers are gone and are now replaced with the beautiful dark black kind of espresso coloured ones for the juveniles.

The female has come to the nest to feed the eaglet. There were lots of bones and scraps of meat left on them. It is unclear to me whether or not the mother has brought in new prey or is using what is in the pantry.

You can look and see the remote mountain area where this nest is located. I continue to hope that the parents are able to find enough prey for this little one to thrive and fledge.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I regret I have no images of the Ks for you – maybe later today. They are off exploring the trees and some of the buildings with Big Red and Arthur. Everyone is fine; they are just not around the nest!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I obtained my screen shots: Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Achieva Credit Union, Asociatia Wild Bucovina, LRWT and Manton Bay Osprey Nest, Cornell Bird Cam Royal Albatross and NZ DOC, and Dyfi Osprey Projec. I would also like to thank Lady Hawk for her video clip of the territorial dispute between Taiki and SSTrig.

Bird World – late Monday and early Tuesday ramblings

It has been a day for extreme weather. 44 degrees C in the Pacific Northwest and a snow storm on Taiaroa Head, New Zealand, home to the Northern Royal Albatross colony and their chicks. It is 38 degrees C – and ‘boiling’ my friend living at the base of the Purcell Mountains in British Columbia said. It is 24 degrees C in St Petersburg, Florida where Tiny Tot lives and 27 degrees C in Ithaca, NY where the Ks live. It is 27 degrees where I am on the Canadian prairies with the temperature climbing to 36 degrees C in a couple of days. We will fill extra bowls of water and try and find a sprinkler for the birds as well as keeping their feeders topped up.

Our local crow colony displayed some interesting behaviours in the late afternoon. First, two were on sentry duty on the telephone poles nearby. Each was making a different alarm. Then four other crows flew in and over our house. They were quickly joined by another five or six until 19 crows were in our front tree. We did not see the Great Horned Owl that lives over on the golf course coming to check if there are any nests it could raid. So we are still left wondering what was going on.

Crows defend their territory by summoning friends and relatives to help them annoy the intruder enough so it leaves in our neighbourhood. As things settled down, Mr Blue Jay flew out of the trees to come for his 5pm bath and food but, something alerted him and he decided he would wait. I don’t blame him. Those crows were really in a dither! The intruder remains a mystery.

All of this got me to thinking about Electra. Electra, if you do not know, is the mate of Wattsworth at the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest in Longview, Washington. Electra hatched two chicks this year. The nest is notorious for not having sufficient food and the chicks dying. This year there was one siblicide and yesterday, a chick with promise -if enough food came in- died of heat stroke. It was the first known Osprey death due to the extreme heat in the region but it is very possible that it will not be the last. Electra was out fishing since Wattsworth seems incapable. Believe me I have a lot I could say about him! But, right now I want to pull my human heart out of the equation and look at Electra’s behaviour in light of Aran’s present to Mrs G today. So, I want to rewind and I needed to go for a walk to think this through.

Electra leaves the nest to go and fish for her and the remaining chick. When she returns, that chick has died due to the extreme heat on the nest. Electra has a fish that was for her and the chick. Wattsworth arrives at the nest. Electra refuses to give Wattsworth any fish. Then Electra stays on the nest, fish in her talon. There is no need to brood a little one. It is dark and is unsafe for her to fly. Some Ospreys are known to fish in the night – certainly Louis at Loch Arkaig would fish 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to feed Aila and the three chicks last year. But Electra is going to hold tight on the nest until dawn breaks. She then leaves the nest taking the fish with her. Electra’s motherly duties are over. It is unclear what the nest actually signifies to Electra now that the chicks are dead. We know that Aran brings Mrs G a fish today as a means of bonding. Iris returns to her nest to renovate. But what, if anything, this place is to Electra right now is not known.

Electra returns to the nest with what I want to call a ‘fish tail’ later. It certainly wasn’t the big hunk of fish she had with her last night. It could be what remains of it. There is no one to feed on the nest. So why is she up there with a fish? She could eat it on a tree branch in the cool shade of the river, right? That would have been the smart thing to do to do in this heat. She is horrifically hot, panting hard to try and cool herself.

I know of two male Ospreys who like to steal the fish from their mates – you possibly know many more! But I am thinking of Louis and Iris and now Wattsworth and Electra. I am also beginning to consider the need to bond after a tragedy. We see that with Aran and Mrs G. The need for Aran to be able to provide for Mrs G and for her to accept the fish from him.

Electra is looking and calling while she is on the nest with the fish. I now believe that she was calling for Wattsworth. I also believe that she was going to give the small fish piece to him. It doesn’t matter what I think of Wattsworth. Electra needs to bond with her mate after the death of her last chick. It is precisely what is happening on the Glaslyn Nest. Aran and Mrs G are bonding, too. This is just another way to look at the behaviour of Electra. The reality is we will never really know. We all wish her well.

The big winner in the fish category today had to be Tiny Tot over on the Achieva Credit Union’s Osprey Nest. My goodness, gracious. Jack came in with a fish for Tiny Tot at 6:41:16 and it was a whopper. I wish we could have seen Tiny’s eyes – they were probably popping out! But never fear. Tiny Tot learned its lesson months ago – you sit there and eat that fish as fast as you can because someone might come along and want to steal it. And you never ever leave anything on your plate!

Tiny Tot must have thought she had won the lottery. Jack has certainly been very good to make sure that Tiny gets fed. I would like to think that he is making up for when Tiny Tot was starving to death but, that would be putting another human spin on things. Obviously, Jack likes Tiny around. She protects the nest and he isn’t in any hurry for her to move on or he would stop bringing fish. It is a sweet deal for both of them. Jack doesn’t have to worry about getting injured fighting off an intruder. He can spend his time down by the water fishing and bringing Tiny Tot a few fish each day. Tiny is getting heaps of real life experience. Personally I am glad that he is feeding Tiny Tot. If she is to be the survivor of the chicks on this nest (the average is only one out of three), then the longer she is fed and the longer she stays on this nest, the better equipped she will be if she ever leaves the nest. Tiny is a bit like Izzi, the Peregrine Falcon juvenile, of Xavier and Diamond. Izzy is still around the scrape box and she should have left for his own territory long ago. But that is another story for another day. There should be no worries about Tiny being able to fish. It is embedded in them. Jack doesn’t have to teach her. That is ingrained into her and every other Osprey and has been for 65 million years. Now she might not be as good a fisher as an osprey more experienced but she knows the moves and just has to find fish. I loved the stories of Bellie in Belle’s Journey, the way she honed her fishing skills. Tiny will do that, too.

Look at those legs and that little bottom. I think that the chicks on Cowlitz really got to me because of what Tiny Tot went through early on. But, as those who watched the Achieva nest, things turned one day. Diane brought in fish and I quit calling Jack a ‘dead beat dad’. They began to be a team and they succeeded in fledging three chicks. Amazing.

When I think of those super male Ospreys that get wall murals or the ones people talk about decades after they have passed, it is always the praise for providing for their family. Yes, people talk about Blue 33 and Idris’s fishing abilities and the whoppers – but it is always tied to them bringing those to their family and how healthy their chicks are and the pride in counting the children and the grandchildren in the family lineage.

So we go back to the survival of the fittest, perhaps. Wattsworth’s DNA is not being passed along but Monty’s, Blue 33s, and Idris’s is. And I hope Tiny Tot’s!

It was raining in the Sydney Olympic Park today. The beautiful canopy of leaves on the old Ironbark tree where the nest of Lady and Dad, the resident White-Bellied Sea Eagles, is located kept Lady from getting soaked. Lady is incubating two eggs. It is awhile until we will be on hatch alert. I will let you know when that happens so you can join the fun.

The rain finally stopped in Ithaca and the Ks were quite happy. K3 is eating again! It is nice to see the sun come out so they can dry off. It is even nicer to see the pair together on the nest safe and sound.

And, last I am showing you an image of the nest at Loch of the Lowes. I will also try and find the short videos that someone took of NC0 fishing in the loch. She is good! In this image the nest is getting a little crowded with the wingersizing of these two big osprey chicks. Safer for NC0 to get out of the way and sit on the perch, for sure! I was fascinated in the camera set up. That is why I am including this image. It is rather amazing. There is also a microphone in the nest so that you can hear the chicks when they are peeping in the egg right before hatch.

Here is NC0 fishing:

A snow storm and high winds have put out the cameras on Taiaroa Head in New Zealand where the Northern Albatross and their chicks are. They will love it. These birds like the cold. The staff of the NZ DOC (Dept of Conservation) have sprinklers to cool off the chicks. That camera should be back on line along with the weighing of the chicks. The chicks are weighed weekly, unless there is an issue and they might be weighed more. Supplemental feedings by the staff are given if the weight of the chick is not where it should be. That could come from parents not returning, being injured and delayed in their return, etc. NZ looks after their wildlife and accepts that humans have impacted it. There are not the complications with intervention like there are in the US.

Sad news coming out of Canada and the Osoyoos Osprey Nest. It appears that two of the three chicks have died to the incredible heat in the area in the same way that the chick on Cowlitz did. The other chick will require lots of fish but it is not looking very well this morning. A former student and close friend of mine now lived on the edge of the water at Osoyoos and really enjoyed seeing the Osprey family fish. They were forced to move because of the smoke from the wildfires that hits the area every summer. Prayers for all the birds. The heat wave is spreading across North America.

Thank you for joining me today. There will be a big nest catch up later today.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Scottish Wildlife and Loch of the Lowes, and Sea Eagle Cam Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre.

Featured Image is Lady incubating her eggs in the Ironbark Tree in Sydney Olympic Park.

Some good – and some worrying – news in Bird World

After the extreme heat and the death of the second and last chick on the Cowlitz Osprey Nest due to heat stroke, we all need some good news to come out of Bird World and we have it! Thank goodness.

The fantastic news comes from the Glaslyn Osprey Nest in Wales. In early June, in the midst of storms that had force 11 winds in the area, Aran, the mate of Mrs G, the oldest osprey in the UK, injured himself. The damage was to his primary wing feathers and was caused by battling intruders. That incident meant that Aran could not provide fish for Mrs G and the three chicks and, subsequently, those three chicks died of starvation despite the community gathering to bring in fish for the family on a feeding table. The fish donated by the community enabled Mrs G and Aran to heal. Still, everyone worried that Aran would not be sufficiently fit and healed for the late summer migration.

The couple are being monitored closely by the staff and volunteers. Today, at &:35 am, Aran brought Mrs G a fish! Now that might not sound like much of ‘anything’ but this is a really big deal. It is the first time that Aran has provided Mrs G with a fish since his wing injury occurred. It is also a significant step towards Aran’s complete recovery. There were tears in Wales but – they were tears of joy!

Here is that historic moment:

Mrs G is delighted and quickly accepts Aran’s gift. It isn’t just the food or Aran’s healing, it is also the bonding of the couple.

Now only was she delighted, but Mrs G was waiting at the nest until late still hoping that Aran would bring her another! Just lovely.

The camera is so hazy but I can tell you that Jack has been bringing in fish for Tiny Tot today. So everything is OK on the Achieva Osprey Nest.

Cute little K3 was over on the Cornell Red tail hawk nest had a prey drop.

K3’s self-feeding is getting much better and that is a good thing!

Don’t worry. A short time later K1 got some prey, too! Here she is eating as the rain begins to fall.

And it began to pour. It is 16:00 nest time and there are two very wet Ks. Both have eaten and really, everything is right in the world. Both are safe and sound sitting out the rain.

Sadly, Electra has returned to the nest where the bodies of her two chicks are. She has brought the same piece of fish she had last night – or that is what it looks like. Is she driven to want to feed the little one? Is it those same hormones that keep her tied to the idea that the male brings the fish keeping her here in her duties as mother to feed? I think she understood the death of the first chick. But, last evening she went out to get fish to feed her seemingly well chick that had a crop from an earlier feed. She returns and that chick is dead. How could she process that it was the heat that killed her baby?

Electra is panting and it has to be over 100 degrees up on that nest. Let us all hope that she leaves the nest and goes down to cool off in the water. I cannot tell from the camera angle if Electra has a crop of if her chest is extended from the heavy panting she is having to do. I am worried about her if that is the same fish. It would have been hot last night on the nest when she returned after 9pm. She stood looking out in the distance keeping the fish in her talons for some seven hours. She did not eat anything. If she has not eaten today yet – and it is around 1pm nest time – I wonder what kind of physical (and mental) state Electra is in. It has been a very traumatic year for this nest and the heat is not going to help. Electra has to be exhausted. ——— I recall being in India when it was 46 C. If humans do not stay hydrated they can become disoriented and confused also. Is this happening to Electra?

I just went to check on Electra again. It is now approximately 13:40 nest time. Her condition appears to be worsening. Her eyes do not look right and she is panting heavily. This poor mother. Will the heat get to her before her own survivor instincts kick in? or is she already damaged from the heat yesterday that she is simply not responding appropriately.

We know that Mrs G and Aran lost all three of their beautiful chicks. Mrs G processed that. She had rain and cold to deal with but what is this heat doing to this fish eagle?

UPDATE: 2:22 Cowlitz Nest Time. Electra has flown off the nest with the fish. I do not believe it is the same fish from yesterday or it was the tail section. I hope the large crop is from eating the other fish. Electra needs to heal. However, the important news is that Electra is no longer in the heat of the nest. Will keep you posted.

Because of the heat I went up to Juneau Alaska to check on Kindness on the Bald Eagle Nest in the Glacier Gardens. Everything is fine there. It has been hot and the eagles have been doing a lot of panting along with Kindness but the fish deliveries are constant and consistent. They will be fine.

This morning I was looking at the drying up of water and it sent me to check on Iris. Sometimes Iris, actually quite often, is on her nest. She is constantly doing nestorations and this year she has had a lot of intruders. Today was no exception. An intruder came to the nest about 11:35:31 this morning.

Note to everyone: Look at the beautiful nest that Iris has been constructing even after her eggs were taken by the Raven. She has brought in soft moss and built up the sides. I really do wonder if the state of the nest says something about the mental state of the Osprey mother??? I know it sounds out of left field but I always wondered about Electra and the state of the nest at Cowlitz. Birds have memories. Iris certainly has memories of lost chicks and hope. Raises so many questions! But, nevermind, I am rambling off in another direction.

About 1.5 or 2 minutes later, Louis flies in to help Iris.

This is not the first time that Louis has heard Iris and come to assist her with intruders. While he might not be a good mate to Iris and I have called him lots of names, he has shown himself in the last month to be willing to come and protect that nest. Is he protecting Iris? or is it the nest in his territory?

There he is below, facing towards the front. Iris is at the back. her wings still in the mantling/alerting position. For now, things have calmed down.

I am not sure how the heat is impacting the Bald Eagle and Osprey Nests in British Columbia. They are being impacted by it also. Will try and see if I can find out some news.

Thank you for joining me. It is wonderful to see Aran’s improvement! That should give us all a bit of a glow. Send all your warm wishes to Electra. She is confused and the heat is not helping her. Hopefully she will go and get in the shade and have a bath in the water to cool down. Sadly, no humans will go up and help her even if they understand that the extreme climate change has been caused by us. It is beyond sad.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Glacier Gardens Bald Eagles, Cowlitz PUD, Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Ospreys, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife.

Whew, what a day in Bird World

It is 42 degrees C in Longview, Washington. It is much hotter on the very high, exposed nest of the Cowlitz Ospreys. There have been two fish deliveries today that I am aware of – that was up to the afternoon. The area is under an excessive heat warning until 11pm on Monday.

Both Electra and Little Bob ate well. You can see Little Bob has a nice crop in the image below.

Electra is doing all she can to keep Little Bob and herself cool. She has mantled and even flapped her wings to try and get the air to stir. Oh, please send your warm wishes for these two.

Sad news is coming out of the Kakapo Recovery Team. Today they began their annual transmitter change on Whenhua Hou Island. When they arrived they found two deceased Kakapo, Xena and Ihi. Zena hatched in 2019. She injured her leg early on and had to have medical treatment. She was returned to the island but they found her, today, with her leg stuck. Poor thing. Ihi hatched in 2011 and bread in 2016. She was the mother of Hondy and Galaxy. This now brings the total Kakapo to 202, down from 208 a year ago.

The photographs below were taken by Lydia Uddstrom. The top one is Ihi and the bottom is Xena.

Please, again, send warm wishes down to those working on this small island where these non-flying critically endangered parrots reside. Let us hope that they do not find any more dead or sick birds.

And, now, for some good news. The heat wave hitting the Pacific Northwest did not happen in Alaska. It is 26 degrees dropping and will be 28 tomorrow. Still, it is hot on that Bald Eagle Nest at Glacier Gardens. Little Kindness who is 38 days old today is regulating her temperature by panting and she is panting a lot! The average fledge age for this nest is 89 days with the national average being 80 days.

Parents, Liberty and Freedom, are making sure she is hydrated. Today, six fish have come to the nest – yes, you read that right – six whoppers!

Speaking of whoppers, Idris appears to have set a fishing record for the Dyfi Osprey Nest. The staff have calculated that he is bringing in mullet in the 3-4 lb range. This means that they weigh more than he does. It appears that he will now hold the record for the largest fish brought to the nest.

Here it is! The staff also understand now why Dysnni is also the largest male chick at this nest ever – at the time of ringing! All that fish. You just have to look at the underdeveloped little one on the Cowlitz Nest to understand how important it is for these birds to have sufficient nourishment to grow healthy and strong.

The graph was posted on the FB Page of the Friends of Loch Garten Osprey Page today along with the image above. Look at the graph below. You will see Dysynni coming into the weight range of the females. Ystwyth is not the heaviest female, however, but she is four days younger than Dysynni.

There has been a bit of a leak of information from the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest. It seems that our precious Tiny Little Bob is a female! She is Blue 463. I was shocked! I suppose we all assumed a tiny little male. It seems that Blue 463 is also getting interested in self-feeding. Those of you that watch the Achieva Osprey Nest will remember that Tiny Tot also was self-feeding before the two bigger siblings. It is part of survival and Tiny Little was caught on camera trying to sneak fish today.

Here is Tiny Little in the front. You can just see a bit of her Blue bling. Apparently, one of the two bigger Bobs is a female and the other is a male. I am going to make a guess that Great Big nasty Bob is a female and Middle Bob that hangs out with Tiny and didn’t bother her eating is a male.

It has been a particularly sad year for the Osprey Nests. Today, a friend, sent me news that both chicks on the Newfoundland Power Company Osprey Nest have died. I have not watched that nest this year. It is reported that after the youngest hatched today, it got trapped under the older chick. The mother tried to get the big one off the little one by pulling its leg and sadly, both chicks died.

There were questions about Ospreys and their ability to ‘fight’ intruders. A reliable source tells me today that the talons of the Osprey have developed over millions of years to carry the fish, not to fight like eagles. When the intruder was on the Achieva Osprey Nest, Tiny Tot learned to get on the intruder’s back, just like they would if they were mating, and beat the daylights out of the head of the offender with its beak.

Almost all of the Osprey nests have had intruders. Some are just annoyances but others are more deadly. It was only two days ago that the mother, Alma, and one of the three chicks was killed in Finland. That same day, there was a relentless attack on Iris and her nest by another female. Louis comes to Iris to help protect her. Here is a video of that encounter:

Good news comes in from the Dahlgren Nest of Jack and Harriet. Both of their chicks have now fledged. Congratulations!

Speaking of fledging, any day now and the two Bobs on the Rutland Manton Bay Nest will take off. The hovering has gotten intense on the nest of Blue 33 and Maya the last couple of days.

Over at the Achieva Osprey nest with Tiny Tot and Jack has been busy delivering some nice fish for the little one. Thanks, dad! I have seen two deliveries but there could have been more. Tiny seems to have a nice sized crop.

Beautiful NC0 has taken such good care of her chicks this year. They have grown beyond belief and soon, they will begin their hovering, too, just like those on the Manton Bay nest.

I stopped in to check on the Ks for everyone and found K1 on the nest. Within a blink, she was off. I wonder if Big Red and Arthur were delivering a meal over on the Rice Building?

She’s off!

Checked back later and the Ks are not sleeping on the nest tonight.

Thank you for joining me this evening. Send cooling thoughts out to our lovely birds who are in the extreme heat area. We can sit with fans or AC but they are exposed. If you live in the area please put bowls of water out for the song birds living near you. Every little thing helps. Take care of yourself. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cowlitz PUD, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project, and Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Cam.

The featured image is Xena. The photo credit goes to Lydia Uddstrom.

Baiting mice to save birds

You would not normally find me jumping up and down because an entire island was covered with rodenticide to kill mice – but I am today. The Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels and the Gough Island Restoration announced that the first bait drop on Gough Island is complete. They are hoping for good weather so they can complete the second bait application. So what is this all about?

“File:Gough island top view.png” by Photo: Steven Chown is licensed under CC BY 2.5

Gough Island is a tiny, 35 square mile volcanic and rather rugged British Protectorate, in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is home to some of the most beautiful sea birds in the world such as the Tristan Albatross. Each year over 2 million seabirds are killed by ‘invasive non-native house mice’, according to the Gough Island Restoration Committee. Close your eyes and imagine a mouse biting and eating one one poor albatross chick – and then imagine the horror of 2 million! The mice, who were brought onto the island in the nineteenth century by humans, are now so big that they are even attacking and killing the adult birds.

Below is the image of an adult bird with a deep injury from the mice. She is still trying to take care of her chick. The mother dies on Gough Island on 28 April 2021. She was ringed in 1986 and was the second oldest female on Gough Island. So very, very sad to have survived that long and to be killed this way.

@ P. Ryan
@ R. Daling

So how do you get rid of an island full of mice? The Gough Island Restoration Committee is using helicopters to spread cereal bait pellets containing a rodenticide across the island. At the same time they are working to safeguard the land birds during the operation until the baiting of the mice is complete. We wish them well on this historic endeavour.

For those of you wondering about Big Red’s K3, he is fine. He may give us all ulcers before he leaves his parent’s territory! A bit of a daredevil that one and so tiny the wind just picks him up and off he goes! K1 is fine as well.

Tiny Tot had a nice big fish this morning and fought off another intruder.

And what is so different about this ousting is that Tiny Tot had a fish in his talons! I am certain that adult bird believed it could take that fish away from a juvenile but Tiny told them! Don’t mess with me! This little one is getting really street smart.

There was something I noticed about Tiny Tot this morning I want to share with you. Look at the top of Tiny Tot’s head. I have mentioned the white ‘V’ earlier but look – a heart! I like to think that heart is there from all the love everyone sent this tiny baby when it was starving.

But I am also pointing this out for a reason. We need to memorize the features on Tiny Tot’s head. He is not ringed so we have to identify him in other ways. The patterns are becoming clear and this will be the only way that someone will recognize him in the future – if he ever leaves the nest, which I am hoping he doesn’t.

The little Golden Eaglet in Bucovina is also fine. The father is becoming more comfortable with the camera and is delivering small snack-like prey to the eaglet several times a day. This is so positive in terms of the survival of this beautiful eaglet. Here is the little eaglet today with a nice crop.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Fingers crossed all around for the success of the Gough Island Restoration! Have a wonderful weekend all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots today: Achieva Credit Union, Asociatia Wild Bucovina, and the Gough Island Restoration Information Page where I grabbed the photos of the injured adult Tristan Albatross.

Credit for the feature image goes to: “Tristan da Cunha-12-010-albatross on Nightingale Tristan in background-Credit Paul Tyler and Alison Rothwell)” by darwin_initiative is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Tense Day in Bird World

It has been one of those days. Two things happened that were expected. One was a good expectation that almost turned into a tragedy – and sadly, the other one was the siblicide of one of the chicks on the Cowlitz Osprey Nest in Longview, Washington.

K3 fledged from the Fernow Light Tower at 13:42. K3 is 49 days old and is a tiny little hawklet standing at just a little less than 30 cm (12 inches) tall. The flight was dramatic. K1 had been visiting the nest. Indeed, the K1 had spent the night on the nest with her little brother, K3. They were sooooo cute.

K1 is a great big hawklet – a big female and a cute tiny little male. K1 flew over to the Oak Tree where she had fledged yesterday at 13:38. I don’t think K3 wanted to be left out of the action that his big sis had described. If you missed it, here is that fledge:

K3 flew around the Oak tree where K1 was, did a turn, and tried to grab onto Bradfield and missed. But he was not injured and has spent the afternoon exploring the ledges and being dive bombed by Robins.

Here is an image of K3 after fledging taken from the nest cam:

K3 has even had a rest. Meanwhile K1 flew back to the nest where a chippie was dropped off for a tea time snack.

After all the stress I thought that I should just follow it up with a check on Tiny Little Bob on the Foulshaw Moss Nest. There are three chicks on that nest and Great Big Bob is a bully. It was not certain that Tiny Little Bob would survive but it seems like he will. Fingers continue to be crossed. The older and bigger that Tiny Little gets the more chance he has.

When I turned on the nest cam the chicks were looking around and you just knew something was happening. They were looking around everywhere. Mom landed on the nest followed by White YW, Dad, with a Flounder!

Here is that video clip of the arrival of that fish:

Tiny Little was not comfortable eating first as you can see and then Tiny Little Bob realized that Great Big Bob wasn’t pushing for food so Tiny Little went for it. He ate for about 4 or 5 minutes without stopping. You could tell he kept wanting Blue 35 to hurry up before Great Big got hungry!

Great Big and Middle let Tiny Little go first.

Seeing Tiny Little eat made me feel really good but, of course, I am still uneasy about the size difference between Great Big and Tiny Little. I needed one of those feel good moments and that sent me checking on Richmond and Rosie. Richmond and Rosie are the equivalent of going over to check on the Royal Cam chick in New Zealand. You just know before you look that everything will be alright.

Richmond and Rosie had three boys this year. Gosh, there are a lot of male ospreys being born! I also wanted to see what names were selected for the trio. There they are on the natal nest on the historic Whirley Crane on the Richmond Shipping Yards. The third chick is on the other side of Rosie.

The Golden Gate Osprey FB – the SF Bay Ospreys – posted the image below with pictures of the boys, their ring numbers, and their names. Over 700 people voted. That is pretty amazing. Now look at the beautiful necklaces on those boys! Don’t let anyone tell you that only female ospreys have necklaces. 022 on the Poole Harbour nest has one of the best necklaces I have ever seen! And look here at Sage.

Richmond and Rosie always make me feel good. They are a stable couple with a male who provides well for his mate and children. There is never the issues of sibling rivalry and siblicide as we have seen on the Cowlitz Nest. It is refreshing and calming.

Jack brought Tiny Tot a fish at tea time so everything is all right with the world on the Achieva Osprey Nest. Oh, Tiny has grown into such a beautiful bird and a great protector of the realm. Who ever would have believed this in March? A whole lot of love went out to this third hatch – so many people wanted 3 to survive and well…just look!

There is Tiny mantling really big and tight! S/he wants that fish. Thanks, Jack!

Thanks for joining me today. Looks like it could be a stormy evening on the Canadian prairies. Take care everyone. Be safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my video clips and screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, and the Cornell Bird Lab and RTH.