Tiny Tot – Super Hero engages with Intruder!

I wonder how many juvenile Osprey wind up protecting the natal nest for their parents – alone? Today is the third time that I know Tiny Tot waging battles against the ‘Intruder’. There could have been more.

There Tiny was, sibling #2 eating the morning fish as usual, paying attention to what was happening around the nest. No parents around anywhere!

Around 10:02, Tiny was sniffing around the fish that sibling 2 was eating and 2 flew off the nest to the perch.

Almost immediately, Tiny Tot begins alerting. Sibling 2 is on the perch watching. Instead of hanging around to help his younger sibling, #2 flies off with the rest of his fish leaving Tiny Tot alone to deal with the adult intruder.

Tiny Tot is very alert looking up and down and around the nest. At 10:07:28 Tiny Tot flies off the nest. He is ready to engage the ‘Intruder’. I am starting to think we should be ordering Tiny Tot some kind of Super Hero costume!

At 10:11:18, the ‘Intruder’ is on the nest. Thirteen seconds later Tiny Tot is hot on the heels of the ‘Intruder’ and chases them off the nest!

Here comes Tiny. No turning back now for our brave little juvie. His talons have caught on the edge of the nest.

Tiny is not backing down. His wings are up. That intruder is going!

Tiny lowers his wings in the mantling pose screeching all the time. The Intruder flies off the nest.

Tiny Tot is hot. He continues to look around.

Tiny sees the intruder and does a couple of flaps to get him to the other side of the nest.

He stops and looks around. Tiny Tot is mantling. He sees the ‘Intruder’ above. It is 12:24:16. He is alerting never taking his eyes off of the nest invader, the adult that has been hounding the family for more than a week.

At 12:24:25 Tiny Tot flies off to engage the Intruder for a second time in less than two and a half hours. He must be tired and hot but Tiny Tot is not giving up.

Good luck, Tiny Tot!

It is now just past 13:30 nest time. Tiny Tot has not returned and there has been no sign of the ‘Intruder’, the parents, or sibling #2. Send warm wishes out to Tiny. All the things this little one has gone through he deserves a break and a big fish. Tiny Tot – our Super Hero!

Thank you for joining me this morning. I will do an update on the situation at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest this evening.

Thank you to the Achieva Credit Union for their streaming cam where I grabbed my screen shots.

Tiny does a flying tour, Big Red goes after mites, and Taiki gets a feeding

What do you do when you are anxious? Do you twist your hair? pick at your fingernails? doodle? I tend to clean house. You can always tell if there is something worrying me by the state of the floors. My mother was the “cleaniest” person I have ever met. You could eat off of any part of the floor, walls, any part of the bathroom – it was spotless and sanitary! I recall when I gave pottery lessons in rural Manitoba that one of the students, the most lovely woman who was moving to Williams Lake, BC, gave me a book as a parting gift. I can see the cover – it was yellow – and inside it had a lot of funny sayings another potter had jotted down over the years. One stuck out, “You can certainly eat off my floor, there are the Cheerios over there, the grapes over there…” etc. you get the drift. My floors are not that bad but they certainly would not stand the scrutiny of my mother all the time!

So today I have been avoiding thinking about the Glaslyn Osprey Nest of Mrs G and Aran in Wales. Instead of the floors, I have actually picked lilacs and my house smells like I am living outside in the middle of the bushes. It is hard to put Glaslyn out of one’s head. Mrs G has not eaten since Thursday – or perhaps Wednesday night. Thursday she had a fish tail under her that she fed to Bob 1 and 2. 3 wasn’t there yet. The weather turned, the Crows attacked, and here we are today. Aran has lost primary feathers and is not able to fish. He has been flying around the nest keeping Osprey intruders at bay. Mrs G has not removed the body of Bob 1 who died yesterday of starvation. It is truly a sad situation and unless fish jumped out of the sky, I simply cannot see the little ones surviving. Indeed, the one with the biggest chance could be the youngest. On top of this, Bob 3 at the Loch of the Lowes Nest is quite small compared to Bob 1 and 2 and Nessie is inexperienced. —— I do like a Walt Disney ending but, gosh, it is the real world and it just shows how much weather and climatic changes impact these fish eagles.

My mood is always made lighter by several other nests. So let us have a look at them. With Tiny Tot back on the nest, he has been quite the character today. I think Diane has a ‘soft spot’ for Tiny. After 2 had his fish this morning, Diane brought Tiny a whopper. He was still eating it an hour later. Then tonight, as I write this, the two of them are just finishing up another fish together. Earlier, Tiny had rushed 2 to try and steal a fish that hit the nest around 4pm. Tiny sure gave it a go and I am proud of him even if he didn’t succeed. What he decided to do was to do a fly around the nest and gosh, I figured out how to record it. So easy! Now I can share it with you. Thirty-three seconds of Tiny Tot flying. He has now done this several times. It will strengthen his wings but he won’t get lost! This kiddo is one smart cookie. After Tiny Tot leaves the nest, it will be a nano second or two til he comes around on the right. He will look like a small bird, he will turn to the left before the trees and head back. Beautiful take off and landing.

Tiny Tot does a 33 second fly around the nest and back. 24 May 2021

Tiny is simply one gorgeous, creative, persistent, patient, and alert fledgling. He will always have a place in my heart. He ranks up there with WBSE 26 for tenacity!

I also spent some time watching Big Red. Gosh, she just looks so adoringly at the Ks, just like she does every clutch, every year. She simply glows being a ‘bird mom’. The Ks are starting to stand and become mobile. Today two were interested in small bits of prey on the nest and each and everyone of them did not want their ears cleaned! The ears are on the sides of their head but they are not covered with feathers yet. Because of that, Big Red has to make sure that they are clean – just like my mother’s house – so that their hearing is not impaired. None of the Ks appreciates it when she does this! Take a good long look at them. We are three and a half weeks away from fledge!

Here is the oldest one, K1, standing. My how clean those pantaloons are.

Wonder if I can eat this???????? That little dimple, by the way, behind the eye is the ear.

Big Red is telling K2 to just hold still, it will only take a minute! K3 is waiting its turn.

Taiki, the Royal Albatross chick on Taiaroa Head, New Zealand is nothing short of adorable. Her names means ‘protector and carer of the land, the sky, and the sea’. She looks like a big fluffy cotton ball. All that fluff will begin to come off to reveal the huge wings she will need to stay flying over the ocean for five or six years before returning to land. Yes, you read that right. Once Taiki fledges, she will not return here to her natal nesting area – until she is five or six years old. She will return as a juvenile in December then and begin looking for a mate! That can also take a few years.

Today, Taiki is 121 days old. She is halfway to the average fledge of 240 days. In August Taiki will begin to hover and really put those wings through their paces. For now she does her exercises while she waits for a parent to fly in and feed her.

Here is a great little video, 14 minutes, of the parent arriving – I believe it is her dad, Lime Green Black – to give her a feeding of squid.

Oh, I hope you have enjoyed having a little glimpse at three amazing species of birds – the Ospreys, the Red Tail Hawks, and the Southern Royal Albatross. Each are at a different stage in their development. Thank you so much for joining me. I would like to be able to promise you that there will be good news from the UK Osprey nests tomorrow but, I can’t. The winds are whipping around and no one knows how long it will take Aran to heal so that he can fish.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots and videos: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, and Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC.

Oh, tears. Tiny Tot gets the fish from mom and self-feeds like a pro!

How can you even describe the words, ‘over joyed beyond belief’?

Oh, the tears are flowing down my cheeks today. If Diane has not noticed how well Tiny Tot is doing, she has today.

Remember Tiny Tot was the first to self-feed. He kept himself alive eating on scraps found in the nest some days. Well, today he had a good feed on the first two fish. And he had a crop. You can see it in his profile here just after 9am.

Then when a fish landed right at the feet of one of the older sibs (I think it was 2) at 3:51:17, Tiny Tot was brave and tried to steal that fish! Yes, you did read that correctly. The thing about Tiny Tot is that he is a survivor. Tiny Tot is always watching. He knows his environment and he knows what is happening.

In the image below, Tiny is on the far left. In the centre are 2, the mother, and 1. The fish that Jack delivered landed right at the talons of 2. You might not think Tiny knows what is going on but he does.

In a second, Tiny Tot decides he is going to try and steal that fish!

There he goes at 3:52:16.

2 is like, ‘What do you think you are trying to do little buddy?’

Tiny might have gotten a bite or two before 2 decided he was holding on to the fish but it demonstrates how observant, quick, determined, and brave Tiny Tot is. Who said that Tiny Tot could not survive when the older sibs start self-feeding?

At 4:59:01 Jack delivered another piece of fish. Now look where our brave little one is – right there by Diane when that fish is dropped. The two older sibs seem more concerned with one another or the traffic.

Oh, there is a lot of wing flapping going on. Where is Tiny Tot? and where is that piece of fish? OK. Diane has it and she is moving it over in her right talon to the side of the nest where she usually feeds the chicks.

Can you see where Tiny Tot’s beak is? And did Diane put that piece of fish in her right talon on purpose?

At 4:59:22 Tiny Tot steals that piece of fish from mom!

He mantles his prey to the back rim of the nest where Tiny Tot self-feeds like the pro that he is!!!!!!!!

Diane watches her boy self-feed. She knows precisely how well the three of them are doing.

Well done, Tiny Tot! If Diane had gold stars to hand out today you would definitely have about 3 or 4 of them. And despite all the claptrap about your being stunted and won’t survive, it sure looks like you are going really well.

My goodness. I think the last image says it all. Since 12 March, Tiny Tot has had to fight for the food that he gets. I expect Diane will tell Jack how well Tiny Tot did today.

Thank you for being on this ‘Tiny Tot’ journey with me. It reminds me of the cheering squad for WBSE 26 or Daisy the Duck. It sure feels good tonight. If Jack and Diane continue to deliver small chunks of fish throughout the day -instead of Diane feeding – and if those pieces come regularly – well, who knows what might happen!

Thank you to the Achieva Credit Union in St Petersburg Florida for their streaming cam. That is where these screen shots were taken.

UPDATE: The second egg has been laid by Landa at the Urdaibai Osprey Nest in Northern Spain.