We are all waiting with Xavier and Diamond for the first (or all) of the eyases to hatch in the scrape box at Orange, Australia. There is, perhaps, a pip. Fingers crossed. BTW. The Peregrine Falcons made it to the final vote in the Australian Bird of the Year. We now wait to see who wins.
The chicks on the Port Lincoln Osprey nest certainly did get another big feed at 16:28. A small fish tail was brought on the nest at 19:57 but everyone had a big crop. Mum got off the nest for a bit a little later. Everyone is great. As I continue to say, all three chicks are doing well and I sure haven’t seen any of the rivalry of past years.
The chicks are still eating the whopper of a fish brought in at 14:49. This is going to really fill them up. It is also late in the day.
Some are still eating at 15:23.
Dad is still on the nest after delivering the 16:28 fish. You can see that the chicks still have large crops from the feeding they just finished.
This fish will really top them off.
There was certainly not a lot of fish left on that tail that Dad brought in. It does not matter. I hope that Mum got some of it. The chicks are definitely full and will be fine til tomorrow.
I am always looking for great videos by the people that advertise for the various camera companies. The reason? Their footage is simply the very, very best. So when I spotted Mark Smith’s video about the migration of the mullet off Florida, I knew there would be some great Osprey images. I would also like to think that our very own Tiny Tot, Achieva Osprey’s miracle third hatch survivor in 2021, might be out there during that annual mullet run filling her crop. Here is the link. It is about 8 minutes long and worth all of it.
Enjoy those wonderful shots of Mark’s.
Thank you for joining me this morning. All of the nestlings in Australia are doing great. I have one last image to leave with you. One of the FB members posted this gorgeous screen shot of the 367 Collins Street Falcon faily. I am reposting it here because it is priceless and a lovely way to leave our blog. Take care everyone.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the 367 Collins Street FB Page.
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.
The female on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge woke up to some rain and by mid-day there was rough weather. The moderator of the PLO chat said they hoped that the chick would choose to stay in the egg!
It is currently 12 degrees C with a wind speed of 42 km/h or 26.09 miles per hour. Blustery. Not good for fishing. Best wrapped up in a cosy blanket with a cup of tea and a good book. Hang in there mum.
Aran is still in the Glaslyn Valley. Doesn’t he look grand on one of his favourite perches looking over ‘his’ territory. As much as others might have their eyes on their natal nest, Aran doesn’t intend to hand it over to either Tegid or Aeron, Monty’s boys, Z1 and Z2, respectively.
Some are worried. My notebook just said that ‘Aran migrates after the middle of September.’ That was accurate but not precise enough.
As it happened, Tiger Mozone on the PLO chat and so I was able to ask him. Immediately – literally – there was a link to ‘Tiger and Chloe B’s Osprey Data’.
These are the dates that Aran was last seen at the Glaslyn nest from 2015-2020:
2015. 25 September
2016. 16 September
2017. 12 September
2018. 22 September
2019. 16 September
2020. 15 September
The average is September 17th. That is six days from now. There is no need for anyone to be alarmed that Aran is still in the Valley, worrying that he is unable to migrate due to his earlier injury. Aran is ‘being Aran.’
Everyone that watches the Royal Cam Chick at Taiaroa Head, Tiaki, you should be giving a shout out to Ranger Sharyn. She located Tiaki 150 metres from her natal nest and the streaming cam. She carried her back to the general area of the nest – and just in time. LGL flew in and fed her daughter shortly after.
Here is Tiaki seeing her mom and coming quickly for that delicious squid shake. These chicks can really move when food is involved — or running away from ‘the dreaded basket’ when the rangers come round to weigh the chicks.
Victor Hurley, the Peregrine Falcon specialist who uses the streaming cam in Melbourne to study the falcons, is looking for some help. He was on the 367 Collins Street Falcons FB page today asking for individuals to accurately provide the time stamp for the incubation hand over duties. Later, he will be looking for time stamps for prey delivery. If you would like to help, please go to the 367 Collins Falcon Watchers and PM Hurley.
Here is a great example of what he is looking for. Mum is getting off the eggs and Cutie Pie ‘Dad’ is falcon walking on the ledge. They are such a good team.
It is windy in Sydney, too. WBSE 27 and 28 had a tiny bird – looks like another gull chick – around 6:29. 28 held back until almost all of the bird had been eaten by 27. That is a bit unusual for the first feeding in the morning. Normally 28 is right up front ready to go.
Notice that 27 stood for its breakfast! Oh, these two are really developing. Both have been standing more and trying to walk.
Another food item comes to the nest around 10:00. This time Lady splits the meal between both of the chicks.
28 is on the left and 27 on the right. You will notice that while the wing and back feathers are growing in nicely on both, 27’s tail is longer and 27 is noticeably larger.
In his book, Soaring with Fidel, David Gessner reminds readers that at the time of migration the juvenile Ospreys are transformed in appearance from when they were first fledglings. Gone is the white scallop on the feathers, gone is most of the down, the eyes are yellow, the dark feathers are darker, and the birds have ‘slimmed down’ somewhat.
So today an Osprey appeared on the Achieva Nest in St Petersburg. Help me out here. Could we be looking at a slightly older Tiny Tot?
The top two images are of the visitor today. The top one looks more like the face of Tiny Tot with the trademark ‘heart’ on the top of the head.
These are the first images that I grabbed of Tiny Tot out of the hundreds that I have. I wish that I could get both of the birds in the exact position.
Of course, it could be my mind playing tricks. I would dearly love for this to be Tiny Tot.
When I was scrolling for images of Tiny Tot, I cam across this one of Tiny Little. The Two Tinys are the stars of survival for 2021. The most amazing, clever, determined to live little birds who beat the odds. What I wouldn’t give for Tiny Tot to have a Darvic ring! Then we would not be guessing who is on that nest.
I will leave all of you with this mystery and a reminder of how inspiring these two little ospreys are to all of us.
Thank you so very much for joining me today. Take care everyone. Stay safe.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: PLO Osprey Project, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Achieva Credit Union St Petersburg, 367 Collins Street Falcons, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.
Ah, the sweet and the bittersweet. All of my friends from the Achieva Osprey Club who loved Tiny Tot or Tumbles as so many called her, will remember that she was the last fledgling to leave the nest. She was there for precisely four months – worrying us, causing us to lose sleep, cry, hope, cry again, bite our finger nails to the quick and watch the hurricane warnings with great anxiety. And then, of course, the miracle of it all, Tiny Tot became the most fierce and dominant bird to hatch on that nest this year. She will survive anything. No doubt. Tiny Tot stole my heart because of her ferocious desire to live. She had been starved – not being allowed to eat for several 72 hour long sessions by her two older siblings – and she tried every way to get around and get the food. Of those four months, she had no food for 12 full days, scattered more in the first half than the last. In the end, Tiny Tot ‘didn’t take anything from anyone’. She could handle an intruder as well as an adult – and she did, many times protecting the nest alone. Here she is a few days before she left the nest for good. She was gorgeous and she was the first miracle of 2021.
The second miracle I often talk about, too, is Tiny Little on the Foulshaw Moss Nest of White YW and Blue 35. Like Tiny Tot, Tiny Little is the only fledgling left on the nest in Cumbria. Everyone else but dad, White YW, has migrated. She has benefited, like Tiny Tot, from getting well fed, getting her flight skills in order, and not being in a hurry. She was enjoying a nice fish tonight for dinner (nest time). Will it be the last on the nest? Or will we get the pleasure of seeing her tomorrow? There are still plenty of Ospreys hanging on.
Polly Turner caught Tiny Little with her fish in this very short video!
The view this morning from the Glaslyn nest is Aran overlooking the valley. It reminded me of the paintings of the German Romantic painter, Casper David Friedrich. Aran’s healing from his late May-early June injury is something to smile about as well.
Idris and Dysynni were still at home on the Dyfi Nest. Idris brought in quite the catch for his boy, Blue 490. Telyn has not been seen since around noon on Saturday, 21 August.
That fish is just amazing. Idris you are so strong and just a great provider!
And what a beauty Blue 490 turned out to be. A lovely male.
So proud of his fish!
You can’t see them – sadly the camera at the Llyn Clywedog nest of Seren and Dylan and Only Bob, Blue 496. John Williams reports seeing Seren fishing and Only Bob later in the afternoon today, UK time. So they are still with us.
Maya was still at Rutland yelling as loud as she could for Blue 33 to get that breakfast fish on the nest! Ah, so happy to see you Maya. You deserve the time to get in great shape after the kids have headed off on their adventure.
I mention all of these because I really hope that Tiny Little is in no hurry to get on with her life. Selfish me. I want to enjoy her for a few more days.
In Latvia, everyone is elated. One of the storklings of Grafs has found the feeder!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a success.
No matter where you live, remember this, please. In the future when our birds are at risk with no food or water – an area can be designed for them with a decoy to lure them to the site.
So happy for our friends in Latvia. It has been a long worrisome year.
Discussed on the Latvian Forum today is also a theory that the male, Grafs, lured the storklings off the nest by flying close and then flying away. This was what was suggested by chatter Liz01, a long time watcher and forum poster, “After the first storklet leave the nest on August 23 and didn’t come back, someone landed on the left. He flew away and the Storklets followed his departure with their eyes .. they turned and looked towards the forest on the right. One of the two, the eldest, took courage and flew behind. I already saw it yesterday, but only the departure and wondered how it could be that he chose this route. Now I have the explanation. It could be it was flying with Grafs!”
That is a very interesting and astute theory. I have seen hawks take a small piece of prey to lure their fledglings from one hunting spot to another or Peregrine Falcons that tease the eyases with prey flying in front of them to get them to leave. It is certainly a very credible idea by Liz01. Here is the link to the page where you will find photographs and a short video of what she noticed.
The wind continues in Sydney, Australia. At this point I am not prepared to report on the White Bellied Sea Eagles nest. The amount of prey has dropped to the point that I fear that WBSE 28 will be killed by 27. I do hope that the situation turns around. I am still working on how best to deal with the situation that occurred with Malin in the hope that people will learn and help wildlife. In a few weeks, someone let me know how WBSE 28 fared. Thanks.
Last a very rare sighting of a White-tailed Eagle has occurred in King’s Lynn, UK. If you are an eagle fan, have a read. This is amazing news.
In Manitoba, we are celebrating the work of our great vets, the rehabbers, and the visiting vets at Wildlife Haven. We also have the Manitoba Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. I will tell you more about that in a couple of days. For now, our grand dame, Princess is 19 years old. She hatched in Minneapolis in 2002 and was translocated to Winnipeg that same year. Two years later she meets up with her first mate. She has had 4! In 15 years, she laid 54 eggs, hatched 46 chicks with 37 fledges. More about her later this week and her rescue. Everyone is happy.
Take care everyone. I am hoping to let you know that Tiny Little is still with us and has not started her migration. Just a few more days, please, Tiny Little. And where are Karl II and family? Updated reports tomorrow. Stay safe. Be kind to one another. Protect our wildlife.
I am grateful to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, The Latvian Fund for Nature and the Latvian Fund for Nature Forum, the Dyfi Osprey Project, LRWT and the Manton Bay Osprey Nest, the Achieva Osprey Nest, and the Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whenever there are sad moments in Ospreyland, I find it is always comforting to head down and spend some time with Taiki, the Royal Cam Albatross in New Zealand. Taiki was 170 days old today and she weighed 8 kg. She was at 8.2 kg. Around this stage in their lives the weight of the chicks stabilizes – meaning they will not gain vast amounts of weight as they will be focusing on getting their wings strong for flight. If, however, the chick’s weight drops too much, the rangers will provide supplementary feedings. Taiki is right at that point where they are watching her.
Lady Hawk posted a video of Lime-Green-Lime, the mom, coming in to give Taiki a feeding. If you haven’t seen the adults feed their chicks, please have a look. Taiki will be making food callings and her bill will be clacking at the parent’s. That is to stimulate the feeding. Taiki was taught this when she was just a day old. How precious. LGL does beautiful sky calls.
Tiny Little spent his first night alone in that big Osprey nest at Foulshaw Moss in Cumbria. When asked if Tiny Little would be lonesome for his older siblings now that they have fledged, one person on FB said, ‘Not the way they treated him’. Yes, Tiny Little might not have survived but he did! And we are all so happy. Tiny Little was flapping his wings hard wanting to fly but it will be a few days more. Hopefully he won’t get too restless.
Both White YW and Blue 35 have been alarming and flying on and off the nest. This happened around 6:10 am.
Tiny Little did what he had been taught. Stay as still as you can and don’t move – keep your head down!
By 6: 19 the disturbance seemed to be over and Tiny was looking around hoping for a fish delivery.
There are advantages of being on the nest alone. Tiny Tot at Achieva was a pro at finding fish scraps. Look what Tiny Little finds around lunch time! You got it – an entire fish hidden in the nest!!!!
He looks around to check and see if anyone else is around and then he tucks in. He is still eating when Blue 462 lands in the nest two hours later.
Tiny Little is not showing 462 what he is mantling. Meanwhile 462 is pecking around the nest to see if there are any fish scraps left. Smart one Tiny Little!
What an absolutely tranquil scene at the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Wales. The cows are out in the fields and Dysynni was in the nest with his sister, Ystwyth, waiting for a breakfast delivery from dad, Idris.
It is a beautiful day up in Scotland at Loch of the Lowes and both fledglings, LR1 and LR2 are in the nest waiting for breakfast, too.
Those two are just beautiful. Well done Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0. Looks like they decided to pose and look at the camera instead of turning away. Thank you! You are both gorgeous fledglings!
The Rutland Manton Bay nest is growing grass after the Two Bobs fledged. Little birds have been around but seldom do we see any of the Ospreys —–until there is a fish drop and then everyone seems to show up.
Blue 33 shows up with a nice Bream and both 095 and 096 land simultaneously. 095 gets the fish in its talons.
You can see Blue 33 flying off leaving the two kids to sort the fish.
Blue 33 returns less than a minute later. Is he looking for Maya to feed the chicks? He leaves as quickly as he arrives.
Blue 095 is starting to eat the fish. No worries there will be plenty for 096.
Have a look back in time. Here are 095 ad 096 exactly two months ago tucking into a Bream. Just imagine. They are so tiny and now they are preparing themselves to migrate in about six weeks. Gosh they were cute!
It is now around noon in the UK. Only Bob, Blue 496 decided to take a flying spin around the Llyn Clywedog Nest straight to the trees where Dylan goes around 11:47. Yesterday, Only Bob flew to the camera post but today they are counting this as his official fledge! It was a great one, too. Mom, Seren 5F was on the nest with him watching her baby take those next steps.
Seren leaves and Only Bob moves over to the rim of the nest looking at his target. Those trees that he sees dad come out of.
And he’s off. If you look at the right side of the image you will see his two legs flying and heading for the trees! Gosh that must feel fantastic.
A couple of hours later, Seren has a nice fish on that nest trying to lure Only Bob over to have some lunch. It was really interesting watching Seren look at or for Only Bob. At times it sounded like she was talking to him – has slipped trying to land on the rim and is on a lower branch of the tree. Only Bob is 50 days old today.
What a great day in UK Ospreyland. Things are going really well. Aran was seen flying high over at Glaslyn today which is a good sign of an improvement. Hopefully he is not having to contend with intruders. Z2 actually landed on the Glaslyn nest the other day – his nest and chick are at the Pont Cresor nest which many consider to be close to Glaslyn. Sadly, one of the chicks on the Charlo Montana Osprey nest died because of bailing twine. If you don’t know, it is what farmers use to tie up large hay bails. So sad. Montana seems to be having a rather bad year with this twine winding up in the nests.
That is it for me today. Thank you for joining me to check in on all the babes. Take care. Enjoy your Tuesday wherever you are.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots and to Lady Hawk for her videos: Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, LRWT and the Rutland Manton Bay Osprey Nest, and Carnyx Wild and the Clywedog Osprey Nest.
The female White Storkling at the nest in Mlady Buky, Czechoslovakia is ready to fledge! Look how beautiful she is with her wings spread. She looks like a dancer bowing to her audience. She was making all the right moves this morning. She began flapping her wings as the sun was rising and got very enthusiastic around 6am. She is restless and continues flapping and looking out to the world beyond the nest.
Father Stork comes in to feed the three youngsters. This generous community continues to provide supplementary food for Father Stork so that he and his three babies can survive. You can see, in the background, Father Stork eating from the fish table that is provided to him and his family. Sadly, their mother was killed on one of the electrical lines and these three are alive today because of this community. It is heart warming to see that the storklings are ready to fledge. Everyone can be so proud of their efforts!
The Bucovina Golden Eaglet, Zenit, grabbed the prey delivery from Mom and completely self-fed today for the first time. Zenit mantled and flapped all the while telling Mum to go away he could do this himself. Wow. Another milestone to independence. Lady Hawk caught this magical moment in a video:
There has been a lot of discussion about goshawks lately because they have raided and killed many Osprey both in Latvia and an eagle in Spain. There is a Crested Goshawk nest in a park in Taipei. The adults failed at their first breeding attempt and had one hatch on their second. The eaglet is three weeks old. So cute.
Crested goshawks live in Asia. Their territory is from the Indian subcontinent to Taiwan. In terms of its range and numbers it is of ‘least concern’. It is, however, a protected species in Hong Kong because of the encroachment on its forest environment. The hawks are now adapting to urban living. The Crested Goshawk is 30-46 cm in length or 12-16 inches. Like other raptors, there is reverse sex size diamorphism – the female is larger than the male. They feed on insects, birds, and mammals. The nest is normally made of sticks in a tree and most often the female will lay between two and three eggs.
The image below shows a Crested Goshawk Female. Look at that gorgeous plumage.
In size comparison, the Northern Goshawk that has caused issues related to the death of the Osprey chicks in Latvia and Spain is approximately twice the size of the Crested Goshawk. Each species has a long tail and shorter broad wings to help them speed around the forest area where they hunt. They are more adapt at living in the forest and often lure their prey into that environment.
Here is the mom in her nest with her eaglet.
The eaglet has been ringed with two official bands.
The eaglet will fledge in 2-3 weeks. You can watch this little one grow up here:
Now let’s check on some of those Ospreys!
Foulshaw Moss. Tiny Little is still moving in to get fed. I have seen some people worrying about him but, honestly, this little one is going to be grand. At tea time on Sunday, 464 was self-feeding. Self-feeding is hard work and the chicks spend a lot of time and energy fighting with the bones in the head. They get tired. So when 464 finished eating, Blue 35 took over and fed Tiny Little and Middle Bob.
In the image below, 464 is self-feeding. Mom, Blue 35, is waiting and it is Tiny Little stretching his wing. As we will all be saying, Tiny Little isn’t so Tiny anymore. And that is a good thing!
Blue 35 has taken over the feeding and, of course, Tiny Little is right there for the bites! Tiny Little and Middle Bob have always done well together. It is really good that 464, the big female, fledged first. It is hard to imagine but a couple of days ago Tiny Little looked like an extremely young chick. Now, unless the bands are visible and you follow the chicks it is hard to tell them apart. Now that is magnificent and it shows precisely what getting a good feeding means to these chicks.
Dyfi. Right now it is pitching down rain. Earlier it looked like Dysynni was hovering so high that he was going to fledge – but, he didn’t. Ystwyth is in awe! Dysynni is 52 days old today and Ystwyth is 48 days.
I imagine that Sir Richard Branson whose Virgin Galactic’s Unity Spaceplane took off from Spaceport America this morning successfully returning to Earth from space would really like to fly like a bird. Laura Culley, falconer and great mind, told me once that humans have the DNA for feathers and flight we just haven’t turned them on. Any geneticists out there to confirm that?
And then the rains came and Idris delivered a really nice fish that Telyn is feeding the nestlings. No more thoughts of fledging today!
Poole Harbour. Both CJ7 and Blue 022 were at the nest at Poole Harbour today. They continue bonding. There is at least a month or six weeks til they head off on their migration. Let us all hope that this lovely new couple return in late March or early April – both of them – and entertain us with their antics while raising chicks.
Clywedog. Oh, it is wet and miserable at this nest in Wales today. Only Bob looks pretty miserable.
Never fear. Dylan went out and got a nice perch for Only Bob’s (Blue 496) tea time treat. Seren is happily feeding her little one. Soon Only Bob is going to be thinking about fledging too.
Look at Dylan’s strong thin legs. The other day he flew 13 km to get a trout for his family’s dinner. Thanks John Williams for confirming that distance!
Loch of the Lowes. It is raining in Scotland, too. NC0 is on the nest feeding her nestling and her fledgling their tea time meal. NC0 has been flying with Fledgling Bob over the loch. It will be wonderful to see her spend time flying with both her babies once Second Bob has fledged. NC0 has become a very good mother. She struggled at the beginning with the feeding and many thought that Second Bob would not survive and perish like little third Bob. But, look at these two now. Fantastic. NC0 really came into her own. Laddie has done his part, too!
Are you interested in France’s plan for their Osprey and White Tailed Eagles? If so, Stephanie Scofield posted the French government’s document on the Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) FB page. If you cannot read French, have a look anyway. The graphics are very helpful. Here is that report:
Thank you so much to the person who forwarded me an image of Z1, Tegid. I do not know who to credit for the image so thank you to that individual. I hope you do not mind my posting it today!
I am so grateful to my friend ‘T’ for telling me about this brave little osprey. As many of you know, I am setting about on a ten year plan to follow the osprey hatches that were beaten and battered and deprived of food but, who made it despite all the odds against them to fledge! I want to see how their lives unfold. Sadly, many like Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey nest are not ringed and most are not seen on camera. So my list is short. It includes Z1 Tegid, JJ7 Captain, Tiny Little Bob Blue 463, and Tiny Tot. If you know of others please alert me. You can leave me a comment or send the information through e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). It is much appreciated.
Here is Tegid. He has a nest with chicks for the second year in Snowdonia in Wales! Look at those strong little legs, too.
It is a soaring hot day on the Canadian prairies. The birds are really enjoying the water dishes and baths – they are keeping us busy filling them. I am taking a break from cleaning my tiny home office. It got stuffed with all manner of everything during the pandemic and now it is time to get that sorted. It is so nice, like now, to stop and check in on our friends with feathers!
Thank you so much for joining me and thank you for all the letters, comments, and pictures. I love hearing from you.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, CarnyX Wildlife and Clywedog Ospreys, Dyfi Osprey Project, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Crested Goshawk Nest Cam in Taipei, and the Mlady Buky White Stork Nest Cam.
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:
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.
Elsa was a category 1 hurricane when she bore down on the Southwest Florida coast last evening. The two chicks on the Sarasota Bay Osprey Nest had their talons anchored, riding out the gusts and the rain. This was the pair of them at 23:08 Tuesday, 6 July.
Whew! No chicks blown off the nest just a good soaking.
As the gusts calmed some in Sarasota, they were picking up at the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg. It is nearly midnight. What is surprising are the number of cars on the streets and even people walking. The nest perch weaves back and forth. Oh, I am ever so glad that Tiny Tot is not on this nest! Indeed, I can see why the birds might choose to migrate north for the summer to get away from hurricane season.
All of this made all of the aunties and uncles relatively nervous. We can’t do anything but watch which is precisely the problem! And none of us knows what kind of damage the storm will do.
Instead of drinking coffee and eating way too much chocolate, I turned my mind to Peregrine Falcons.
Peregrine Falcons. The fastest animal on the planet. Speeds up to 390 kph or 243 mph. They are flying killing machines attacking their prey in the air instead of on land. They are magnificent creatures who appear in art, literature, culture, and sport.
Falcons appear on the shoulders of the terracotta figures, the haniwa, on the Kofun (mound tombs) in Japan from 300-555 CE. These were royal tombs. The haniwa were not placed on the inside of the tomb but, rather, on the top of the mound as if in a ceremonial parade. They served many functions. One of those was utilitarian – they kept the soil from eroding as they would have their bottom portion pushed into the the ground.
Using Google Earth, satellite images show you the distinctive ‘keyhole’ design of these ancient burial sites. Forests now cover the sites but originally, they would have been cleared. These hollow clay figures covered the surface. Were they there to protect the deceased? did they tell about the status of their life on earth? No written records exist but we know that over time simple clay cylinders developed into very elaborate human and animal shapes like the falconer, above.
Falconry was known to be practised by the aristocracy in Japan. Taka is the Japanese word for falcon. Taka means strength and bravery. It is no wonder that the art of falconry, takagari, was adopted by the warrior class, the samurai.
The military class ruled Japan during the Edo era. During the Tokugawa Shogunate, 1603-1858, local war lords (daimyo) and the Shogun hired painters to depict the falcons on crests, screens, textiles such as boy’s kimono, in hangings as well as in single sheets or albums.
The image below is one of many woodblock prints depicting falcons. This one is Falcons with nestlings in a pine tree at sunrise by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.
Falconry is still practiced in Japan today. Here is a lovely short video about a woman who desired to take up the sport.
As it happens, I have just finished reading Queen of the Sky. That is probably why falcons are on my mind. In fact, this beautiful little book is sitting next to me. The illustrations are gorgeous.
What a marvellous little book written and illustrated by Jackie Morris. It is the story of Ffion Rees’s rescue of a Peregrine Falcon off the coast of Ramsay Island. It might be easy for someone to think, on the surface, that it is a condensed version of H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. If so, they would be missing the book’s heart. It is about love. “Come and see what is in my kitchen” Ffion urges Jackie. It is a story that weaves the lives of the women and the bird – love, loss, and friendship – together in a book that you will not wish to set down. Morris draws you in – you can smell the sea and the land, you can hear the gulls and you want to escape into the wild that is Ramsay Island. Required with the book are at least half a dozen tissues.
Morris tells us that the Peregrine Falcons hatched on Ramsay’s Islands are believed to be the fastest and most fierce in all of the United Kingdom. The kings of England kept many birds from Ramsay.
As a child do you recall the nursery rhyme about the Four and Twenty Blackbirds baked in a pie? Can you conjure that image? Like the one in the old coloured drawing below?
But did you know that King Henry II (1133-1189), known as Henry the Falconer, allowed his noblemen to bring their falcons with them whenever there was a feast? And adding to that, did you know that Henry’s chefs made special pies full of live songbirds (they could not have baked them!) and when they were opened the birds flew out as fast as they could while the owners took the hoods off the falcons?
Hoods protect the eyes of the falcon and help to keep it calm. They can very elaborate. This one is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England. It dates from the early 17th century and is made of leather which has been incised and gilded. There is silk velvet embroidery with silver thread along with silver breads and a tuft. It is typical of the type of hoods used in Europe at the time. Isn’t it gorgeous?
Can you see it in those cold stone castles with their long wooden tables, pies full of birds flying and thrashing about being chased by stealth fliers? Plucked feathers flying all about and landing in the food?
Falcons raise their eyases in scrape boxes or on the sides of cliffs or in caves. The scrape are shallow and contain gravel. It is believed that the falcons developed this method of raising their chicks to keep away the pests and diseases associated with twig nests.
There are several falcon scrapes that have streaming cams. One of the most famous couples in the United States is Annie and Grinnell who have their scrape box in the Campanile of the University of California at Berkeley. They have just fledged three boys – Fauci, Kaknu, and Wek-Wek. At this time of year, if you want to watch falcons hatch and fledge, you have to go to the falcon streaming cams in the Southern Hemisphere. Two are the CBD Peregrine Falcons otherwise known as the Collins Street Falcons in Melbourne, Australia and the scrape box of Xavier and Diamond on top of the water tower on the campus of Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. The CBD Peregrine Falcon Cam is not up and running yet. I will let you know when it is.
Here is the link to the live streaming cam with Diamond, Xavier, and their nine-month old son, Izzi, who refuses to leave home!
I am very happy to say that the two chicks on the Sarasota Bay Osprey Nest survived their very first hurricane. Here they are at 10 am, Wednesday, 7 July.
Tiny Tot’s nest held up perfectly well, too. No one was on it but one of the adult visitors this morning for a bit. We all assume that the impact of the storm had no harmful effects on our beloved Osprey family in St. Petersburg.
The question of who this bird is has driven me a little nuts. The bird has the white ‘V’ and the rounded white heart shape that Tiny Tot has. It has the black patch on the rear of the head that Tiny has. It has Tiny’s short thick legs. But, this is an adult!
Thank you for joining me today. Many of us are quite tired having stayed up to ride the hurricane out. It is such a relief that it has passed. If today’s blog is a little disconnected – that was the state of my mind last night. It will all pass (we hope). Take care all!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen images: The Bay Sarasota Osprey Cam and the Achieva Credit Union in St Petersburg, Florida.
You may have heard that osprey chicks do not do well if they are taken from the nest and placed into care. But is this true? Last year, anyone watching the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest knew that Little Tapps was not going to survive. Solly was too big and too aggressive and when the middle chick, DEW, began to turn on the little one and keep it from eating it was not ‘if’ but ‘when’ would Tapps die. It was emotionally devastating. How many wanted to toss a cloth cover over the camera and at least try and rescue that baby?
In less than a week, news of two interventions came to my desk and thanks to my friend, “T”, two others last evening. Wonder how many more there were? There was at least one Osprey chick taken into care due to the extreme heat in the British Columbia interior. It had fallen out of its nest and bystanders notified SORCO, the only raptor rehabilitation centre in the area at Oliver. They retrieved the three week old chick immediately hydrating it. The staff said that Ospreys can become stressed when in care but, this one is so young they anticipate that it will adapt.
On 3 July an Osprey nest caught on fire when the transformer next to the nest blew. The parents were able to escape, one chick perished, and the other chick was taken into care. The chick was suffering from severe smoke inhalation and some burns from the fire. That precious little one is on oxygen and pain relief therapy. It was initially given high levels of oxygen using a mask but now it is an oxygen incubator. The chick is resting comfortably at the Raptor Tales Rescue in Wareham, MA. Its condition is ‘guarded’.
Sweet little baby. That had to be extremely scary with all the smoke, fire, and noise.
Many other Osprey chicks have been orphaned and placed in nests with foster parents. It is surprising how often this occurs with no ill effects. We saw this recently in Finland and near St Petersburg when another Osprey nest fell down on 29 April. The parents left and all of the chicks died but one. Baby Foster was placed in a nest where there was only one other baby. The parents accepted the new chick immediately. Baby Foster fledged on 13 June. The events with Baby Foster and his new family were caught on video by one of St Petersburg’s local photographers, Kathleen Finnerty.
It is midnight in St Petersburg, Florida. All eyes are on the nest of Tiny Tot and right now, it is calm but Tiny Tot is not there. She came in during the early morning of 5 July. Was she scared by fireworks?
It has been 100 years since a major storm hit the Tampa area. If you look carefully, you will see that St Petersburg is right at the entrance to Tampa Bay.
Tiny Tot has not been on the nest since 9am on the 5th of July. She has not come for a fish and to my knowledge, Jack has not brought any fish to the nest for her since 4 July when there were at least two fish brought in during the early evening. Jack knows where Tiny is or he would be on the nest checking for her. Did the fireworks scare her on her way? did she get tired of chasing off intruders? or did her instincts kick in and tell her it was time to leave the nest?
Here are some images of Tiny over the last few months. They are in no particular order and I have left all the lines and date stamps for you. I will, one day this week, put together a comprehensive album of this miraculous little one – a third hatch that was tough, that survived, and who will do well. What a privilege it was to watch this clever little one become a big strong juvenile.
Tiny, thank you for staying around as long as you did! Stay safe out there. Enjoy the fishing. Have an extraordinary life. You deserve it.
Thank you for joining me today. Here is the model of the storm that is set to hit the Tampa area today. We will be watching and sending warm thoughts to all the nests in that area. Be safe little ones! The recent revised forecast is for Elsa to be a cat 1 hurricane hitting the Tampa area around 11pm tonight. Prayers for all the birds.
Thank you to the Achieva Credit Union for the streaming cam where I took my screen shots of Tiny Tot and her family. Many thanks also to Raptor Tales Rescue for the images on their FB page that I used to show osprey chicks in care.