Late Sunday in Bird World

Oh, what a day in Bird World it has been! The weather at the nest of Pa Berry and Missy clocked in at 3 degrees F. That is -16 C. As a comparison, it was only -5 in Winnipeg today. Poor Missy. The snow and sleet were coming down, she has a hungry baby – and she is hungry herself – and there is a chick trying to hatch! My heart went out to her. There were a few tiny breaks in the weather for Missy. She jumped up and ate ferociously and then quickly fed her baby. The bad weather is due to continue til at least Monday afternoon. I was almost afraid to check on her but, then I did.

Pa Berry had brought in another fish. He looks pretty dry compared to Missy, ironically. Missy worked hard to get some food into her little one before she had to brood and try to keep that baby warm and dry.

Missy took lemons and made lemonade with it. She ate and so did her baby. It was fast. She could not afford for the wee one to get soaking wet, cold, and die. I was impressed. Whatever will happen at this nest with all the horrible cold and wet weather will not be this Mum’s fault. She was trying as best she could.

There were tornado warnings and 60 mph winds down in Miami-Dade County at the nest of Ron and Rita. That nest held. I caught some of it on a video clip. Rita works really hard trying to get the two babies under her so they will not get wet and chilled.

R1 has been brutally aggressive today to R2. Indeed, Rita had R2 begging for food and twice she did not feed until R1 came up to the front. At the end of the day, R2 was fed three times today. I cannot confirm the amounts or if there was a big crop like R1s. You might have noticed. But R2 did eat.

Harriet was soaked but she took great care of E19 and E20 during the storm. The heavy rain actually hit Fort Myers well before it started in Miami hard.

None of these issues – extreme weather and/or sibling rivalry -are happening down at the Kisatchie National Forest nest of Anna and Louis. Louis is bring ever more fish onto the nest and that little one is just a sweet little roly-poly.

I can count the remains of one Coot and six fish.

You will think I am nuts continually talking about this kiddos cute tail but it is cute. I have never seen such a cute tail on such a young eaglet. It looks like a soft little ball, so sweet.

Both eagles were on the nest at Duke Farms working on the egg cup. There are expectations that an egg will be laid soon. This couple is in line for some of that storm as well.

Mum is on the nest and the snow has started. Last year she spent almost her entire incubation period encased in snow and ice. I ached for her.

The winds are picking up at the Hilton Head Island Trust, the home of Harriet and Mitch and their two eaglets. The gusts are blowing at 31 mph but there is no indication of rain or snow hitting the nest.

Here is the tracking of that storm as it moves NE as of 9:23 pm on CNN. It is out of Florida. Mt Berry Bald Eagles are in the purple area of Georgia near Atlanta. Pittsburg-Hays, Duke Farms, and even Big Red and Arthur are in the area of winter weather advisories. Continue to send your warm thoughts to everyone here and in all the extreme weather systems moving about the planet including those with the tsunami earlier today.

Snow has been falling in Pittsburg.

Snow continues to be heavy in the Ithaca and Finger Lakes area of upstate NY. This is Big Red and Arthur’s nest.

Meanwhile, in the UK, everyone is getting excited. It is only two months until the expected arrival of the Ospreys. The BBC did a short programme on CJ7 and her nest at Poole Harbour in June of 2021. CJ7 found love this past summer and it is hoped that her mate will return and there will be chicks on this nest for the first time in 200 years! Wow. I am showing it again as the anticipation is bubbling over. It is short and it will also get you excited for the arrival of some of the North American returnees as well.

In New Zealand, OGK, the Royal Cam Dad, returned to incubate his egg and let his mate, YRK, go and feed. That egg is due to hatch on the 27th of January give or take a day or two. Lady Hawk caught the return and the cuddles of this sweet couple.

We hold our breath and wait for the storms in the US to pass and wish all of the nests the best in handling the weather.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots or video clips: WRDC Bald Eagle Nest, Berry College, KNF Bald Eagle Nest, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, Duke Farms, Hilton Head Island Trust, Pix Cams, Cornell Bird Lab, and CNN.

Oh, Tiny Little!

Oh, what a relief to go to the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest and see all three of White YW and Blue 35’s fledglings on the nest. Big Sibling 462 had the fish.

Of course, Tiny Little had her back of tricks open to try and get that fish and sibling 462 knows that Tiny Little is getting much better at stealing fish.

So, 462 decides that the best approach is to take off with the fish in talon! Meanwhile, 464 is at the back of the nest, only partly paying attention.

Tiny Little reminds me so much of Tiny Tot from the Achieva Osprey Nest. No matter what, Tiny Tot would dig around in the nest and find food. That is precisely what Tiny Little is doing right now. The first thing she eyes is a nice fishtail.

She eats all of the fish and horks down that tail like the pro at self-feeding she now is.

Then after digging around a little more, look what she finds. Wow. A great big piece of fish. Way to go, Tiny Little.

When she finished those treasures, Tiny Little began to move sticks around. Was this to pass the time? Or was it in search of more hidden treasure?

Both Tiny Little and 464 ‘think’ that a fish drop is imminent. They have seen an adult, and they are both food calling.

Each has tried to find the perfect position to get in close and take the fish from dad, White YW.

And now both have flown off the nest! That fish drop must have been made somewhere else, off-camera. It was so good to see all of them but, particularly, Tiny Little. She is looking really well.

News has come in from the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation that this year’s chicks, eight of them taken from nests in Scotland, were successfully translocated to Poole Harbour. They were placed in cardboard boxes filled with moss and closed – kept in a temperature-controlled van. The party stopped in Staffordshire for the night. The chicks were fed then and fed again in the morning. They have all been at Poole Harbour for about a fortnight and will be released the first week in August. Let us hope that the birds that have been translocated return and help build up the population of Ospreys at Poole Harbour in the future.

Roy Dennis’s website is full of information. You should check it out when you have time. Roy Dennis is one of the main individuals responsible for bringing back the Ospreys and other large raptors to the UK. Here is the link:

There should be another hatch – WBSE 28 – today. Indeed, maybe Lady isn’t given up secrets, and we already have two soft little chicks. Meanwhile, WBSE 27 could not get any cuter. It is hard to imagine that this little soft ball of down will be a big sea eagle by October!

I did check on the Collins Marsh chick before things got hectic. By 13:13, the wee babe had at least three feedings. Oh, that was really wonderful to see. This is not a popular Osprey nest. When I look down and see ‘3 people watching’, I know precisely who those three are! This is an image of the last fish delivery around 13:00.

Despite two earlier feedings, our wee babe is happy to tuck in. So three feedings in one morning. That is sometimes better than what happens in an eight hour period on this nest. Yeah, dad! Keep it up. This wee one needs to really grow and begin to put on some fat, too.

Ferris Akel has been out finding that beautiful Roseate Spoonbill, and he has made another video of it fishing. In past images or videos, this gorgeous bird has been in the trees. Here that is for your pleasure:

The White Storks at Mlade Buky are doing fantastic. They come to the nest for food, but it also appears that they are now spending time off the nest doing their own fishing. Here are some images from the late afternoon.

There were always only two storks on the nest. The other one must be catching enough fish to try and be on the nest when Father Stork returns to feed.

They did a lot of preening.

They also did a lot of looking for Father Stork, but he did not show up.

One flies off to the left. That bird will fly over the rooftops and fly beyond the highway on the other side of the tree line about 3/4 from the bottom of the image.

Then the other one departs. What beautiful wings.

Tomorrow I will bring you some more news from the Gough Island Recovery Project to eradicate the mice and rats killing the Sooty and Tristan albatross chicks and adults.

The only news in my garden included the ‘usual gang’ was a Golden-Crowned Sparrow this morning. Not very exotic for sure, but since the heatwave came through, there are fewer ‘visitors’ to the garden despite plenty of water and food.

“Golden-crowned sparrow” by jimculp@live.com is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thank you so much for joining me today. We will hope that Tiny Little landed another fish before the fishing stops for the day. Regardless she looks really great – and that necklace of hers is more prominent along with her stout legs. I hope you are all doing well. I will look forward to bringing you updates and news about the Gough Island Recovery tomorrow. Take care! Stay well.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screenshots: Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Sydney Discovery Centre, Collins Marsh Nature Centre Osprey Nest, and the Mlade Buky White Stork Cam.

First known Albino Osprey Chick Hatches at Urdaibai Biosphere Park

The Urdaibai Osprey Nest is one of the nests that Roy Dennis helped to establish in Northern Spain. According to Dennis, he tagged a breeding female near his home in Moray, Scotland and named her Logie. She had one of the new GPS transmitters so the local school children could follow her travels just like Belle in the book, Belle’s Journey. What did they learn? Well, she spent her first winter in the Bijagos Archipelago in Guinea-Bissau, an island off the coast of west Africa. She set off on her spring migration to return to Scotland on 12 March. She had good weather til she got to Basque Country in northern Spain. The winds were blowing to the west and there was heavy rain. She stayed there waiting out the bad weather from 29 March to 7 April on the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, north of Bilbao. Knowing her location, Dennis asked someone to look for her and his call was answered by a local biologist who took photographs and send them to Dennis. Logie was eating a fish she had caught. The pair, Dennis and Aitor Galarza, stayed in touch. Galarza visited Dennis in Scotland because he wanted to learn about breeding Ospreys and they got to talking about translocation. In October, Dennis traveled to Spain to see the places where Logie had stopped over.

The next year, more Ospreys stopped over on their spring migrations and to make a long story a little shorter, Aitor received funding and authorisations to set up a reintroduction programme of Osprey to the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve in 2013. Dennis got permissions and licenses to collect 12 young Ospreys per year for five years and move them to Urdaibai. During the five years, as planned, Aitor and Dennis moved sixty young Osprey from Scotland to Basque Country in Spain.

The males, of course, returned to their nests in Basque country after their migrations but, at the beginning, these translocated boys could not attract females to stay with them. Then a male in 2017 managed to attract a migrant female in September. The rest is history as they say. This is nothing but the briefest of overviews. If you have Roy Dennis’s book, Restoring the Wild. Sixty Years of Rewilding Our Skies, Woods, and Waterways you can read all of the details on pages 314-16.

The Spanish government also prepared a detailed report about the reintroduction of Ospreys with other information about Osprey populations in Europe. For those of you that love detail like I do, here is the link to that report:

This little albino hatched on 2 June at 8:47 and is the first known Albino Osprey in the world. From the look on the one parent’s eyes they might be wondering what they are seeing since the white down and the pink eyes and beak stand out against the nest materials. Of course, that is precisely the problem for this little one. It ‘stands out’ and so predators can see it easier than its two older siblings with their typical Osprey plumage. Its eyes could be sensitive to light that could also cause issues as an adult but the truth is – this is new Osprey territory and a lot will be learned from this precious white bundle.

If you are ever wondering about the egg tooth that chicks have to help them peck through the hard shell, you can see it easily on this little one – it is the white tip end. See the hook? Imagine the chick upside down hammering away with that on a shell.

You can watch this nest here:

Wow, what an exciting morning. I am happy to say that at 6:49:40, Tiny Tot had a fish delivery from Jack. After all the past days of others stealing his fish deliveries it was a delight to see him eating first thing. Tiny really mantled that fish! And no doubt he enjoyed it. It is going to be another scorching hot day in St Petersburg, Florida at 30 degrees C. That nest has to be a lot hotter. There are chances of thunderstorms in the area for the next four days.

Wadsworth flew in with a fish delivery this morning for Electra and the two chicks. He is getting better at these deliveries – maybe he has figured out his responsibilities. I might now continue checking in on this nest. It is in Washington State. One gets so emotionally involved with these nests and, historically, Wadsworth has not been reliable. Fingers crossed. Those are two cute little ones there. And just look. Their tower is located higher than the location where the Ospreys made their nests on the power line. And look, it is right by the water – he doesn’t have to travel far to get the meals for his family!

The Cowlitz Osprey platform was put up in Longview, Washington by the Public Utility District (PUD). They have actually built five platorms. This is number 6141. There are two cameras and one of them has sound.

You can watch this Osprey family here:

To make the day even more special, Iris stopped in at her nest to say hello to all of us this morning! It is just after 6:30. She has a full crop and just look at her. She is keeping herself in prime condition. Well done, Iris – and Iris, it is so nice to see you. Thank you for stopping in!

Thank you for stopping in today to check on Bird World. I will have quick reports on all the UK nests this evening and any unusual happenings during the day.

Thanks to the Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, the Cowlitz PUD, Achieva Credit Union, and the Urdaibai Biosphere Park for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots.

As the Nest Turns, 19 April 2021

Congratulations to Annie and Grinnell on the third hatch at the University of California Peregrine Falcon nest in the Campanile. What a glorious site to hatch! Looks like the time was about 6:00:09.

Annie and Grinnell are announcing that 3 has hatched. One more to go! 19 April 2021

Three and a half hours later, soft and fluffy like its two older sibs. One more hatch to go for Annie and Grinnell! Oh, aren’t they cute!!!

Congratulations to the entire team at Rutland and Urdaibai Ospreys in Northern Spain. The first egg for the translocated Ospreys was laid this morning. The male is Roy – after Roy Dennis and his boundless energy and commitment to the project. The female is Landa. This is just fantastic news in trying to get more Ospreys breeding in different parts of Europe.

Landa is showing Roy their first egg. 19 April 2021
Gorgeous female, Landa. 19 April 2021

Some are thinking that there could be a hatch at The Landings, Savannah Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island happening. Here is a close up of 1 and 2 and that third egg taken at 16:38 today. Am I missing something? Is there a pip?

So cute. 19 April 2021
Little sleeping Ospreys. 19 April 2021

Congratulations to Clywedog’s Dylan and Blue 5 F Seren on the arrival of the second egg! Oh, that nest is soggy.

A soggy Clwedog Nest. 19 April 2021

There has been a visitor to the Loch Arkaig nest when Louis was there. Females generally have darker necklaces than the males. Look at Louis’s for a comparison. If this is a potential mate, she is quite beautiful. Still, we are all remaining hopeful for Aila to return despite rumours that there were some sounds of ‘rumpy pumping’ on the microphone out of view of the camera.

A visitor arrives with a beautiful necklace at Loch Arkaig while Louis is on the nest. 19 April 2021

As we continue to track the condition of Tiny Tot at the Achieva Osprey nest, there have been two fish deliveries today, so far. The first came at 7:13:11. Tiny Tot got a little – and I do mean a little – food. The rain has been coming down and the babies were soaked around 8:57.

Soggy babies. 19 April 2021

The second fish delivery came at 12:35:37. Tiny Tot was able to steal some bites from Diane feeding 1 and was eating with 1 until 2 came up. Again, Tiny Tot had some bites but he simply has not had enough food.

Tiny Tot eating with 1. 19 December 2021. 2 is making its move to enter between Tiny Tot and 1.

As I have argued in an earlier blog, Tiny Tot’s getting a good meal – at this moment in time – will not impact the survival of 1 and 2. Tiny Tot is not a threat to them like he might have been at 2 or 3 days old. That was when the elimination of a competitor would enhance the survival of the older two. The big sibs are nearly ready to fledge. Tiny Tot having some good meals will be good for the entire family whose DNA will be added to the natural world. Remember, 1 and 2 also share DNA with Tiny and the parents. The survival of the three promotes the DNA of Jack and Diane and the survival enhances their place in the natural selection process. It makes their success in raising three healthy ospreys to fledge – glowing! Tiny Tot is too old and it simply does not make sense to deprive him of food at this stage!

People on the streaming cam chat have gotten upset at one another and emotional. In their article on ‘Avian Siblicide’, D. Mock et al do discuss the fact that some birds are ‘selfish’. The observation by some chatters that 2 will keep Tiny Tot away from food even when its crop is more than full is directly related to that behaviour of monopolization. Mock et al argue that being selfish is a trait that can be passed thru DNA and that it should not be the guiding principle of natural selection (445). Those who have been alarmed by 2 have used terms that, indeed, indicate an action that is selfish – ‘2 is being a piggy.’ The adjective is, according to Mock et al, appropriate for the actions of 2. We all hope that the three will be healthy and fledge – it is clear that all persons care. It is clear, at this junction, that the nest and the family would benefit from the survival of Tiny Tot. Hopefully, everyone can join together and wish all the best without being defensive or argumentative. Birds, like people, are not immune to being selfish and monopolizing resources. In the end, though, it sure helps if they share.

Over in Kansas, Bonnie looks adoringly at the two little Great Horned Owls her and Clyde raised on the stolen Bald Eagle Nest. They are branching and nearing fledge watch. What a magical nest to watch with two parents who worked really hard for the success of their owlets!

19 April 2021

White-bellied sea eagles, Lady and Dad, have been spending more and more time at their nest in the old Ironwood Tree in Sydney Olympic Park. You might remember that Daisy, the Pacific Black Duck, commandeered the space to lay her eggs only to have the ravens eat them all! Very disappointing. Lady and Dad are now doing some nestorations and are filling in that hole a little. Everyone is excited for June to come. You can almost hear them say, ‘Look at the mess that Little Duck made!’

Lady and Dad doing some much needed repairs to their nest.

It is nearing dinner time and Big Red is incubating the eggs. Arthur will be around shortly so that she can have dinner and a break before night duty. She looks really comfy on that nest on the light well on the grounds of Cornell University. What a beauty at 18. The grand dame of Red Tail Hawks!

Big Red is enjoying a dry day on the nest. 19 April 2021

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is still cold on the Canadian prairies and the snow is not melting in my garden. The normal cast of characters was joined by Fox Sparrows in droves this morning. Their song is incredibly lovely. What a joy! Take care. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I obtained my screen shots: Farmer Derek, Cornwall Bird Lab and Savannah Osprey, Woodland Trust, Post Code Lottery, UC Berkeley Falcon Cam, Achieva Credit Union, Clywedog, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Center, and Cornell Bird Lab and Red Tail Hawks.