I have had several letters asking about the three little ospreys in Gainsville, Florida, what is happening at the Venice Nest, and do I watch the Pink Shell Osprey Nest in Florida. The last one is easy. No, I don’t watch the Pink Shell Nest. I am aware of what has happened and what is happening at that nest. Tragic.
OK. Let’s move on to the University of Florida Osprey Nest on the light stand in the ballpark at Gainesville. In fact, there is a ball game going on today. The Dad has also been spending a lot of time on the nest while the female would like him to go fishing. So far there are still three little Ospreys with us. Of course, anything can happen.
If you are watching this nest, please note that the youngest one will eat much less fish than the eldest. We just want the eldest to leave it alone, let it have its few bites, and grow big and strong.
Here are some images from today. They are not in chronological order but the time stamps are on most of them at the top right corner.
That certainly is a lovely nest with a deep nest bowl.
They sure are cute. Let’s hope Big Bob is nice.
Turn around Little Bob!
The third chick at the Venice Golf and Country Club has had a private feeding today and a fish has just come in. There continues to be bonking from the eldest but, chick three is not starving nor is it being beaked to death. Lots of fish need to come on the nest and hopefully things will all calm down in a week. I am cautiously hopeful.
The third hatch was having a private feeding. Fantastic. Oldest sibling did try to stop this feedng but, instead goes into a food coma. The time is 19:29. Little Bob wanted more fish when the feeding was over but…it did get fish and that is important.
Harriet is so beautiful in the soft glow of the sun as it sets on the nest on the King George River. Harriet has been re-arranging some of the toys Jack has brought in.
Jack has arrived to see if Harriet would like a break before night sets in.
The second egg has pipped at the Denmark White-tail eagle nest! Excellent news.
Cal Falcons posted a video of the ‘New Guy’ bringing Annie a daytime prey gift. Annie was very happen to accept it and New Guy promptly went to incubate! What a guy!
Lotus and Mr President make really cute eaglets!
Meanwhile at the Northeast Florida eagle nest of Gabby and Samson, Jasper and Rocket are still with us! The camera is either foggy or has suffered from a PS being washed off by the rain.
Jasper hatched on 23 January followed by Rocket on the 25th. Jasper is 77 days old today if you count hatch date with Rocket being 75 days old. Beautiful babies.
Rhett and Scarlett are wanting their nest back in Savannah. Or is it Rhett? Can’t tell but it seems Little Grey just sat and watched. Not sure what the GHOW adults will think but hopefully it will all work out with Little Grey moving to another tree.
The Majestics at the Denton Homes Bald Eagle Nest have their first hatch.
There has been a bit of angst between the oldest eaglet and the youngest on the MN-DNR nest. They had some bad weather and being only 8 hours from where I live, they could get the heavy snow that is coming. I hope Harry keeps that nest full of fish for Nancy and the kids.
Little Bob getting a nice feeding today.
The storks in Europe are beginning to work on their nests. Here is Florentine delivering materials to his nest in the oak forest near Lodz, Poland today. What a beautiful bird.
Iris, the Queen of American Ospreys, believed to be the oldest osprey in the world looks down at her nest before the light snow begins in Missoula, Montana. She might wish she had stayed in her winter home for a few more weeks! This has been a long hard winter.
That is a very quick round up for some of the nests. There is so much happening with the return of the Ospreys in the UK. In fact, there are only a handful of UK ospreys that have not returned. They include Aeron Z2’s mate, Blue 04: Louis at Loch Arkaig and his mate from last year; Tegid Z1’s mate at Welsh nest ON4, and a couple at Kielder Forest.
My blog will be late on Monday – probably late afternoon or early evening. Thank you for joining me today. It is lovely to have you here with the birds. Take care!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: UFL Ospreys, VGCCO, Dahlgren Ospreys, NADC-AEF, NEFlorida and the AEF, Denton Homes, MN-DNR, and Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project.
First up. The children at the school in Big Bear Valley have picked the name for Jackie and Shadow’s eaglet. It is ‘Spirit’. What a wonderful name! Fly high, Spirit!
NBC – along with dozens of other news outlets – carried the announcement.
I get really excited about the return of the Ospreys to the UK in the spring. There are many reasons for this but the one that stands out the most is the respect and care given to these beautiful fish hawks. Did you know that most of the lochs are off limits to human use of any kind during the breeding season from 1 April to September? Most of the wildlife centres operate on grants and donations and have specially constructed ‘hides’ and monitors inside the buildings so that you can see the birds. Rutland Water and Poole Harbour have ‘osprey tours’ that are guided.
There are currently Ospreys on the following nests:
Rutland Water Manton Bay: Blue 33 (11) and Maya currently have 1 egg waiting for the 2nd any moment.
Loch of the Lowes: LM12 Laddie and Blue NC0. No eggs yet. Some intruders about.
Llyn Clywedog: Dylan is now home with Blue 5F Seren as of yesterday. This couple raised the largest male Osprey chick ever recorded last year.
Dyfi: Idris returned to Telyn yesterday and has been Sky Dancing and mating.
Foulshaw Moss: White YW and Blue 35 both at home working on the nest.
Poole Harbour: CJ7 the resident female hoping for a mate circled the town and has just arrived not long ago.
We are anxiously waiting for the arrival of Mrs G’s partner, Aran. Aran was injured and left late in September for migration. I do hope he returns safe and sound! If not, Mrs G will have lots of suitors. Perhaps even Monty’s boys have some idea that they would like to have nests close to one another. Tegid Z1 (love the guy) and Aeron (Z2) over at Pont Cresor. In the US, all eyes are on the nest in the parking lot in Missoula, Montana that belongs to Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world. Return safe, Iris!
PA Farms has announced that the 4th eaglet on the nest died during the night probably from hypothermia. What a little scraper he was climbing over those big siblings to get to the food.
The weather has been miserable in many areas this spring. It can cause all manner of diseases – the wet damp nests – for our birds.
Some are wondering if Big at the Dale Hollow nest is actually suffering from something. I had an inbox full of notes saying Big is being ‘too nice’ to Little Middle for the second day. Indeed, Little Middle got up first with no intimidation and ate the fish that came in at 08:54. Nice fish andd still scraps on the nest. Little Middle is ready for breakfast!
Little Middle gets up and does a stretch. It is so nice to see chubby legs. Big does nothing.
Little Middle is truly enjoying that fish!
Big moves up later.
Big is ahead in getting its feathers despite the fact that the two hatched on the same day. Notice the tail feathers on Big. You can see them growing out of the calamus or the quill. Some people refer to these structures as the shaft. They are properly known as ‘blood’ feathers. In baby birds, these are the feathers that are growing (not molting). They have a large supply of blood inside them while they grow. This will regress when the eaglet is older. Some of you might well remember that the Captiva Eaglets last year, Hope and Peace, were fed a rat that had died because of rodenticide. In the case of the last eaglet to die, it actually broke off a blood feather and bled to death because the rodenticide caused the blood not to coagulate.
Feathers are so important. They keep our feathered friends warm and dry while giving them the ability to fly as well as their distinct plumage of each species.
Little Middle proudly shows off his large crop at 09:26.
It is official. The chick has hatched at Two Harbours this morning for Chase an Cholyn! Congratulations!
Want to catch the action at Two Harbours? Here is the link:
If you move around the Channel Islands to check on Thunder and Akecheta at the West End, get out your worry beads! Those eaglets are right up to the edge with curiousity!
At the Utica Peregrine Falcon nest, Astrid just laid her 4th egg! Congratulations!
Yesterday I posted the name of the FB group for this streaming cam incorrectly. The correct name if you are searching is Falcon Watch Utica. Thanks ‘MR’ for catching that and letting me know!
Interested in Peregrine Falcons? Cal Falcons just posted information for a free virtual falcon conference for 19 May. There is always something wonderful to learn. Here is that posting:
The ‘New Guy’ continues to impress me. More bedtime snacks for Annie last night who, in her excitement, pulled the NG off the ledge with the prey!!!!!
I have news from many readers of nests opening up. I hope to report on those tomorrow including that of the Imperial Eagles. Karl II, the Black Stork from Estonia, has transmitted from Belarus. Hopefully he will be in his nest in the Karula National Forest in Estonia shortly!
Thank you for joining me this morning. There are so many nests! Will continue to monitor to see if Iris gets home to Missoula Montana and if Aran appears at Glaslyn. Take care all. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, Explore.org, and Dale Hollow Eagle Cam.
Each of us has turned to watching and caring for the birds and other wildlife for as many reasons as there are humans. One of the most commonly cited is ‘The birds bring me joy’. Unlike scientists who try to be arm’s length, most of us have our favourite bird families that we watch. We even have our favourite chicks in the clutch. Certainly I admit to that – Ervie at Port Lincoln was always my guy out of the three. I like the third hatches that survive. They are spunky and creative and, I hope, have facilities for survival in the wild that maybe the eldest who often ate first and the most doesn’t have. It is particularly difficult when we see our bird families struggling. We worry. We cry. My fingernails get shorter.
It is easy to miss what is happening on the Dale River nest. If you look the rewind is only an hour. I wanted to find out what was happening on this nest. Did something happen to a parent? No, both came on the nest around 19:00. So I went to the link in the information under the streaming cam to find out about Wednesday’s feedings.
The Dale Hollow group were able to tell me the chicks had eaten well – all of them once and there was a second feeding in the morning. It was not videotaped so no one was sure if all ate. I also learned something else from Keisha Howell who has been making the videos of the nest and posting them on YouTube. In the early days, DH16 who I have been calling Little Bit, was fed so much for a tiny little chick that it actually balked at feedings. Apparently it still has trouble eating too much food at once. That is good to know. I included the video of the early morning feed in an earlier posting. If you missed that video, here it is:
I would encourage anyone interested in this nest to join the discussion group and ask as many questions as you like. There are very knowledgable people who will be happy to help you. This is how we all learn – by asking questions. And no question is a stupid question! Ever. The link to the group is:
There is concern as the Black Storks and Ospreys move from Africa up to Latvia, Estonia, and Finland that the wildlife will get caught in the war in the Ukraine. There is someone called Ann that is diligently creating maps and posting information on Looduskalender from information provided by the satellite tracker on Karl II. I have cut and pasted the most recent information from this discussion group below. If you would like to check this yourself, here is the link to Looduskalender:
These are the fish ponds where Karl II refuelled:
On his fall journey to Africa, Karl II stopped in the Ukraine. There are many nature reserve areas along the shore of the Black Sea around Odessa. You can see from the simple map below the countries that he will fly over to reach a resting spot on the Black Sea. We worry for him, for his mate and for all the others who are making their way home to the Baltic Region.
California loves their Bald Eagle families. I often wondered why some nests were more popular in terms of viewers than others and as one reader, ‘B’ explained to me last week, the eagles are all over the news in California. Californians love their Bald Eagle families – they are celebrities. ‘B’ was referring to Jackie and Shadow at the time. Now it is Thunder and Akecheta’s turn!
I am going to bore you with baby pictures. These are Thunder and Akecheta’s threesome being fed by Dad, Akecheta, this afternoon at 14:43. There are slight movements in each frame. In some you can see their sweet tails and in others you can glimpse their faces. Talk about adorable! I haven’t been able to take my eyes off these three little cuddles since they hatched.
Cheta is taking parenting very seriously this year. He rarely leaves sight of the nestlings.
I believe we have, from left to right: Little Bob, Middle Bob, and Big Bob. Big Bob is longer and ‘lanky’ than Middle Bob who is more round. Being so much younger, Little is just little – but not that little. Gosh, they are cute. The age difference is the same between Little and Big as it is at Dale Hollow. That is interesting.
Everyone ate well.
Thunder and Akecheta have been widening the nest cup so that all three can line up to eat. It is far too difficult if it is deep and narrow. Most often the little ones have trouble getting to the front or get trampled in the process. Not here!
The three had a nice fish breakfast Thursday morning. They seemed so sleepy when Thunder got them up for a feed.
There are some really outstanding Bald Eagle parents out there. Cheta has matured since he first had chicks at the age of 4 two years ago. Having lost two seasons he broods, has learned to feed quite well actually, and does security. I am impressed.
Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear are another super couple who also suffered for two seasons and who have just the sweetest little eaglet this year. How many feedings a day? There were eleven. It goes without saying that I wish River and Obey at Dale Hollow Lake would feed their eaglets more. The wee nestlings need less food more often.
Jackie and Shadow’s baby is 13 days old today. Eleven feedings. Look at all the fish on the nest. A Gold Star family.
One of those other Gold Star Bald eagle families is Harriet and M15 at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest. Their two this season, E19 and E20 are taking turns going higher and higher in the nest tree as they prepare for fledging. We will miss these two and their antics. They are super healthy and well prepared for living in the wild. Do you remember how excited you were as Christmas approached and hatch at this nest? Now just look at them! They were the first eaglets of the season (on streaming cam) to hatch if I remember correctly.
Both E19 and E20 were enjoying the breeze up on the branches this morning. They look healthy! That is great.
Jasper and Rocket at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby and Samson are flapping their wings. It is not going to be long until they branch. Two really beautiful eagles – stunningly gorgeous.
It’s a foggy late morning at the NEFlorida nest in Jacksonville. Look at how big these two are. They are waiting for a fish delivery!
Beautiful Mum Gabby keeps watch over the nest with her two 2022 hatches.
Both Middle and Little (or Little and Mini) ate well at the Captiva nest Thursday morning. Andy brought in a fish at 10:29:30. Both were hungry. I continue to say that this is a good sign. Lena even had some nice fish left for her. At the both were full and wanted to watch the people on the fishing boat below.
It is hot in Florida today and all the news in the state is about Avian Flu. I sure hope these four miss that. We should know today or tomorrow the results on Big from the UGA Vet School.
Both chicks are hungry but luck closely at Middle. He wants all the little innards and Lena doesn’t want him to eat it particularly. He has his mouth open wide.
Both of the chicks are well behaved and Lena feeds Middle some first and then goes to Little. Neither are submissive to the other. The nest is very calm.
Middle is full and has gone to the side to see the boats and to get some air. Look he is so hot. Yes. My phone says it is 27 C. One of the hottest days so far.
There is fish left for Lena. She will enjoy the tail of the Sheepshead. You can see Little under her left wing. His feathers re coming in good now.
So cute. The pair of them together washing the boats. Best buddies.
Middle and Little were having some more fish around 12:30 Thursday. Lena is a great Mom keeping them hydrated and shading her ever growing babies.
B15 a the Berry College is up on the perch this morning. Making more and more progress. What a gorgeous bird!
Right on time. Big Red and Arthur now have their second egg of the 2022 season. It was laid at 11:05 Thursday morning.
The egg is wet and soft and Big Red will let it cool and harden before attempting to lay on it or it would break.
The only thing about Big Red that looks 19 years old are her feet.
How gorgeous. If you have never watched a Red-tail Hawk nest then you should join in with Big Red and Arthur. There is a moderated chat with experts that is open a few hours a day. It is amazing what you can learn and the fabulous Laura Culley, a long time falconer, will be on board.
Here is the link to one of Cornell’s cameras on the nest. As far as I am aware, there are only 2 RTH nests on streaming cam in the world. Egg 3 will be expected on the 19th!
There is great news coming out of the Loch of the Lowes nest. Laddie, LM12 arrived first in the UK on the 13th. He was joined by his mate Blue NC0 today. How grand. Both made it home for another fantastic Scottish Osprey breeding season!
Rutland Water’s Manton Bay is being worked on by the female, Maya. She arrived back in the UK on 15 March. Normally her and her mate arrive within half an hour of one another. No sign of Blue 33 yet. It is early days in the Osprey migration from Africa.
Port Lincoln Osprey posted this along with their news on their FB of other Osprey nests and platforms. Everyone noticed that Ervie was missing a claw when he was last on the barge eating his puffer. The posting was on 13 March. I found tracking information for Desy and the Phantom but could not find Ervie’s. He is fine and staying around Port Lincoln.
Have a super day everyone. It is so nice to have you with me. Take care. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Google Maps, Looduskalender, West End Bald Eagles, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF, SWFlorida and D Pritchett, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Berry College, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Rutland Water Manton Bay, and Friends of Big Bear Valley.
There are so many things happening in Bird World that it is impossible to keep up with the nests. There are also so many nests that have not even been mentioned in my blog. I will try to cover a few different ones, once in awhile. Hopefully you will discover something different and interesting. But I have to start with some sadness that could potentially grow to the entire nest.
This morning it was discovered that one of the three chicks on the Captiva Osprey nest has died. It is not clear which one it is yet as I write. Lori has asked permission to go to the nest and have the body removed so that it can be tested.
All of the chicks were alive at 07:43.
A fish came in and Little who had been up moving sticks was eating.
From what I can tell, it is the Middle chick that I have been calling Middle Bob that has passed. He did not come up to eat as quickly as the others but did try to feed at 08:33.
Andy came in with sea grass to cover the body of his baby.
How sad this is for these two lovely Osprey parents. They will not know what happened to what appeared to be a fully healthy chick. These two have tried so hard and lost chicks to Ravens but to have one die mysteriously is so tragic. My thoughts go out to Andy and Lena. I hope that this is not the avian flu and that Big and Little will be fine and fledge.
However, if this happens to be H5N1 the highly pathogenic avian flu all of these beautiful osplets could perish. We wait to see.
CROW has been given permission to remove the body and is on high alert over Avian Flu. Permission still needs to come from the USFW service. This is such a sad day. Condolences go out to everyone at Captiva who worked so hard towards a successful nest for Andy and Lena this year.
I will admit to not being happy when the Great-Horned Owls took over the Savannah Skidaway Island Osprey Nest. Not happy. The female hatched one chick that is affectionately known as ‘Little Grey’. I have to admit that wee one is cute and is always so happy when the Mum appears on the nest. It will go running for a cuddle. Here is a video of the Mum bringing a Barred Owl to the nest for lunch. Watch Little Grey when it sees its Mum and runs to her. Enjoy!
Some of you will remember that I wrote about Isabella Tree’s book Rewilding and the move at Knepp Farm in Surrey to turn away from modern agriculture practices and return their farm into a place where nature thrives on its own accord. They have set up the only streaming cam for White Storks in the UK. The birds are not always on the nest so be patient. I am hoping to see some eggs soon! You can find this new streaming cam here:
Are you a fan of the Dulles Greenway Eagles in Virginia? The nest is located in a wetland area. The first egg was laid on 1 February with the second on 4 February. Egg 1 hatched on 13 March at 08:18.
Oh, this little one is a real cutie pie.
Rosa is feeding the wee one some duck. What a beautiful nest.
There is no history of this couple at the nest. They arrive in 2021 and the information on the streaming cam suggests that Rosa is a first time mother this year. Whatever, congratulations Rosa and Martin on hatch 1! Hatch 2 should be happening soon.
Here is the link to their cam:
Normally Maya and Blue 33 are the first Ospreys back in the UK. To go along with that they usually arrive within half an hour of one another. The first this year was Laddie LM12 at Loch of the Lowes but, the second was Maya! She arrived officially on 15 March, today.
She is in remarkably good shape and begins immediately to work on her nest!
There is another female working with some fairly large sticks, too, and that is Rosie of Rosie and Richmond Osprey nest at the SF Bay Whirley Crane. The Ravens removed all of the twigs from their nest over the winter so there is a log of work today in California. Maya is a little luckier.
I started this blog last evening and to find one of the chicks at Captiva is dead is quite overwhelming. They were so healthy. It is not good to speculate what happened. There could be a number of causes. We normally think of birds having to come in contact with a sick bird or its feces. The chicks have only eaten fish. But, still, everyone is on high alert as this is a very contagious disease. Sadly, Andy or Lena might dispose of the body before it can be retrieved for testing. In the UK, studies have show that they take the body about 300 metres from the nest – if they do not leave it in the chick in the nest to become part of its history.
It is now after noon and Lena has stood over her chicks shading them from the sun including Middle. My heart just breaks for these parents.
On this very sad note I am going to end my blog this morning and watch the other two chicks and their behaviour.
Thank you for joining me. I am so sorry to bring you this sad news this morning. This was not the nest I was worried about! Dale Hollow is. I will check on it, too, later. Take care everyone.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screencaptures: LWRT Ospreys, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Golden Gate Audubon and SF Bay Ospreys, Dulles Greenway Bald Eagles, and Cornell Bird Lab.
There was a lovely soft glow from the sun rising over Big Bear Lake when hick at 05:53.
Shadow does a fabulous job feeding his baby. You would think that he would have fed dozens of chicks by the ease that he takes care of this little one. So delicate.
Everyone was anxious to get a glimpse of the egg as Dad fed the 3+ day old chick. That egg is 40 days old today and that is late for a second egg to hatch. It might not happen and, in the long run, one really healthy chick, able to get under Mum and Dad during bad weather is fine with me! There has been some speculation that the chick you see in the images is actually the chick from egg 2, hatched at 37 days making the remaining egg 44 days old. No one will ever know for sure. What matters most is that Jackie and Shadow have one gorgeous healthy baby!
Jackie had a nice break and returned to feed the chick its second breakfast at 07:16.
Turn around little one!
That wee one had its third feeding around 08:27. The bites are getting a little bigger and the feedings are now a little longer. The baby is growing. It will be four days old this afternoon.
Big Bear has posted a short video of Shadow feeding the baby yesterday:
While the weather looks promising in Big Bear Valley, it is soaking wet on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee at the Dale Hollow Nest. River is having to be a huge umbrella trying to keep those very active chicks dry and warm.
It is also wet but, not soaking, in Ithaca at the nest of Big Red and Arthur. Yesterday Big Red and Arthur worked on the nest. Arthur even brought in a prey item for Big Red which she happily accepted at the nest quickly flying off to enjoy it.
We have not seen Ervie at the Port Lincoln barge. His tracker is due an update but for now we have the one for the 4th of March which shows him still staying along the North shore.
The White-tailed Eagles up in Latvia and Estonia are mating and defending their nests. These eagles do not migrate. I am particularly excited about Milda who lost her long time mate, Raimis. She has had several potential suitors. I hope that this year she raises a successful clutch. Her and what appears to be her new mate, Mr S, were mating early this morning at the nest near Durbe, Latvia. Indeed, these two have been mating on or near the nest for at least a week now.
This is the link to the streaming cam of Milda’s nest near Durbe:
It isn’t noon yet on the nest of Ospreys Andy and Lena at Captiva and already the three osplets have had three feedings this morning. Big Bob has been at Little Bob once in awhile but all three have eaten well. Little Bob isn’t going to let Big Bob dampen its day!
The fish that Andy has been bringing in this morning are Mullets, a common fish for the Ospreys in the UK, too.
Look at how big these three are getting! Wow.
Lena is doing the best she can to keep her growing Bobs in the shade away from the hot sun on the Florida coast this morning.
There is so much going on now with the birds and their nests. Eggs are being incubated by Bald Eagles throughout the US. The eagles in Europe that do not migrate are working on nests and mating. The European Ospreys who winter in the Iberian Peninsula and Africa are beginning to migrate home. Who will land first in the UK is the common question on everyone’s mind. Of the streaming cams, my vote is on Maya and Blue 33 at Rutland Manton Bay. Richmond and Rosie continue to try to build their nest amidst the ever growing thievery of twigs by the Corvids. It is a very busy time. Annie and Grinnell are bonding. I am not happy with Big Bob’s recent hostility to Little Bob at Captiva and the same is happening at Duke Farms albeit the chick is younger and fighting to get some fish. Little Bob will be fine. Send positive wishes to Duke Farms!
Thank you for joining me this morning. Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: the Latvian Fund for Nature, the Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Duke Hollow Lake Eagles, and Port Lincoln Osprey Project FB Page.