Sometimes I get the most delightful mail and today word has arrived from France of the sighting of Loch Arkaig’s LW5. Thank you to Bernard Lagadec who took the time to write and send the coordinates! Much appreciated by all of us as this nest is so dear to our hearts.
Bernard observed Willow LW5 from 11 to 14 09 2022. Here is the place and the coordinates: COMBRIT FINISTERE IN FRANCE L 47°053’17” L 4°09″29″
Combrit (Breton: Kombrid) is a commune in the Finistère department of Brittany in north-western France.
Just look at what might have been Willow’s route. If she did do as Google Maps suggests, she flew almost straight south taking a turn and going over to the southwest coast of England and then crossed the water. Of course, I am only speculating on this route. What we know is that Willow left Loch Arkaig on 28 August and as you can see, she wasted no time getting to France. Just a fortnight. Oh, I wonder where she is now.
I had goosebumps running up and down my arms. LW5 is Willow with LW6 being Sarafina who stayed on the nest forever so long.
Here are the pair after being ringed with Mum Dorcha and Dad Louis.
Here is Willow fledging.
Here is Willow taking her second flight.
And this is the last sighting of Willow at Loch Arkaig before she begins her migration.
Thank you so much Bernard Lagadec for sending this wonderful news to all of us. It is so appreciated.
Thank you also to the Friends of Loch Arkaig, the Woodland Trust, and the People’s Post Code Lottery for the streaming cam videos of the events in Willow’s life.
Thursday was a gloomy day on the Canadian Prairies with delightful periods of sunshine popping in and out – like the squirrels and the Blue Jays gathering peanuts to store for the winter.
One visitor, in particular, managed to let me get her photo – Dyson. It is difficult to tell if she is still nursing babies but, she is in good form. So grateful.
I do not know where her nest is precisely. It used to be in the century old Maple tree in the front of the house until the City cut it down this summer. Now she runs along the back lane to the West. Her tail is beginning to grow out.
Squirrels are like the Blue Jays. They can also let part of their tail break away if they are being attacked in order to survive.
One of the other garden surprises today was the visit by at least two different Blue Jay fledglings and Junior. Everyone is stashing peanuts. It is said that September is the month when the Jays do the most gathering. As a result, the pile is always large. Some Blue Jays over winter while others migrate. Will wait to see what happens.
It’s Junior. How can we tell? As the adult, he is the only one of the Jays moulting as the three youngsters only hatched in the spring. Notice that he is just getting a hint of his new crest and he does not have all of his tail feathers. The feathers that he has are nice and healthy, brightly coloured. Blue Jays can live to be 7 years old. Junior is now about 5. His parents are not longer with us as of this year. He has a mate and they were so lucky to have the 3 fledglings – they outsmarted the Crows and the Cooper’s Hawk!!!!!!! And even the GHOW. Their nest is across the line in a Maple tree. Like Samson, the Bald Eagle, Junior took over his parent’s nest.
The Sparrows find the 17 degree C a little chilly. There is a nip in the breeze and many perch on the ends of the lilac branches to get warm in the sun.
And here it is Friday mid-morning and it continues to rain. The trees and plants are loving it – the birds not so much! I see only two brave souls at the bird bath…oops, no…about 60 now!
Ervie was flying close enough to the barge this morning to say ‘hi’ to Mum! Oh, cheeky Ervie. You just wanted Mum to remember that you are a year old now. Oh, and you were thinking she would invite you home for a fish dinner?? Oh, poor Ervie. You almost have brothers and sisters. Mum is busy. Hopefully you can have some fishing time with Dad.
The Ojai Raptor Centre reports that our beloved Victor continues to make progress and his zinc levels are normal. Oh, gosh. Isn’t that wonderful? Look how handsome this Two Harbours fledgling is!
A new subarctic seabird is breeding on the Diego Ramirez Islands. Have a read — oh, and they are using the Grey-headed Albatross’s nests!!!!!!! Thank you to Holly Parsons for posting this on the Albatross Lovers FB Group.
With Idris having departed the evening of the 13th and not seen since, the staff at Dyfi Osprey Centre will turn off the streaming cam in just a few hours. Here is that pastoral view.
The view at Glaslyn
At Loch Arkaig.
At Loch of the Lowes.
One of my friends in the UK said that it is best if we start knitting Osprey toy lookalikes until the end of March or beginning of April when the Ospreys return. That would actually be a great charity idea!
Travel safe and always with full crops our dear UK Ospreys. Full crops over the winter and safe and swift winds home in the spring.
Well, SE29 has been getting the fish deliveries on the Sydney Sea Eagles nest but, Lady, always keeping a watchful eye makes certain that SE30 gets some! Lady has blossomed over the past four years into a fantastic Mum.
The sea eaglets jumping and flapping at 0644 in anticipation of breakfast arriving.
Look at how clean the eaglets feet and talons are compared to those of Lady.
Attempts at self-feeding will continue until these two will remarkable appear that they have always been able to hold the fish down and pull with their bodies to get the flakes off. Early days of training.
SE30 waits very patiently. Remarkably civil these two. Both females? Both males?
Lady lets SE29 try and then feeds both of her babies so that each gets a good start to the day.
The second male at the 367 Collins Street Peregrine Falcon nest in Melbourne continues to make his presence felt by continuing to land on the ledge but, is he actively wanting to be involved in the raising of these eyases? or is his presence going to harm? It remains unclear as we are now 11 days from hatch watch.
His presence is clearly causing the older male whose scrape box this was to be reluctant to incubate the eggs. So what will happen when prey is needed for the eyases and Mum needs a break in feeding them? Who is actually protecting this Mum and the scrape box?
This is an image posted on 367 Collins Falcon Watchers of the two males. The original male – father of the clutch we believe – and the visitor on the right. Don’t worry! It is the camera angle that makes the one on the right appear larger.
Our cute little dad has very large yellow circles around the eye. The oneon the right does not and has a line on the right of black on white. Note: Most male Peregrine Falcons have a prominent yellow eye line like Dad 1 here and Xavier.
A close up of beautiful Mum has been posted accompanying a link to the tracking data for the nest if you are interested.
Let us all hope this works out well.
It is raining and about 11 degrees C in Port Lincoln. Rain is good but let us all hope it dries up before hatch watch on Monday!
Diamond was busy rolling the eggs before the IR camera came on Friday evening. Less than 2 weeks!
The Bald Eagles in Florida and the SE US are working on their nests – Pa Berry and Missy have been doing so for over a week now, Samson is happy Gabby is home – and those on the Channel Islands are busy, too. Oh, and I thought we would have a break after all the Ospreys migrated. BUT not all the Ospreys have migrated. ‘H’ caught Dory on the Hog Island nest in Maine! So Dory, Skiff, and at least Sloop are all still at home with no hint of starting their flight south!
‘H’ and I both think Sloop is a female from all her behaviour over the year. She can join the club of being kept home and fed well so that she is fully developed like Sarafina, Blue 497, and Padarn.
In the image below, Dory has flown onto the nest in the late afternoon on 15 August. Sloop has also been fishing – seen returning to the nest empty taloned but wet twice. Thanks ‘H’ for keeping us up to date on this nest. Much appreciated.
One of the Finnish Ospreys has spent a week in Ukraine and has safely departed. This is a good sign. Warm thoughts for Karl II and his family who continue to be feeding at various parts of the country.
Bonus remains in Belarus near the Pripyat River. He must really be getting a lot of nice fish and frogs there.
This is an image of the area that Bonus is fishing.
Kaia remains near the Desna River in Ukraine. No word from Karl II.
From the Archive:
I am ‘the most’ famous Red-tail Hawk in the world. Who am I? Where is my nest? Who is my current mate? and do you know how old I will be in 2023?
Thank you so very much for joining me today. I hope that each of you is well. Please take care. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.
Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, Ojai Raptor Centre, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, People’s Postcode Lottery, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Wildlife Trust, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street Falcon Watchers, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Audubon and Explore.org, LAJI-FI, Looduskalender, and Cornell Bird Lab.
I am Big Red. My nest is on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. My original mate was Ezra and my current mate is Arthur. I will be 20 years old in 2023. I was banded as a juvenile at Brooktondale, New York only 7.5 miles away form my nest now in the fall of 2003.
Good Morning Everyone! I hope that you had a fabulous beginning of the week. Here we are at the middle. My calendar tells me that thing are going to begin happening in Bird World soon. First up will be the Port Lincoln Ospreys who should have a hatch in 4 days. Then it should be the Melbourne Peregrine Falcons on the 27th quickly followed by Xavier and Diamond. By the time those nests have feathered osplets and eyases, we will be fledge watching for SE29 and 30. It is going to be wonderful!
Tuesday was a big ‘T’ day but that doesn’t stand for Tundra Swan but, ’tiler’. It was fantastic to see the floor tiles in the sunroom being grouted today with the news that tomorrow I can move back in and watch my beloved garden birds. Oh, how I have missed seeing them from that perspective. A new book arrived in the post, too. Having purchased Crosley’s Guide to Waterfowl – well, logically, it seemed to me that the volume would cover Shore birds but, no. Definitely not. The new book is The Shorebird Guide by O’Brien, Crossley, and Karlson and it is wonderful. Most appreciated are the excellent images of the plumage during the seasons. It still is missing the inclusion of the females in great numbers just like all of the other bird guides who continue to focus on the more colourful plumage of the males. Yes, I am growling. LOL. Quiet and monochromatic can be viewed as ‘classic’ beauty. It certainly is with many of the female Sparrows.
Just like the ducks, my mind has been taken over by the Greater and Lesser Yellow Legs and Willets at one of our local ponds. If I close my eyes I am transported to the marsh where the shore birds are tapping away at the mud with those long long bills. Incredible. If you stay quiet and don’t move, they will completely ignore you, going on with their deep quick probing for food. They are really quite lovely. Learning to identify them is going to take some time.
The Greater Yellow Legs from the other day.
The plumage on the Mallard is really lovely.
It is overcast and cold at 13 degrees C this morning. The Crows have been for their morning hotdogs, the sparrows are wanting a bath, the Blue Jay has been flitting in and out (only one), and the cat has already been chased once. Meanwhile Little Red has been running back and forth on top of the new fence which now meets up with that of the neighbour so he never has to get on the ground to get to his new home. Yes! Little Red has found a place to live since his penthouse was torn down. So thankful. The torrential rains this year and saturated ground meant that all of the trees literally tripled in size. He found a hole in the big tree and if I look carefully, I can see him going in and out. So relieved after feeling so quilty about the shed. With my chair back in the sunroom this morning, I can watch over them and hopefully get some good images of Dyson who is looking ever so healthy and fluffy these days. Gosh, that squirrel is quick. I wonder if the Crows frighten her?
In the Mailbox:
‘A’ writes that I have awakened a love of ducks for her. That is fantastic. They are often very unappreciated, like the geese, in my City but, there is nothing so peaceful as sitting on a clean bit of lawn or blanket and watching them go about their daily paddling and preening. This is wonderful news. Thank you for letting me know! In honour of this, I have used one of our favourite ducks for ‘From the Archive’ today.
There is growing disillusion within the environmental and raptor groups in British Columbia, Canada at the decision by the Department of Forests and the University of British Columbia to cone a long standing Bald Eagle nest on the campus of the University. Their are ongoing campaigns to stop the coning which is due to take place today, the 14th of September.
Also in British Columbia, this time in Surrey, the David Hancock Wildlife Foundation is attempting to stop the cutting down of a Bald Eagle nest on the property of a Costo in that city–or get the owner to agree put up a platform nest for the eagles.
British Columbia is home to more Bald Eagles than any other area in North America. Because of this their conservation status and threat is very low – often cited as an excuse to cone the trees or cut down the nests — some 140 Bald Eagle nests were destroyed at the Site C Dam project by the province this year. Of course, what is the real count? With Avian flu still with us and in Manitoba nests and eggs destroyed by flooding with few goslings, perhaps we should be re-thinking our approach to preserve. Declines can begin to happen and spiral.
If you are in Southern Manitoba, Wildlife Haven is having its annual Open House on 23-24 September. Tickets can be pre-purchased and space is limited. It was gorgeous weather last year and the event was sold out. I can’t think of a better way to spend a few hours on a fall afternoon than getting to meet the ambassadors, tour the new flight training buildings, and check out the great vet facilities. These are the people giving our wildlife a second chance.
Do you live in New York? do you love Bald Eagles? Here is a fundraiser event you might not want to miss.
Would you like to be an Albatross detective and help get a true worldwide count of these sea birds? Here is the information.
The Bald Eagles have been returning. Yesterday it was Gabby returning to the Northeast Florida nest to Samson.
Samson and Gabby love to ‘kiss’ just like Alden and Annie.
Anna and Louis are back at the Kisatchie National Forest and now Mr President and Lotus are at the National Arboretum Nest in Washington, DC.
They are really coming home. If you see a return, send me a note!
Thunder and Akecheta were caught sitting together on the cliffs of the Channel Islands yesterday. Oh, goodness. What an incredible year we had with Ahota, Star, and Kana’kini.
Thunder flew into the West End nest with a super fish yesterday, too… Ah, it would have been grand if one of the kids swept in and took it! Everyone misses those three amigos.
Andor was at the Fraser Point nest. I haven’t seen any new updates on Victor. We can all presume that he is doing lots of flying and strengthening those wings!
The nest that our dear Little Bit ND17 grew up on had dwindled down to only a bit of mud and straw at the joint of the branches. Everyone has been concerned that the adult eagles would not return and rebuild – knowing that if they didn’t St Patrick’s County Park in South Bend, Indiana, would not be moving the camera. Well, guess what? Dad has been caught returning to the nest! This should be a ray of sunshine for everyone. It will take work but each of us has marvelled at how quickly the raptors can whip a nest into shape. No, it will not be huge like a decade old nest but it will be a new beginning.
In the image below you can see what little is left.
It appears that Idris is finally alone to enjoy his fish and that Padarn has left the territory for her migration.
At Glaslyn, however, Aran is still bringing fish for Blue 497. It won’t be long, Aran!
497 is an incredibly beautiful osprey.
To my knowledge, Blue 497 is the only fledgling left on an Osprey streaming cam in the UK to migrate.
Did I mention mantling (when a raptor spreads its wings over its prey to conceal and protect) was one of the development stages coming quickly for the Sea Eaglets in Sydney? Well, guess which of the two was the first to demonstrate this stage of growth?
If you said SE30 you would be absolutely correct! Both eaglets held the prey down with their talons and pulled. Eventually they were fed but this is very good training. So proud of 30! Go baby. Don’t you just love the look on 29’s face? (squint)
The sea eaglets have been well fed and have been sporting crops on and off for a few days now.
Watching incubation and expecting a hatch in less than a week can be nerve wrecking.
The beautiful Mum at Port Lincoln. It is the 15th. Oh, so soon we will be having little osplets –. Cannot wait.
For Melbourne, mark your calendars for the 27th of September.
Xavier and Diamond will follow after Melbourne!
Into Hawks? Aren’t we all? Here is a new tool to follow the counts.
I am not a cartoon character but, for many raptor watchers in Australia (and elsewhere), I am the most famous duck in the world. Do you remember me? What is my name? What kind of a duck am I? Whose nest did I lease? And do you remember what happened?
Thank you so much for joining me today and for your lovely notes. It is actually relatively quiet in Bird World but soon…so soon, there will be action in Australia – at Port Lincoln and Melbourne. Meanwhile, we can all enjoy the antics of the little Sea Eagles who are jumping, flapping, and learning to mantle and eat their own prey. Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you again soon.
Thank you to the following for their tweets, their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Wildlife Haven, Bald Eagles of Centreport, Albatross Space, Channel Islands Eagle Lovers, Notre Dame Eagles, NEFL-AEF, NADC-AEF, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Conservation Without Borders, and Looduskalender.
From the Archive: Daisy is a Pacific Black Duck. She first appeared on the nest of the Sydney Sea Eagles in December of 2020. She attempted three clutches of eggs – all predated by the Crows, sadly. The last clutch in 2021 almost made it to hatch. We were all cheering! Daisy stole our hearts and taught us many lessons about the challenges the female ducks face in being both incubator and security guard. The couple came this year to check on the nest. Oh, it was delightful to see Daisy and her mate but, equally, there was relief that she decided to lay her eggs elsewhere in the forest. Did you know that less than 15% of all duck eggs laid make it to hatch?
What happened to August? It seems as if we blinked and it flew by. Despite the heat there is a look about the leaves on the trees and the wilting of the tomato plants despite their being well watered that is alerting us to the end of summer, not just the calendar. There is another 9 or 10 days before the teachers and students are back to their classrooms in Manitoba. It is a reminder that it is time to get a small delivery of firewood. There is something so cosy about a wood fire on a crisp autumn morning and if August is any indication, autumn will be here in two blinks.
The colour of the light and the water of the pond seemed to be taking on the hues of autumn.
The rain started in the early morning hours of Monday and everything has turned green in the garden again…it is raining so hard! And for once, I am so glad to see it! Monday will be a good day for reading the small pile of books accumulating on my desk.
In the Mailbox:
‘N’ writes: “Do all falcons incubate the eggs the same no matter where they live? Do all ospreys?” Oh, what an interesting question! I am not a specialist on incubation, the term used for the behaviour whereby adult birds keep the eggs warm until they hatch. My experience watching the nests of different species is that birds are very individualistic and even within a single species, the attention that they give to their incubation duties varies. I found a paper that actually discusses the different approaches to this important task. It is not a recent one but it is quite interesting. The author covers some birds that are unknown to me but, I believe the findings and the data can enlighten us as to the full answer to your question, ‘N’.
In the News:
RSPB created an extremely short video about Avian Flu killing the White-tail Eagle chicks on the island of Mull. What is so intriguing is the landscape of the island and the beautiful chicks so alive in the nest. It is clearly not the be all- end all informative presentation but it was nice to see where these eagles live.
Just a couple of months before Avian Flu began killing the White-tailed Eagles on Mull, this beautiful 7 minute video was made showing them on their island setting. Have a watch:
The attempt to rid Gough Island of its House Mouse problem has hit a wall. The eradication of the mice that were biting and killing Tristan Albatross chicks and adults is now being viewed as a failure. Everyone had such high hopes that the island would be rid of these invasive mice but an unknown problem presented itself – the slug. Have a read:
I found an excellent story dealing with the tragedy of the mice and the Tristan Albatross and why the eradication attempt is so important.
In his newsletter, David Hancock of Hancock Wildlife just posted the following information about the Delta 2 nest in British Columbia, Canada: “Firstly, both Ma and DM have gone on their migration. Ma was last seen at the Delta 2 nest/territory on July 25th. DM (taking his new role as Ma’s mate very seriously) hung around for another week keeping an eye on things. He was last seen there on August 1st. Thanks to all who donated to the GoFundMe campaign, as well we received a a few private donations which are greatly appreciated. These donations are going to cover the costs associated with the installation of a sturdy new nest pole and two (2) new cameras at Delta 2.”
It is egg 4 for the Melbourne Peregrine Falcon couple on the ledge of 367 Collins Street! Oh, my goodness. Dad you are going to so hope that the pigeon population of the city is very plentiful!
Here is a video of that last egg being laid:
It was a prey drop and a chance for Dad to get himself acquainted with how you have to wiggle around to get 4 big falcon eggs under so they can stay warm.
It is a lot easier for Mum to get those four eggs tucked in tight. Do you think there will be a 5th?
We have a ways to go before hatch for Melbourne and Diamond might not be finished laying eggs. Incubation is a time for the females to rest. It is going to be very hectic if all the hatch at Melbourne! And exciting.
The Sydney Sea Eagles are developing right to schedule. Their plumage continues to come in and they are picking up sticks in the nest and preening. SE29 is standing and walking better each step. They really are gorgeous. The Monday morning feeding saw both 29 and 30 with nice crops full of fish. I have seen no concerning aggressive behaviour on the part of 29 to 30 that would cause me to worry.
We are about 3 weeks away from hatch watch at Port Lincoln. Mum and Dad continue to take turns incubating. That said, Mum will always have night duty and Dad will provide Mum with her meals.
You would think that Mum would be very stiff incubating the eggs all night. Dad has arrived and is nudging her off so he can have a turn. Mum goes away for her breakfast and a break, returning in about half an hour.
You are doin’ good, Dad.
There has been an unknown male visit Annie in the tower.
There is a notable change in the behaviour of the female Ospreys in the UK this year. Normally they would depart the nest about 10-14 days prior to the fledglings leaving on their migration. This year it appears the majority are choosing to remain on the nest while some or all of the fledglings depart. While we will not know the specific reason, I wonder if it is, in part, due to the raising of these large female chicks and the Mums needing more time to get in top shape. Or could it be that prey is plentiful, the weather is nice in the UK, and they just want to be home for a little longer?
Idris, Telyn, Padarn and Paith are still at the Dyfi Osprey nest in Wales as of Sunday the 28th. Idris has stayed on the perch all night. Pedran was last seen on the 11th of August at 0905.
If you follow Tweed Valley, the three fledglings are going in very diverse directions including Glen who remains on the nest. Kirk is in Ireland having flown south and turning back to the land. Tweed is nearing land in Portugal.
Ruthland is updating us on their second hatch at Manton Bay, 1H2:
Tiger Mozone says that the fledglings need good DNA and luck. 1H2 certainly has great DNA. Let us all hope she has some awfully good luck, too.
1H2’s parents, Blue 33 and Maya, along with older sibling 1H1 were all still at the Manton Bay Nest at Rutland on the 27th and there is no news of either 1H1 or Maya departing since.
Seren was on the Llyn Clywedog nest early this morning and Dylan even popped in for a few minutes to join her later.
It is just incredible. Bonus continues to prove that he is a very special Black Stork! He flew from the nest in Estonia and spent the night in Latvia on the 27th. He has now flown through Lithuania and is in Belarus near Minsk. That was a total of 279 km.
Kaia, Bonus’s foster mother, remains in Belarus in the Prypjat Wetlands near Shestovicy.
So what intrigues me is this. If Kaia remains where she has been for the last several days since she flew north out of the Ukraine, is it possible that Bonus might also wind up in the same wetlands? Or will Bonus fly into the Ukraine? and remain there? or turn back north like Kaia? We should have our answer in a day or two.
Here is the distance shown by Google Maps:
Waba has begun the journey also and the tracker shows that he crossed into Latvia from Estonia on 28 August. He then flew a short distance.
I have received word that Karl II has left the nesting area in the Karula National Forest and has begun his migration. More on that to come tomorrow.
Victor has done so well since Dr Sharpe travelled to the Two Harbours nest on the Channel Islands to take him to be treated for zinc toxicity at the Ojai Raptor Centre. He has now been moved out to the big flight area! It just doesn’t get too much better than this until he is released. Wow. Victor. Way to go!
Looking forward to Lena and Andy at Captiva next year? or Connie and her mate? Window to Wildlife posted a 7 minute video about updates changes to the cameras, etc with some lovely pictures of Lena feeding the wee nestlings last year.
Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care of yourselves. See you soon.
Thank you so much to the following for their streaming cams, their videos, and their posts that make up my screen captures: RSPB, 367 Collins Street Falcons and Mirvac, Charles Sturt Orange Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Cal Falcons, Dyfi Osprey Project, Tweed Valley Ospreys, Rutland Osprey Project, LWRT, CarnyxWild, Looduskalender, CIEL, and Window on Wildlife.
Everyone at the Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre are working hard to provide videos and updates on the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Cam in the Sydney Olympic Forest. A number of days ago I simply had to quit watching the live camera feed. The level of prey had dropped coming into the nest and WBSE 27 was overly aggressive to WBSE 28. It appears that the current delivery of prey items is quite good and, 28 has figured out how to wait and watch and then get fed. These are all good things and helped our Ospreys, Tiny Tot Tumbles and Tiny Little survive.
In the image below, both WBSE 27 and 28 are full to the brim. This is excellent. Soon WBSE 28 will be too big and any worries of siblicide should evaporate. Fingers crossed for this little one.
Gorgeous light on these two. 27 is quite large compared to 27. But both are full and clown feet are coming!
Diamond, the female at the Peregrine Falcon nest in Orange, Australia continues to think about laying that first egg. It is Sunday morning in Canada and I just checked on Diamond. Still waiting for that egg.
If you missed it, the female at 367 Collins Street laid her fourth egg.
My goodness what a beautiful morning in Wales. I wonder what impact the streaming cams will have on tourism when the world can travel again?
I love seeing the cows going in from the fields. It is all so serene.
These little birds seem to be all around the nest. Do you know what they are?
Aran came to visit the nest before the mist was gone.
He looked around every direction and then left. Yesterday he was on the perch with Mrs G. This morning, Sunday, Aran was at the nest around 6am. He will probably leave when Mrs G does. They may be staying longer to make sure Aran is fit for migration – every day of healing helps – or they may still be protecting that nest against Monty’s kids. Maybe they will wait for them to leave!
Yesterday, both of the boys, Idris and Dysynni, were on the nest at Dyfi. Dysynni was 100 days old. This morning all is quiet. Are they still around? Telyn migrated on 21 August with Ystwyth following on the 24th. There are sure lots of people including Emyr Evans watching the Dyfi nest this morning to see if either Idris or Dysynni or both show up.
Idris has arrived with a nice fish for his son. He is looking around. Doing his duty. Idris flies off the perch with the fish looking for Dysynni. Will he find him? has he left? It is about 6am.
Idris arrived back in Wales on 29th of March. He is reputed to always be one of the last Ospreys to leave Wales. What a fabulous dad he has been. With all the sadness this year, Idris raised one-quarter of all Wales’ hatches to fledge. You are a great dad, Idris. I remember those whoppers you brought in this year. Incredible. You deserve your break now.
It is equally quiet up at The Loch of the Lowes. The Scottish Wildlife Trust has issued their official statement that Laddie, LM12, Blue NC0, LR1 and LR2 have departed for their migration. Stay safe all.
Rutland Manton Bay’s Osprey nest seems very lonely as well.
Are you interested in Goshawks? Here is a lovely six minute video I found of a compressed breeding season. It is quite nice. I love when the three are learning to self-feed. So cute.
We have Northern Goshawks that live in Manitoba year round. They only come down to the southern areas of our province if prey is limited in the north.
My heart skipped a beat. There is an Osprey on the Foulshaw Moss nest! Is it Tiny Little? No. It is White YW also doing his duty, like Idris, to make sure that his chick has breakfast. White YW has been looking about and calling. There is no Tiny Little rushing to the nest to tear at his toe or grab the fish. While he waits, White YW decides to do some nestorations. Gosh, it must be hard trying to figure out if they are just over at the river or have left.
White YW flies away from the nest. Will this be his last visit to check on Tiny Little? Blue 463 – our fantastic Tiny Little – could be in Brittany by now.
My garden is filled with birds this morning. It is a roar to go out to the feeders. Today we may have to fill them up four times. The delight, however, came in the form of a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird at the Vermillionaires. Did you know they are capable of speeds up to 100 km per hour. Their wings beat up to 1200 times a minute – which is precisely why it is hard to get decent photographs of them.
We are just so delighted to see them.
If this is a normal year – and so far it has been anything but, the hummers will be gone by 3 September.
We did not put our the sugar water for them this year because of the wasps. Our City has been consumed with them and they take over the feeders. The wasps do not, however, bother with the Vermillionaires.
Soon all of the Ospreys in the UK and Europe will be making their way to Africa. We wish them good winds, great feeding places enroute, and a safe arrival. Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you have a fabulous Sunday or start to the week depending on where you are. Take care everyone.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots and video clips: Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dfyi Osprey Project, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre FB Page, LRWT Manton Bay Ospreys, and the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes.
I have received several letters asking about books on Ospreys. I have quite a few in my bookshelf and I will try to spend a little bit of time telling you about each of them. I have picked out the ones that are well written and easy to read. I have not ranked them. That would be impossible or at least to me it is. Each one is rather different. Some are general knowledge while others focus on specific sites where ospreys breed. There are even books on specific birds. For those wanting to find books on these beautiful sea eagles, you are lucky. There are a number of well-written books available both new and used. I cannot say this about Red-tailed Hawks!
Alan Poole’s Ospreys. The Revival of the Global Raptor came out in 2019. It is actually a much revised version of a book by Poole written several decades earlier. Poole is an enthusiastic lover of Ospreys. The book is easy to read and extremely informative. If you wanted a first general book on Ospreys this is a good choice. It covers everything you might want to know about ospreys from the four different sub-species and their differences, to the geography and distribution, their behaviour, life cycle and breeding habits, challenges during migration to the intimate details of the mother feeding the little one. There are personal stories that bring the information to life. Only available in hardback. 220 pages with beautiful colour photographs.
Roy Dennis’s A Life of Ospreys is written just as enthusiastically as the Poole. This book also has some good general information on Ospreys but, at the heart of it are the personal anecdotes and stories that go hand in hand with Dennis working decades to reintroduce the Osprey back into the United Kingdom after it was almost made extinct at the beginning of the twentieth century. One of the things I enjoyed most was the information on conservation ecology and the Osprey as well as the inclusion of Dennis’s original notes from the 1970s. Paperback. 224 pages. Colour photographs, maps, and charts. Published in 2012.
I am a big fan of Roy Dennis and the work that he did to bring the Osprey back to the skies of of the United Kingdom – as well as his work with translocating Osprey to places such as Urdaibai Biosphere Park in Spain. Dennis fell in love with Ospreys as a teenager and has never looked back. His latest book, Restoring the Wild. Sixty Years of Rewilding Our skies, woods, and Waterways was published in 2021. It is really the personal journey and all the challenges with the kind of personal details that animates the story of the return of the Ospreys. Hardback. 452 pages. Black and white.
Written with all the love and joy this man can muster for his beloved birds of prey. While you can order this from the many on line book sellers, if you do decide to purchase it and you can afford the postage from Scotland, I suggest you order it directly from Roy Dennis’s website. Roy Dennis Wildlife Trust. All of the funds go back into helping the osprey and you can get it signed.
Many of you will be familiar with Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world. Her nest is at Hellgate, Missoula, Montana. Dorothy Patent and William Munoz have written a book specifically about the Ospreys in Montana – Call of the Osprey. Along with a general introduction, the pair cover, in great detail, the setting up of the artificial platform near the Riverside Health Centre for Iris and Stanley. There are excellent colour photographs. The book also discusses the Montana Osprey Project which looks into the toxins in the rivers from mining in the area as well as the new research using satellite trackers to find out where the osprey from Montana travel for the winter. Lovers of Iris and Stanley will, no doubt, like the detailed history of them as a couple. Hardback. 80 pages.
Another geographical specific book is The Rutland Water Ospreys. It is written by Tim Mackrill. You might recognize the name. Mackrill is the expert that assisted the Glaslyn Wildlife Centre with information on setting up the fish table for Mrs G, Aran and their now deceased chicks at the beginning of June when Aran was injured. Beautiful colour drawings and photographs give the history of all of the Ospreys at Rutland Water. There is information on the use of satellite trackers and migration. It is a great book if you are a fan of the ospreys at Rutland – and who isn’t, right? There are maps of Rutland Water Nature Reserve, histories of the birds, as well as information by year going from 2003 to 2012. A real who’s who of the Rutland birds! A joy to read. Hardback. 2015. 160 pages.
For older children (and adults like me), I highly recommend Belle’s Journey. An Osprey Takes Flight by Rob Bierregaard. Written in 2018, it is a beautifully illustrated book telling the intimate story of Belle. Belle hatched on Martha’s Vineyard. The book covers her migration to Brazil using real satellite tracking information. Easy to read but not childish. Extremely informative. There are 19 chapters – something to keep going as a bed time story for nearly three weeks. I would suggest getting a map if you do purchase the book or a globe so that you can follow Belle’s journey. 106 pages. Hardcover.
There are more books and I will mention them another time but there is one book I have in my hand to read in the next couple of days and another that I am waiting to purchase. There are many biographies about famous people but a biography about a bird? Lady of the Loch. The Incredible Story of Britain’s Oldest Osprey celebrates Lady, the oldest osprey in Scotland. She laid eggs and raised chicks for more than two decades at The Loch of the Lowes where Laddie and NC0 have their two chicks this season. It is a remarkable little paperback that from the first few pages appears to be written with great love. General information about ospreys, conservation efforts, migration and its perils are interwoven with stories about Lady. As I understand it from people I have spoken to, Lady gave all those trying to reintroduce ospreys to the United Kingdom hope. 2011. 177 pages. Black and white.
The book that I am waiting to get my hands on is only available through the Dyfi Wildlife Centre. It is by Emyr Evans and is on the life of Monty, the male super star of the Ospreys that located themselves in Wales. It is called Monty and if you followed him and his mates this will be a book that you will want to order. I understand the shop will be back on line for orders in September.
Thank you so much for joining me. If you are looking for books on ospreys, one of these should help. I want to close with a picture of the morning of 15 June 2021 at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest – the home of White YW and Blue 35 and their three osplets. I am particularly interested in Tiny Wee Bob. He has been having some nice feeds lately but yesterday he decided to pick on Middle Sized Big Bob. It wasn’t such a good idea as you might image. He looks OK this morning. Fingers crossed he is one of the amazing third hatches that survives and goes on to do wonderful things.
You can hardly see his head but there it is in the middle of the image below. He is sort of in a strange state of his feather development. Hopefully any pulled out by the bigger siblings will return! You cannot see his body. He is between the bigger ones.
Here is Tiny Little Bob with his neck extended. You can see the Reptilian phase feathers coming and that great line of mascara extended from his eye to his neck.
Thank you to the Cumbria Wildlife Trust streaming cam where I grabbed the screen shot of the chicks at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.
After watching the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest last year and Iris at Hellsgate in Montana, I vowed ‘never again’. The death of the third hatch, little Tapps, was simply too much. I vowed to stick with watching Big Red and Arthur at the Fernow Nest in Ithaca, New York, two or three Peregrine Falcon nests, and I would check in occasionally on the Royal Albatross at Taiaroa Head. But then something happened and the Achieva Osprey nest became a constant while I waited for Big Red and Arthur to start their nest renovations and the eggs to arrive and watched others periodically. I remember before the notion of competition set in that it was so lovely to see the three politely standing and being fed. It gave me hope. I watched the 2020 highlights of the Loch Arkaig Osprey nest and fell in love with Louis, Aila, Doddie, Vera, and of course, JJ7 – Captain. Tiny Tot reminds me, in a way, of the challenges that JJ7 could have had but, didn’t. Louis fished day and night to feed his family and he was on the nest helping Aila tandem feed. One took JJ7, the tiny little male, third born – the ‘tercel’. The other parent fed the two bigger ones. Everyone thrived! Just thinking about it puts a smile on my face.
It was a very good thing that Tiny Tot, the youngest on the Achieva Osprey nest had its own private feeding yesterday from 4:27-4:48. Tiny was so full that even with Diane insisting, he could not hold another bite. Today, he had only about five small morsels of fish. The two early fish deliveries were too small to fill Tiny up never mind 1 and 2. But Tiny did bide his time and got up when there was some fish left to have 2 step in and decide it was not full enough. Having waited long enough for Jack to deliver food, Diane brought in a nice sized fish to feed all at 7:22. Then Jack showed up, with a crop, and took it before she could even feed a bite to the chicks. It was dark when Jack returned the fish but, I bet he ate the nice head. Normally, I would agree he should. It is hard work fishing – they say that they have a 20% success rate. But Jack had a crop. Neither Diane or Tiny got more than a couple of bites. Of course, the question remains ‘why’. The pattern is roughly three good days and three relatively poor ones. I hope that tomorrow Jack proves me wrong.
Just as I hope Jack surprises me tomorrow, an article on Ospreys surprised me today. It wasn’t actually the article – the world needs more stories about these magnificent birds. Rather, it was the glossy weekly magazine that is known more for politics and its reviews of art, restaurants, books, and the theatre-The New Yorker. ‘The Joy of Watching the Ospreys Return.’ is by Alexander Aciman. Aciman shares his love of one particular Osprey nest that he has watched for many, many years. The article describes the incredible abilities of the Osprey including the fact that the mated pair leave separately, winter in different locations yet return to ‘their’ nest in the spring. The author is amazed by the ability of these fish eating birds to travel from the United States to Mexico, Central or South America and return to a spot no bigger than a sofa cushion, annually. There was sadness at the nest in 2020 – all three chicks died. Park rangers determined that the cause was parasites living in the nest and to avoid the same catastrophic event again, they tore down the old nest after the couple had migrated. Aciman wonders if the mated pair will return after such sadness. To date, the female has arrived and is rebuilding the nest.
In my post were two books. Population Ecology of Raptors by Ian Newton is ex-library. Published in 1979, the book covers dispersion, breeding density and everything else to do with breeding, mortality rates at the time and causes, as well as conservation ecology. It came highly recommended but with a word of caution – we have learned much because of streaming cams, tagging, and satellite transmitters and facts about raptors have changed since 1979. You might want to have a peek. Maybe your library still has a copy or can order it for you.
The second book is Becoming Wild. How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace by Carl Safina. As one of the reviewers states, ‘Safina has the potential to change our relationship with the natural world.’ I like Safina for his directness. The book examines the lives of three non-human species: Sperm Whales, Scarlet Macaws, and Chimpanzees.
Safina tells us how they live, how they teach one another, and how they learn. And then he hits his readers with the question: ‘Will we let them continue to exist or will we finalize their annihilation?’ I am looking forward to writing a full review of this book for you when I have finished reading it and digested its contents. My speed reading of the Introduction and part of chapter 1 tells me this book is going to be more than interesting.
Just checking in on some of the Osprey nests in the United Kingdom today. They sure were having nasty weather for April the past couple of days with snow and gale force winds.
Laddie (LM12) and Blue NC0 have had to deal with the high winds tearing up their nest and then snow.
There was wet snow over at the Clywedog Nest in Wales. This is Dylan bringing a gift of a pinecone for Seren (Blue F5).
The Loch Arkaig Osprey Nest has been experiencing blizzard like conditions. Everyone is hoping that Louis and Aila will arrive anytime but the bad weather might have slowed them down. Even so, Osprey are perfectly capable of being covered in snow and incubating their eggs with no dire results.
Over at the Rutland Mantou Bay nest, Blue 33 (11) has been bringing in more nesting materials for Maya who is incubating the couples three eggs. Today, she has also had to defend her nest against another intruder. Maya is formidable and I wouldn’t want to land on her nest by mistake!
Blue 33 (11) brings in nesting materials.
I love how Blue 33 (11) loves to spend time with Maya on the nest cuddled together. He is a great catch! Maya, you are sooooooo lucky!
Thank you for joining me today and for sharing your lives with these wonderful birds. More news tomorrow on any more arrivals of UK Osprey and a look at satellite tracking and its benefits. Take care!
Thank you to the following streaming cams where I obtained my screen shots: Rutland Mantou Bay Ospreys, Woodland Trust and Peoples Play Lottery, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Carnyx Wild Wales YouTube channel, and UC Berkeley Peregrine Falcon Cam.