Late Saturday and early Sunday in Bird World

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.

Waiting for diamond to lay her first egg, 2021

Diamond laid her first egg of the 2020 season at 04:16:09 on 27 August! She looked uncomfortable during the day with her rear all puffed up. How grand! Here is the video of that magical moment last year. If you have never seen a bird lay an egg, have a good look. They go into labour just like human females. The egg inside is very soft. You have probably noticed that the female birds do not immediately begin incubating the egg once they have laid it. This is so the air can harden the shell. In fact, Diamond is not going to start serious hard incubation til all of the eggs are laid. This is so the eyases will be born closer together, be a similar size, and not have the issues that eagles and ospreys have with the tiny third hatch.

There are now two Peregrine Falcon nests in Australia on streaming cam. If you miss Annie and Grinnell then please check out either of these. This is the link to Diamond and Xavier’s camera. There is a chat and excellent moderators. There is also a FB page.

We continue to wait for the 2021 egg!

The other Peregrine Falcon nest is on Collins Street in Melbourne and that happy couple are already incubating three eggs. Last year they raised triplet girls. I just love this couple.

And before everyone gets nervous, don’t. There is more of a ledge in front of this scrape box than in Diamond and Xavier’s.

Falcons are amazing to watch raise their clutches. You do not get the sibling rivalry like you do in WBSE, Eagles, or Ospreys. That again is because the eggs are not hard incubated until all of them are laid. So sit back, relax and watch the fun!

Here is the link to their camera. There is no chat.

Tiny ‘Not so Little’ is still around! She was eating a nice fish after 20:00 last night. Some are beginning to wonder if she will be too heavy to fly for migration! LOL. She certainly will be well prepared. Tiny Not so Little is a very clever girl. Let those others go first. Let dad work and stay a little later, too.

Tiny Little, there are so many people who admire you and cannot wait for you to return in 2023. Meanwhile I keep thinking that you might be like the Sharp-shinned Hawk that frequents my garden in the winter. He is an anomaly. Are you?

Migration is really in full swing here in Manitoba. There will be a number of celebrations beginning in a week as the various species make their way south to get away from the harsh winters of northern Canada. I headed off to one of the biggest environmental projects in our City – Fort Whyte. More about that later. Surely there would be ducks and geese and other species. Well, not so many. A very cranky male Canada goose did not like me within 13 metres or about 40 feet of his two juveniles and the female. He kept a good close eye on what I was doing.

It was early afternoon and the geese were obviously very thirsty. Their goal before the male noticed me was to get to the pond and have a big drink.

Some of them did this sort of gargling motion!

This beautiful little female mallard didn’t seem to mind my presence across the boardwalk. She watched me for awhile and then began preening.

And if you ever wondered, mallards are dabbling ducks. Much of the time this afternoon they were busy searching for food.

Often nature centres have special events surrounding migration. Our first is on 2 September but the one that I really look forward to is later in September or early October. It is the Goose Flight dinners at this very nature reserve I visited today. Enjoy a great meal with local ‘everything’ and then enjoy the thousands of Canada geese that fly in at dusk. It is unforgettable.

We are now putting out extra suet cylinders and topping up the feeders during the day plus all the water bowls. Just like Tiny Little needs a nice layer of fat reserves, all of the migrating birds need to eat well to help them be successful.

Brush up on the difference between the terms environmentalism and conservation. We are going to play a game in my blog on Saturday!

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cilla Kinross and The Falcon Cam at Charles Sturt University in Orange, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam.

The featured image is Xavier in the scrape box.

Fishy Dreams and Fish Tails

Today, the Collins Marsh Osprey chick, Malin, had six fish deliveries. SIX! Feel free to correct me but I don’t ever remember this much fish on this Osprey nest. Ever.

In fact, there was so much fish with deliveries coming in on top of one another that Malin simply could not eat all the fish. There is a bullhead left – it is on the left below the light. Malin is sleeping on half of a bigger fish. What a grand pillow for an Osprey. He can have fishy dreams all night! And, Malin can wake up in the morning and not have to wait for a fish delivery.

Fish. It makes all the difference in the health and well-being of our Ospreys and Storks.

In the image below, the setting sun puts a soft glow over our little one. Please note that the big feathers are now beginning to cross. Malin is also standing and walking more and is flapping his wings much more often to get them strong for flying.

A month ago there was concern that Malin would not develop his plumage and would be unable to fly successfully off the nest. Now just look! Food – the right kind of food and the amount of it – makes all the difference in the world in Malin’s development.

Malin is miracle #3 for 2021.

Here on the Foulshaw Moss nest, Blue 463 or Tiny Little Bob, is eating the fish her dad delivered. White YW would have heard her several miles away screaming for fish. Blue 462 had gotten the earlier fish and Tiny Little wasn’t liking it. Dad came to the rescue! Indeed, White YW and Blue 35 should get a round of applause. They pulled off a nest of three fledglings this year. They did not lose a hatch.

The crows are hoping that Tiny Little will leave some bites for them! I don’t know. She is a bit like a nest vacuum when it comes to food falling between the twigs!

Tiny Little is miracle #2 and, of course, miracle #1 is Tiny Tot from the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida. I am certain that there are others that will come to mind when I publish this newsletter. For now, however, these three were enough to cause lots of anxiety.

I did a Sunday hop-skip-and-jump through some of the UK Osprey Nests to see if anyone was home. This is the Dyfi nest in Wales of Idris and Telyn. On the nest is Ystwyth, their daughter. Telyn is on the nest perch and Idris is on the far perch.

Idris and Telyn together. How beautiful.

Does he need an introduction? The chick on the Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest, Only Bob? Only Bob was so big when he was ringed that everyone believed him to be a large female. Nope. It is just all that fish that Dylen and Seren fed him. My goodness did Blue 496 grow.

He has spotted Dylan flying in with a fish. We are so lucky to see this. Indeed, to see so many of the UK fledglings on the nests today is fantastic.

That is a gorgeous fish for dinner. Only Bob looks pretty excited.

Watch out for your toes Dylan.

Only Bob learned well despite the fact that he was the only chick on the nest. He is excellent at mantling. But, stop, and take a look at that tail and the size of those wings. I would be ever so grateful if Malin’s was half that size when he fledges.

Oh, let’s just move this beauty over here so I can eat it!

At least one of the chicks on the Loch of the Lowes has a huge crop. It is so big, it looks like it could pop. The other is hoping for a fish delivery. Of course, neither is showing us their pretty blue bands.

NC0 and Laddie have done an amazing job raising these two. NC0 has really moved up to be one of the females that I want to watch. She is becoming super mom. She can fly and haul fish to the nest just like Iris – and she isn’t afraid to do it!

Grafs was able to find enough fish for two deliveries today. The first was a bunch of small fish at 15:29 and the second came at 19:41 with some bigger fish. The storklings are starving. They are already beginning to show the signs of malnutrition.

Grafs makes sure he moves around so that each one gets a little something.

It was mentioned that not only the sunken bodies but also the fact that the bills are turning a bright colour indicates starvation.

Once the people watching these nests realized what was happening, they became very vocal in their demands that the birds be fed. Everyone knows about the fish table that the two engineers set up for the White Storks in the village of Mlade Buky, Czechoslovakia. The people demanded that their storks be fed and the wildlife staff heard them. After seeing only one feeding by 15:00, Janis Kuze wrote the following on 15 August 2021: “It may be necessary to support the operation of the feeder – to bring live fish there regularly (once a day or two). I will write about it in the coming days.”

Liz01, the moderator of the looduskalender.ee/forum (English forum for the Latvian Fund for Nature and this Black Stork Nest) posted this notice:

“Due to the fact that the female has not been seen in the stork nest for several days, she has probably started migrating, opportunities are being sought to artificially feed this nest. Currently, the only feeder is the male, whose capacity is too small for the young birds to be successfully.
One way of trying to help the inhabitants of this nest is to set up an artificial feeder. There is one ditch near the nest where it can actually be done. Ornithologist Jānis Ķuze is ready to take over the management of this event, but he needs the help of the society. Therefore, we are looking for:
1) people on the Sigulda side who would help to set up a feeder,
2) human or fish feeders on the Sigulda side, which would be willing to donate and / or catch small fish (they must be still alive), with the possibility, to put these fish into the feeder, thus regularly
replenishing fish stocks in the feeder a third person or another link in the chain).
If anyone has the opportunity to help with this event, please send a message to Jānis Ķuze by e-mail: janis.kuze@ldf.lv.
This is currently the only real way you can still try to help the young birds in this nest survive and fly successfully! It is not known whether it will work, but we think it would be better to try not to do anything and just watch.”

Immediately, there were too many offers to help the Black Storklings and Grafs. Tears. People are so generous. All we have to do is ask.

If you wish to follow the discussion about what is happening at this particular nest in English, please go here:

When I have news of what is happening at the Estonian Black Stork nest, I will let you know.

You can watch the Black Stork Nest in the forest near Sigulda, Latvia here:

We all send our prayers and warm wishes to these beautiful birds and the people helping them. We need a miracle like that at Mlade Buky.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is wonderful to bring you such good news. Please send all your positive energy to Latvia and Estonia so that the efforts to save the Black Storklings from starving to death will be successful. It is heart warming to see so many people answer calls for help.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: The Latvian Fund for Nature, the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Dyfi Osprey Project, Cumbrian Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest and CarnyX Wild, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

Just a note. My newsletter will be posted late on Monday 16 August. Thank you!

Happenings in Ospreyland?

Oh, it is a gorgeous day on the Canadian prairies. The sky is blue – oh, such a beautiful blue without a cloud. Those, hopefully, will come this week and bring us some more needed rain.

White YW on the Foulshaw Moss nest certainly knows when Blue 463, Tiny Little, wants a fish. My goodness she can cry really loud. You might imagine everyone in the area of the nest could hear her. There is nothing shy about 463 anymore. If she wants something, everyone knows it. And that is the way Dad likes it. Otherwise, he will think she isn’t hungry.

Tiny Little is not subtle that she would like that fish sibling 464 nabbed. She is up to her old tricks – moving sticks, crying, flapping, and staring. Tiny Little is not starving! Yesterday, she had at least 3 of the fish Dad delivered to the nest. She is smart. Bulk up before migration.

When 464 finishes, Tiny Little also does what she is good at – cleaning up all the fish that the siblings leave behind.

The Crow would like it if Tiny Little would leave some fish for it, too.

Blue 463 is gorgeous. No doubt about it – she has grown into a stunning female! This looks like a good image to keep – to compare when she returns to us again in two years time. I am so optimistic about this one and Tiny Tot from Achieva. They are strong survivors.

A really beautiful – and short – video has been posted showing the ringing of two Osprey chicks at a nest in Finland. Have a look. The scenery is stunning!

As many of you are aware, Idris, the male on the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Wales, is super reliable. When he went missing on Wednesday and did not return until the late afternoon on Friday with a sunken crop, everyone became worried about what had happened to him. It was thrilling to see that he was alright. Indeed, he brought in 3 large fish for Telyn, Ystwyth, and Dysnni. While he was away, Telyn delivered fish to the two chicks on the nest without fail. Well done, Telyn!

Ystwyth on the Dyfi Nest eating a really nice fish. There are rumours that Dysnni has migrated but it is unclear if that is true. He has not been seen on the nest for a short period but he could also be getting fish somewhere else. Many birds, once they have fledged, eat off nest. Others like those at Loch of the Lowes always return to the nest. 463 at Foulshaw Moss certainly likes eating there.

Ystwyth eating a fish late Saturday, 14 August 2021. Unknown bird on perch – most likely Telyn.

Aran and Mrs G were seen on their nest in the Glaslyn Valley today together. They are keeping a close eye on that prime real estate!

The gorgeous and formidable Mrs G looking over her territory.

Idyllic.

The Osprey chick at Collins Marsh will get its official name this evening. Fingers and toes crossed. The last time I checked – thanks to so many of you – ‘Malin’ was leading the polling.

‘S’ caught a great shot of Malin getting its third feeding around 1pm today. Three fish before 1pm. We might get to that magical 5 or 6. Fantastic. But look – ‘S’ seems to have solved the mystery of why Collins is shy about delivering fish! Ouch.

Great screen grab, S!

NC0 is still at the Loch of the Lowes Osprey nest in Scotland. She delivered a really nice salmon to the nest Saturday evening. And isn’t that simply a gorgeous view as the golden rays of the sun kiss everything making it look like autumn?

Both of the chicks remain at Rutland Water’s Manton Bay Osprey Nest. Blue 33 is kept busy feeding these two.

Blue 096 with hers.

Often Blue 096 chases 095 off the nest but here he is below enjoying his fish! Nice one.

Nothing posted on the name but Malin has another fish drop and is doing some wingersizing! Thanks Dad, number four.

Thank you to all of you for joining me today. This was just a hop and a skip to make sure everyone on the Osprey nests were doing OK and they are. Doesn’t get any nicer than that. Take care everyone. Enjoy your weekend.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, LRWT, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes.

Tiny Little lands 3 fish for the day!

At one time there was fear that Tiny Little Bob, the itsy bitsy third hatch on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest would perish.

The top image is from 12 June. You can see how large 462 and 464 are at the time. There is our Tiny Little Bob sitting up looking over them.

This image is from 30 June. Tiny Little Bob has grow but is still shy and waits to eat. At this time, the banders cannot tell if 463 is a male or a female because of the lack of food and growth.

Today is 13 August. It might be hard for some to believe but Tiny Little now controls the nest. She is a big bird – the dominant bird – on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest. Tiny Little has take three fish today. The first one at 6:08 am, the first fish to land on the nest today. Then she gets the fish at 16:16. And then, she snags the fish and is eating at 19:48. This is quite a change in status for a bird that people thought would die because the others were so large and cruel.

Long time readers know of my interest in the third hatch (or a tiny second that battled with a large first when there was no third). This year alone we have seen Tiny Tot (Tumbles) rise from the near dead several times on the Achieva Osprey Nest to grow into an aggressive survivor. Other researchers have sent me stories about other third hatches who came back strong. If you know of any, please do not write to me.

This is the best news of the day. Thanks for joining me for this very short newsletter. The voting closes at Collins Marsh today for the name of their Osprey. A very kind Wisconsin DNR Biologist has sent me their 2020 report on Bald Eagles and Ospreys. I will report on that tomorrow. And there is one other piece of good news. Idris had been missing on the Dyfi Nest since Wednesday the 11th at 13:16. This morning he showed up with a big fish for one of his fledglings. He had an extremely empty crop. Wonder what happened? This is great news as Telyn would have to delay her migration if he did not show up. A few Osprey adults have gone missing for a couple of days. Are they getting caught in something line line or netting?

Take care everyone!

Thanks to the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest and the Dyfi Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

3 Cheers for Tiny Little Bob!

White YW delivered the tea time fish – a nice large one – to the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest in Cumbria. Blue 462 nabbed it first and then guess who pinches it off big sibling! Tiny Little!

Big Sibling 464 on the left and 462 on the right – all waiting for Tiny Little to make a wrong move with that nice fish. Go away both of you!!!!!

Then 462 got it back!

The first round both 462 and 463 struggled with the mouth and eye area. Wonder who is going to get that fish when it is nicely opened.

Ah, White YW cannot stand to hear one of his fledglings call for food. He promptly went out and got another one. Blue 464 got that one. It was such a nice fish that 464 was eating on it an hour later. Tiny Little flew off the nest probably chasing Dad. No one should be worried thought. Tiny Little had a nice crop prior to snagging that fish off 462. None of these chicks are hungry!

Blue 464 is enjoying his nice big fish – alone! No one is around sniffing for some pieces.

Good Night Foulshaw Moss Ospreys!

In Wisconsin, Malin is busy self-feeding on a piece of a fish that Dad delivered. What captivates me today are the wing feathers. They are looking so good. There is a condensation mark but if you look to the right that one dangling feather from earlier in the month is now ‘crossing over’ the way that it should. The other wing feather scallops are lined up perfectly. Oh, Malin, you are growing up!

The nests are so big and every streaming cam distorts the images (or so it seems). It is difficult to try and determine how big Malin actually is.

There is no time code on the Collins Marsh camera. I believe that there was another delivery by Collins to Malin – this time another piece of a fish. That is really helpful for Malin to work on its self-feeding and not get caught up with the bony mouths and eyes. Eventually Malin will need to do that. Right now one of the wonderful things is Malin’s anticipation of the food drop and his excitement and mantling on its arrival.

In the imager below, Malin sees Collins flying into the nest. Look at his eyes. He has also dropped his wings in anticipation of mantling that fish.

Malin pivots. Wings stretched down and out for mantling with beak forward to grab the fish from Collins’s talons.

Get out of the way Collins! Malin has secured the food.

Ah. Over. I notice also that Collins’s crop is nicely full. He has eaten the head and perhaps part of the fish before the delivery.

These two food drops for Malin to self-feed come after the aggressive manner that Malin approached the fish yesterday with Marsha. We are moving on to the next phase: no more feedings by mom? Let’s watch and see.

Is this the tail of a little Bullhead?

It is a beautiful day on the Canadian Prairies. For the first time in ever so long we can see blue sky, not sky filled with smoke. It is 21 degrees C. That is 69.8 F. Just lovely for a trip to the one of our local parks.

It was a delight to walk up to the duck pond and discover that our Parks Department has put up signs to educate people on why they should not feed the ducks bread. Last year the local birding group had a big campaign to get this practice stopped. Today, the signs are up. They are large and prominently placed at strategic entrances and exits. No one was feeding the ducks, they were just enjoying them! Well done Parks Department!!!!!!

Thanks to the recent rains many of the geese were out on the fields where people play soccer or cricket eating green grass.

A male juvenile Mallard enjoying the water fountain at the rocks.

There was real discussion on the identification of the duck above and the one below. The discussion ended when the little duck below showed us her feeding behaviour. She is a dabbler so she is a female Mallard – not a female Blue Winged-teal.

Mallards come to Manitoba to breed. They arrive in the spring and leave in the fall. Here the little female is mottled brown with a whitish tail, and orange feet.

When feeding, she tips up and dabbles in the shallow waters of the duck pond for pondweeds and aquatic invertebrates. They also feed on larval amphibians and fish eggs.

The female Wood Duck and her ducklings. You can tell the Wood Duck by its white tear-eyed eye patch. Her breast is a mottled brown and white.

Wood Ducks are migratory birds in Manitoba. They arrive in the spring, normally April, and will head south in October. They are cavity nesters. They will lay their eggs in a tree cavity or specially built enclosed wood boxes. The ducklings are ready to bounce from the nest when they are 24 hours old. Precocial animals and birds hatch/born with all their feathers, skin, etc. and are able to see, hear, and move about.

The little Wood Duck and her ducklings mingled with the Canada Geese. Only once did I see a goose get aggressive towards one of the little ones.

Malin’s initial feather issues have caused me to spend more time looking at the back and wings of birds than I ever would have thought possible. Each individual feather is simply beautiful – taken together they are like a wonderful musical symphony – each performing their own task to help this Canada goose swim, walk, and fly.

The tail and wing feathers of a non-breeding male Mallard.

As we were leaving, a Juvenile Bald Eagle was soaring above us.

Then the Northern Goshawk beats its large wings. The Northern Goshawk lives in Manitoba all year round except for the southern part where they can be seen only in the summer or in the winter if food supplies in the North fall.

It was a good day! The skies are turning grey and the wind is picking up a little and maybe, just maybe, we will have some more rain. Wishing and hoping.

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

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest and the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest.

A Hop, Skip, and a Jump through Ospreyland

Several people have written and asked about the third or last chick placed on the Patuxent River Park Osprey Nest 2. Many call that little one the ‘Silo Chick’ since it fell out of a silo and was fostered on this nest at the River til fledging. This little one seemed to have a short run, hopefully, of bad luck as it also fell out of the Patuxent nest as well and was rescued by Katherine Dami and her boyfriend. That little Osprey was so lucky! The flurry of activity around that rescue made me realize that every streaming cam needs to have an active 24/7 emergency number to the local wildlife rehabber or the person who would instigate emergency rescue at the nest. Ah, but back to the topic at hand. Silo chick fledged and has not been seen at the nest. Katherine, when asked, wrote to ‘S’ and said that they had not observed Silo Chick at the nest. Katherine did say that a large number of fledglings have gathered together and were honing their flying skills on another spot in the Patuxent River. So let us all hope that Silo Chick is there! If I hear anything more I will let you know. That nest looks very empty right now. Some fledglings like to be fed on the nest. A good example of that is LM1 and LM2 up at the Loch of the Lowes but maybe these three are being fed off camera.

So far there are only two eggs on the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest in Australia. I am quietly cheering that it remains only two. There are nests, such as that of Blue 33 and Maya at Manton Bay Rutland, that can feed and manage four chicks but, Mom and Dad at PLO will do better if there are only two. It could stop the rate of siblicide on this nest.

Tiny Little our ‘Big Girl’ at the Foulshaw Moss nest snagged herself a nice fish this morning from dad, White YW. After losing one to a bigger sibling last evening it is grand to see her eating away. Indeed, it is always nice to see Tiny Little!

Aran and Mrs G have been staying around the nest at Glaslyn. There was even sky dancing observed. The Ospreys want to seal their bond before migration. I am so happy to see the two of them around the nest. There was a time when Aran was injured and not flying much or fishing that I was concerned that Z2, Aeron, from the Pont Croesor Nest nearby or his siblings including Z1, Tegid, who has a nest in Snowdonia, might be eyeing the Glaslyn nest.

Mrs. G on the nest:

Aran up on his perch.

There has been a lot of discussion about when NC0 will leave the Loch of the Lowes Osprey nest in Scotland for her migration. She is still here and she is fishing – hauling in some nice ones for her two babies who prefer to eat on the nest. This was Sunday late afternoon.

The anticipation and seeing mom arriving with a fish:

NC0 lands it.

LM2 got the fish and ate really fast with older sibling hanging around.

Maya is also still at Rutland Manton Bay – there had also been questions about whether she was still around. Seen on nest with chick around 18:00 Sunday. Blue 33 had just brought in a fish for Blue 095.

The Friends of Loch Arkaig have just announced that the names of Louis and Dorcha’s two male chicks for 2021 on the alternative Loch Arkaig nest will be Aspen and Alder. The names are derived from the two popular trees in the area. They took 45.5% of the votes. Well done!

People have been wondering where Iris is. The cam operator spotted her early this morning, around 9am, on her favourite perching spot on Mt Sentinel. Iris is fine and is enjoying her summer. Worries, of course, continue for the Montana Ospreys as the Clark Fork River water levels are at all time lows. The trout are dying. The New York Times carried an article on this urgent matter. If you don’t have a subscription you might not be able to open the article and I apologize but do try. Just look at the level of the water in the image and the dead trout. So terrifying.

Speaking of Iris, I promised the Montana Osprey Project that I would mention their fundraiser – The Iris Pens – this weekend as a reminder to everyone. Dr Erick Greene has collected a few more twigs and sent them off to the workshop of Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles in South Carolina. The pens are $45 US and that includes postage.

This is Dr Greene with the box of Iris twigs.

This is Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles opening up the box of twigs they received from Dr Greene.

Richard begins by cutting the sticks in their workshop.

Pens get their beautiful shape on the lathe.

This is what the finished ‘Iris Pens’ look like – the colour and patterns will depend on the wood that the pen is made from. Iris spreads her love to various trees and shrubs!

The pens have been made and sold out for the past few years. This year as in other years we wish for Iris’s safe return to us from her migration next spring. If you want an Iris Pen, do so quickly. The original 35 are gone and, as mentioned, Dr Greene has sent some more twigs the birds knocked out of the nest to Richard and Sharon. Follow these directions supplied by the Montana Osprey Project.

1) Send an email to montanaospreyproject@gmail.com2) If your mailing address is in the US, on the subject line of your email, type your full name followed by Pen OrderFor example To: montanaospreyproject@gmail.comSubject: Your Name – Pen Order3) If your mailing address is outside the US, on the subject line of your email, type your full name followed by International Pen OrderFor example To: montanaospreyproject@gmail.comSubject: Your Name – International Pen OrderIf yours is an international order we will get back to you with a few additional instructions.4) The email’s body should include the following information:a) Your name b) Your email c) Number of pens you would like to order.d) Total amount ($45.00 per pen). Shipping is included in this price.e) Your mailing address just as it should be on the envelope. f) Send the email to MontanaOspreyProject@gmail.com5) For those of you who live in the United States, make out a check out to: Montana Osprey Project – Erick Greene(We are not set up to take credit card or Pay Pal orders. Sorry – has to be a personal check or money order)6) Mail your check to:Dr. Erick Greene – Montana Osprey ProjectDivision of Biological Sciences 32 Campus Drive University of MontanaMissoula, Montana USA 598127) For those of you who live outside of the US, send us the email with all of your information, but hold off on sending a check. We will get back to you with a few more instructions.

I can’t wait for mine to arrive.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I am off in search of hawks and ducks this afternoon. It is sunny and warm but we are going to venture out in the heat anyway! Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Manton Bay Osprey Nest and Rutland Water, LRWT, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Patuxent River Park Osprey Cam 2, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project. I would also like to thank Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles for allowing me to use the information and the images for the Iris Pens and for their dedication to the Montana Osprey Project. A big shout out to Dr Greene for his devotion to the Montana Ospreys. Thank you!

Featured Image are the two 2021 chicks of Laddie, LM12, and Blue NC0 waiting for NC0 to get the fish to the nest. Their numbers are LR1 and LR2.

Four rare Hen Harrier chicks fledge in Derbyshire

One of the big announcements came today when four extremely rare Hen Harrier Chicks fledged in Derbyshire, England. They were predated by hunters and owners of estates where grouse hunting was popular as well as ‘land management practices’. They are now protected under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.* In North America, the Hen Harrier is called the Northern Harrier while in France it is the Buzzard of St Martin.

Hen Harriers are a bird of prey like most of the birds that I write about. They are related to kites, hawks, and eagles. Have you ever heard of them? or seen one?

The males are pale grey as in the image below. The primaries are a dark espresso colour. Here the male is flying low over the countryside looking for prey.

“Hen Harrier” by ressaure is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Here is an image of the underside of the male Hen Harrier.

“Hen harrier male, Circus cyaneus” by peter.v.b is marked with CC0 1.0

The females are brown as are the juveniles with a white rump and long barred tail. The females are often called ‘Ringtails’ because of the bars or bands on the tail. Like the Honey Buzzard their heads are rather small in comparison to other raptors. They will measure no more than 42 cm with a wing span of 120 cm. They weight less than a pound at 300-400 grams. Hen Harriers eat small birds and mammals. Besides flying low and finding prey, they also use the cover of bushes in the woodlands to surprise and take their prey on the ground (normally).

“Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus)” by gilgit2 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

When hen harriers are courting, they do a fabulous sky dance or rolling and tumbling. The Hen Harriers normally lay 4 to 5 eggs in a nest on the ground or in cattails or long dense grass. The male and female both take care of the chicks but the males provide the food. They hunt it and when successful pass the prey to the female by tossing it at them mid-air. They would make great softball players!

Look carefully at the image below. Notice that the facial features of the Hen Harrier look like an owl. Like owls, they have a parabolic facial disk which allows them to hunt by sound (like owls) as well as their incredible ‘hawk’ eyes.

“Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus – Albanella reale)” by Lorenzo L M. is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

*There continues to be the debate between the grouse hunting societies and those that protect birds and want grouse hunting banned. Any number of associations who do not support the killing of animals are active in supporting the reintroduction of the Hen Harrier. You can do a simple search on Goggle for ‘Hen Harrier Myths’. There is even a Hen Harrier Day celebrated in the Highlands of Scotland.

Other Bird World News:

Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, Cumbria: After waiting and moving about sticks, Tiny Little (Blue 463) was prey calling and in flew big sibling chasing after Dad or White YW. 464 took the fish and then flew off with it. Poor Tiny Little.

Nasty older sibling!

WBSE in Sydney Olympic Park, Australia: Well, they just can’t stop getting cute!

Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Wisconsin: Malin is looking really good to me. I focused on her wings whenever I checked in. She has been fed and the feathers look grand. I can also see four bands or bars on the tail now so Malin is continuing to grow and develop.

Besides this lovely tail growing and those gorgeous scalloped back feathers – I adore Osprey, can you tell? Malin is no longer dragging one of her wing feathers. It just seems it took almost 7 weeks to get these things sorted. Joy. Real joy. What a beautiful Osprey chick?!!!!!!

Patricia Fisher, the local wildlife rehabber just wrote and agreed that Malin’s feathers are looking much better. They still have to cross but fingers crossed on that one. More Joy. Thanks, Patricia for keeping an eye on this little one with all you have to do.

Port Lincoln Osprey Barge, Australia: Mum is busy rolling two eggs and I believe there remain two, awaiting third. Dad and her have been taking turns incubating.

Dad has returned to see if Mom would like a break. He is annoyed by the blue rope material and Mom seems to be annoyed by him pulling it out from under her! What a pair.

Fortis Red Deer: It is embarassing. I have not mentioned our Canadian Ospreys in Alberta for awhile. When I last checked you could only see Legacy’s little head hardly extended above the sticks. Look at this beauty now. Wow. These chicks have grown. This is what I want to say about Malin’s growth at Collins Marsh in a week!

Fortis Exshaw, Canmore, Alberta: It looks like the ospreys were practicing with their ‘ps’ or there was rain and enough blowing wind to throw mud balls up on that lens!

The good thing is that you can hardly tell which are the two chicks and who is the adult. Incredible.

It has been hot but more than that the smoke pollution has made it difficult to breathe at times on the Canadian Prairies. I am keeping an eye on the White Rock fire in British Columbia. You might all know Dr Christian Sasse and his love of Bald Eagles and Osprey. He often streams live generously showing us these beautiful birds. Well, his cottage where he streams them is in the path of the fire. Send warm wishes his way as well as all the wildlife in the region. The White Rock fire is misbehaving badly, not doing normal things so the firefighters are really having a time of it.

Thank you for joining me today. I had hoped to bring you some local hawk pictures. I am heading out hopefully later. Take care everyone.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams: the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, the Sea Eagle Birdlife Australia, and Discovery Centre, Cumbrian Wildlife and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Fortis Alberta Red Deer, and Fortis Alberta Exshaw. A Special thanks to Patricia Fisher from Wisconsin who cares about Malin and takes time to answer all our questions. I am so grateful.

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.

Tiny Little – you had a great day!

It doesn’t really matter what you call him or her, the third hatch on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest in Cumbria has had a really great 24 hours. Everyone was waiting for Tiny Little (aka Little Bob) to do some more flying, to get a little aggressive towards nabbing a fish drop, and for her to sleep like an adult. Well, all of that has now taken place.

Last night, for the first time, Tiny Little slept on the perch, head tucked in sometimes – and sometimes standing on one leg. Grown up style.

Between 6:00 and 18:00 (a long period of time) I did not see what Tiny Little accomplished.

At 18:25:41 Dad, White YW, delivered a fish. 464 grabbed that one. By 18:34 Tiny Little had moved up and was trying to get that fish. Tiny Little is so funny. He was trying to take bites out of 464’s mouth and was doing his usual ‘stare down’. 462 had arrived on the nest but he was hanging back from the action around the fish. At 18:53 sibling 462 moves in for the steal and takes the fish from 464. Tiny Little then focuses its sight on that fish.

In 37 minutes, at 19:02 White YW flies in with another fish! This time Tiny Little fights Dad for control of the delivery.

White YW must be looking down at Tiny Little feeling very proud. These are the lessons these parents want their children to learn and do. It will be a hard world out there for Tiny Little and White YW and Blue 35 need their youngest to be able to survive.

Tiny Little uses her beak to try and tear that fish off Dad’s talon. Dad just wants to get out of the nest!

Tiny Little has moved around and opened her wings to keep sibling 462 from the fish.

Tiny Little did not win the battle but she did not get injured either. Sibling 462 won this one but, it is the very first time that Tiny Little has shown any aggression during a fish drop. Bravo, Tiny Little!

At 19:04, Tiny Little moves over and finishes eating the last of the first delivery. There is still a bit of fish and the tail for her.

Once she finishes that little tidbit, Tiny Little is still hungry. Sibling 462 is chomping away at that big fish dad brought in. So what does Tiny Little do? You guessed it right – she starts doing her antics. She stares, she picks up sticks, she moves around the fish getting right close to the face of her sibling.

Wouldn’t you just like to share a little, 462?

Then Tiny Little tries pulling pieces of fish out of 462’s beak when she is pulling the pieces from the fish to their beak. That must be very annoying. And, of course, that is precisely what Tiny Little wants to do — annoy their sibling to give up the fish without having to have a fight and get injured.

Tiny Little begins to focus more on the location of the fish and the balance of 462. Look at how Tiny Little is staring between the legs of its sibling.

Tiny Little is beginning to remind me of Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey Nest. She is getting smart. She is moving in to get that fish. She has spotted that 462 does not have complete control of the fish.

Feeling very confident, Tiny Little steals the fish from sibling 462 at 19:20:49. Wow. Tiny Little, your fan club is cheering you!

Tiny Little gets the fish and pulls it over to the other side of the nest so that 462 will not try and take it back.

Yum!

Tiny Little is focused on eating. She knows that at any moment the other sibling could arrive on the nest and want some fish. Tiny Little is learning to eat fast and not be distracted.

Despite sibling Blue 464 arriving on the perch at 19:32, Tiny Little pays no mind and continues to eat.

Ah, nothing like eating almost an entire fish to warm a little one’s tummy.

It looks like Tiny Little is going into a food coma for the night. Nite nite Tiny Little. Happy fish dreams!

It has been a great day for Tiny Little. That is about as much excitement as one can take in a day! Thanks so much for joining me. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest for their streaming cam where I took my screenshots.

You can watch the antics of Tiny Little and her Osprey family here:

https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife/cams/osprey-cam