Christmas Day in Bird World

It is a gorgeous Christmas morning over Big Bear Lake in San Bernadino County, California. This is the home of Bald Eagle couple, Jackie and Shadow. What a beautiful view as the sun rises to wake up the forest and the animals that live around the lake.

A little later the camera operator gives us a treat by panning around the area where Jackie and Shadow live.

Jackie and Shadow have been delivering some nice (some large) twigs to the nest. This wonderful couple live in the hope of hatching eaglets and we send them positive energy as we hope with them.

Harriet and M15 might be wishing for a little bit of the cooler northern Californian weather in Fort Myers. The couple began ‘listening’ to their eggs last evening. It is pip watch!

About four days before hatching, the eaglets will grow their egg tooth. Imagine it as a sharp spike facing outward towards the shell on the tip of the beak. The little ones will chip away at the shell. They will take their first breath and continue picking away until they have broken through and hatched. This whole process can take up to four days.

Last year Harriet and M15, fledged E17 and E18 – the twins that won all of our hearts from their first bobblehead days, to going into care for conjunctivitis, to their return. Beautiful fledglings. Best friends.

I am so glad that Samson and Gabby did not lay their eggs at the same time as Harriet and M15. This way we will get to enjoy having two nests of bobble heads independent of one another! Last year, Gabby and Samson had one hatch, Legacy. S/he turned out to be a beautiful and formidable juvenile.

Gabby is on incubation duties.

Anna and Louis are also incubating two eggs and have a wait similar to that of Samson and Gabby. Their nest is in the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana. This is the couple’s second breeding attempt. Last year they fledged Kisatchie, the first eaglet hatched and fledged on this nest in central Louisiana since 2013. Wow. Cody and Steve have installed sound at the nest this year.

It was fun watching Anna and Louis last year figure out what to do as new parents. Louis is a fabulous provider. When he is not loading the nest down with fish, he is aiming to give Anna the softest Spanish Moss he can find for the egg cup! Just look at it.

Clive and Connie are incubating two eggs over at Captiva. They have had some terrible weather there lately and this image is from yesterday. The camera appears to be down this morning.

Clive is a new mate for Connie. Last year, Connie and Joe hatched two eaglets, Peace and Hope, who died on the nest from rodenticide poisoning.

One of the ospreys over wintering at Urdaibai in the Basque Country of Spain waking up to Christmas morning.

While many of the Ospreys are opting to stay on the Iberian Peninsula instead of making the long journey down to The Gambia or Senegal, there are still celebrations as the December count along the Senegal coast was 1100 birds this year. Jean-Marie Dupart did an amazing job going out and counting all of the beautiful fish eagles. Thank you!

German Osprey along the coast of Senegal.

Closer to home, Jack and Diane have been working on their nest. Some really nice strips of bark have been brought in. Last year, the pair fledged three for the first time: Sibling 1, Sibling 2, and the miracle bird who survived against all the odds and became dominant, Tiny Tot Tumbles.

Cilla Kinross is celebrating the third camera at Charles Sturt Falcon Project. There is a ledge and box camera and now one that shows the falcons flying around the outside of the water tower. Congratulations, Cilla.

Here is the link if you wish to check out the new tower cam:

Big Red and Arthur have been spotted out hunting so all is well with the Red-tail Hawks on the Cornell Campus. Hope to have images I can post for you shortly.

The countdown is on for all the hawk and osprey fans…three months til Big Red is incubating eggs and three months til the first arrivals of the Western Ospreys back in the UK. Oh, and the beautiful storks of Latvia and Estonia. May they all stay safe until then.

Wishing all of the birds who bring us such joy, extra prey items, good weather, and safe flying.

Thank you for joining me today. No matter what holiday you celebrate, I hope that you have a peaceful, joyful day, with something a little special. For those birds not with us today, we thank them for the happiness they gave to us – and as one of my readers ‘B’ so eloquently said, ‘and all they taught us.’ So true. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Friends of Big Bear, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett Family, KNF Eagle Cam, Captiva Eagle Cam, Urdaibai Biosphere Osprey Cam, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and the Achieva Osprey Cam.

Note: Port Lincoln Osprey Cam is down or we would all get a look at those lads!

Two Osprey chicks die at Urdaibai Biosphere Park

The adults at the Urdaibai Biosphere are Landa and Roy, named after Roy Dennis who helped with the translocation of the Ospreys from Scotland to the region. This year started so well – three eggs and everyone so hopeful that the project would be well and underway. Sadly, that is not the case.

This nest was the one where the little Albino chick hatched and, sadly, died.

Yesterday, one of the older chicks died but the other was still alive.

Today the other chick has died. It is unclear what the cause is but I hope that they will conduct a post mortem.

If the chicks are small like the little albino, the mother will move the body about 100 m from the nest. These are older chicks and their corpses will have to moved off the nest by experienced staff. This is such a sad ending to what promised to be a wonderful celebration for this translocation project.

Tides…and Fledging

I went to check on the Urdaibai Biosphere Osprey Nest last evening. When I looked there was water flooding the area. For a second, panic hit. You might recall that this Osprey Nest in Spain has already had one historic event – the hatch of the Albino chick – and one tragedy, its death. I could only imagine the water so high washing away the nest.

And then, I was taken back several years ago. We had moved from the Canadian Prairies to the coast and one of the things that was such a joy was going to the beach! Often the 8 year old neighbour boy with go with us and our son. The first day we had such a great time that I told Brandon we would pick him up the next day at the same time. When we got to the beach though, there was no water! People that live inland do not know about tides!!!!!! And guess what? That was precisely what was happening at Urdaibai. The high tide was flooding the marsh area below. The camera angle made it look like the water was going to wash that nest away – my heart sunk. So have a laugh on me – a big giggle. I was so relieved.

You can see from the sequence of the tide coming in below.

There are the two little osplets this morning of Landra and Roy’s. They are just starting to enter the Reptile phase. You can see the copper feathers coming in on their head and neck and they are becoming ‘darker’ in colour.

And here is their beautiful mom, Landa. I do not know who she is named after but Roy is named after Roy Dennis of the Roy Dennis Wildlife Trust. It was Dennis who helped translocate the ospreys from Scotland to Urdaibai to try and establish an Osprey colony here.

You can watch this Osprey family at the Urdaibai Biosphere here:

For some reason all of the streaming cams seem to be set on a ‘soft’ setting or are slightly out of focus. Last night Tiny Tot was sitting on the perch at the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida. Tiny had four fish – FOUR – yesterday. He should have been about to pop! But how nice for this juvenile that has consistently kept the intruders off the nest. Look closely. See how long his feathers are getting. Tiny Tot is such a magnificent bird and to think there were days when we did not even know if he would be alive the nest morning. Just so happy for this little one.

Speaking of feathers, the bars on the tail of at least one of Big Red and Arthur’s Ks is now five. Laura Culley says they need five for fledge and it is better if there are six. Look below. You can count them.

That same K has been standing over on the fledge ledge this morning right where Big Red told her to take her first flight!

You might want to watch Big Red and the Ks. Fledge watch is really on. One of the clues is when Big Red leaves them alone at night. She left them alone last night so we are getting close! Big Red is so smart.

If the weather gets bad and Big Red believes that their flight will not be successful, her and Arthur will bring lots of prey to the nest to keep them full and happy. Wet feathers do not help! It is one reason that the Royal Albatross have to get all of that fluffy down off of their bodies before they fledge. We will be watching for that in September!

If there is nothing – like a thunderstorm -that would compromise the fledge, Big Red and Arthur are often flying around, across the street, tempting the little ones to ‘take the leap and realize their potential as birds’. Gosh, us humans can only sit back and want to flap our wings and jump and take off!

There are a couple who work at Cornell that have live streaming, Karel and Cindy Sedlacek. Once the Ks fledge, these two will find them on campus and show us what they are doing. I will post the link so you can watch all the action. It is really quite interesting to watch Big Red and Arthur teach their kiddos how to hunt. But even seeing Arthur fly like he is a Peregrine Falcon to catch a squirrel is incredible.

So what should you expect after the Red-tail Hawks fledge? During the first 3 to 6 weeks, the Ks will be learning to control their flight. They will be practising landing and taking off. Big Red and Arthur will still be feeding them. We can expect that they will be catching bugs. They have to learn to control their flight before they can catch things that run away! The first three weeks their activity levels double. They will do what is called perch to ground forays trying to catch things – that means leaving a branch where they might have been hiding and going to the ground to try and catch prey. They sometimes learn to hold things in their talons by playing ‘soccer’ with pinecones! After that they will be perfecting their hunting and flying skills. They will discover thermals and soar – and then, it will be close to the time they leave Big Red and Arthur’s territory and go out on their own.

Additionally, Big Red and Arthur move them around the Campus. First they will be across the street around the Fernow Building and Rice Tower. The adults will gradually add to the territory until such time that they are out by Holy Cow and the fields. It is all very organized!

I so wish someone would take on a research project so these kiddos could be banded. How far away do Arthur and Big Red’s chicks go from the natal nest? Do they migrate? or do they stay in the area over the winter like Big Red and Arthur? Did they survive? We know that Big Red travelled about seven miles from her nest in Brooktondale to Ithaca but Arthur, like other males, stayed closer to his natal nest. He just went about a short way – I think Arthur’s parents nest is over by the cemetery – to find Big Red and woo her. That territory of Arthur’s parents is adjacent to Big Red and Arthur’s. It is hard just to watch the juveniles soar into the sky one day and never see them again.

Thank you for joining me today! Have a giggle on me about the tides and then remember that if you are ever caught in the same situation. Join us as we wait for Big Red’s chicks to fledge. It is so exciting. At Cowliz, Electra and the chicks are still waiting for fish. Tiny Little Tot on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest has had a good feed and it looks like most of the nests are doing just fine on a Monday.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, and Urdaibai Biosphere Park.

Excitement in Osprey Land

There is a lot of excitement today in Wales. First up it is the tenth anniversary of the very first hatch at Dyfi in almost 400 years. At the time people were getting in their cars and driving as fast as they could to get there to see the historic birth.

The parents were the infamous Monty and White 03/08, a Rutland hatch, who was called ‘Nora’. Monty is named after the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust. Monty arrived at the newly erected platforms on the western coast of mid-Wales in 2008 but he did not breed until 2011. This historic hatch, the first of many future ones, turns out to be Einon (Blue DH), the second egg. The first egg hatched second andit was Dulas (Blue 99) followed by Leri (Blue DJ).

They were all fitted with satellite trackers and this is what they looked like at the time:

Here is an image of that historic hatch. Monty is unringed and he was incubating the eggs at the time. Nora looks on. Monty’s first hatch!

And here is the video. The camera work is a little grainy but it is a historic document and how wonderful. The reintroduction of Ospreys to Wales was on its way. Many of Monty’s chicks now have their own nest and there are, of course, Monty’s grandchildren.

Today, Monty’s last mate, Telyn, is on the Dyfi Nest with Idris. Telyn picked a good mate to try and fill Monty’s shoes. Here they are today with their two Bobs, a big fish, and a worrisome piece of netting. Idris is standing on the fish he just brought in and Telyn has the blue Darvin ring, 3J.

One of my favourites out of Monty’s and Glasni’s (before Telyn) chicks is one that my friend ‘T’ introduced me to – Z1 or Tegid of the ‘white egg’. He was a tiny scrapper who survived his migrations and has been breeding on an unmonitored nest in Wales for the past two years. He hatched in 2016. Tegid is one of the little third hatches that I am acquiring information on – you see I don’t always buy the fact that the idea of the survival of the fittest always means the big bully sibling. It is like Tiny Tot, the third hatch on the Achieva Osprey nest in 2021. He almost starved to death and today, through being clever, tenacious, persistent and having a strong urge to live, Tiny Tot has been protecting his natal nest from intruders. I hope one day it is his! (if he is really a he).

Z1 is really a handsome bird. My goodness. I wonder if his sibling, Z2 Aeron on the PC nest near Dyfi this year, is as good looking.

Just stopping in to catch up a couple of other nests. Only one egg out of the three hatched for Dylan and Seren at the Clywedog Nest this year. That Bob is really spoiled!

Everything is fine up at the Loch of the Lowes. Both of the chicks are really in the reptileian phase of their plumage. They are so dark!

I love the image below – little Bob staring Big Bog straight in the eyes like he is telling her not to mess with him!

NC0 filled both of them up and they went into food comas. She had some fish and a nap herself.

The two remaining osplets on the Urdaibai Biosphere Osprey nest appear to be fine. There is some concern about their eyes but, hopefully it will prove to be just an irritant.

Landa removed the body of sweet little Zuri from the nest where she had buried it at 17:31:03.

The three Bobs at the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria had a nice big feed by mom today. It was especially nice to see the smallest Bob get its fill. Sometimes it is hard to be the smallest one but, again, look at Z1 Tegid or Tiny Tot. These little ones can do great things. Little Bob is two weeks old today and its two bigger siblings are entering their biggest growth spurt where they will gain 40g a day. That is the equivalent, Foulshaw Moss says, of a human gaining 2kg a day! Wow.

There is lots more news but one event that also got everyone cheering today was the skycalling of Poole Harbour translocated Blue 019 and her landing on the Glaslyn Nest. She was last seen in January 2020 when she was photographed in the Gunjur Quarry in The Gambia. No one knew if she survived. She put on a good show for everyone today surprising them since normally it is the males that do the skycalling. Skycalling is a high pitched peeep-peeep-peeep sound. She is gorgeous.

Maybe this Poole Harbour girl will find her a Welsh mate!

And for me, Tiny Tot has had at least two deliveries today. Diane brought him a breakfish at 8:37:17 and there was another delivery at 2:50:14. Maybe he will get an evening one, too! He certainly deserves it.

Thanks for joining me. What a fabulous day in the history of the reintroduction of Ospreys in Wales. Take care. Stay well and cool if you are in the area of the heat wave.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Urdaibai Biosphere Park, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project and Carnyx Wild.

Albino Osprey Chick at Urdaibai Biosphere dies

Everyone knew it would be a stretch for the little albino osprey chick of Ladna and Roy at the Urdaibai Biosphere to survive if it fledged. The wee one named Zuri hatched on 2 June and did have some fish on 3 June. Immediately concerns were raised as to whether or not the little albino could see or hear. They say it was one in a million chance to have an albino chick.

Sadly, the wee one has passed. It appeared to still be alive but then no life seen at 22:20. Observers are also worried about one of the other chicks who appears to have an eye infection.

Fly high, little one!

Take care everyone. Let us send warm wishes to Roy and Landa that their second osplet does not succomb.

As the Nest Turns – late Thursday and early Friday edition

The Cowlitz PUD Osprey nest can be really frustrating. Or maybe it is just Wattsworth that causes my blood pressure to go up. He brought in a couple of appetizers on Thursday, 3 June. Electra promptly fed the babies who were sitting up straight and polite wanting their lunch. The fish is between Electra’s feet – it really is small.

So Electra took it upon herself to leave the two wee ones on the nest and off she went to fill the pantry – and she did! Electra had a really good feed on that fish. She was hungry and she fed the little ones, too.

As the sun sets, everyone has had several fish meals. Electra corrals the two little ones under her so she can keep them warm over night.

And, guess what? Wattsworth comes in Friday morning with another tiny tiny fish for Electra and the kids.

And speaking of fish, Jack must be really happy to have Tiny Tot defending the natal nest. Jack flew in at 5:30:17 with a nice fish for Tiny Tot.

3 June 2021. Jack delivers a much earned fish to Tiny Tot.

Tiny Tot immediately grabbed that fish out of dad’s talons and began mantling it. While it didn’t look like there were any intruders or older siblings about who would challenge Tiny Tot for his evening meal, Tiny wasn’t taking any chances.

It was a nice size fish and Tiny ate for quite awhile.

There is a real preciousness in these moments looking at Tiny Tot – so beautiful a juvenile – perched. The golden glow of the setting sun shows off the beautiful plumage.

As the sun went down, Tiny Tot was up on the perch protecting the nest. Sleep tight, Tiny. Have fish dreams!

And early Friday morning, Tiny Tot is defending the nest again against the adult intruder! Poor Tiny.

There was a nice chippie on the nest of Big Red and Arthur. Big Red kept fiddling with it hoping that the Ks would come round to wanting their last meal of the evening. It was 19:00.

They had eaten earlier and had nice crops. Just look how full those Ks are! Those peachy chests make them look like they have swallowed beach balls. Big Red has the chippie ready for a feeding thinking they might want some more but, no. None of them are lining up to be fed with their beaks open. I wonder if Big Red would like a late chippy snack?

“Would you like some of this nice chippie, sweetie?”

Big Red did not have any takers. That had eaten a lot of rabbit earlier and it looks like they just want to sleep. It will be a chipmunk breakfast unless Big Red decides to have a meal after the Ks are asleep – and she probably won’t. She is hardwired to feed those babies of hers.

It’s Friday on the Cornell nest. Big Red is sunning herself on the light stand and it looks like K1 is self-feeding. Wow. Leaving some open prey on the nest has finally enticed this one to dig in there. Good for you, Big Red. We are now moving into two to two and a half weeks til fledge.

Laddie brought in one of those teaser fish – smaller than a Wattsworth Appetizer – to NC0.

She did the best she could with the little fish she had. NC0 your babies are growing and doing great. You’ve grown into being a very good mom. Look at the head of the one grabbing that piece of fish. All of the down on its head is gone. It looks like it got black oil on its head. Reptilian phase is coming!

Your word for the day: nictitating membrane. The word comes from the Latin word nictare meaning to blink. It is a translucent third eyelid. It comes up from the bottom to the top and has been described as acting like a windshield wiper. It cleans the eye and helps produce tears. You can see NC0’s nicitating membrane in the image below.

It looks like it is going to be a nice day in Scotland for NC0, Laddie, and the Bobs. The sun is just coming up. Laddie must be out fishing.

Blue NC0 is having a rest with the Bobs.

It’s Friday tea time on the Loch of the Lowes Nest and all is well. Laddie has just brought in a brown trout and NC0 is already feeding the Bobs.

Blue 33 (11) was right off the mark. He hauled in one of his whoppers first thing for Maya and the Two Bobs. This along with the big piece of fish left from the evening prior should be a great start to the day for this family whose nest is at Rutland Manton Bay.

Look at all those feathers

Idris was also up early and had a nice fish for Telyn and their two Bobs. At one point it was hard to tell what was happening but it looked like Idris was feeding Telyn. I am told he does this. What a sweetheart!

Idris comes in with a fish for Telyn.

For sure he did feed the two Bobs some fish.

Idris is feeding the Bobs.

And as the sun is rising over the Urdaibai Biosphere just 38 minutes outside of Bilbao, Spain, our little albino Osprey is waking up. Zuri is still alive. This is such a rare event – the first known for certain instance in the wild – that everyone will be learning something from this little one. There are rumours going around that the wee one is blind and cannot hear. But, we wait. Clearly its eyes are very sensitive to the light and, yes, if he lives to fledge it will have heavy challenges to overcome because of its plumage. Still, a miracle would not hurt us and this would be a cute one.

The rain has really been pitching down in Spain. Around 13:00 on Friday, a fish came into the nest for Landra. That wee albino one was up there with the other two osplets wanting some fish! In the first image it is facing the opposite way but it moves to get in line with the other two siblings thirty seconds later. Again, a miracle in Spain might be what we all need as some pandemic lockdowns are eased and others as Portugal begins another lockdown. Go little Zuri – eat, grow, teach us.

On Friday there is some thinking that the three have an eye infection. I will keep you posted. That is not clear from the image below taken today. Some of you might recall the eaglets in the Southwest Florida nest, E17 and E18 having conjunctivitis. Fingers crossed. Send warm wishes.

Oops. Turn around! Wait…who is doing the feeding?
It rained so hard for so long. The little ones are really hungry.

We still have heat warnings on the Canadian Prairies – the sky is blue and the sun is bright. The leaves are getting even more thick and now all the birds that come to my garden are hidden by the vines that grow everywhere or the thick lilic bushes. One thing I will really miss is that lovely lilac scent that enveloped us earlier in the week. The heat has really killed the flowers. Still, it was grand to have them when we did!

Thank you for joining me. Stay safe, stay cool! See you soon. I will be checking on the little one in Urdaibai and Tiny Tot throughout the day.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Cowlitz PUD, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Achieva Credit Union, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes. LRWT and Rutland Ospreys, and the Dyfi Osprey Project.

It really is a great day in Bird World

Can the little Albino Osprey named Zuri see to grab prey from its mom, Landa? That is the question today at the Urdaibai. Yesterday the wee one with its pink eyes and beak had a few tiny bites of fish and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Today, it appears that its eyesight might cause issues in seeing the fish in order to grab it. Let us all send warm wishes over that way in the hope that this is sorted for the better!

Storms moved into the area later in the day. Let us hope that the damp cold moves out quickly!

And there is some good news coming out of Urdaibai. At 16:24:17, Zuri ate some fish. He was able to grab it. Continue with your warm wishes.

Here is a really good image of the nest and perch at the Urdaibai Biosphere.

The BBC did a special programme on Poole Harbour Ospreys. Poole Harbour is on the southern coast of England.

It is hard to imagine, in 2021, that it was 1993 that the first idea for reintroducing Ospreys to the southern coast of Britain began with discussions between Roy Dennis and Colin and Jenni Tubbs. Sadly, Colin died four years later and the project sat. Dennis discussed the possibility with others making several trips to the site and plotting out potential nest sites but, the Poole Harbour Osprey Project got its wings so to speak in July 2016 when funding came through. Eight birds were released successfully with trackers in late June in the area. Between 25 August and 23 September Dennis says that all eight set off for migration for Africa. It was 2017 and three were known to have arrived successfully in Africa. Dennis describes the details and all those involved in pages 393-407 of his most recent book, Restoring the Wild.

The following April, 2018, Blue ringed CJ7, a Rutland three year old arrived looking for a mate. That mate was Blue L57 but in 2020 he did not return from his migration. CJ7 was the subject of the BBC programme. In 2020, CJ7 took ownership of the main nest of the Poole Harbour osprey Project. She wanted a mate. In 2021, she laid five unfertilized eggs which the Ravens acquired.

And then, when the interview was being filmed, as if by magic, a male appeared on the nest, a two year old, a 2019 bird, Blue 022. He got busy with mating with CJ7 right on camera to the surprise of the live audience! It is too late for chicks this year but let us hope that this couple have a long productive life on the Poole Harbour nest.

Blue 022 is a two year old. So happy he stopped in at Poole on his return journey from Africa. Let us hope that this couple raises many chicks on this prime nest on the southern coast of England. Their mating marked a first in 200 years for this part of England. Imagine the celebration when there are chicks on the nest!!!!!

Tiny Tot had an early morning fish delivery to add to the late night one on 2 June. So far Jack is rewarding Tiny with fish as Tiny continues to protect the natal nest. That morning fish delivery came at 6:26:54. sibling #2 hasn’t been around for a day and a bit. Maybe he doesn’t want to battle with the intruder. But better, he is off catching his own fish! That would be brilliant.

After his breakfast, Tiny Tot started doing some nestorations. Gosh, remember. Males return to their natal nest. Oh, how grand it would be if this became Tiny’s nest in the future (now I really hope that Tiny Tot is a male!).

So a fish late last night and one this morning. All of us can relax for the rest of the day.

Good news is also coming out of Glaslyn. Aran’s wing is visually improving and his flight feathers are aligned. Oh, that is simply wonderful. We were all concerned about Aran being able to make his migration to Africa and here it is 3 June and he is healing splendidly. He has taken a fish from the nest and is eating it on the perch. Mrs G would really like some of it! The males are hard wired to provide so let us hope that Aran shares.

And good news out in San Francisco. Fauci and Wek-Wek, two of the fledgling Peregrine Falcons of Annie and Grinnell were on the tower this morning prey calling. Oh, it is so good to see them!

Oh, I couldn’t leave without checking on the storks today. Let us make it one more good moment! My friend, ‘R’ in Pennsylvania really likes the storks so these images are for you, ‘R’.

The community is doing splendid. Both dad and the three storklets are in fine health and the nest has lovely dry straw on it. What an amazing effort.

Dad stork is protecting his babies from the direct sun.

I wonder if they are watching for a fish delivery.

It is nice to close this Thursday posting on a real positive note. So far everything that is going on at the nests appears to be good. Fledglings are returning, storks are growing, the Poole Harbour Osprey Project has its legs so to speak, Tiny Tot has had a fish, and sweet little Zuri has grabbed some fish.

Thanks so much for joining me. Stay cool if you are in the heat warning area of the Canadian prairies, take care, stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Achieva Osprey Cam, Urdaibai Biosphere Park, Mlady Buky, UC Falcon Cam, Poole Harbour Ospreys FB Page, and Bwyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife.

First known Albino Osprey Chick Hatches at Urdaibai Biosphere Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can watch this nest here:

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

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

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

You can watch this Osprey family here:

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

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

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

As the Nest Turns, 19 April 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A soggy Clwedog Nest. 19 April 2021

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

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

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

Soggy babies. 19 April 2021

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

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

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

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

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

19 April 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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