Oh, our lovely fish eating birds

I love Ospreys – bet you can tell! Still, the anxiety rises when there are three eggs on a nest that, historically, simply cannot support that many mouths to feed. Right now the Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in Australia is incubating three eggs. In 2020, a drop in fish deliveries around day 16 of the youngest life meant that food insecurities hit the two older and much bigger siblings. Tapps was a victim of siblicide. Will 2021 be different?

So far the two adults are working like a super machine. Today Dad came in with a fish delivery for mom. She left and he incubated the eggs for a half hour. Have a look at that smooth exchange:

The 2019 female fledgling of the PLO nest has been seen and photographed at Tulka yesterday. Solly, the 2020 fledgling with the satellite tracker still seems to prefer Eba Anchorage but she has spent some crazy time at Streaky Bay again. Solly is 339 days old on 26 August Australian time.

If it has been awhile since you watched an Osprey catch a fish, have a look at this slow-motion video shot in the Scottish Highlands. Incredible. When you are watching this remember that Ospreys and Owls are the only birds whose outer toe is reversible to help them hold on to their prey. It allows them to grasp with two toes in the front. Great design.

The Ospreys that live in Australia along the coasts and the rivers are Eastern Ospreys, Pandion cristatus. Eastern Ospreys do not migrate. Their status ranges from secure to vulnerable and rare in various states of Australia.

Ospreys have a system of communication between one another that individuals, such as yourself, will recognize if you have been watching Osprey nests. There are 11 physical and visual displays that show they are resting, alarming, soliciting for food, in a defensive posture, nest protecting, under attack, or sky dancing to impress their mate. In addition to the body language Ospreys use they also have 8 sounds that they make alongside the physical signs. Those include alarming, food solicitation ranging from a very low sound to an extremely high pitched sound, a sound for guarding, being excited, screaming, and the sound during copulation. These findings were published in 1993 by Vincent Bretagnoll and Jean-Claude Thibault. The article is “Communicative Behavior in Breeding Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus): Description and Relationship of Signals to Life History.” It was published in The Auk, Volume 110, Issue 4, 1 October 1993, Pages 736–751.

The British Library and the Cornell Bird Lab have an extensive library of bird sounds that you can access. Also, just watch the birds intently on their nests in different situations. You will soon be able to recognize their different visual postures. For those working in situations that deal with Ospreys, it is essential that they learn the communication and behavioural signals of these birds. These skills would definitely have helped those reviewing Malin’s flight off the nest and, in the future, could save a bird’s life.

Blue 33 (11) has delivered Maya a nice fish for breakfast. So Maya is still here. It doesn’t mean she won’t eat and fly! We just need to wait and see.

Either White YW left Tiny Little an early fish or the silvery white object is a leftover piece of fish from last night’s late feed. Is Tiny home to eat it? and will she be in Cumbria all day?

Ooops. Looks like Tiny Little is too late!!!!!!!! Mr Crow has found a nice breakfast. Does this mean Tiny Little has started her first migration?

UPDATE: Tiny Little is still here. I didn’t get the photograph but someone else did. Yippee. Will try and chase her down today.

It is another misty morning. Aran is on his perch almost in the exact same position as he was yesterday morning.

And here is Aran with Mrs G. She remains in the UK still.

At the Dyfi nest, Telyn was last seen on 21 August at 12pm while Ystwyth was last seen on 24 August at 09:26. Dysynni and Idris were both at the nest on 25 August. Idris brought Dysynni a whopper.

Yesterday, Laddie, LM12, delivered a fish to LR2 on the nest. LR2 was 97 days old.

After a pesky crow flew around the nest, LM2 decided it was safer to take that whopper over to his favourite Birch tree to eat it. Wow, Laddie, great fish!

LR1 left for her migration on 15 August. This was only the second time in the history of this nest that a fledgling has left before the female.

Oh, it is lovely to see some of them still home. Thank you, Tiny Little! News in other news is there are now three eggs for the Collins Street Falcons! That last egg arrived at 23:53 last night. Congratulations. And last, if you follow the Loch of the Lowes Nest a wonderful surprise. A 2015 fledgling, FR2, flew over Guardbridge in Fife yesterday. They got a photo. Fantastic. A survivor! There is sad news today. The Black Stork fledglings received their names yesterday. 7181 (no 1) was named Julge meaning Brave. 7181 (no 2) was named Malbe meaning Sedate. 7183 (no 3) was named Tasane meaning Peaceful. You might have recalled some animal sounds being heard at the base of the nest tree. It is now confirmed, so sadly, that Malbe has been killed by an animal. Urmas has taken the body of Malbe to be examined. Word has also come that Tuul, Karl’s fledgling, has also perished. The Black Storks are so rare – it is so sad to hear of these deaths. Our hearts go out to all who loved these beautiful families and to those who so diligently worked to make sure Jan’s nestlings were fed and healthy to fledge. There has been some problems with the tracking and posting of Karl II and his fledglings locations. I will bring this to you as I locate it. Did you follow Milda? You will know that this brave White Tailed Eagle from Durbe lost her mate and sat on her eggs for eight days without food and then a potential mate came. But last year turned to be a sad year for Milda. She is now working on the nest with her new mate, Mr K. So happy for her. There is word that WBSE 28 did, finally, get some food. Send your warm and positive wishes off to all of the birds.

Correction to earlier news letter. Karl II has only had a transmitter for two years. I said ‘many’. Thank you!

Have a wonderful day everyone. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and The Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, The Scottish Woodland Trust and the Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, LWRT and the Manton Bay Osprey Nest, the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and FB Page.

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!

Sad news about K2 and other nest stories late Thursday and Friday, updated to include tragedy to Osprey nest in Finland

First, I am so very sorry to bring you the sad news that K2 is no longer with us. Cornell Bird Lab released the following statement this morning:

June 25 Update: We have sad news to share about K2, the injured nestling from the Cornell Hawks nest that was transported to the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital on June 22. There, K2 received emergency care and advanced diagnostics to assess the nature and extent of injuries and determine treatment. Unfortunately, X-rays and other testing revealed severe and irrecoverable injuries that would have prevented K2’s survival in the wild or quality of life in captivity. Because of this, and the chronic pain associated with this condition, the wildlife veterinarians made the difficult but compassionate decision to euthanize K2.

Cornell Bird Lab

Our hearts go out to Big Red and Arthur, K1 and K3 who will forever miss their middle sibling. Fly high little one!

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write to me this week. I appreciate the comments and the e-mail letters. It is wonderful that so many people are finding delight in the bird families. As one of you said, watching the birds and their daily lives is certainly better than watching the daily news! I totally agree.

I posted a question about the Cowlitz Osprey Nest. What is happening? Are the lack of significant food deliveries due to a small number of fish in the area? or are there other reasons? Thank you to the person who wrote to me to say that there are fish available. Indeed you mentioned that Electra had been fishing and had come to the nest with fish and shortly after Wattsworth showed up empty handed wanting her fish. I had seen this earlier on this nest so that is a definite pattern. Today Electra didn’t let Wattsworth have any fish – she ate and so did the only remaining Bob. This just screams what is happening to Iris with Louis at the Osprey nest in Hellgate, Missoula, Montana. Both of the females are excellent fishers and both of the males come to the nest and try to take the fish off the female. So I wonder if Wattsworth has a second nest like Louis?

Thankfully, the little Cowlitz baby had a bigger crop later in the day. This baby is going to need so much more fish to thrive but, all we have to do is look at Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey Nest to know that it is possible to have a turn around. But this means more and bigger fish. This chick should be in the rapid growth period and instead it looks like half its age.

Too bad these females can’t get an Osprey divorce!

Tonight (Thursday) there were two prey drops on the Fernow light tower. Arthur flew in with one and Big Red came with the second. Neither parent stayed on the nest to feed K3. It is time for a little tough love for this little one. He needs to learn how to unzip that prey and eat it – quickly so no one else comes along to take it.

It looks like K1 and K3 are having some kind of secret conversation in the image below. Perhaps it is about Big Red leaving a chippie but not feeding K3 who was crying for mom to give him some bites? Or maybe it is about who is going to eat the rest of that chippie??? If so, they had better decide quick. Big Red doesn’t like food to go to waste and that would just be a nice little snack before bed for mom! She will take it. Another lesson for these young hawks – leave food and someone else will grab it!

As the IR lights come on you can see that both of the chicks are still in that far corner. They are on the nest for the night. K3 has to be tired. He was flying all over the area trying to get back to the nest. He was on the bleachers, on another light boast, on the announcers both, on the Rice Building and finally got back to the nest. He has to be exhausted. K1 is having better luck at her flying and getting to her goal. Fantastic! When I first checked I saw the empty nest and could not see the pair of them in the corner. So happy to have found their hiding spot.

Big Red brought K1 and K2 their breakfast this morning. K3 remained on the nest resting from its adventures yesterday and K1 went over to Rice Building and was buzzed by Robins and Starlings. It is 11:40 am nest time and they are both back on the nest together. It is a good Friday morning!

Oh, there were terrible storms in Florida. Poor Tiny Tot, on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, was really having to sink its talons into the nest and hold on. The nest is still wet Friday morning in Florida. Jack brought Tiny Tot a nice fish at 11:26.

Tiny was still eating a half hour later. Thank you, Jack! So everything is fine in Florida with Tiny this Friday morning. And the camera is fixed. It must have gotten blown around during the storm. Thank you for doing that. Lots of viewers want to see the top of the perch and the entire nest.

Over in Cumbria, heavy rain was pouring down on Blue 35 and the three chicks on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest, too, Thursday late.

Blue 35 is doing the best she can to cover up her three babies on that Foulshaw Nest. There is poor Tiny Little Bob with its head under her wing in front of her tail. Oh, he should almost be directly under her. He doesn’t have the feathering the other two do.

Oh, I hope this rain stops. Ever since those two healthy chicks died of hypothermia in Spain it makes me uneasy when I see a wet nest.

It is Friday morning and the rain has stopped in Cumbria and the wind has dried that nest out quickly. Blessings! Now if Great Big Bob will allow Tiny Little Bob to have lots of fish today – it will be a good Fish Friday! Gosh that sibling 1 is even grumpy looking. Sad to say for my gender but I bet ‘it’ is a big female!

It had been pitching down rain over in Wales too at the Clywedog Nest of Dylan and Seren – and the chick that everyone thought was a huge female turns out to be a boy. Well, there was a break in the rain but the nest was still really wet. The banders went up to weigh, measure, and ring the chick. He weighs 1400 grams at 32 days old and is now Blue 496. Dylan and Seren flew above the nest for the entire 40 minutes that it took making sure their only Bob was safe.

For everyone who is having an eagle withdrawal since the fledging of E17 and E18, Legacy, the Duke eaglets, the Pittsburg-Hayes, the Decorah and many more – there is an eagle nest up in Juneau, Alaska. The parents are Liberty and Freedom. They have one chick this year, Kindness. Oh, I love that name. The world could use a lot more ‘kindness’ and compassion now. Less anger, more hope.

This nest is located in a very unique botanical garden set in the rainforest area of Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska.

The beautiful baby eaglet, Kindness, is 34 days old today. It was raining earlier and now that the rain has stopped the adult is standing up and trying to get the rain off their feathers. There is kindness all dry and warm!

There is the second egg. Mom still incubates it but, for those of you familiar with Legacy – this will remind you of ‘Eggie’. The egg is way past the date to hatch and now it is just a kind of pillow or prop for Kindness.

It is such a beautiful nest with little yellow wildflowers growing on it and all those green pine trees.

If you would like to watch this nest, here is the link:

There is wonderful news coming in from the Bucovina Golden Eagle Nest. Both parents have delivered prey to the nest. Yes, you read that right. The male actually came to the nest and brought a small mouse for the eaglet. Oh, this is so very good. Perhaps it is getting less frightened of the camera. The mom brought in a Eurasian Hare. The eaglet ate the mouse from Dad in one gulp and enjoyed having Mom feed it the rabbit.

Lady Hawk caught all the action on video for us:

There is sad news coming out of Finland. This is what happened:

Here’s a verbal description of the attack by an observer:“In air a raven doesn’t match an osprey, but Alma chased the raven into the woods, where her wingspan was too wide. The raven maneuvered on top of her and they fell down clawing at each other.“Alma probably got injured when falling and the raven to get the upper hand and go at Alma with its sturdy beak that’s a sharp and strong weapon.“The raven went at Alma for about 10 minutes on the ground, and when the raven flew to the nest, it had Alma’s feathers and blood on its beak.“Then attacked the chicks, killing one and injuring one, before Ossi [returned from fishing and] chased it away. After a while, the Raven returns to Alma who is still alive and fighting back but not able to get up.“The Raven finally leaves and a fox finds Alma who tries to defend herself one last time before the fox finishes her and hides her body. RIP Alma, you were a great mother and we’ll miss you.”

Thank you for joining me today. I am so so sorry to have to bring to you the news about K2. I know that each and every one of you were hoping she would be able to return to her family. She had the best care a hawk could get and we have to trust that all the right decisions were made in her interests.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Achieva Credit Union, Dyfi Osprey Project, Carnyx Wild and Clywedog Osprey Nest, Glacier Gardens Eagle Cam, and Cowlitz PUD. I also want to thank Lady Hawk for her video and John Williams for the posting of Blue 496 on FB.

Nest Hopping on the Summer Solstice

Today in the Northern Hemisphere we are celebrating the Summer Solstice. In the Southern, it is the Winter Solstice. My friends in Australia are finishing up their gardens, eating the last of the tomatoes and clearing up the vines, enjoying the first of the cabbages. It is even time for them to light the small fires that keep them warm. For the rest of is it is the beginning of summer officially. A time for school to be over in Canada and people to start thinking what they will be doing to enjoy themselves for the second summer of the pandemic, living under various restrictions.

There has been a lot of action in Bird World this past week – some good and some tragic. We lost the two seemingly healthy Ospreys chicks at the Urbaidai Biosphere Nest. The staff believe the cause was hypothermia. There had been lots of rain and the nest was wet. It is so sad because those chicks were quite large and doing so well. Now at the Golden Eagle Nest in Bucovina, Romania, the beautiful little Golden Eaglet has not had a good meal since the 16th of the month. Today it was so hungry that it had to eat one of the leg bones from the deer brought on the nest. The father had been helping with prey – hunting and then doing an exchange with mom. I wonder if something has happened to him. The female brought in only a small bird since the 16th. It is so frightening because this nest is beginning to feel like a repeat of the absolute horror at Spilve’s nest in Latvia last year. Spilve’s mate died and then her beautiful Klints, almost ready to fledge, starved to death. Spilve could not get enough large prey for Klints to survive. That said there is a difference. A human frightened the male provider while putting up a camera. Spilve’s mate was injured or died. Think about it. This is the reason that no one should go near an active nest once the birds are there. The question is this: does the individual who put up the camera have a ethical obligation to provide prey for the Golden Eaglet?

The eaglet had a crop but I believe it is only from the eating of the bones. I want to be wrong. My friend T sent this picture to me and we both hope he had some real food.

Just now the mother has brought in a very small bird for the eaglet. It is 17:28 nest time in Romania. Eaglet had seen her and started food calling. Oh, I hope that nothing has happened to the father so that larger prey can come on to this nest!

There has been a lot of sadness at various of the nests this year. K2, the middle hatch of Big Red and Arthur, is having some issues. No one knows specifically what the matter is. The beak appears to be layered with dried food that did not get cleaned off. The eye issues could be compounded by the chick’s scratching. It was a good day for a fledge for K1 and K3 but that did not happen. Big Red fed all three chicks on the nest tonight – including K2 who ate well. Big Red knew that heavy rain was coming and she kept those babies on the nest. Oh, she is such a wonderfully experienced mom!

K3 is the one facing towards the street standing in front of the light box. If you look carefully you can see the accumulation of dried prey on the beak. I am hoping that is all that is the matter with her beak and that antibiotics, fluids, and TLC will have her fit to release. I say her. I actually believe K2 is a he. If K2 goes into care they will surely do a DNA test and we will find out – boy or girl.

Around 9:26 this morning Arthur brought in prey for Big Red and the Ks. These parents are being very attentive to their three hawlets as the time comes closer for them to fledge. Already this morning K3 has taken the spot on the fledge ledge. It will be 80 degrees and sunny. A nice day to fly for the first time!

There were three fish deliveries that I am aware of on the Cowlitz Nest today in Longview, Washington. That is wonderful. There continues to be food insecurity and competition on the nest. The smallest chick is very feisty, just like K3, and does take advantage of that when feeding time arrives. I do not know how soon this will stop but I do hope that Wattsworth will bring more fish to the nest so that these two can begin to grow and thrive. Chick 1 hatched on May 27th making it 23 days old and chick 2 hatched on May 29th making it 21 days old today. They are physically behind in their development but that might not be a bad thing unless they are not ready for migration when August or September arrive. It would be like having a child who is either small for their age that they are at the bottom of the chart or, likewise, one that is really big for their age. I was happy to see crops on both the chicks today and also to see a pair of fat little bottoms. Hopefully they will be fine but they need consistent fish brought to the nest for that to happen! Wattsworth!!!!!!!

You can just see the coppery colour starting on their heads. They still have the white stripes on their back and their dark charcoal down as infants. It looks like their spider legs are beginning to fill out a bit but the little bottoms today – at least – are plump and round. These kiddos have been a bit of a worry because there is no rhythm to this nest. All you have to do is look at the nest where the chicks are thriving and see the dad bring in a fish first thing in the morning – it is there just as dawn is breaking – and at tea time or before bed. And, of course, in between. Wattsworth is not regular. It makes for so much insecurity – and hunger – which leads to rivalry.

There they are those sweet little kiddos with their little tails coming in. Oh, you keep every morsel of positive energy you have going the way of these two. They cannot help who their father is – I just hope that for them Wattsworth will continue to provide more and more fish. They can get over it. Just look at Tiny Tot! But they are going to need lots of fish as they should be entering their biggest growth period.

Jack brought in two fish to Tiny Tot at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest. The first of the day was actually the tea time fish at 4:52:33 and the last was at around 7:50. Tiny gets so excited when he sees fish coming in – he food calls and starts mantling – always backing up on the nest so that dad has a place to land.

It was a really quick hand off. Tiny is great – can you tell in the image below that he has a fish in those talons? I couldn’t for the longest time.

In the Karula National Forest in Estonia, the Black Storklings are thriving. Karl II and Kaia have done a wonderful job parenting the three of them. This is the nest where Karl’s former partner typically laid 5 or 7 eggs and then would toss the smaller chicks off the nest. I am hoping that Kaia only lays three eggs every year so that all can survive – providing there is enough food. Food insecurity triggers the elimination of the smaller chicks.

So much on these nests – every nest no matter the species – depends on a regular supply of prey. Any nest can change in an instant if something happens to the amount of prey or the weather turns cold and damp.

Aren’t they adorable?

I do not know if the community is still feeding the storklings in Mlade Buky. You will recall that their mother was electrocuted and Father Stork was going to have difficulty protecting the little ones and getting food for them. The community chipped in little fish and various other small mammals for both Father Stork and the storklings, feeding them three times a day. Those generous caring people made it possible for these three to grow strong and fledge. When I check now, it is Father Stork who is feeding them.

Here is father stork feeding them just after 10pm last night in Czechoslovakia.

And today you can see how big those storklings have grown.

It is morning in Scotland. There is a beautiful golden glow falling on NC0 and the Two Bobs. Look how big they are? At one time I worried so much for the Little Bob and NC0’s feeding ability but she has proved herself to be an excellent mother.

There is a bit of mist as the sun breaks in Wales at the Dyfi Nest of Telyn and Idris.

Let us all hope that the golden glow that falls so beautifully on NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes will bless all of the nests this week so that everyone is well.

Thank you for joining me. You stay well, too!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Achieva Credit Union, Cowlitz PUD, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Mlade Buky, Eagle Club of Estonia, and the Bucovina Golden Eagle Cam.

Early Morning Check in on UK Ospreys

It’s about 4:20 in the morning up in Scotland and in Cumbria but already it is really light outside. The chicks – or should I say Big Bob – was eating a late meal at the Foulshaw Moss Nest around 22:30. At this time of year it stays light til about 11pm and the sun is already coming up around 3 or 3:30. That makes for really long beautiful summer days.

The water in the loch is as smooth as a mirror. There is that gorgeous pink tint on everything at dawn. Idyllic. Oh, to be able to smell the freshness of the air!

Laddie came in first thing with a bit of a teaser for breakfast for NC0. That one Bob looks like it is still bursting from the last meal late last night! Gracious. Bet he wishes mom wasn’t so loud every time she sees dad coming in with a fish!

In fact, neither one of the Bobs look too interested in that small fish.

I think NC0 ate most of it herself! Good for her. She has done an excellent job raising these Two Bobs. And so has Laddie. They have made a good team and this has been a wonderful nest to watch save for the first week or so when Little Bob was being shut out of the fish by Big Bob.

They are going to ring the Two Bobs at the Rutland Manton Bay nest in the next few days. There was some discussion over this ringing being too late so I asked some questions and Tiger Mozone answered every one of them for me. Thank you! Tiger Mozone explained to me that there is a tiny window for ringing. It should not be done after the chick is 45 days old and cannot be done if the weather is bad. Tiger said the youngest he had seen ringed was 25 days old but most are in the 30s. When I wondered if all osprey chicks were ringed in the UK, Tiger said only about 33% of them. Some cannot be ringed because the tree the nest is in is not save for someone to climb. And considering all the chicks I began to wonder how many banders you would need for all of them to be ringed. Tiger also said something very interesting. Roy Dennis actually puts the satellite transmitters on the chicks when they are on the nest at 42 days! Wow. You don’t want to scare them and cause an early fledge. Is Roy Dennis an Osprey Whisperer?

Perhaps they will clean the camera when they ring the chicks! One of the Bobs did a big PS and there has been no good rain to clean that off.

The Bobs are 41 days old today. Blue 33 brought in an early fish just like Laddie. The Two Bobs are self-feeding now. You can tell the one that doesn’t have the fish is watching and waiting for a chance.

Little Tiny Bob had a good feed early this morning but Great Big Bob was in a bit of a mood at the last feeding around 22:30. Both Tiny Little Bob and Medium Bob kept their heads down while he ate. Both of them tried to raise them up and Great Big Bob just gave them both ‘the look’ and they tucked their heads down and kept still. He is a bit of a brute that one – or, more likely, she is a bit of a brute!

Speaking of brutes reminds me. I have an interest in all third hatches that were abused by their bigger siblings and survived. I am curious to find out which of that clutch survived – which is why banding or satellite trackers or both is very important. Tiny Tot is one of those third hatches. Z1 was one of those and he is now in his second season of raising a family. His sister that bullied him did not survive. Today, my friend, Tatiana, mentioned to me that Congo was terribly abused by his older sibling. Congo hatched at the Dunrovin Osprey Nest in 2018, just down the road from Iris’s nest at Hellgate. He is actually the middle chick. I am not clear on what happened to the third.

As it happens it was Congo that came to visit Iris. He might have been bringing her a fish if Louis hadn’t arrived. Tatiana sent me a link to a YouTube video that was posted showing the arrival of a fish and the older sibling actually pulling the feathers out of Congo’s head. You will see them in her beak! How horrible!!!!!

The sun is just coming up over the Dyfi Nest in Wales. The two Bobs are still sleeping. Idris brought in a couple of really large fish yesterday and these two might be as full as the chicks up on the Loch of the Lowes Nest. They sure are going to wake up to a gorgeous day!

That’s your late Thursday night check in on UK Ospreys Nests —– where they are just waking up and starting their Friday. I hope all their fish dreams come true today.

Happy World Albatross Day to everyone. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, and LRWT.

Checking on ‘the Bobs’

There is actually something refreshing happening in the United Kingdom. All of the Osprey hatches are called ‘Bob’. The term references the fact that after hatch they are all ‘bobble’ heads. There are Little Bobs and Big Bobs and sometimes Middle Bobs and there are also Only Bobs. Strangely, unlike some of the North American sites, there doesn’t seem much discussion about whether they are male or female – or maybe I have just missed that. When the chicks are banded, information is usually given out on their gender. At the same time, blood tests may be taken to formally determine the gender and to put their identification into a DNA data base. When the blood tests have not happened there have been, on occasion, a few surprises – a particularly large Bob thought to be a female might return from migration and be found to be a male. But, generally, they seem to get the gender right with the weight and measurements.

There has been a lot of worry about Little Bob at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest of White YW and Blue 35. For a day or two I was even afraid to look. The Cumbria Wildlife Trust does not have a replay feature so when you are watching it is live. Sometimes the chicks are eating and sometimes they are sleeping. I was very lucky this morning and arrived there on time for a feeding – and it was marvellous. One of those feel good moments of a humid Friday! There were the three of them all lined up behaving themselves. Little Bob was getting most of the bites and then I realized I could film it for you. He is still getting some in the video but, prior to this he was getting more. The still image below captures one of those moments. The little one is beginning to get full in the video. That is a wonderful sight to see. Tears. This little one is another like Tiny Tot. Oh, send all the warm positive wishes you can!

Blue 35 is an excellent mother and she really seems to have this feeding under control today.

I want to thank the Cumbria Wildlife Trust from whose livestream I took this clip and the screen shot. Check out their live camera here:

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

The ‘Only’ Bob and Blue 5F Seren got really excited when they saw Dylan arriving with a whopper of a Rainbow Trout. Look – he hadn’t even eaten the head off! Incredible. I love the expression on Only Bobs face with his mouth wide open. Only Bob looks like he is saying, “Wow, Dad!” I bet Seren can already taste it.

Those dads often look like they could surf or ride skateboards really well.

“Only Bob, don’t you think you could have just one more bite!” I wonder what the size of that crop is after eating most of a trout? Only Bob just seemed to fall down in a face plaster. There are clearly some advantages to being an Only Bob and not living in a nest with Three Bobs.

I want to thank the Carnyx Wild Wildlife on the Web and Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymruy whose livestream I took these screen shots. Check out their live camera here:

The Two Bobs up at the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn were also enjoying a great big fish that dad had brought in. It seems like the weather and the wind are really working in favour of the fishing today.

One Bob is already fool and in a food coma.

Well, I had no more than turned around and Idris had another fish on the nest for Telyn and the Two Bobs. Is there some kind of fishing competition going on today between these male Ospreys? That is a really good looking fish, Idris!

You might recall that there was a mesh bag on the nest one day and then a bin liner. Telyn removed the bin liner – and I am not sure which adult removed the mesh bag. It is a really good lesson for humans to dispose of their litter carefully. You never know where it is going to wind up – in the rivers, wrapped around the little talons of the chicks, or stuck onto an adult.

I want to thank the Dyfi Osprey Project from where I took my screen shots. You can watch Idris and Telyn live here:

The condensation on the camera at the LRWT Manton Bay Osprey Nest doesn’t really let you see the Two Bobs of Maya and Blue 33 (11) very well. Blue 33 (11) is one of our super stars when it comes to bringing in fish for Maya and the chicks. These Two Bobs are growing and growing. It is fantastic to see them. I hope those of you that read my blog on a regular basis enjoyed that short BBC One show on Rutland with the film of Blue 33 (11) diving for that fish – and being successful first try. Amazing.

Thank you to the LRWT Rutland Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took this image. You can check out all the action of Maya and Blue 33 (11) and the Two Bobs here:

And last, but never least, is the Osprey Nest up at the Loch of the Lowes in Scotland with Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0. Their Two Bobs are doing remarkable well. I worried so much about Little Bob and NC0 not being able to handle two chicks – and then sometimes Laddie was only bringing in appetizer size fish – but things have turned around there and these two look excellent.

It is so nice to see them leaving that Reptilian Phase and getting their juvenile beautifully curved feathers. Older Bob on the left really has a lot of peach coming in. You can see that Little Bob is a bit behind but he seems to be catching up.

What a beautiful setting. It looks like Laddie has been filling up the nest with moss. Maybe he didn’t know there is a Friday fishing competition!

Thank you to the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Friends of the Loch of the Lowes for their streaming cam where I grabbed my screen shots. You can watch all the antics of Laddie and NC0 and the Two Bobs here:

They are all doing well. Aran continues to improve at the Glaslyn Nest and the community continues to care for him and Mrs G. Everyone hopes that he is completely healed from his wing injury before migration in September. Today was especially heartwarming for me to see Little Bob on the Foulshaw Moss Nest getting fed right up with the other Two Bobs. He is so very tiny and the oldest Bob has been especially cruel at times. This was just a warm fuzzy day at that nest. Let us hope it continues.

Thank you for joining me today. I hope your Friday and the weekend is as good as it has been for these Osprey families today. Take all good care. See you soon!

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.

Late Saturday and Early Sunday Nest Round Ups

Every Saturday at noon, Ferris Akel does a live streaming tour of the area around Wildlife Drive, Montezuma, Sapsucker Lake and then on to Ithaca to check on Big Red, Arthur, and the kids. It’s free. There are no ads to monetize the YouTube site and never a hint – never – of a tip jar or wanting anything in return. Ferris Akel loves birds and he loves sharing his Saturdays with a few devoted souls. He is a master at recognizing bird calls and songs, “Oh, I believe I just heard a …..” is common. By traveling with Ferris over the seasons, you get a really good idea of how they impact the wildlife in the area. Water also changes everything and they are draining an area along Wildlife Drive to the dismay of many because it changes the environment that the wetland birds depend on. I have learned a lot.

Ferris has found the nest of a Red-tail Hawk family that live near his home. It is a trio, just like The Love Trio of the Mississippi who are raising their Bald Eagle chicks together. The name of the hawks are Betty, Barney, and Phoenix. How interesting. We saw some beautiful birds today. I am including only a couple. The sightings are on a powerful scope and the images are a little soft – could be half a kilometre away.

This Great Blue Heron caught a frog and ate in while we were watching.

There was a beautiful Cedar Waxwing.

Ferris always winds his trip up in Ithaca looking for Big Red and Arthur. Often I am trying to watch what Big Red is doing while I am listening for Ferris to have a sighting. It was so nice that the rain stopped and Big Red and the Ks were able to dry out later on Saturday.

All of the Ks are now walking. Just look at the little one, K3. I have no idea how they do it on all of those twigs but they do.

They had worked up an appetite. K1 had been flapping its wings and moving around the nest. So when Big Red returned with prey, they were right there ready for lunch. The question is: what are they having for lunch. There have been a lot of birds this year. Most of them were Starlings. There was one Robin. But the one that Big Red brought in looked an awful lot like a Blue Jay. What do you think?

Whatever it was, they sure enjoyed it! Normally there are a dozen chipmunks and squirrels in a day. Surely there isn’t a lot of meat on a bird for these growing hawklets – and Big Red has to eat, too. I still wonder why the dramatic change in prey this year. Did Arthur really clean out most of the chipmunks last year?

Big Red was really tired. She tucked her head in her wing after the Ks were full and all of them fell asleep.

If you were following the Duke Farms Bald Eagles, you will recall that both Big and Li’l were branching and both were on the same branch. L’il wanted to get down and started flapping its wings and well, they both fludged. It was a worry. They did not return to the nest right away and some concern was growing. Then they re-appeared. Today, both of them arrived hoping for some fish and there was a food drop. It seems Big was successful – hopefully they will bring something back for Li’l.

The scramble for the first prey drop.

Fauci is the only hawklet of Annie and Grinnell’s that has fledged. He returned to the tower and he was ravenous today and joined the others for breakfast. Here is a short video of Grinnell feeding the eyases.

We haven’t checked on the Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle cam for some time. I think the last time was when the squirrel climbed up to the nest and quickly got away when one of the eaglets stuck its head up. Well, they are all branching. I just hope one of them doesn’t cause all of them to fludge.

There they are all on the same branch! Oh, dear.

The Osprey nests in the UK are drying. There were some nice temperatures today and some of the babies even got a little sun. How glorious!

Idris decided that he wanted to give Telyn a break and he was going to feed the flounder to the Two Bobs. I love it when the dads want to get involved. Idris is a great provider and he often wants to incubate the Bobs, too. Telyn just doesn’t always want to let him! Wonder what grade the Two Bobs gave Dad for the feeding?

Idris feeds his two osplets on the Dfyi Nest. 29 May 2021

As far as I know, there is still only one little Osplet on the nest of Dylan and Seren at Clywedog. Bob, the only Bob, is really strong and growing. That is what single children do.

Seren feeding the only Bob. If either of the other eggs is viable, it should hatch soon.

It’s Sunday in Wales and Dylan has brought a new fish and is just peeking over Seren to get a peek at wee Bob.

Blue 33 (11) periodically comes in to check to see if there is enough fish. Today he brought a nice one in. You can see how these Two Bobs are doing – they look great to me. They are now getting some of their feathers and will soon leave behind the reptilian phase altogether.

The Two Bobs are having a nice fish up at the Loch of the Lowes Nest with Laddie and NC0. The Big one is getting to be a little rough at times with the little one. No need for that. They could be growing and thriving just like the Two Bobs at Manton Bay. Experience helps and Maya and Blue 33 (11) have been together a long time and they get those difficulties sorted out. NC0 is learning. Little Bob seems to be holding his own. It doesn’t take as much food to fill his tummy and crop as it does so Big Bob will definitely be at the fish trough longer. Remember Tiny was little too. The little ones get clever and most of them know to let the big sib eat its fill and then step up. Rarely do you get a parent that manages feeding them both at once equally – but it does happen.

And it’s Sunday. Laddie brought in a big fish, enough for all of them and then some. And guess who got the first bites? You were right if you said Little Bob. Well done you!

There are only three storklets at the Mlade Budy nest that is being cared for by the villagers. The female was electrocuted last weekend and the people of Mlade Budy have provided three meals a day to dad and the babies. One of the storklets was quite small and, as storks have been doing for eons, it was sadly tossed off the nest by the dad. The other three are growing fast and they are able to eat what the father regurgitates for them in addition to the small fish the community provides.

Of course, the idea of tossing the smallest off the nest for whatever reasons stork do those things made me think of Tiny Tot. I am sure glad that Jack didn’t pick the wee one up and toss it off the Osprey nest. As it stands, and what I have always said, of the three, Tiny Tot will be the one that will survive. For the past two days, Tiny has helped fight off the intruder from the nest. Indeed, in a quick magician’s like trick, Dad was able to hand off a fish to Tiny Tot with the intruder right there. Dad sent that invading adult on its way. Then this evening, Diane brought Tiny Tot a fish. Gosh, he surely deserved it! And lo and behold, guess who comes sniffing around thinking it would get that fish off Tiny. And if you said sibling #2 you would be absolutely right. But guess what? Tiny Tot sent sibling #2 packing. Yes, you read that right. Raise a glass in a toast. Tiny Tot has really gotten its confidence and if an osprey chick learned all its life lessons on a nest, Tiny would be on the list of those who did.

Tiny Tot is mantling ‘his’ fish that Diane brought him at 6:01:08. Tiny sees #2 sibling sniffing for the fish, he closes his wings tighter but still mantles and raises his head, looks at 2 and makes a loud squawk.
Tiny Tot moved his right wings in a different configuration. Sibling #2 backed off, went over by Diane, and then flew off.

Mrs G tried to remove the three chicks from the nest today. She had two with her but turned around and came back to the nest. The little ones look just like they are sleeping around the rim. It has to be difficult. Aran came to see them after Mrs G returned them to the nest. She isn’t quite ready to let go. She brooded the three of them last night for the last time. How sad this must be for her and Aran.

For some reason, Mrs G returned the two chicks she was moving to the nest. They look like they are sleeping.

I want to close with a beautiful image of Aran and Mrs G on the perch together. They are a very strong couple and we want them to heal so that they both have a successful migration and are back next year for another breeding season.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is always a pleasure to be amongst bird lovers. I think that is why I enjoy stopping in on Ferris’s tours for a little while on Saturday – it is nice just to be there amongst people who love the birds.

If you are a regular viewer of the Glaslyn Nest with Mrs G and Aran, I urge you, if you possibly can, to make a donation to the Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife Centre. It doesn’t matter if it is $2 or $200 – everything helps. The donations fund the streaming cam but they also help to keep this family alive.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Cornell Lab and RTH, Dfyi Osprey Project, Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Cam, Duke Farms, Ferris Akel Tour, Clywedog, Achieva Osprey, LRWT Rutland Osprey Project, Mlade Budy Streaming Cam, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, and Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes.

‘As the Nest Turns’ – late Friday and Saturday edition

I don’t quite remember when the heavy rains started in the United Kingdom last week. It was a terrible time with many of our Bird friends suffering because of the unseasonable weather. Chicks died, generous people came to the rescue of the Glaslyn Nest, and at two different villages in Czechoslovakia, ordinary citizens are helping two stork families survive by providing food and dry hay. You might wonder why I say ‘dry’ hay but it has been chucking down rain and the nests get soaked. Because of that and the coolish weather, the wee ones are more susceptible to any type of virus or disease. Their system can get stressed. So providing the storks with dry hay is a fundamental way of helping them to cope in what is already a stressful situation – the death of a parent. I really applaud those who stepped up and are helping out. I hope that after things settle down in Glaslyn they might publish every detail about the feeding table they provided so that others in similar situations can more quickly help the Ospreys because of what Glaslyn learned. One thing we did learn is that Ospreys will eat fish that they did not catch. Another feeding table at Rutland in 2012 also provided fish but people forget and many carry on with the belief that Ospreys will not eat fish that is provided to them. Nonsense! Aran and Mrs G were very grateful and continue to be.

I had a question from a reader and I am trying to find out the precise answer. They wondered if Aran would be alright. Yes, Aran is getting stronger every day. It was exhausting trying to fish in Force 11 winds with flooding and intruders and then an injury to the feathers required to fish and fly well. As long as Aran continues to eat the food provided he will continue to improve. We hope that there are no more intruders on that nest to damage more feathers. We must also remember that those feathers help Aran with his flying and he needs them to migrate. Please continue with your donations – no matter how small. Glaslyn exists solely on donations to run their streaming cam plus everything else and now they are feeding Aran and Mrs G. The staff and volunteers are really amazing and they are also stressed and worn out. So don’t forget them simply because there are no longer chicks to feed – they still have Mrs G, the eldest osprey in the UK at 21 and her mate, Aran, to care for. Thanks!

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you will recall that I often say that a fledgling that flies off and returns to the nest to be fed by the parent is one that has a better chance of success. Indeed, when I hear that a bird has fledged and never returned to the nest my antennae go up and for all the wrong reasons. So, it was with great joy that not only did Fauci, Annie and Grinnell’s Peregrine falcon fledgling, fly from the nest on the Campanile at Berkeley yesterday over to the Evans building but, Fauci returned to the nest tower today. My goodness I bet he was hungry – he flew in screaming. Here is the video of that return:

I hope that his siblings do not try and copy Fauci’s landing when they return!

The two Bobs had a nice fish dinner before bed last night at Loch of the Lowes. Both of them looked wide awake and hungry after Laddie brought in a nice fish.

Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes. 27 May 2021

Laddie is a good provider as long as the weather cooperates. He has brought in a couple of big fish. There is an enormous size difference and NC0 doesn’t always fill up the beak of the smaller one but today it stood there til she did!

It’s Saturday and Laddie delivered another fine perch to NC0 and the little Bobs. And guess what? The sun has come out in Scotland. My goodness. They were beginning to think that winter had returned. Looking forward to some nice weather and the nest drying out!

Little Bob seems to like to be on the right side looking up at Mom. It must be working. It looks like he is growing and he is certainly holding its own. Sure makes you happy.

NC0 is doing a great job keeping the Bobs in the shade. It is about 15 degrees and it could be warmer on the nest but oh, how I bet that warmth feels good to mom. And getting this nest dry is a primary importance, too.

Iris stopped in at the Hellgate Nest today. It was almost like she was posing for all of her fans waiting to get a glimpse of her. The Ravens took and ate her three eggs so Iris doesn’t need to come to the nest but there she stood looking straight into the camera. And look at that crop. Iris can now focus 100% on herself – she has earned it. Having fledged 30-40 chicks before Louis and one with Louis, she is the grand dame of Ospreys everywhere. Thank you for popping in to show us you are OK. Put your talons up, Iris. Have a fish smoothie on us!

Isn’t she looking good?

The IR camera has been tripped by the sun rising on the Dyfi Nest in Wales. Telyn was off for a quick comfort break and the two wee ones are awake and wanting breakfish. Idris will no doubt bring in a whopper as soon as he can.

It looks like Idris and Telyn and the Two Bobs are getting a break. Their nest seems to be drying out a bit. Idris came in with a nice fish and you can see that both of the Bobs are getting a crop and Telyn hasn’t even finished feeding them. Wonderful.

There is still only one chick on the Llyn Cleywedog Nest in Wales of Dylan and Seren. And if the other two eggs do not hatch, I continue to say that one healthy little Bob is fantastic. The image below was taken last evening as the sun was going down. The little one had a nice feed along with mom, Seren.

It is late Saturday in the UK and there is still no sign of a pip on that second egg. Apparently the longest incubation for a second egg was at Dyfi – Idris and Telyn – at 37 days. The second egg on this nest was laid on 19 April. Any way I count it makes that egg 40 days old. Perhaps it is not viable. If the third egg is 38 days old today, it might still hatch. We wait!

It is just coming on 5 am on the Rutland Manton Bay nest of Maya and Blue 33 (11). The Two Bobs are still asleep and Maya is expecting an early morning delivery from dad. Just look at that beautiful sky. These nests are often located in some of the most picturesque landscapes. How wonderful!

The storklets are just waking up on the nest in Mlady Buke in Czechoslovakia. The mother was electrocuted on the hydro lines and the father cannot fish and protect the nest. The villagers have gotten together and are providing fish for the family. They bring fish right up to the nest three times a day. People can leave donations. This is heart warming.

The live camera to watch this family is here:

Yesterday, Big Red and the Ks were getting soaked in Ithaca, New York. It was hard to tell form the weather forecast if they would even catch a break before the middle of the week. Big Red was still cold and soaked this morning at 6:40 am.

She kept those babies covered as best she could but around 9am when the heavy rain had stopped, Big Red got up and took a comfort break. It was out and back in a blink trying to find something on the soaking nest to feed the babies. Arthur had brought in a Robin – not their favourite but food anyway – late yesterday. Critters hide and birds sit and hunting is difficult with wet wings – even for Arthur!

By 11 am, feathers are beginning to dry. Big Red is preening and the Ks will be working on themselves too.

I would like you to locate the black dot behind the eye of K3 nearest to you. That is the ear. It is not yet covered with feathers. Mites can get in there or mosquitoes can lay eggs and cause horrific problems for the hawklets. That is why Big Red has to keep that area clean for them until the feathers have grown over them.

They are preening away. Those feathers are all important – they will keep them dry and wet when they all come in and they will help them fly so they can hunt. They say birds spend 70% of their time conditioning and preening their feathers.

Ah, what a great shot. The Red-tail hawks only get their beautiful red tail feathers once they have their first moult and are a year old. You can just see the little tail feathers beginning on K1. “One day I will look just like my mom!”

It’s 11:33 and already the rain on the metal of the lightbox where the nest is located is drying off. Oh, goodness, I hope Arthur has good luck hunting and that our Red-tail hawk family in Ithaca gets to completely dry out and eat before the rains begin again.

Today, Aran and Mrs G have been sitting with one another on the perch post of the nest. Aran has also been seen flying as far as the Visitor Centre where he has been chasing off intruders. This is good news because this is the farthest he has flown since his injury.

It is so nice to see them together. They will both regain their strength and Aran will heal so they are ready for their late summer, early September migration.

Thank you for joining me today. I am keeping an eye on Tiny Tot at the Achieva Nest. The intruder is still around and he is sure wanting to have a fish drop. Fingers crossed for our brave little one. Take care. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab Red Tail Hawk, LRWT, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve, Dyfi Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, Ziva Camera in Mlade Buky, Clywedog and Carnyx.

Miracle at Glaslyn Nest!

The wonderful staff at the Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife Centre have just posted a lengthy document describing all of their efforts to help Aran, Mrs G, and the chicks. It also includes the challenges they have had with the crow threat and also with the female Osprey, KS8, who had been at the nest previously wanting fish.

The staff contacted an Osprey expert, Dr Tim Mackrill, when they realized that Aran was not only fatigued but had lost two primary feathers from his right wing and simply could not fish. At one time they thought it was because of the area being flooded but another male, Aeron (Z2) had been successful so they knew it wasn’t that. Mackrill advised that a feeding table be set up for Aran, Mrs G and the chicks until such time Aran was able to resume his fishing. That is precisely what the staff did. Recognizing that they had to provide the food when the crows were asleep, the fish table was set up from dusk to dawn.

On Sunday Mrs G fed the chicks including the oldest Bob 1. Aran ate some of the fish innards and then tucked into a trout. All of the chicks looked healthy. As we know, the eldest died late Sunday afternoon but the cause is unknown. Everyone ate well and there was a fish on the nest. Mrs G fed the chicks early Monday morning from that fish and at 7am KS8 came and stole the remainder. The staff were concerned about the chicks not getting food all day but there was nothing they could do but wait til dusk.

Here is the video of KS8 stealing the nice fish on the nest. This video allows you to see Mrs G and the chicks. It is extremely short. Have a look. The two wee ones are looking great.

Mrs G fed the chicks throughout Tuesday and Aran was also eating and getting stronger. The staff will continue to provide food for the family until such time that Aran is able to once again provide for them himself.

Here is a very short feeding for today. Have a look. You can see the fish on the nest.

Human intervention in this situation – quick action by the staff – and a clear understanding of what was required – has saved this Osprey family. What a remarkable turn around for a situation that could have been most dire. They will continue to provide updates and if you want to read the entire report here is the link.

https://www.glaslynwildlife.co.uk/2021/05/an-important-update-from-the-glaslyn-nest/?fbclid=IwAR0GD1yRDaTEs1P1jIgEyL_rXXbnOy_gQ63qtJCdv8wAoosD_mbfLuROpOw

Tears are rolling down my cheeks. Thank you for joining me. Send out a huge thank you and applause to these wonderful people who stepped in and helped when it was most needed.