Thursday in Bird World

There are a number of Ospreys named Louis but the one that I am writing about today is the Louis of the Loch Arkaig Osprey Nest. His mate, Aila, did not return from migration this year and there is a new Mrs Louis. Her name is Dorcha. Louis chose not to make their nest on the one that he had shared with Aila. As a result, news of Louis and Dorcha comes from those who have access to see the nest. Today’s news is from the person who ringed the chicks. They report there are two healthy 4-5 week old nestlings. How grand. Louis is a fabulous dad – he even went fishing at night for Aila and the three chicks last year.

I am doing a bit of nest hopping. For whatever reason I am unable to access the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest. Others are having difficulties too but some seem to have some success. It is, of course, slightly frustrating because this is the nest of Tiny Little!

The eaglet on the Bucovina, Romanian Golden Eagle nest is hungry. Yesterday he only had a small bird and a bone. There seem to be days of bounty and then not much of anything on this nest. Is there enough prey? how far to the parents have to travel? are both parents still delivering food for the baby? For many this is the haunting memory of Spilve and Klints last year. The young Golden Eaglet cannot live on a little bird. Zenit is a beautiful bird and it will not be long til fledge. Let us all hope that Zenit gets a large prey drop today.

Zenit saw his reflection in the camera for the first time yesterday. It is so cute when they do this – the reactions to seeing another bird like them! Lady Hawk caught this precious interaction.

Wishes come true! I checked on Zenit just a minute ago and Zenit has an enormous crop! Looks like he swallowed a softball.

Scrolling back, Zenit’s mother came in to feed him. This was at 14:12. It also appears that a bird delivery was made around 17:00. It is not clear what the mother brought but as you can see above, Zenit has a very large crop and this is a good thing. It remains unclear to me how much prey there is in the area. Let us all hope it is good!

When the Royal Albatross chick was weighed on Tuesday (NZ time), she had dropped from 8.2 kg to 8.0. The rangers were monitoring Taiki’s weight and were considering whether or not she needed a supplementary feeding. Perhaps that won’t be necessary after today because her mother Lime-Green-Lime flew in for two feedings and her dad, Lime-Green-Black was there for one. Three feedings in a single day at 9:58 (LGL), 13:57 (LGK), and LGL arrives twenty minutes after LGK departed at 14:17. These were quick in and outs but it looked like Taiki got a lot of food.

LGL is so happy to see her daughter. Taiki would like her mum to dispense with all the formalities – the sky calls, the welcome – but LGL will insist. Her daughter needs to learn all of these and imprint them in her mind. Taiki will fledge in mid-September. She will not return to land for 4-6 years. At that time she will do a skycall just like Mum is doing now. Can you imagine being at sea and never stepping foot on land for that long?

Taiki is so excited to have a parent come in for breakfast.

LGK saunters in after Taiki has had her breakfast and is ready to feed her lunch at 13:57. It always looks like the adults have difficulty walking – and maybe they do if the chicks are digging holes and building play nests everywhere. Here comes dad!

It is so interesting that these little Albies stay put on their nest without moving about so much (at least at this stage). LGK does several sky calls but Taiki just wants food!

Taiki settles down to work on her play nest after LGK leaves and gets dirt all over her beak. It sure doesn’t matter. Look at how beautiful she is.

This is LGL’s second visit to feed her daughter. Taiki is so excited to see her again. I wonder if she told mum that she just missed dad? LGL does several skycalls when she greets her daughter.

The baby down is falling off and revealing a beautiful pattern on the back of Taiki.

LGL always looks like she is smiling.

Taiki must be about to pop after three big feedings! LGL must be fishing near to Taiaroa Head as she is returning so often. Taiki is lucky.

It was a golden morning on the Loch of the Lowes. No one was on the nest- they were all out flying and learning to fish. There are some trees around the nest that are apparently good perches for the birds. What a beautiful place. It looks so tranquil —- and safe for Ospreys.

It was just as beautiful at Mlady Buky in Czechoslovakia this morning. There is a mist, low lying clouds, or a fog hugging the mountains. The three storklings are on the nest. Everything is so quiet – you can almost hear the stillness.

Father Stork arrives at 6:19 with breakfast for the three almost fledging storklings.

The three continue to find small morsels on the nest after the frenzy when dad arrives.

The feeding gives them energy. The sun is up and they are warm and two are flapping madly on the nest.

The female is really covering the nest and moving her wings. She was getting some lift this morning as well. Father Stork and the people of Mlady Buky have done well. After the loss of the female, it has been simply a miracle to watch these three thrive. In a way, the people of the community stepped in and took over when supplementary feeding was necessary – just like the New Zealand Department of Conservation rangers.

Sadly, there is no one stepping in for Zenit if it is needed. I wonder if the people who operate the camera would consider setting up a food table if it were needed?

My goodness. Blue 022, the two year old who returned from his migration and stopped off at the Poole Harbour nest of CJ7, is so enthusiastic. He has been helping fix up the nest and has even provided fish for CJ7. He has also been seen ‘sky dancing’ on several occasions. This morning was no exception!

They make such a lovely couple. Oh, goodness. Everyone is already crossing their fingers and toes that these two return from their migration safely. The months will not pass quickly enough. Imagine – no chicks born in this area of England in 200 years! Incredible. There will be lots of celebrating!

Dylan and Seren are both on the nest at 7am watching and waiting for Only Bob to come and have some breakfast. He loves to go and fly often landing on the camera stand. It is so different when they fledge – at first babies always on the nest and hungry and then parents having to wait with food as they fly about.

Kindness is getting her legs stronger every day. She is standing straight and walking some on the nest. She is certainly growing fast – an advantage to being the only chick on the nest.

Kindness loves to do kissey-kissey with Mom. It is so funny watching these two.

At the Osprey nest on the Port Lincoln barge, Mom is on the nest and Dad was over on the ropes. Eggs arriving soon.

Oh, it is a bit like a bad joke. The camera at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest just started working. Both 462 and Tiny Little are on the nest. It is around 7am and they are watching for a parent to arrive with breakfast. Look at that nice necklace that Tiny Little has. Interesting. (TL is on the right) They are being kissed by diamond rain from the sun.

And when he wasn’t watching for a delivery, Tiny Little was flapping his wings dreaming of flying.

The more flapping he does the more the last tidbits of baby down disappear. It won’t be long Tiny but you were four days younger than everyone and you were behind in growth. You will get there just like Tiny Tot!

Hopefully that fish arrives! These two are both hungry. And it did. Tiny Little went over and ate some of the remaining fish and Blue 35 comes in and removes what is left (piece at the front) and will fly off with it.

The camera was still on the blink. I just checked and Tiny is fine. It is tea time and both Tiny and big sib are waiting for a delivery. It is so interesting that the big siblings know when to show up for food.

And last but never least, a lovely picture of Aran and Mrs G on the Glaslyn Nest together. This is a beautiful sight. There has been some bonding over the last few days. I was concerned that Aran was not in top form and Z2, Aeron, of the PC nest might want to take over this one. They are being kissed by golden raindrops, too! Mrs G doesn’t look like she is 21 years old, the oldest osprey in the United Kingdom. She is in really good shape. So sad that they lost their three chicks this year. That can cause issues but they seem to be a solid couple.

Thanks for joining me everyone. It is lovely to see the Golden Eaglet doing well today. That nest is a constant worry. And speaking of worry. The comments section on my blog seems to not be working all the time. It is like Tiny Little’s camera. Please feel free to send me an e-mail: maryannsteggles@icloud.com. I know that some of you had concerns and I regret that technology has caused you any worry. For the next while, til things step up in Australia, there may be only one blog per day. I hope to get more local Osprey news for you this coming week.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams. This is where I grabbed my screen shots: Bucovina Golden Eagle Nest Cam, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Mlady Buky, Port Lincoln Osprey Cam, Glacier Gardens Eagle Cam, Dyfi Osprey Project, Clywedog Opsrey Cam and Carnyx Wild, Byrwd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Poole Harbour Ospreys, and Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes.

Sunday in Bird World

Today it not just about Ospreys. There have been some nests that have been overlooked lately so I am going to try and catch up on some of those for all of us.

I love how the wildlife rehabbers go to great lengths to make certain that the babies they rescue do not imprint on humans. Have a look at an eaglet that came into care and how it is being fed:

https://fb.watch/v/1NOZVD1I5/

The female White Storkling at the nest in Mlady Buky, Czechoslovakia is ready to fledge! Look how beautiful she is with her wings spread. She looks like a dancer bowing to her audience. She was making all the right moves this morning. She began flapping her wings as the sun was rising and got very enthusiastic around 6am. She is restless and continues flapping and looking out to the world beyond the nest.

Father Stork comes in to feed the three youngsters. This generous community continues to provide supplementary food for Father Stork so that he and his three babies can survive. You can see, in the background, Father Stork eating from the fish table that is provided to him and his family. Sadly, their mother was killed on one of the electrical lines and these three are alive today because of this community. It is heart warming to see that the storklings are ready to fledge. Everyone can be so proud of their efforts!

The Bucovina Golden Eaglet, Zenit, grabbed the prey delivery from Mom and completely self-fed today for the first time. Zenit mantled and flapped all the while telling Mum to go away he could do this himself. Wow. Another milestone to independence. Lady Hawk caught this magical moment in a video:

There has been a lot of discussion about goshawks lately because they have raided and killed many Osprey both in Latvia and an eagle in Spain. There is a Crested Goshawk nest in a park in Taipei. The adults failed at their first breeding attempt and had one hatch on their second. The eaglet is three weeks old. So cute.

Crested goshawks live in Asia. Their territory is from the Indian subcontinent to Taiwan. In terms of its range and numbers it is of ‘least concern’. It is, however, a protected species in Hong Kong because of the encroachment on its forest environment. The hawks are now adapting to urban living. The Crested Goshawk is 30-46 cm in length or 12-16 inches. Like other raptors, there is reverse sex size diamorphism – the female is larger than the male. They feed on insects, birds, and mammals. The nest is normally made of sticks in a tree and most often the female will lay between two and three eggs.

The image below shows a Crested Goshawk Female. Look at that gorgeous plumage.

“鳳頭蒼鷹 – 雌鳥 Crested Goshawk (Female)” by alexwhite21 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In size comparison, the Northern Goshawk that has caused issues related to the death of the Osprey chicks in Latvia and Spain is approximately twice the size of the Crested Goshawk. Each species has a long tail and shorter broad wings to help them speed around the forest area where they hunt. They are more adapt at living in the forest and often lure their prey into that environment.

Here is the mom in her nest with her eaglet.

The eaglet has been ringed with two official bands.

The eaglet will fledge in 2-3 weeks. You can watch this little one grow up here:

Now let’s check on some of those Ospreys!

Foulshaw Moss. Tiny Little is still moving in to get fed. I have seen some people worrying about him but, honestly, this little one is going to be grand. At tea time on Sunday, 464 was self-feeding. Self-feeding is hard work and the chicks spend a lot of time and energy fighting with the bones in the head. They get tired. So when 464 finished eating, Blue 35 took over and fed Tiny Little and Middle Bob.

In the image below, 464 is self-feeding. Mom, Blue 35, is waiting and it is Tiny Little stretching his wing. As we will all be saying, Tiny Little isn’t so Tiny anymore. And that is a good thing!

Blue 35 has taken over the feeding and, of course, Tiny Little is right there for the bites! Tiny Little and Middle Bob have always done well together. It is really good that 464, the big female, fledged first. It is hard to imagine but a couple of days ago Tiny Little looked like an extremely young chick. Now, unless the bands are visible and you follow the chicks it is hard to tell them apart. Now that is magnificent and it shows precisely what getting a good feeding means to these chicks.

Dyfi. Right now it is pitching down rain. Earlier it looked like Dysynni was hovering so high that he was going to fledge – but, he didn’t. Ystwyth is in awe! Dysynni is 52 days old today and Ystwyth is 48 days.

I imagine that Sir Richard Branson whose Virgin Galactic’s Unity Spaceplane took off from Spaceport America this morning successfully returning to Earth from space would really like to fly like a bird. Laura Culley, falconer and great mind, told me once that humans have the DNA for feathers and flight we just haven’t turned them on. Any geneticists out there to confirm that?

And then the rains came and Idris delivered a really nice fish that Telyn is feeding the nestlings. No more thoughts of fledging today!

Poole Harbour. Both CJ7 and Blue 022 were at the nest at Poole Harbour today. They continue bonding. There is at least a month or six weeks til they head off on their migration. Let us all hope that this lovely new couple return in late March or early April – both of them – and entertain us with their antics while raising chicks.

Clywedog. Oh, it is wet and miserable at this nest in Wales today. Only Bob looks pretty miserable.

Never fear. Dylan went out and got a nice perch for Only Bob’s (Blue 496) tea time treat. Seren is happily feeding her little one. Soon Only Bob is going to be thinking about fledging too.

Look at Dylan’s strong thin legs. The other day he flew 13 km to get a trout for his family’s dinner. Thanks John Williams for confirming that distance!

Loch of the Lowes. It is raining in Scotland, too. NC0 is on the nest feeding her nestling and her fledgling their tea time meal. NC0 has been flying with Fledgling Bob over the loch. It will be wonderful to see her spend time flying with both her babies once Second Bob has fledged. NC0 has become a very good mother. She struggled at the beginning with the feeding and many thought that Second Bob would not survive and perish like little third Bob. But, look at these two now. Fantastic. NC0 really came into her own. Laddie has done his part, too!

Are you interested in France’s plan for their Osprey and White Tailed Eagles? If so, Stephanie Scofield posted the French government’s document on the Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) FB page. If you cannot read French, have a look anyway. The graphics are very helpful. Here is that report:

Thank you so much to the person who forwarded me an image of Z1, Tegid. I do not know who to credit for the image so thank you to that individual. I hope you do not mind my posting it today!

I am so grateful to my friend ‘T’ for telling me about this brave little osprey. As many of you know, I am setting about on a ten year plan to follow the osprey hatches that were beaten and battered and deprived of food but, who made it despite all the odds against them to fledge! I want to see how their lives unfold. Sadly, many like Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey nest are not ringed and most are not seen on camera. So my list is short. It includes Z1 Tegid, JJ7 Captain, Tiny Little Bob Blue 463, and Tiny Tot. If you know of others please alert me. You can leave me a comment or send the information through e-mail (maryannsteggles@icloud.com). It is much appreciated.

Here is Tegid. He has a nest with chicks for the second year in Snowdonia in Wales! Look at those strong little legs, too.

It is a soaring hot day on the Canadian prairies. The birds are really enjoying the water dishes and baths – they are keeping us busy filling them. I am taking a break from cleaning my tiny home office. It got stuffed with all manner of everything during the pandemic and now it is time to get that sorted. It is so nice, like now, to stop and check in on our friends with feathers!

Thank you so much for joining me and thank you for all the letters, comments, and pictures. I love hearing from you.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, CarnyX Wildlife and Clywedog Ospreys, Dyfi Osprey Project, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Crested Goshawk Nest Cam in Taipei, and the Mlady Buky White Stork Nest Cam.