Blair Lawson (2009, 2010)
Warren County Izaak Walton League (2009, 2010)
Senator Staci Appel (2009)
In Memory of Joan H. Holda (2009)
Blank Park Zoo Conservation Committee (2009, 2010)
In Memory of Bob Eisele (2010)
Michelle Peacock (2010)
With Special thanks to
Ron & Pat McDole in Memory of Tim McDole
Warren County Philanthropic Partnership
A+ Communications & Security
Clarke Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Dr. Jerry Lehr
Missouri Valley Line Constructors
Emerson Elementary School
John and Diane Liepa
And the Generous Contributions of
Indianola Noon Lions
City of Indianola
Dr. Steve West
The Gaumer Family
It is time to wrap up the Osprey Project for 2010. It is always bittersweet when the birds disappear for the year. It feels odd not to go feed them every morning or hear them calling to each other over the wetland. On the other hand it, is really nice to be able to sleep in on the weekends again knowing the birds are fending for themselves. It must be a little like the feeling you have when sending a child off to college. In saying all of this, this will be the last blog entry of the season. I have not seen the birds since last Tuesday. I would imagine they have started their journey south. It will take them about 4–5 weeks to get to South America. We hope to see them back here in the late spring of 2012. A big thanks to everyone who donated time and money, and thanks to those who have taken an interest in these amazing creatures. We will start all over again next July, but you don't have to wait that long to get involved! E-mail me to find out how!
The webcam is down temporarily due to a lightning strike near the tower on Friday. Once we get it back up and running we will be broadcasting from the top of the tower on interesting sights at the wetland. A wonderful way to enjoy the sights of the season without leaving home! Check back with us in a couple of weeks for the new view.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Pink was hanging around at the tower this morning. Green came by around 10:00 a.m. She was at the nesting platform with a fish she had caught. I had a group of fourth graders from Irving Elementary helping me feed today. They toured the inside of the tower and chucked fish on top. None of the birds ate from the tower this morning. The vultures cleaned the tower around 11:30 a.m. I will not be feeding tomorrow. The birds are feeding on their own for the most part and not dependant on our fish anymore. I will throw some fish up on Thursday and Sunday. If I am still only feeding vultures, this weekend may be the last time I try to feed. Keep your eyes to the sky. The adult females are already on their voyage south.
Monday Tuesday, September 6, 2010
Pink was hanging out at the tower this morning when we went to feed but he never came to get fish. No one else was around. The vultures got a free meal but didn’t eat until the afternoon
Sunday, September 5, 2010
This morning Green was the only one around. She was on the nesting platform when we went to feed. After feeding and coming back to the nature center Green came to the tower twice for fish. As soon as she was done a swarm of vultures landed on the tower and cleaned up about all of the rest of the fish. I will be altering feeding time next week and going to an every other day feeding schedule starting the following week.
After dropping off Stripe with SOAR Raptors, she was going in for another round of x-rays to make sure everything healed properly and to make sure there were not any other problems. She will most likely have her wing rewrapped to try to fix the slight twist in the wrist. She will not be going anywhere this fall. If she is able, she will be given a chance to fly next spring. Soar has an adult education osprey that Stripe will be hanging out with as well as an injured adult female that will also be over wintering in Iowa. The pictures below show Stripe in the foreground, the education male on the top left and the adult female in the top right. I will update you as I get more information.
Friday, September 3, 2010
I am taking Stripe to SOAR Raptors today around 10:00 a.m. I will take pictures of her there and put them up on the web on Tuesday. Today while I was feeding either Blue or Pink (could not get a good ID) dove after a fish in the wetland. It was not a tuck and dive but more of an Eagle style graze of the surface of the water. It didn’t come up with anything, but it was still fun to watch. Green was on the nesting platform eating when I went to feed. She had her own fish because the vultures had cleaned the tower the night before. They are growing up J
I will not be feeding tomorrow. My wonderful volunteers will be taking care of that for me. I will blog again on Sunday. Happy Labor Day!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
The Stripe update is here. Kay Newman of SOAR Raptors is going to watch over Stripe until she can make a full recovery. She will be moved into a flight pen there with another injured adult Osprey (from Nebraska). These two birds will be given time to heal and develop strong flying muscles. If Stripe is not ready to fly and fish successfully by migration, Kay has a facility where she can over winter Stripe until spring when she would be given another chance at returning to the wild. She is in good hands and I am very hopeful that she will fly. I will update everyone on her progress. She will make her move to SOAR tomorrow morning after feeding. At that time the camera will be moved to the top of the tower so we can watch Green, Pink and Blue before they leave us for their long trip to South America. Thanks for everyone’s concerns and positive thoughts on Stripe’s recovery.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Well today was a day that I would like to have gone differently. I saw Pink and Green this morning when I went to feed. Stripe looked good as well. At 10:00 a.m. we decided to let Stripe have another shot at flying. We need to assess the situation because we are getting later in the year and running short on time before migration. She was not perched when I went to release so I took her from the tower and placed her on the ground below the tower. She would flap three times and give up. It was enough to give her lift but not enough to sustain any flight. She did this many times without ever flapping more than three times. Jodene from the MacBride Raptor Project and I have been talking and I will know more about how we will proceed later today or tomorrow. Until then she is back in the tower and doing fine.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Even in the rain Pink made a showing. He was perched on one of the long arms at the hack tower. Another bird was calling to him from the other end of the wetland. Stripe looked good this morning. We didn’t let her out today. With the chance of severe weather tonight, we thought it would be better to hold off and reevaluate tomorrow. Until then…
Monday, August 30, 2010
This morning Pink was perched next to the hack tower in a tree. When I went to feed he flew to the nesting platform where he was content until early afternoon. He was joined by Green later in the morning when we dropped the gate for Stripe. Stripe heard us coming up the tower and flew from her perch to the floor of the hack box where she stayed until we put the gate up at about 11:30 a.m. We decided we would wait for her to perch on the limb again before we dropped the gate. She was back on the perch at about 1:00 p.m. We again dropped the gate. Before we dropped it she flew back to the floor again. She remained there and is still there as I write this blog. We will try again tomorrow if the weather holds. We need to see weather she will be able to fly. Maybe tomorrow we will know.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Green and Pink were at their post this morning chatting up a storm on the nest platform. Stripe flew down from her perch when I went to feed. She stayed down there and fed until about 10:30 a.m. She then went back to the water bowl and flew up to the perch where she was content until about noon when she went back down to eat again. Pink stayed on the nesting platform for a long time. Green looked wet when we went to feed and looked like she was eating a fish on the platform, but I could not tell if it was from the tower or one she caught. I am guessing it is one she caught since there usually isn’t any fish on the tower by morning. Success! Stripe will get her chance to fly tomorrow!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
This morning was full of noise! Green and Pink were on the nest platform chatting with Stripe in the tower. Green was wet when she landed on the nesting platform. She looked like she had been fishing but didn’t bring a fish back to the nesting platform with her. Stripe looks good and is busy chatting and eating.
Friday, August 27, 2010
This morning was very exciting. Two birds were on the nesting platform when I went to feed and yet again it was Green and another bird. I could not get a positive id. I went on a hunt for Pink. I wanted to get a positive id on him because he is our new release. I found him at a back pond at Lake Ahquabi. He had just hit the water. He didn’t come up with a fish, but it made me smile to know that he was trying. I then followed him back to the nature center property where he was soaring with the vultures and on occasion would bomb them in the sky. Looked like he was playing and tweaking his flight skills. An awesome morning for bird watching.
On another note, we are just about out of fish for the birds. If any of you would be willing to share your catch, please let me know. They have been eating bow fished carp and other rough fish, but will eat just about anything so long as the hook/weight is not stuck in their throat. Call 961-6169 if you have any questions.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Today I had a meeting in Marshalltown so my Osprey watching was short. When I went to feed there were two birds on the nesting platform. One was Green. It is quite difficult to tell Blue and Pink apart now that they are out. Blue’s blue blends in with the brown and Pink has wiped most of his Pink off when we painted him. You have to catch their wing and the sun just right to get a positive ID. Needless to say…I don’t know who the other bird was. Same problem this afternoon at about 3:30 p.m. Green was around with another bird.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Today has been rather uneventful. Blue was seen heading to Hooper. I think she is probably fishing a bit on her own. Green was at the nesting platform and the tower this morning. She seems to have a strange tolerance of the vultures. She doesn’t chase them off, but is content to sit and eat with them watching. Pink was on the tower this morning with Green. They were both begging for food. I only gave them half of their allotment this morning because I don’t want to feed the vultures. The rest of their food was delivered this afternoon. Stripe looks lonely but is doing just fine. I believe we are going to try and release her next week and see how she does.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Sight of the day… Blue, Pink and Green flying together over the wetland! The way he was soaring and swooping, Pink looked like he has been flying for years. A truly awesome sight. Stripe was also busy today. Flapping like an all star. See video for details. Everyone doing great. Now if they would only chase the vultures off of the tower.
Pink leaves the tower.
Stripe practicing for its turn.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Today was quite an exciting day. Pink flew at about 10:15 a.m. this morning but not before Stripe tried. She fell short of the gate. Pink’s flight was low and ended in the field across the wetland. After getting him up on the trail where he could fly again, he flew over to the dam of the wetland. After a couple of hours he settled in a tree in the neighbor’s cornfield. While he was on the dam, the most interesting and fun thing happened. While all of this was going on Green was on the nesting platform. Once Pink landed on the dam, he was in Green’s line of sight. Pink would flap his wings and Green would call to him. It was a call that I was not familiar with…almost in encouragement. Twice Green came off of the nesting platform and hovered over Pink calling to him. She would then fly over the wetland to the tower and back to the nesting platform where she continued to call to him. It seemed like she was trying to help him. A truly awesome sight. Since I have been back from the wetland I have been watching Stripe. She is restless and calls all the time. She is also doing some good flapping. All good signs.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
The birds aren’t doing a whole lot this morning. Pink ate right away while Stripe has been content to perch. She is doing a bit of flapping, but nothing with any power. Right now it looks like she is thinking about negotiating her trip down to the floor to eat. Blue was on the tower this morning when we went to feed and is on the nesting platform with a hunk of fish. I can hear Green chatting to her and am assuming she is in one of the wetland snags. On my way to go find out. Pink gets his freedom flight tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m., if he chooses to take it.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Not a lot of action today, but a lot of noise. Inside the tower Stripe is very chatty with Blue and Green. I think that Pink wore himself out flapping yesterday because today he is content to perch and really isn’t very chatty. Outside the tower both Blue and Green have made appearances and talk to Stripe often. They are making their “duck” call as well today. That is their irritated call and most likely means the vultures are back looming in the tree. They are defending the tower from the invaders.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Everyone is doing well today. Both Blue and Green have been around the wetland, but I have also seen them flying over to Lake Ahquabi. They are exploring. Pink and Stripe always perform for me when I feed. Pink is definitely ready to go. He is flapping a lot. This morning when I went to feed he rammed the gate up high and perched at the half way point. Stripe came down off the perch to the water bowl. She had a good flight and a graceful landing.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
This morning neither Blue or Green were at the wetland when I went to feed. They made an appearance at about 10:00 a.m. They were both on the nesting platform chatting to their buddies in the tower. The vultures were back in the tree. I hope B & G dive bomb them and realize the vultures are afraid of them. Stripe and Pink are up to the same business as always. More tomorrow.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Pink has really been exercising his wings today. Both birds inside the tower have been preening away after the long rain bath they had yesterday. Outside the tower all is well. Yesterday afternoon the vultures found the tower — and when I say the vultures… I think that all of them that live near Indianola were perched in the tree next to the tower hovering over Blue and Green. G & B held their ground and guarded their food. Today the vultures have found something else to torment. Blue and Green are thick as thieves. I never see them alone anymore. They are always together, either on the nesting platform or the tower.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
A wet day at the tower today. When I went to feed this morning both Blue and Green were perched next to each other on the nesting platform. They have been there all day and chatting with Stripe and Pink in the tower. Stripe and Pink have been busy today. Pink is flapping a lot, but still insists on walking his way up the perch. Stripe has also been flapping and always flaps her way up to the branch from the water bowl. She doesn’t always make it but she is trying and that is great! I would really like to see this bird be a success story.
As I am typing, I heard both Blue and Green land on the tower. They are quite chatty about it. It has stirred everyone up. Fun to listen to.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Lots of activity in and out of the tower today. Pink and Stripe are both doing a lot of flapping. Stripe is dragging fish around the tower… a good sign. Outside the tower, Blue and Green are still hanging around and now both of them land on the tower and grab fish and fly away. Green was on a branch with a chunk of fish this afternoon. All good signs of maturity!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I fed at noon today and neither Blue or Green were around when I went up the tower. Nothing new inside. I cleaned their quarters today. They are eating quite well. Blue and Green are cleaning their plates as well. When I go to throw fish on top they have left nothing behind from the day before. By 3:00 p.m., both Blue and Green were on the nesting platform being very chatty. It is a nice sight to see.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I had a scout group from Norwalk helping me feed this morning. Blue and Green gave the group a show as they soared around the wetland yelling at all of us. Inside the tower things have not changed a lot. Stripe is hop flapping to the perch, which is a great thing to see. Pink is more anxious than ever when we feed. He is always charging the gate. I think he is ready to fly but not quite strong enough for the long haul. Maybe by Tuesday…
Friday, August 13, 2010
This morning when I went to feed Green was in the tree next to the tower. She immediately flew into a dead tree by the bridge. I didn’t see Blue but was told that she has also been on the tower earlier. Green made her way back to the top of the tower as soon as we left. A storm rolled through at about noon today. It really excited the birds in the tower. They have been quite chatty. When they weren’t chatting they were preening. It is nice to have a break from the sun and the heat. I am sure they are looking forward to next week’s weather as much as we are. Until the weekend…
Thursday, August 12, 2010
The webcam is back! That is the most exciting news of the week. For the birds, it was another hot one. They seem to be fairing well. Both Green and Blue have been spotted eating at the tower and they are definitely cleaning their plate. They are eating a lot more now that they are out and about. Blue can usually be seen perched on one of the power line poles on 118th Avenue. Green seems to prefer a dead tree at the back of the wetland. Both Pink and Stripe are also doing well. Not a whole lot of action inside the tower during the heat of the day, but come nightfall they get more active.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I was anxious to get to the wetland this morning and see how Green made it through the night. We found her at Lester Pond on the big rock by the dock. She looked good and flew right away in to a snag at the wetland. She flies like a pro but needs a little work on her landing. Blue checked in this morning as well. She was perched up at a light pole at the nature center and then went down for a carp snack. Both birds outside look great! Inside the tower, Pink is not happy. He doesn’t like being without his buddy Green. I haven’t heard a peep out of him in weeks but yesterday and today he has been quite chatty and up and down off of the perch. He is flapping about. I think he will be ready to join Green on Monday. Stripe looks good and is getting around quite well. We should have internet back sometime tomorrow!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I was watching the camera feed this morning before we fed and watched Green flapping and flying around. She seemed very anxious. I decided to drop the gate at 10:00 a.m. and see what happened. The birds inside the tower really weren’t active, but Blue came in to eat at about 10:45 a.m. and stayed on the tower while we watched. She looks good and ate for quite a bit. At 12:15 p.m. we decided to close the gate back up for the day and, of course, Green decided to fly at about the same time. She made a strong flight around the wetland a couple of times. She ended up on a log in the wetland. She looks good, but tired. The wetland is a safe place for her and probably pretty cool as well. I will watch her for the rest of the day to see where she goes. Stripe seems to be settling into her surroundings just fine and Pink is being Pink… doing nothing but sitting on his perch.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Day 17, and hopefully the end is in sight.
This morning Blue was waiting for us on the tower. We got to the top of the tower and she flew across the wetland with a fish in her talon. A very good sign. She has two favorite perches, the nesting platform and the roof of the storage shed at the shop. I went to Kirkwood today to get XE back from rehab. She seems to be doing well and will be placed in the tower this afternoon. She will now be referred to as Stripe. I just can’t paint another bird (just) Orange after our loss. This bird will be Orange with a Yellow stripe. Until tomorrow…
XE before receiving its stripes.
Stripe getting its stripes (above), meeting its tower mates (center), and learning the pecking order (bottom).
Saturday & Sunday, August 7 & 8, 2010
This weekend was a sad one. Orange was found dead Saturday morning below the observation tower. It is thought that he was perched on the tower and a great horned owl attacked him. It looks like a coyote drug the remains to some other location. I have its wings and one of its legs. A loss for the Osprey Project, but one we had no control over. On a happier note, Blue and the others are doing quite well.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I found Blue last night before I left. She had circled back to the tower after her first flight and found a good spot on one of the snags at the wetland…only about 50 feet in front of the tower. At about 6:30 p.m., Orange left his tree and headed to the back pond. He looked strong. This morning Blue was on the tower eating. It looked like both birds had been on the tower at some point…a lot of poop and a lot of fish picked at. I have not found Orange yet today and Yellow is still out gallivanting as well. Until tomorrow…
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Day 13 of the WCCB internet blackout.
Things got very exciting today. We let the gate down again at 10:00 a.m., and again nothing happened. We went to look for yellow and came back at 11:30 a.m.. Orange was sitting on the gate and we got excited. He looked unsure of himself and we did not think he would fly. He turned around and faced back into the tower. We were going to wait for him to get settled back in the tower and then close the gate until Monday. While we were waiting, Blue decided to perch on the gate and got her talons hung up. She freed herself and flew. We all got to the tower too late to see where she flew. In that chaos, Orange also decided to fly, and then Green. We saw Orange land in a tree with leaf cover and he will most likely stay the night there. Green made it across the wetland but landed in the grass. We went after her and put her back in the tower. Blue (from watching the webcam) seems to be the strongest flyer and I am sure she is fine and will be at the tower in the morning. Quite a lot of excitement. Keep your eyes to the skies and please call in spottings to 961-6169 ext 206.
All four birds turn their back on the open hack tower gate for the third straight day.
Orange on the gate shortly before the excitement started.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Day 12 of the WCCB internet blackout. Our ISP's tech support did not show up for the repair appointment today. They have been dismissed. A new system should be in place by August 12th. Hopefully, we will be able to work out all the little details and have the camera back out to the public the same day.
A hot day yesterday led to lazy birds that didn’t eat well. This morning’s cool weather had the birds active and hungry. Green was trying to fly to another area of the tower with a fish, which she did not accomplish, but it looked promising. We dropped the gate again this morning at 10:00 a.m. It was a repeat of yesterday. Blue, Green and Orange were on the branch staring at me as if to say… we don’t want to go out there. Are you crazy? I have left the gate down this afternoon and monitored through the internal camera we have access to and they still sit. They have been doing a lot of flapping but they seem perfectly content to sit on the branch and look out. I put the gate up at 2:30 p.m. today and will try again in the morning, but I have no idea if they will have the urge tomorrow either. Until then…
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Day 11 of the WCCB internet blackout. The camera MAY be back up tomorrow.
This morning Orange tried to do a balancing act on Blue. Orange was trying to fly off the branch and Blue was in the way. Orange flapped on Blue’s back for a minute, settled in for about ten seconds and then flew off. Both birds are doing ok. We dropped the gate at 10:00 a.m. this morning with hopes that all of the birds would fly. Wildlife is unpredictable. None of the birds flew. I left the gate down until about 12:45 p.m. We will try again tomorrow morning with no promises. We should also be getting XH back from rehab tomorrow.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Day 10 of the WCCB internet blackout.
Green made it to the branch with everyone else this morning! I didn’t watch her do it, but after watching her yesterday, I think she flew up there. The birds have been pretty calm this morning. They are taking turns on the branch. I have yet to see all of them on the branch at the same time. Pink always perches with her back to the front of the tower. It seems a bit strange. You would think he would be up there so he could get a better view but I am convinced it is a status issue. We are taking bets here at the nature center for who will leave first tomorrow! Consensus is Blue, but then they never listen or follow directions.
Orange prepares for Tuesday's open gate opportunity and the other birds join in.
Saturday, July 31 & Sunday, August 1, 2010
The weekend was a calm one. I can’t decide if that is good or bad. It was do or die for Yellow. She has not been back to the tower to feed since her release on Tuesday. If she were not eating, she would definitely be dead by now, but she is out and about flying strong. She doesn’t seem to have a favorite spot yet, or a consistent one for that matter. She can be found just about anywhere around the wetland, neighboring ponds or over at Ahquabi. She looks good and I can only figure she is feeding on her own. Everyone in the tower is doing fine. Green was trying to fly to the perch on Sunday, but I never saw her make it. Blue is flying up and down from the perch. If the rain holds off, we will drop the gate at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Day 7 of the WCCB internet blackout.
Everyone was active this morning when we went to feed. Orange, Blue, and Pink were all on the branch today. Orange figured it out yesterday afternoon. Green is the only one still on the floor. I believe they can all fly a bit. When we went in today to clean up leftover fish, they all flew off the branch and yellow flew to the front of the tower. We will give them the weekend to get stronger and lower the gate on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. and see who leaves. We should have XH back towards the beginning of next week as well. Yellow made it through the night well and was perched on the observation platform above Lester Pond this morning. She weathered the storm well and I saw her flying over to Lake Ahquabi around 11:30 a.m. For a bird that has not come to the hack tower to eat since Tuesday, she looks strong and healthy. She is flying quite well for a newbie.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Day 6 of the WCCB internet blackout. Sorry about the inconvenience. I never knew how hard it was to function without the internet!
Yellow is out and about, all over the wetland and surrounding ponds. She has yet to come back to the tower to feed. I guess she will eat when she is hungry. Blue looks to be the next one that is going to leave the tower. She was flying around in the tower today! I will let the gate down Wednesday, August 4 for her to see if she wants a taste of freedom. Everyone else is doing fine, but not doing anything remarkable.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The WCCB internet blackout is in day 5 with no end in sight. After a lot of time on the phone with our ISP, and dogging them when call backs weren't made, we are now on the list for a service call. The service call won't be until next week, and we won't know what day the call will be made until at least Friday.
After a day of freedom, Yellow looked good. She was spotted on a floating log at the wetland at about 7:30 a.m. and from there has taken a handful of flights and rested on tree snags all over the wetland, but never returning to the tower to feed. The heat has affected all of the birds. They seem to be like us and prefer not to eat a lot when it is hot. I am hoping it cools down this evening and gives them a bit of a break (us too!). Green is doing a lot of flapping while pink and blue are content to perch high on the branch. Orange makes his way around the tower as well but not perching yet.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
We got the internal camera (but not the webcam) back today! It has been three days since I have been able to monitor the birds. The first thing I saw was Yellow flying from the perch in the east side of the tower to the perch in the west side of the tower. She is ready to fly. Blue has now joined Pink on the branch perch. They are climbing up the perch and fly hopping down.
We let the gate down for Yellow at 10:00 a.m. this morning. She seemed excited to see the gate come down, but hesitant to leave. At about 10:20 a.m. she took flight. She flew over the wetland and circled back up to the shop where she landed on the storage shed. From there, she circled over Ahquabi and then up to the Nature Center, perching on one of the light poles. After resting for about a half hour she made her way back to the wetland. She is perched on the nesting platform and looks quite happy and content. A successful morning!
Yellow preparing for free flight on Tuesday morning.
WCCB Volunteers help feed the birds on Tuesday before Yellow takes wing and, later, sits on one of the Annett Nature Center light poles.
Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, July 24, 25, & 26, 2010
Friday night's storm knocked out the WCCB OspreyCam, comupter network, and phone system. When I went to feed on Saturday morning, Yellow was up on one of the man made perches. Pink was on the branch and everyone else was on the ground. They have been cleaning the fish to the bone, so eating well! On Sunday, Yellow was back on the branch but really flapping and exercising her wings. Monday was more of the same, and Yellow seems anxious and ready to go. The decision was made to let Yellow out in the morning. It always makes me nervous to let them out in the real world where I have no control, but she is defiantly ready.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Pink came down from the perch at 6:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon. I am sure he was hungry after hanging out on the perch all day. This morning I had a group of school age children from Norwalk help feed the birds. Pink and Yellow were hanging out on the branch while everyone else hung out on the floor. Yellow and pink came down to eat this afternoon around 1:30 p.m. I am sure as soon as they are done eating they will be back up. Green has found a new favorite spot perching between the two water bowls. I think she will be the next one on the big branch. Tomorrow will be a early feeding… 7:15 a.m.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Pink surprised us this morning when we went up to feed. I looked up to the perch and saw Yellow, but Pink was perched right beside her. I have been watching all day to see if he would get down. He seems to think about it and walks down the perch a bit, then changes his mind and goes back up the perch. He has yet to leave his post at 1:00 p.m. Yellow is flying up and down off of the perch now and will probably be ready to leave the hack tower some time late next week. Everyone else is doing well. Blue seems to lay around a lot, but this is not abnormal. Green and Orange like to hang around the water bowls.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
We cleaned out the tower again this morning. The birds are eating well. Yellow took a flight this morning from the water tubs to the perch she likes to hang out on. Previously, she would walk her way up. The other youngsters are learning to move their fish where they want to eat instead of eating where we have placed the fish. Pink grabbed a piece with his talons and used his wings to flap to his favorite place to eat. Others are dragging fish as they walk. A lot of flapping going on today. Excitement after a day of rest!
Yellow testing out its wings and stirring up the tower.
Feeding time in the hack tower.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The birds were low key this morning. Rainy day blues. Everyone was back by the water bowl again except for Yellow. Yellow was at her hang out on the top of the branch. She stayed there until almost 10 a.m. Watching her negotiate the decent to the floor of the tower was interesting. I thought she would just walk or flap her way off the branch, but she jumped off from about ¾ up the branch. Wings out, she had a soft landing. She is the dare devil of the group. They all took their time getting food this morning and weren’t real anxious to do much of anything. Maybe they will get more rambunctious once the sun
Monday, July 19, 2010
All of the birds were at the back of the hack tower when I went to feed today. They looked wet but well. We are starting to see a pattern develop with a couple of the youngsters. Orange tends to buddy up with another bird while it eats, patiently waits until the other bird is done eating, then moves in on that piece of fish. He very rarely goes and grabs a hunk of fish for himself. Blue and Green are siblings and tend to hang out together in the tower. Yellow and Blue are both doing a lot of wing flapping and getting a little lift. I have yet to see any turf wars or a bully emerge. Everyone seems to get along pretty well.
Yellow shakes off the morning's rain.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Everyone made it through the storm OK. All the birds were wet and active this morning, ready to start another day. At about 2:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon, Yellow had made its way to the branch perch, but no one knew how it managed to get there. Today after we had rid the tower of old fish and fed the birds, Yellow again attempted the perch. It started out on the water track and did a flap-hop to the top of the water bowls. From there it did a flap-hop to the bottom of the branch perch and walked its way up the perch to the middle. It seems quite proud of itself up there, and also quite comfortable. It does a lot of preening and flapping without losing balance. It seems to be about 2 weeks ahead of everyone else. Fun to watch the bird as it thinks about how to get to the next spot!
Yellow mounted the hack tower branch on the first weekend, much sooner than any of last year's birds.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Last night we had a lot of excitement in the tower. We have an escape artist on our hands. Orange has figured out how to shimmy his way through the PVC pipe. This has never happened at any Iowa site. Tyler, a coworker, stopped by the nature center when he noticed only four birds on the web camera last night. Orange was sitting on the ledge in front of the hack tower. After some careful prodding, he was put back in the tower. Not 30 minutes later he was back out on the ledge. Mark, another coworker and my husband were onsite this time. They used some wire fencing on the outside of the gate to make sure no one would escape again. Needless to say, when we went to feed this morning I was very glad all birds were in the tower. This group seems to be more active than last year’s bunch. They were all at the front of the tower looking outside and were content to be there most of the morning, taking breaks to eat. They seem to have a healthy appetite. More tomorrow.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Let me start by thanking everyone for coming to the Osprey Arrival today. It was wonderful to see so many excited faces. We brought 5 young Osprey back from Wisconsin yesterday. We made a stop at the Minnesota Raptor Center to ensure the birds were healthy and ready to be placed in the tower at the Annett Nature Center. One of the youngsters (XH) was found to have a wing fracture. Not good news on our end. This bird would not be headed for the tower with its Wisconsin mates.
The four remaining birds were greeted this morning by close to 70 people. The birds were placed in the tower around 10 a.m. this morning. If you are watching the webcam, these birds all have a color mark on their shoulder. We have Pink, Orange, Blue and Green. Green and Blue are siblings as are Orange and XH. Pink’s sibling is still in Wisconsin. Yellow was added late this afternoon. Yellow is a Minnesota collected bird that needed a hack site. Since we have XH at the Macbride Raptor Center being rehabilitated, Yellow was the perfect addition to our group. Yellow, as you might be able to tell, is a bit larger than the Wisconsin group… most-likely a bit older. Hopefully all of the birds will get along and there will be no fighting between the two rival football teams.
All of the birds at the tower seem to be settling in to their new surroundings well and we are already seeing a lot of activity. As for XH, if everything goes well and the wing heals, she will be back to join her Wisconsin group in a couple of weeks. I will update you as I hear about the recovery. Thanks again to everyone for coming out today. Without the community support for this program it would not be able to function.
The four Wisconsin birds in the hack tower after Friday's welcome ceremony.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
While everyone in Iowa was sweltering in today's heat, we were dealing with severe storms and tornado threats. We were able to make it to one nest in a break from the weather and gather two more chicks. We are taking the 5 chicks we have collected so far to the raptor center in Minneapolis tomorrow. While they are at the raptor center, they will be given a thorough exam and a meal. They will be ready to meet everyone Friday morning at the welcome ceremony. Five other birds will be collected by a Dubuque County group tomorrow, and will most likely be placed on Saturday morning.
WCCB employee Tyler Seuferer and volunteers Kelsey Freeman and Blair Lawson open bags with osprey chicks inside. The chicks were in the bags while being lowered from the nest.
Blair Lawson with one of Wednesday's chicks.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
We got a late start today, but it paid off when we heard the call of a mother Osprey, first of the season. Our first stop today was at Lake Sissabagwa. We collected two youngsters from this nest. Both looked healthy and full of spunk.
The second nest we went to was on Lake Mcrae, which seemed more like a pond than a lake. The water is low this year. Wisconsin is in great need of some rain. This nest was quite an experience. It was the first natural nest (not built on a manmade platform) that Fud (our linesman) has enountered in over 30 years. When we arrived at the nest, we thought it was abandoned and there were no young, but after talking to an older couple that lived on the lake we decided to investigate anyway. The nest was an active nest and we collected one chick from this nest. We expect to collect 7 more chicks tomorrow from various nests around Hayward.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Last week's confusion has turned into this week's return the original plan. The Osprey crew is leaving this afternoon, will be in Wisconsin Tuesday–Thursday and the birds will be here on Friday, July 16. The hack tower program will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday as previously planned. Put it back on your calendar, right over the entry you erased on last week!
Friday, July 9, 2010
The arrival of this year's osprey is, literally, up in the air. Wisconsin is still conducting their helicopter survey of osprey nests to determine where birds can be removed without impacting the local population. Birds will not be arriving on July 16 as previously planned. They may be here on Sunday, July 18, or during the following week. Keep an eye on this space for details. In the meantime, you can look at last year's blog, or take a peek at the web camera. This years streaming video is larger and includes audio.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Some activity on the Osprey Tower while we wait for this year's brood.