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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 9:34 am 
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:buzzybee: Iris is on :newegg: :newegg: :newegg: now!! Update on FB from Eric yesterday on situation for Iris:

Montana Osprey Cams
11 hrs ·
Hello everyone,
What a day for Iris. It seems she laid another egg this morning, so that means she is incubating three right now. She left the nest several times today, and came back with a nice big trout this evening. Even though the river is rising, she still is able to catch fish in a pretty short time - ranging from 5 minutes to 22 minutes this evening.

Many of you have asked about the danger of the embryos cooling too much and dying when she leaves them unattended. It turns out the bird embryos are surprisingly resilient to cooling off. Birds thermostats run hotter than ours - their body temperatures are about 105 F (or 40 C). But bird eggs can withstand cooling down, at least for short periods of time, without hurting the embryos. The embryos can't withstand freezing, but as long as they are not left alone for many hours they are generally OK.

The main risk of Iris leaving her eggs unattended right now is that other birds would come in and eat them. The biggest threats are ravens. Last year there was a pair of ravens nesting on the cliffs right across the river, and we saw ravens near the nest A LOT. The ravens are not nesting there this year, and so the raven traffic has been way down. This is a good thing for Iris' eggs.

So as long as Iris does not leave her eggs for many hours, and ravens don't snag her eggs, the embryos should be fine.

Thanks Iris! Erick Greene


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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 4:11 pm 
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:buzzybee: Iris off her eggs for over 7 hours.

Montana Osprey Cams
3 hrs ·
Hi everyone,

Until yesterday, Iris did not leave her eggs for all that long to catch fish. But yesterday she left her nest at 4:33 PM and did not return until 11:47 PM. So she was off the nest for 7 hours and 14 minutes. She came back with a full crop and half a big fish.

It was pretty chilly, but I previously posted about how tough bird embryos can be to cooling down. An osprey camera in Chesapeake Bay recorded a similar incident in 2016. It had been chilly and rainy, and on May 5 and 6 of that year the female and male left the 3 eggs unattended for over 7 hours. Sound similar?? It was a chilly 42 degrees and constant chilly rain the whole time. So we can assume that the three eggs chilled to 42 degrees. Yikes! But remarkably 2 of the 3 eggs hatched!!!

So there is good precedent that Iris's eggs are still viable! But Iris seems pretty tired and got some well deserved shut eye this morning.

Go Iris! Erick Greene


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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2019 9:04 pm 
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I think he is preparing us:

Montana Osprey Cams
2 hrs ·
Hello everyone,

Iris continues to do her best, but she is leaving her eggs for longer periods of time. I suspect that the embryos may still be viable . But without a mate helping out more with bringing in food and sharing incubation, it will probably get more difficult for Iris to sustain being a single mom.

Sincerely, Erick Greene


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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 10:12 pm 
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:buzzybee: Here's 2 more posts and a video of a new male contender for Iris from Eric tonight:

Montana Osprey Cams
18 mins ·
Hello everyone,

Iris' urges to incubate and be a good mother are so strong. But we are not sure for how long she can hold on by herself. She has proved herself a very capable fisher woman, but she is spending more time off the nest, and even when she is on the nest sometimes she is standing rather than incubating.

But it was so interesting and exciting to see a new male show up today! We could hear him "sky dancing" with a fish overhead and Iris was clearly interested. She called to him, and he eventually came down with a fish. He was submissive and hesitant, but Iris grabbed the fish and he took off. This is the first step in Osprey speed dating.

It is unlikely that a new male would help raise chicks that are not his own, but we shall have to wait and see. If this new male does stick around and form a pair bond with Iris, it will be interesting to see a) Louis' reaction to a new male, and b) Iris' reaction to Louis if she forms a pair bond with a new male.

So many things to learn from these Ospreys!! Never a dull moment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp-tMeD ... e=youtu.be

Best, Erick Greene

Hello everyone,

One thing that is puzzling is why Louis would leave Iris and spend time at another nest. We suspect that the sex ratio of ospreys in the area may play a role. If the ratio of available females and males was about equal, then we would expect that most nests would have stable pairs.

But we suspect that there may be a "biased sex ratio" with more available females than males. Without study populations of banded birds this is really hard to determine, but it seems like in the local population the guys are in short supply.

This is pretty much anecdotal but backed up by a bunch of observations. For example, at another nest about 10 miles to the east, one male had staked out a nice nest. There were THREE female ospreys landing at the same time on the nest, all competing with each other for that nest and that male. Just one of the females won that competition, and the other two disappeared.

If males are in short supply around this area, that may be a factor in the behavior we have seen this year at the Hellgate nest.

Cheers, Erick Greene


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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 1:40 pm 
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:buzzybee: And another from today:

Montana Osprey Cams
33 mins ·
Hello,
It looks like Iris is switching gears from trying to salvage this breeding season to not breeding. She is spending more and more time off the eggs and away from the nest. She was off the nest for most of the night last night. Based on all of this we think that she is giving up on this breeding attempt.

Many of you have asked if Iris (or other birds) can somehow detect if their eggs are not viable any longer. At this stage - probably not. Iris' behavior is probably based more on her general hunger levels, and the lack of a mate who is contributing more to incubating and bringing in food. We have seen that Iris has an incredibly strong drive to incubate her eggs, and this has a hormonal component. Although this is way outside of my wheelhouse, I suspect that her hunger and lack of more male help is probably changing her hormone profiles from "breeding" to "non-breeding."

So we suspect that Iris has not sensed that her eggs are not viable, but rather that the stimuli she needs to keep on with this breeding attempt have been diminishing to the point where a physiological switch has flipped for her.

For some species of birds, there have been experiments showing that they will incubate non-viable fake eggs over their own. The drawing I have attached shows an oyster catcher who was given a choice of different-sized eggs. She chose the BIGGEST egg, although it was clearly not hers (and not viable). This particular experiment was testing what is called the "super stimulus" idea, but it showed that oyster catchers were not using the viability of the egg to determine whether to incubate or not - in this case bigger was better!

So it is unlikely that Iris has sensed that her eggs won't hatch, but rather that her reproductive physiological state has changed.

More later, Erick Greene


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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 1:14 pm 
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Eric wrote a few days ago of the failed nest here, that I did not bring over. Today a raven removed 2 eggs from the nest. Iris has been in today, but had not been incubating eggs consistently for some time prior.


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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 11:57 am 
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:15heartbeat: Iris continues to visit the nest briefly, otherwise going about her business and Louis remains with the other female at the ball field. They have some beautiful pics on twitter of Iris with a humongous fish she caught, Louis bringing in bedding for his ball field nest and the other woman!


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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:27 am 
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:buzzybee: Update from Eric on Iris:

Montana Osprey Cams
40 mins ·
Hi everyone,

Although this has been a disappointing season the way it ended for Iris, there are certainly a lot of very positive things going on. Iris is still in the area, and she seems to be having a well-deserved "holiday" from the rather exhausting trials of breeding and raising chicks. During a typical breeding season, female ospreys lose a lot of weight - this just shows that it does take a lot out of them.

Yesterday afternoon Iris was perched on the stadium lights eating a big fish. She is spending a lot of time fishing for herself, and generally hanging around the area.

What you see from the Hellgate Osprey Camera is just the "tip of the iceberg" of all the Osprey-related things we do. We are doing lots of basic research on ecotoxicology (especially heavy metals and mercury pollution), education, and conservation.

Starting this week, we have LOTS of very exciting things going on, and we will be regularly posting much more Osprey information, and any sightings of Iris!

Later,
Erick Greene


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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:30 pm 
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Meanwhile, when your finsihed reading about Iris above, this is what Louis is up to with 3 photos:

Montana Osprey Cams
1 hr ·
Checked the Osprey Baseball Stadium nest. Female on nest with at least one chick. Louis flew in for a quick visit. Stay tuned we'll know more on Thursday.



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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:47 pm 
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These 3 chicks belong to Louis and his new woman. They were banded today at the ball field nest. Photos by Louis Matteau:



These 2 captures are of Iris tending to her nest this morning. Capture is by B_K:



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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:01 pm 
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Location: Berlin, Germany
Hellgate, Montana

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https://twitter.com/HellgateOsprey

In addition to Montana Mountain Time - Alpine joodle-greetings
by a stunning woman from Salzburg County, Austria with a wonderful voice:
Zabine Kapfinger & Hubert von Goisern's Alpinkatzen (25 years ago)

Enjoy it with closed eyes...shivering Juhuhuhooo 6:53


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts91aDORFO0

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https://twitter.com/HellgateOsprey

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Seelenfarben - Colours of soul - Hubert von Goisern,
a simple austrian joodle & trumpet man, it sticks to the heart


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVmAgVF ... N&index=11

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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:08 am 
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Location: Berlin, Germany
Hellgate, MT: IRIS The Missoula Queen

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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:22 pm 
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:buzzybee: Iris update (she may have a new beau) per Erik Greene:

Montana Osprey Cams
10 mins ·
Hello everyone,
I have been AWOL for a while, but there has been a TON of really interesting Osprey stuff going on! I will start sharing exciting osprey news more regularly.

First of all - here are some Iris updates. Iris is still hanging around, and in fact she spent a lot of time yesterday bringing sticks in to the nest! She is looking fantastic and in really good shape. In a way I think that a "summer vacation" for her was a well-deserved break. Breeding is really stressful - especially for female ospreys. But this summer, Iris has got some R&R. I see her everyday, and often she has a big fish, so I think she will be fat and happy before she migrates south.

A couple of cool Iris observations. A few days ago I was swimming down the Clark Fork River on a really hot day. Iris was soaring just above me, and she folded her wings and plunged into the water right next to me. She came out with a huge trout!

Yesterday I saw Iris perched on a branch just upriver from the nest. And sitting right next to her was a male osprey! Perhaps she is bonding with a new male??? We shall see.

Best, Erick Greene

Edit to add:

Montana Osprey Cams
1 hr ·
Hi everyone,
Along with Rob Domenech and Adam Shreading from Raptor View Research Institute, we just finished a very busy season of osprey research. We are using ospreys to help study how the Clark Fork River is recovering from some pretty serious contamination. This part of the Clark Fork River (from Butte to Missoula - about 120 miles) had been the largest EPA superfund site in the US. This is because there were very high levels of heavy metals (arsenic, copper, cadmium, zinc, lead, selenium) in the river from copper mining and smelting activities in Butte and Anaconda. If you want to find out more about this important part of our history, here are some fantastic podcasts called "Richest Hill" by Nora Saks of Montana Public Radio: https://www.mtpr.org/programs/richest-hill

Since ospreys are at the very top of the aquatic food chain, they integrate the "health" of the river. We take small blood and feather samples from osprey chicks, band them and put them back in their nests very quickly.

The overall reproductive success of ospreys was pretty good this summer. The river never flooded and got really muddy the way it did last spring. This meant that the fishing conditions were generally better for ospreys in most places. Attached are some photos to give you an idea of what our osprey research trips are like.

Sincerely, Erick Greene

Edit to add: Here's a video from yesterday of Iris working on her nest. This video is by Restful Heart:

"Iris Revives her Nest with Five Trips 2019 08 22"


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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:28 pm 
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Montana Osprey Cams
9 hrs ·
Hi everyone,

It is so special to get glimpses of Iris everyday. I suspect that Ospreys in the area are starting to trickle out and start their migration south. So every day we get to see Iris, even if it is just for a few minutes, is a gift. I think her "staycation" this summer has been good for her. She has been catching a lot of fish, and I suspect she is in really good shape.

Other ospreys in the area are engaging in a behavior that is really interesting. They soar higher and higher in tight family groups and call vigorously. Yesterday I watched a group of four get into a good thermal, and they quickly turned into small dots in the sky, but I could hear their faint calls. We see this behavior usually just before those ospreys migrate south.

Cheers, Erick Greene


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 Post subject: Re: DUNROVIN & HELLGATE, MT~2019
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:15 pm 
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:7val: "Iris Coffee" :7val:

Montana Osprey Cams

Hi everyone,
Some more exciting Iris news! Iris still around and putting in brief appearances at the nest. But I also see her just about every day along the river, fishing, calling, flying about, or perching and resting. She looks great and energetic. I think her staycation has done her a lot of good, and I think she will leave for migration in some of the best shape she has been in for years.

Missoula College has a fantastic culinary program called the Big Sky Culinary Institute. Katie Barnes is one of the fantastic instructors there. She came up with the idea of honoring Iris the Osprey by naming the student-run coffee bar by calling it Iris Coffee!

The grand opening of Iris Coffee at Missoula College is on Tuesday, 10 September from 11-1. If you are in the area please drop by!!! Katie and her students have a lot of exciting long-term plans on things to do at Iris Coffee. For example, there are a lot of blank walls, and we want to get up a lot of nice artwork, photos, and informational plaques. Stay tuned, because I think that you will be hearing about Iris Coffee for years to come!

Cheers, Erick Greene


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