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Bald Eagles Visit Nest

Ospreyzone Highlights: May 21-29, 2020

OspreyZone Highlights: May 15-20, 2020 - The Intruder

OspreyZone Highlights: May 7th-14th, 2020

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OspreyZone Yankee

March 18, 2016 Timelapse

The Summer of 2015 by GinaM

Osprey Rescue Extended - July 30, 2015

Osprey Zone Highlights - June 28, 2015

Osprey Zone Highlights - June 19, 2015

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First Sighting

George and Gracie's First Baby

Eggs Over Easy

Changing of the Guard

Breakfast is Served

Upgrading

Feeding Time

First Love

Let's Hang Out

Hard to Get

Little Brother

Intruder

Dinner is Served

OspreyZone Montage

OspreyZone Highlights: George Returns

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Please be advised that nature can be brutal – viewer discretion is advised.
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Belle’s Journey

Written by Dr. Rob Bierregaard & Illustrated by Kate Garchinsky

Take flight with Belle, an osprey born on Martha’s Vineyard as she learns to fly and migrates for the first time to Brazil and back–a journey of more than 8,000 miles.

Click HERE for more information!

IMPORTANT: Messages from osprey experts

Rob Bierregaard July 1, 2015 at 7:24 am
I haven’t seen the little guy yet this morning, but I would be very surprised if he survived the night. That sure was tough to watch yesterday, but that whole process is as much a part of the essence of being an Osprey as is eating a fish. It’s part of the life of Ospreys that was rarely seen before we started putting cameras in nests. As hard as it is, we should not label the behavior as mean or cruel. Being mean or cruel implies that there is intent to do harm just for harm’s sake. Those young were responding to a set of stimuli (very little food being delivered to the nest and the presence of a very small young) in a way that evolution has hard-wired into them. It helps ensure their survival. Nature is not cruel. It is harsh, unforgiving, and often random (had the little guy been born 1st, he would have been just as aggressive as was his sibling), but not cruel or mean.

4818eecc88292926c58414a82c884c71Paul Henry ospreyzone July 1, 2015 at 8:17 am
Thanks Rob for bringing your knowledge and experience to help us all gain perspective here. We are all saddened by the events that unfolded before our eyes and it’s only natural for all of us to feel and express our emotions appropriately. There have been many issues pertaining to intervention which have been discussed amongst us all. There is no doubt in my mind that the right decision was made, to let nature take it’s course. By the way, that doesn’t equate to heartless, on the contrary, nobody feels worse about this then the apparent decision makers. I say apparent, because when all was said and done, and all the issues were properly weighed, there really weren’t any other options. It was clearly pointed out, by experts, that intervening at this stage could have spooked the whole nest to the point of losing all the young. If the little one was saved, and nursed back to health, what kind of a life would it have had, perhaps caged up in a zoo. I remember when I was younger I saw a golden eagle in captivity, caged behind a wire mesh. I could practically see it’s tears. As far as placing the little one in another nest, such a low probability of success would never have justified the possibility of spooking the nest. There’s a piece of me, however heavy hearted, that believes that perhaps it is better to be born free and die free. We mourn for the little one as we marvel at the wonders of nature.

Reprinted with the permission of John W. Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Hello Paul,

Thanks for your query, and you have my admiration for persevering. We know very well how tough your job is, including dealing with an anxious public.

Our policy with our Bird Cams project is essentially “just say no” to pleas for interference. The behavior you are witnessing – while seemingly cruel and heartless to us – is natural for many kinds of birds, especially those that feed on variable, unpredictable food supplies. The little nestling does have a chance to survive, but if it does not then that result was “meant to be” by the nature of Osprey breeding strategy. The wonderful things about these nest cameras also sometimes yield the difficult things for us to watch. As you might know, we actually post a “siblicide alert” on some of our cams where we suspect the possibility exists.

I’m copying your note to Charles Eldermire, project leader for our Bird Cams. He may have some additional comments, and he would be the one to ask if we might be able to use your stored files for biological analysis.

Best wishes, and good luck,

John W. Fitzpatrick

Director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

In addition, Charles Eldermire, Bird Cams Project Leader, Cornell Lab of Ornithology Writes:

It’s also important to acknowledge that intervening can also cause problems of its own—depending on the ages of the birds in the nest, disturbing them can trigger an early fledge. We have restricted the scenarios in which we would even consider intervening to injuries or dangers that are explicitly human-derived. For example, 3 or 4 years ago we were alerted by viewers that one of the osprey chicks at the Hellgate Osprey nest was entangled in monofilament line. We consulted with our partners there (wildlife biologists, raptor researchers, raptor rehabbers) to determine if the monofilament was an issue, and if intervening was both likely to solve the issue AND not have bad effects on the other nestlings. In the end, a quick trip to the nest was scheduled via a bucket truck, the monofilament was removed, and the nestlings all eventually fledged. In that case, all of the permits were already in hand to be studying the ospreys, and we had already discussed how to approach issues in the nest.

Good luck to the young one—hope it all turns out well.

charles.

*******************
Charles Eldermire
Bird Cams Project Leader
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Paul,

I’ve been to your site—great cam! And I noticed the runt in the nest. This is just normal Osprey reproduction. It happens all the time and you should not intervene. It’s tough to watch, but it’s how nature works. Ospreys almost always lay 3 eggs and on average fledge between 1 and 1.5 young each year. They stagger the hatch so there is a spread of ages in the young. That way, if food is short, the first-hatched (and therefore largest) will get enough food to survive while the smaller nest mates do not. If all three young were the same size and there was only enough food for 1 young, none of the young would get enough food and they would all die. If there’s lots of food, the smallest will eventually get fed and can survive. These nest cams can show some gut-wrenching scenes. The most infamous perhaps was one of the very first Osprey cams (on Long Island somewhere), where the smallest young died. One of the adults carried it out of the nest and after several minutes flew back into the nest and fed it to the other young. Waste-not-want-not at its goriest. At Hog Island up in Maine just last week a Bald Eagle came in and took the young out of the nest. Last year at another nest, cameras documented a Great-horned Owl taking young Ospreys out of a nest in NJ or MD. All of these things have been going on for millions of years and Ospreys are doing fine.

Rob Bierregaard
Academy of Natural Sciences
Drexel University
http://www.ospreytrax.com

“Interesting. They don’t often take over osprey poles—probably too small for them. They will coopt tree nests, which they can expand. We had a pair of eagles do this on the Vineyard. They built up the Osprey nest a lot and then the Ospreys came home and drove the eagles away, in a David v. Goliath story. The Ospreys successfully bred. They looked tiny in the nest, which sadly blew down this winter.”

    Leave A Comment

    51,406 Comments

    1. Admin Mary Anne June 15, 2023 at 10:03 am - Reply

      4th chick hatched out of egg 5 shortly before 2:27 am. Lucy is seen discarding eggshell here. It was there under her at 2:15:49 as she stood up. So either egg 1 or 2 hatched first, then 3, 4 and 5. Incredible. If Lucy had not buried one of the first two eggs, there likely would be 5 chicks. If she had brooded them last year, she might have had five also. Mind boggling!

      • Junec June 15, 2022 at 10:59 am - Reply

        Thank you for pic.. last year she laid 5 correct. And none hatched?

        • Admin Mary Anne June 15, 2022 at 1:29 pm - Reply

          That’s correct, Lucy did not hardly ever brood last year. I remember her brooding a little bit after she would lay an egg but that was it. Same thing this year until egg 3. It was like someone turned on a switch!

          • CarolV June 20, 2022 at 7:13 am - Reply

            Good Morning! Happy Juneteenth!

            Spotted all 4 chicks. #4 looks tiny next to older ones.

            • Admin Mary Anne June 20, 2022 at 8:40 am

              Same to you, Carol! Hoping for #4 but, you know how it is being the smallest and youngest in an osprey nest.

            • Joy Weaver July 2, 2022 at 9:43 am

              Lucy looking lovely this morning beyond the split rail fence in the mist.

      • nfc June 15, 2022 at 3:05 pm - Reply

        I am on vacation and keep checking in. Shocked to see number 4 at 2:58 pm today. Hopefully Lucy and George will know what to do. Hope there isn’t any bonking. This is mind blowing. Thanks for all the screen shots. I am sure we will all be looking at progress every day. After several bad years, this would be a blessing and a miracle. This will be an evolving story.

        • Admin Mary Anne June 15, 2022 at 3:18 pm - Reply

          I won’t be surprised if #4 does not make it. And very happy if he does! I think there will be some bonking, especially with 4 chicks there. I noticed chick 2 yesterday already grabbing the beak of one of its sibs and shaking it!

          • Junec June 15, 2022 at 4:32 pm - Reply

            Your right about 4… nest too small…and there is going to be a lot of pecking on younger chick…still amazing that they hatched…

            • Admin Mary Anne June 15, 2022 at 4:44 pm

              Hoping the best for all of them. Hard for a 4th to survive but it does happen. There’s a nest in Missouri where they raised four chicks two or three times. Female much more experienced than Lucy, but she has George helping her so we shall see.

    2. ospreyzone March 23, 2023 at 7:26 am - Reply

      Greetings, looking forward to a great season.

      I have 2 requests:

      1) Please restrict postings, images and videos to only about the Ospreyzone nest.
      2) When an image or still is shared, please don’t crop out the bottom line with date and time etc. I need it to be able to come back for being included in highlights. Also, my copyright is important to me.

      Please note that I encourage you to point out highlight worthy moments, as I can’t see everything but I’m hoping to keep up with the nest this year in our highlights. I also have an Osprey intro and a history of The plight if the Osprey , made by some of my students recently, to be published shortly, stand by.

      Many thanks.

      Paul

      • CarolV March 25, 2022 at 3:21 pm - Reply

        May have temporarily found way to get to photos from earlier in n day! It’s a long and winding road but until I find a better idea….. this is shot from this morning taken about 2:30pm…and I can edit!
        Sort of stumbled… um,….. navigated to a back door. Now better make notes or….
        Now I’m exhausted!

        • CarolV March 25, 2022 at 3:24 pm - Reply

          AND the sun came out…!!! HAPPY DANCE HAPPY DANCE!!!

    3. CarolV July 5, 2022 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      Lucy and one jr. Settling for now.
      Chance of first of several quick passing rain bands in the forecast anytime within an hour and overnight
      Cooling to about 71 with winds S10mph
      SOD, everyone!

    4. Isabella July 5, 2022 at 4:38 pm - Reply

      Sounds like feeding on the right side of the nest

      Who has decided to build a split rail fence!

    5. CarolV July 5, 2022 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      George brings a big fish… that’s it on the left, coming in for a landing….
      Kids waiting for a turn

      • CarolV July 5, 2022 at 4:18 pm - Reply

        .

        • CarolV July 5, 2022 at 5:25 pm - Reply

          Just took pic and saw 3 clearly… so much easier when they are moving!

    6. Isabella July 5, 2022 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      Unless that washer works….

    7. CarolV July 5, 2022 at 10:02 am - Reply

      THANKS, AIDAN!
      I t’s a view; less lumber, still smudgy…. I’ll take it!
      Kids napping on right rim

      Temp approaching 80 by 1pm then starting to drop slowly under overcast skies. Wind SW@ 7mph and a little muggy @70%

      • CarolV July 5, 2022 at 10:55 am - Reply

        And feeding….
        Pretty sure everyone ate.
        Everyone’s looking a little fuzzy as their feathers pop out

        • CarolV July 5, 2022 at 12:52 pm - Reply

          George came to visit for a bit. Lucy is chatting, not yapping, at the moment….

          • CarolV July 5, 2022 at 1:09 pm - Reply

            Maybe I worry too much but as crowded as this nest is, I hate to see George manipulating multi -branches around when kids are near edge….

            • CarolV July 5, 2022 at 1:13 pm

              Z

            • CarolV July 5, 2022 at 1:43 pm

              And another one…. Getting a little help

    8. Admin Mary Anne July 5, 2022 at 9:38 am - Reply

      LIVE STREAM is back running…

    9. CarolV July 3, 2022 at 4:19 pm - Reply

      Cam still down
      I’m imagining Lucy in her ventilated jacket…. She always looks so cute!
      Wonder if the dinos are bonking today?
      Considering tomorrow is a holiday, I suspect it will be a guessing game, too.

      It’s 4pm and 83.Fullsun.
      winds W9mph…. But feels stagnant.

    10. CarolV July 2, 2022 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      So guess we’re off line. Waied a while to see if it came back.
      Hope everyone has a good night and a good Sunday and a safe and happy fourth!

      Hopefully the fireworks are minimal…..

    11. CarolV July 2, 2022 at 8:24 pm - Reply

      So guess we’re off line. Waied a while to see if it came back.
      Hope everyone has a good night and a good Sunday and a safe and happy fourth!

      Hopefully the fireworks are minimal….

    12. Isabella July 2, 2022 at 4:52 pm - Reply

      Have a happy and safe
      4 of July

    13. CarolV July 2, 2022 at 4:06 pm - Reply

      George is back and Lucy is reading him the riot act….. guess he doesn’t have fish… as long as he didn’t bring a stick!

      3rd round of tstorms just rolled through here….bah!

    14. CarolV July 2, 2022 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      Feeding time… of the two heads showing… one on right is keeping an eye on chick we can’t see well. It’s just by the right side. Each time it’s made a move, that visible chick has glacéd over or n
      Made a move toward it…… it’s over there waiting.

      • CarolV July 2, 2022 at 4:15 pm - Reply

        Feel slightly better that we had turned the page and pics that were supposed to be tacked on here got attached to wrong place!
        See previous page to read them… and my whiny confusion ….

    15. Isabella July 2, 2022 at 11:55 am - Reply

      Lunch by Lucy

      She tried to feed the little guy
      His sibling gave him the stink eye

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