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Early 2020 Highlights

Osprey Rescue

Tommy Aprea - Windsong Osprey Nest

Tip:  If the nest is empty, use the red scroll bar to rewind the stream up to 12 hours

June 15th, 2020: Two eggs in the nest. Mostly sunny this week.

Please be advised that nature can be brutal – viewer discretion is advised.
Best viewed with Google Chrome.

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Special Thanks to Tommy and Christina: George & Gracie’s Landlords

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

    44,141 Comments

    1. Thomas aprea July 3, 2021 at 9:09 pm - Reply

      This is tommy and christina we should name the babies Yankee and doodle for the 4th of July happy 4th to all ospreyzoners and the family’s who are struggling with this new life we are leading good nite to all we will make it together

      • Marilyn Jespe July 4, 2020 at 3:44 pm - Reply

        very cute idea or Star and Stripe

      • Isabella July 4, 2020 at 11:14 pm - Reply

        Hello Tommy and Christina,
        Thank you and blessings to you and your family! As Jane and George’s landlord, think you should name 🐣🐣s.
        🇺🇸

      • GinaM July 5, 2020 at 11:14 am - Reply

        Totally agree!! Happy 4th and THANK YOU for the gift of this webcam.

    2. Admin Mary Anne July 3, 2021 at 7:09 am - Reply

      Welcome Chick #1!! Seen all the way out of the shell at 5:44 am.

      • June c July 3, 2020 at 7:36 am - Reply

        Wow..what great news…..I had little hope for egg one…silly me this is the wonder nest….

      • nfc July 3, 2020 at 7:42 am - Reply

        Happy news just before the 4th of July!!!! Congratulations to George and Jane for their hard work especially with the intruders they have seen during this season.

      • PattyK July 3, 2020 at 7:56 am - Reply

        YaY!!!!! Wonderful!!

      • winnie July 3, 2020 at 10:17 am - Reply

        Oh Wow I feel like a Grandma again God Bless!

      • Rob L July 3, 2020 at 11:28 am - Reply

        This is amazing. Thanks. I can’t tell if there are two babies or just one. I see the two eggs have hatched but only one baby.

        • Admin Mary Anne July 3, 2020 at 12:13 pm - Reply

          Hi Rob, look closer, there is one chick and an unhatched egg still.

          • Rob L July 3, 2020 at 1:15 pm - Reply

            👍. Thanks

    3. CarolV July 5, 2020 at 11:47 am - Reply

      George comes in……………. digs a fishtail from the pantry……. does he hide them there?

      Unfortunately, Yankee fell asleep before George had a chance to feed him, so George ate the tail…
      He stood as a dadbrella before sitting on the nest.

      • CarolV July 5, 2020 at 12:07 pm - Reply

        Jane floats down from perch and takes the spot

    4. kathryn kovacs July 5, 2020 at 11:34 am - Reply

      George is doing double duty as father getting fish and feeding the chicks and sitting on the chicks.

    5. CarolV July 5, 2020 at 10:40 am - Reply

      Tiny baby poop…. guess that’s a good sign…

    6. OspreyLover29 July 5, 2020 at 10:30 am - Reply

      Has anyone seen this chick eat yet?

      • Admin Mary Anne July 5, 2020 at 11:28 am - Reply

        Yes, today so far, the chick was fed a few times by George.

    7. kathryn kovacs July 5, 2020 at 10:02 am - Reply

      Has anyone seen Jane feeding the chick? I see George feeding the chick. I see George bringing fish in and Jane thinks it is room service and flies off with it. I don’t get it. It is going to get very hot the next couple of days in the 90’s. Hope things turn out alright.

      • CarolV July 5, 2020 at 10:31 am - Reply

        Probably won’t be that hot out here but hot enough…
        Had some success this morning and Yankee is starting to scoot, which will help getting her/him closer.

    8. CarolV July 5, 2020 at 9:57 am - Reply

      George is back and picks up leftover fish. Yankee is awake and even scoots forward a little- good work, baby!
      George was patient and it looked like he was hitting the target… just hope the target is swallowing some!

      • CarolV July 5, 2020 at 10:20 am - Reply

        Jane is back and finishes small tail piece leftover….
        George turns over nest and goes to perch…

    9. BostonWatcher July 5, 2020 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Enjoying the fireworks…

    10. Admin Mary Anne July 5, 2020 at 8:49 am - Reply

      George feeding Yankee…8:41 am

    11. CarolV July 5, 2020 at 8:37 am - Reply

      Another fish @08:00.
      Jane takes off…………… George is eating it, while checking on Yankee…… Unfortunately, Yankee is asleep……………… I’m doing my best, yelling to wake up and wave that bobblehead!

      • CarolV July 5, 2020 at 8:52 am - Reply

        Finally, Yankee bobs up and George tries to feed. It took a bit, because he’s in the wrong position and that nestcup is deep’ But he managed to get some bites to her.
        Then she fell over on her back. She managed to right herself, but is pooped….and sleeps

        • CarolV July 5, 2020 at 9:10 am - Reply

          Jane comes back…. George left fish in nest….. Jane goes to sit on eggcup and cleans up dropped fish pieces…. I hope something went in to Yankee.

    12. LI Marg July 5, 2020 at 7:47 am - Reply

      Large, headless breakfish..

    13. CarolV July 5, 2020 at 7:22 am - Reply

      @5:45…. George brings largish fish, maybe fluke.
      Jane takes and goes…………………………………….she came back in about 15-20 mins, which is an improvement and she brought fish with her,
      She went straight to Yankee and eggie and covered them. The fish is right behind her.

      • CarolV July 5, 2020 at 8:01 am - Reply

        @07:28…. Jane got up and flew off with fish…
        But she just looped the nest and was right back. Yankee is up and bobbleheading, reminding Jane. She tries but is too far away to reach the target, so she eats most of the fish herself.
        Suddenly, the light dawns and she moves closer, getting some fish in to Yankee.

        I have a crazy desire to type Yahtzee……. have to keep reminding myself.

    14. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      Fireworks and a full Buck moon………
      (July 5, 12:45am.)

      Very noisy in my area…. think I liked the thunder better last night!

      • CarolV July 5, 2020 at 8:15 am - Reply

        Traditionally, the full Moon in July is called the Buck Moon because a buck’s antlers are in full growth mode at this time. This full Moon was also known as the Thunder Moon because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month

    15. kathryn kovacs July 4, 2020 at 9:07 pm - Reply

      What I see so far I don’t think Jane is a good mother. She makes sure she eats not the chick, is it so it doesn’t get big and strong before the second chick hatches?

      • Paula July 5, 2020 at 9:13 am - Reply

        No it’s just that Jane isn’t as good a mother as other osprey mothers. The first year she was here, if it wasn’t for George there wouldn’t have been any chicks at all. Couldn’t see very much at all last year so was hoping she had gotten better but I agree with you that she isn’t a great mother. Was really hoping she would have gotten better by now. Sure miss Gracie!

    16. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      George brought a fish… tried to hold but Jane took it…. she flew out once, leaving the fish but returned to pick it up.
      When she came back, no fish……………………….

      • CarolV July 4, 2020 at 8:40 pm - Reply

        Late day grass delivery…… GN, J & G &Y!!!!! Here’s to a better tomorrow!

    17. kathryn kovacs July 4, 2020 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      Mom should sit on it so the chick might go to sleep. So hard to see it pleading for food.

    18. kathryn kovacs July 4, 2020 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      7/4
      The chick is looking for food. Don’t think it is getting what it needs.

    19. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 5:48 pm - Reply

      Sailboats on parade…………………

    20. Paula July 4, 2020 at 3:30 pm - Reply

      Happy 4th everyone,
      I have a couple of q’s
      Has Jane tried feeding Yankee?
      Also, is this the latest the eggs have hatched?

      • Admin Mary Anne July 4, 2020 at 4:01 pm - Reply

        Hi Paula, Jane gave Yankee some fish a little while ago. Yes, I believe this is the latest an egg has hatched at this nest.

        • Paula July 4, 2020 at 5:28 pm - Reply

          Thanks for all the replies.
          I was worried because the only feeding I had seen was George last night. I know the 12 hour rewind is great but really easy to miss stuff.

    21. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 3:29 pm - Reply

      My computer has been acting up. It just decided to change everything I know as far as editing pics. Just wanted to show that Jane is feeding Yankee….
      Gguessed at one of the tiny pics…..

      • CarolV July 4, 2020 at 3:57 pm - Reply

        Jane passes the test!!!!!
        George brought a fish @15:05……. As Jane headed towards him, George sidled away. Jane wanted that fish and really had to work to get it…….
        Several times, it looked like she was taking off when suddenly, it clicked. And she started feeding Yankee!
        George left her to it.

        I am annoyed that my system suddenly changed. I can at least now view my pics but still can’t edit. gggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……. hate the black borders…..

    22. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 2:22 pm - Reply

      George surveying all the boats in his bay…..
      Jane dropped from perch……… G went…

    23. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      Tried going thru my pics from last year to see if Jane was feeding at the start and all I found was view was so much worse than I remembered! Guess we’ll just have to be patient…..

    24. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 12:43 pm - Reply

      George brings a tailless porgy…..
      Tug o’fish over Yankee and she gets slopped by fish……………. Jane takes it to go

      About 40mins later, she is on the perch… George awaits…

      • CarolV July 4, 2020 at 12:56 pm - Reply

        Jane comes in fishless…….
        She did a bit of nestorating….. held my breathe while that log was moving!

    25. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 10:20 am - Reply

      Glad George got that stick out of the egg cup

      • CarolV July 4, 2020 at 10:23 am - Reply

        Jane gets rousted by the old stick trick …AGAIN!

        • CarolV July 4, 2020 at 10:26 am - Reply

          Cleared the way… now he can move stick where it belongs….

          • CarolV July 4, 2020 at 10:33 am - Reply

            Yankee had a lovely shell hat for a short time……. George moved that out of the nestcup too

    26. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 9:09 am - Reply

      Turned page…. so saying again…………………….

    27. June c July 4, 2020 at 7:11 am - Reply

      Mary Anne…this could be egg 2 that hatched…it’s possible at day 35….. will see next couple days if other hatches…that would be great if it does..
      Tommy…love the names..well for sure we have a Yankee let’s hope doe the Doodle…..
      All have a safe 4th….

    28. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 7:08 am - Reply

      Success! George gets a couple bites in Yankee. Little bit big and it tires out the kid…

      • CarolV July 4, 2020 at 9:17 am - Reply

        George brought back the last of that fish, Jane flew out.
        George moves toward Yankee and manages to get a couple of pieces in her mouth (yes, I know-genderless “her” for ease)
        He finishes the fish and sits on the nest

    29. Wendy July 4, 2020 at 6:48 am - Reply

      Opps is it Doodle

    30. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 6:34 am - Reply

      Morning check…..

    31. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 6:25 am - Reply

      George brings a nice fish….. Jane takes off with it…

      • CarolV July 4, 2020 at 6:39 am - Reply

        Jane returns with a piece of fish but leaves it sitting on the edge and goes to cover the chick&egg.
        George comes and picks up fish.

    32. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 6:24 am - Reply

      George comes in for Jane’s morning run…… one baby, one egg…

    33. CarolV July 4, 2020 at 6:08 am - Reply

      That’s cute! So for now, we have Yankee…….
      Hope you’re both doing well. As always, thanks for all the pleasure you’ve given us! Have a great holiday and good health to you both…

    34. Wendy July 4, 2020 at 5:53 am - Reply

      Great idea…Have their parents started to feed Yankee or us I’d Dodd’s?

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