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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 Eldermire
Bird Cams Project Leader
Cornell Lab of Ornithology


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

“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


    1. cloudymoor July 2, 2015 at 8:54 am - Reply

      I know the ospreys need an open space for their nest to ease landings and takeoffs but this downside of this is how they’re exposed to the heat. Hard to see these birds panting in this manner. I wish the fish would come so they can get hydrated as well as fed. I’ve seen three chicks perish in 5 days time. Brutal stuff.

    2. DQ July 2, 2015 at 8:26 am - Reply

      Positive thoughts only! Thank you to all of you wonderful people who share your concerns and only think good thoughts for the future success of this family!

      • Barbara July 2, 2015 at 8:40 am - Reply

        I agree, DQ! Now that I don’t have to see the little one being tortured, I will only root for the well-being of the parents and two young ones!!

      • Trish July 2, 2015 at 9:01 am - Reply

        Yes I agree….all future comments should be positive only…we all had the option of tuning out for a bit, to let nature take its course….if it was too much for us to watch…hopefully the babies will now thrive. This is a wonderful opportunity to view these beautiful birds. Thank you to all who make this possible.

    3. Lucie Pecor July 2, 2015 at 7:34 am - Reply

      alerting?? or calling for food?

      • Rob Bierregaard July 2, 2015 at 9:27 am - Reply

        Begging for food.

        • Luce July 2, 2015 at 5:16 pm - Reply

          Rob….earler saw the one adult feedng the other as well as the babes. never saw that before. s t a bondng move? t was so sweet

    4. JB July 2, 2015 at 7:26 am - Reply

      Looks like the Osprey kids been pointing their super-soaker at the camera again.


    5. Lucie Pecor July 2, 2015 at 7:16 am - Reply

      Someone is hungry!!

    6. Carol July 2, 2015 at 7:08 am - Reply

      Gracie very vocal this a.m. Even the chicks are chiming in. Hope George is up for an early breakfast. I worry he may have pulled a muscle or something after the incident with the net. I know he did bring back fish that afternoon, but he has been a bit off since then. Are fishing conditions bad?

    7. Bonnie July 2, 2015 at 6:29 am - Reply

      Seems there might be a problem with Gracie now. This is her second day not having a bowel movement. She gets on the ledge and tries, nothing happens. Could be from the stress or NOT getting enough to eat to move it along. Can someone post if they have seen her have a bowel movement? Please, she shares so much of our hearts and has gone through so much thus far. The “critters” on her sucking her blood, her crying for food, ect. We sure don’t want her sick now…and what she did to #1 and #2 was use her beak on a pressure point to calm them somehow. I may be wrong in my thinking and am a “worry wart”. So someone with the “know how”, please try explaining to us untrained, things that are going on in the daytime hours with these beautiful creatures of God. Can she die from a blocked bowel?

      • nascar78fan July 2, 2015 at 6:50 am - Reply

        I just saw Gracie have a bowel movement on cam 7/2 at 6:45.

      • Leanne July 2, 2015 at 7:02 am - Reply

        I actually haven’t noticed Gracie’s movements in that area but maybe she is constipated due to dehydration? George didn’t bring any food 2 days ago and so maybe that’s the cause. If she hasn’t gone, I hope she does. Hopefully George will bring big fish for them to enjoy this morning. She sure is squawking enough for him to get on the ball and provide for his family. Gracie is a wonderful Mom and I think George is trying his best. Still missing Rocky though. Nest just isn’t the same without our lil fighter.

      • Debbie July 2, 2015 at 7:13 am - Reply

        Bonnie….From the years that i have watched Eagles, Ospreys RTH ect..the adult rarely will have bowel movements at the nest. They will leave the
        nest to do that. Rarely will one ever go at the nest. Guess it’s like don’t go where you eat. When they bend over like the chicks, i think it’s more like stretching.
        Gracie just left now so probably the urge was there to go…..

    8. Leanne July 2, 2015 at 5:15 am - Reply

      Did anyone else notice that at first it was #1 (Gigi) who was the main aggressor towards #3 (Rocky) yet in the last day or two it seemed to me that it was #2 (Izzy) who became the main aggressor? Did anyone else notice that or was it just me? Made me curious as to if it was an age thing and that maybe Gigi had grown out of her bullying phase and thats why Izzy started? Either way, I will miss Rocky very much. I learned a lot from that lil dude and although he may not have been with us for very long, I think we can all agree he truly left his mark on our hearts. R.I.P. Rocky. You’re free !

    9. Rose Petejan July 2, 2015 at 4:28 am - Reply

      This is for the viewer who is wondering what the bulge is on the baby chick.

      Osprey Crops

      Ospreys are diurnal raptors (active in the daytime), and all raptors of this type have a special organ called a crop, which is a swelling at the base of the esophagus that forms a storage area where food can be held for later digestion. When the chick’s crop develops over the next couple weeks, it will look like a small bulging protrusion on the chick’s chest, and its presence will make life easier for the whole family. For the chick, the crop means the little bird can quickly swallow food that its siblings might want, and for the adults it means the chick can go longer between feedings.

      • Judy July 2, 2015 at 8:05 am - Reply

        This is to the person who answered my question about one of the babies who had a bludge in there neck..
        It was called a osprey crops….
        Thank you..
        I love this feed what a view & very interesting about these birds…
        Thank you Tommy…

    10. Patty July 1, 2015 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      So sorry about the little one he’s free now to soar in the heavens pray that his siblings survive and thrive in this world ?

    11. andreaallennyc July 1, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      Here is a link to a very nice puffin nest cam.

      The puffling hatched today. Puffins lay only one egg … Thus no sibling hostility. The burrows are well protected, so no threat from eagles. The parents are experienced and very good. No guarantees the puffling will live to fledge, but generally a more heartwarming experience than we’ve all had with Osprey this season. You do need to have a high tolerence for utter cuteness.


    12. Trinity July 1, 2015 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      Moonlight shining down on Gracie ; beautiful sight. Thanks Paul 🙂

    13. Ja July 1, 2015 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      Thank u Micheal Martin for your comment & also Paul & the experts for the time & effort that went into bringing us this amazing experience, i am still grieving from that strong beautiful baby but i know i also want those other two babies to make it to a beautiful osprey and fly away . I want to research and educate myself further & hopefully help…… These tears aren’t in vain.

      • Tony July 2, 2015 at 2:06 am - Reply

        For future reference, do experts have any experience with making food more available, perhaps a kid’s pool stoked with fish? If so does that improve the chances of a third chick’s survival?

        The statistics offered here suggest the smallest in a three chick nest has little chance of survival even if there is abundant food.

    14. Mickey July 1, 2015 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      Osprey chicks are not the only birds that do this. Natures way….

    15. Carol July 1, 2015 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      Great shot with the full moon’s pathway across the water! It is a little disconcerting that the chicks are almost cuddling with Peewee’s body…just part of the nest now, I guess.

    16. Redkayak July 1, 2015 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. (Matthew 10:29)

      Rip Pip Squeak June 15th- July 1st 2015

      • Heather July 1, 2015 at 11:31 pm - Reply

        Thank you for this…

    17. Judy July 1, 2015 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      Just wondering if anyone has noticed that #1 seemed to have a growth or something going on with his neck ? It’s in the front of his neck almost looks like a ball..He keeps falling down..Just wondering…

      • andreaallennyc July 1, 2015 at 10:30 pm - Reply

        That is his crop. It is full of food. Here is a definition:
        “In a bird’s digestive system, the crop is an expanded, muscular pouch near the gullet or throat. It is a part of the digestive tract, essentially an enlarged part of the oesophagus. As with most other organisms that have a crop, the crop is used to temporarily store food.”
        So he’s well fed!!

    18. Monica July 1, 2015 at 7:59 pm - Reply

      I so wanted the little runt to make it. I was rooting for him. Oh well, nature is brutal. But, life goes on. What made this interesting for me was watching the little runt trying to survive. Not sure if I want to continue watching the live feed. Perhaps it’d be interesting to see them when they leave the nest. Does anyone have any idea when that may potentially happen?

      • Redkayak July 1, 2015 at 8:46 pm - Reply

        Late August

      • jan orth July 1, 2015 at 9:13 pm - Reply

        I would like to apologise for all those who rant at you. The projected anger of people nowadays apparently knows NO MANNERS! You are kind enough to educate us in the osprey’ name. Just bcse we are not happy with Mother Nature doesn’t call for ANY profanity! I wonder if those cursing have ever seen a chicken beheaded (running around) getting it ready for human consumption, or a beef/pig killed or gutted for consumption? It isn’t all pretty until it arrives in the meat dept of your local groceries. Those exempt from these “animal murders” would be a vegetarian. I eat meat and have seen it all done. Just as cruel as Mother Nature. I block it out and eat fish and chicken anyway. NONE OF IT reason for ranting and profanity!! T/U, Paul for your courage!

      • andreaallennyc July 2, 2015 at 7:54 am - Reply

        Fledge is 48 to 59 days from hatching (according to the Audubon site). I think these guys hatched on June 12 & 13. If so, we’re looking at the very end of July to mid August. It will be fun to watch a bit prior to that as they will stand around flapping their wings and rising up a bit over the nest before they get the nerve to actually fly.

    19. Featherdog July 1, 2015 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      Can someone tell me where to find the “official” rules for posting comments? I don’t see them on the site. I tried to post a comment but it said ‘awaiting moderation’ and never showed up. I’m trying to figure out what I may have said that someone, perhaps, didn’t like. Is there a particular moderator to contact?

      • ospreyzone July 1, 2015 at 8:00 pm - Reply

        Sorry, we just can’t sit in front of the computer all day moderating. We are looking into other solutions but have had a lot of spam and some rants laced with profanity.

        • Redkayak July 1, 2015 at 8:50 pm - Reply

          That’s a shame. You shouldnt have to be subjected to that. But that’s the Internet! Please know that the majority of folks on this site support the way you have handled this.

        • Michael G. Martin July 2, 2015 at 12:29 am - Reply

          Paul and the Staff
          Is there a possibility in the future before the migration south starts that the birds would be tagged and trackers placed to monitor the progress during the winter months and a question. Do the off- spring migrate South with their Parents and what happens to the Chicks once they Fledge. Sorry one last once they do fledge how long will the Stay Safe Keep your Head down and always Remember to wear your SCBA in the nest and do the winter with the Parents

        • Featherdog July 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm - Reply

          I am reaaly sorry that you get those type of posts. I really didn’t expect 24/7 active monitoring. I wasn’t sure how posts showed up after regular hours and into the wee hours of the night. I thought there was some kind of program that withheld posts if certain words/language was in the post but let others go through. Again, I was trying to figure out if there was something I said that wasn’t allowed since I couldn’t find any Rules for posting. Thanks.

      • Monica July 1, 2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply

        Featherdog – I get the same message but it eventually shows up under the comments. I believe the most recent comments are at the very top of the thread.

      • Rjoneal July 1, 2015 at 8:18 pm - Reply

        I had the same problem when I first tried to post You have to make sure when you receive the email confirmation letter to confirm and open up a blog account it may take some time before it posts but that’s how mine finally posted a day later.

    20. carol July 1, 2015 at 7:42 pm - Reply

      It’s obvious that peewee is gone, but what happened to him?I ddon’t want to seem cruel but is he still in the nest?

      • Marilyn July 1, 2015 at 8:27 pm - Reply

        Yes, his body is still in the nest.

      • Trishrrg July 1, 2015 at 8:42 pm - Reply

        Hi Carol
        The deceased chick is still in the middle of the nest. The adult may remove the body or it may become part of the nest. Will have to wait and see.
        The other 2 chicks look great. I saw them both today with full crops after eating a good meal.

    21. JB July 1, 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      Chick number one appears to be consuming the little one.

      • Marilyn July 1, 2015 at 8:28 pm - Reply

        OMG, no. Even in death they won’t leave the little one alone.

      • jan orth July 1, 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

        yeah..I was afraid that’s the way Mother Nature would call it. boohoo…..

    22. Dorothy July 1, 2015 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      For the past couple of days, I’ve only “peeked” at the nest every once in awhile…There are times when Nature can be so difficult to observe or understand…Just thinking what the little one endured brings tears to my eyes but he/she’s at peace, free and soaring with the angels…RIP, Little One…..

    23. Jan Klinedinst July 1, 2015 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      I want you to know I think your web cam is the best on the net!! The view, sound and educational value is by far the best!! Thank you! By the way, do you ever see dolphin in this part of the sound??

    24. Kas July 1, 2015 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      Looks like one of the babies *hat upon the lens…it went “splat” around 6:25 PM.

      IT happens ;).

      (I watched an eagle cam this spring where one of the eaglets REALLY hit the camera. After a few heavy rains, it was clear again.)

      • ospreyzone July 1, 2015 at 8:03 pm - Reply

        Yep, we call it a “squirt” Right now it’s easy to rewind to the spot around 6:20. Anyone know a rain maker?

    25. Carol July 1, 2015 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Karenliny. It’s a good sentiment to sum up what seemed to us, the onlookers, a sadly short cruel life. As a watcher of many nature programs, I have seen these situations in many instances, not just birds. As quick as we are to convert these actions to human experiences, we must realized we are aliens trying to explain the incomprehensible. Thank you, Paul, for giving us such an honor. And happy journey little Peewee.

    26. Michael G. Martin July 1, 2015 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      To Paul and all of the Staff and Experts who make all this Possible

      I hope I can speak for all of Us. I want to take this opportunity for all of us the have a glimpse at the Pristine life we call Nature. We have many ups and downs while viewing your site, on the whole they were mostly uplifting. We were able to witness the Beauty of nature as it gives Life but also how it will take it away. Whilst it was emotional to see the little one abused then die. But it’s Life and it’s natures way of saying that ” Only the Strong Survive” if the only lesson we have learned so far is that Fire may not seem far at times but we can move on from here and understand the Plight of the Ospreys and how we can help in their stuggle. There are several Organizations that help thru education and awareness so give them a look- up. Finally, we all started out as Stranges just stopping by to watch an Osprey Nest. But after 3 weeks we turned into a Community United into the preservation to help all Living Things. PAZ

      • Moe July 1, 2015 at 9:00 pm - Reply

        I agree Mr. Martin,wildlife is an experience that brings many together. PleAse May come back as a bird I feed in my backyard or my grandchild or being the 4th of July weekend,the next General PATTON!!! That’s how I have to look at these things to stay sane

        • Moe July 2, 2015 at 12:33 am - Reply

          I won’t be back at this till next year. Hope the other two make it after they leave the nest. It’s a harsh world,but they seem to be rugid enough. Hopefully the Duke Farms eaglets don’t find out about this nest. Or….maybe I’ll text them now

    27. Susan July 1, 2015 at 6:54 pm - Reply

      Glad the little one is at peace. Have the other two eaten today?

      • Diane S July 1, 2015 at 8:31 pm - Reply

        Yes…Dad brought a fish in late afternoon. But #1 seems to be getting fed more than #2. Once #1 was full, then #2 got to eat.

    28. Susan July 1, 2015 at 6:53 pm - Reply

      Glad the little one is at peace. Haven today?e the other two eat

    29. gamma July 1, 2015 at 6:34 pm - Reply

      Is the camera lens in such a position that a rain would wash the chick poop off ? Wonder if they know they are being watched . :))

      • ospreyzone July 1, 2015 at 8:09 pm - Reply

        yes, rain, rain, rain

      • jan orth July 1, 2015 at 9:17 pm - Reply

        yeah, me too? It seems like whenever I tune in Momma sharply turns her head to the camera and looks me “dead in the eye” with her beady ones. Creeped me out at first!

    30. Helen July 1, 2015 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      I think you should lay down and get some well deserved rest now, Gracie!! You have had a rough time too!

    31. Shar July 1, 2015 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      Mystery solved of what causes the blur in the video. One of the babies just pooped and hit the lens/glass of the video feed. The next rain will take care of it again.

    32. Samantha July 1, 2015 at 6:29 pm - Reply

      I was wondering when someone was going to poop on the camera…

    33. Diane S July 1, 2015 at 6:26 pm - Reply

      RIP Pee Wee. A late feeding time, and mom seems to be favoring #1. I noticed #2 patiently waiting his/her turn. Finally #1 was full, and #2 got fed. Pardon the pun, but there is a pecking order for sure.

    34. stephanie July 1, 2015 at 6:15 pm - Reply

      i feel this is my online family i been watching since my friend Tommy put up the camera. i am so very upset with the passing of our little on osprey #3. i named the osprey hope since i had so much for the little one. hope put up a tuff fight and its very hard to watch but i must see how the other 2 ospreys develop. God rest now my Hope

    35. Rose Petejan July 1, 2015 at 6:08 pm - Reply

      The 2 chicks seem quite content. Is George bringing in more fish today, or is it that there is enough to feed them?

    36. Marilyn July 1, 2015 at 6:06 pm - Reply

      There seems to be an abundance of fish in the nest. Haven’t been to the site since this am. Has George been a good provider today?

    37. Misty July 1, 2015 at 6:00 pm - Reply

      What will happen to pee wee??

    38. Pete July 1, 2015 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      Great comment Karenliny. To everything ……..
      To those who are still distraught why not make a donation to your favorite children’s hospital, thinking of the strength and determination expressed by that young osprey, pales to the plight of some of our own youth.

      • jan orth July 1, 2015 at 9:18 pm - Reply


    39. Laura Bliakie July 1, 2015 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      love watching nature in its Natural State.. Although it was hard to see the little one get beat up ( I did only check in once a day after that) .. There’s a reason.. And Mother Nature controls it.. Now it’s time to move on.. I love this site, thank you so much for this lesson .. It’s awesome

    40. Mitchell July 1, 2015 at 5:47 pm - Reply

      I am really glad that humans did not interfere with the events that unfolded in the nest. I am very interested to see what actually happens in nature otherwise I would not watch. So I appreciate the fact that this cam allows us to see it. Speaking of seeing it, is there any way I can get footage of yesterday’s events? I missed out on it. If anyone can help I would appreciate it very much thanks.

    41. JB July 1, 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply

      We probably can never learn what was happening in the minds of our Osprey family yesterday. For all of us who have been watching and rooting for the runt and been hopeful he could overcome. But, yesterday, the nest behavior changed for no apparent reason, except that there were three mouths to feed, and a huge size difference between the first and third born. Suddenly, yesterday morning George just didn’t choose to fish. Not for a little while, but for the entire day, while the chicks remained in the nest in direct full sun. All of them were suffering, but it was clear the little one was getting hit the hardest. The only source of hydration is the food they eat, and all day they had no food. I wonder, though I can only speculate like anyone else whether George and Grace did what they did yesterday to better enable the two oldest to survive? It seems openly cruel, but it probably presents the best opportunity for survival of two, rather than three.

      • Madeline Sharrock July 1, 2015 at 11:44 pm - Reply

        I too watched yesterday. I could not help remembering back to when my dad passed away 7 years ago. He was receiving hospice care in the hospital and the nurses removed his saline iV. My mom waa upset, but then it was explained that our bodies want to dry out before passing. It eases the pain. I could not help but think that George and Gracie were programmed to know this. Yes, we might think that nature is cruel, but the species survival is contingent on the survival of the fittest.

    42. Samantha July 1, 2015 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      Did anyone else see Gracie slurp up that fish’s intestine like spaghetti??

    43. June July 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm - Reply

      Never thought I would cry over the death of a bird

      • Donna D. July 1, 2015 at 8:59 pm - Reply

        June, Your not alone. I’ve cried so much my head hurts. I couldn’t watch but I had to read to find out what was going on. Reading about the Little Guy this morning I just cried all morning reading all the comments. RIP Little One!

        • Lucie Pecor July 2, 2015 at 7:19 am - Reply

          it truly was a sad site to see but at least he isn’t being picked on any more. Poor wee babe

    44. Debbie July 1, 2015 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      7/1……..5:15p…….Good to see food at the nest again today. Hungry mouths to feed. Lets hope this keeps up. Good Job George…!!!!!

    45. Jara July 1, 2015 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      Wow, George arrived with a fish and Gracie just about attacked him. I think she’s as hungry as the young ones. Life goes on in the nest. Now it’s time to watch them grow and fly off on their own.

    46. Lucie Pecor July 1, 2015 at 5:18 pm - Reply

      it worked!! Dinner! 😉

    47. Lucie Pecor July 1, 2015 at 5:16 pm - Reply

      she seems loud tonight. I notice she has covered the wee one. That wind is crazy but her nest seems secure

    48. Martha July 1, 2015 at 5:02 pm - Reply

      This is the most amazing insight into animal/avian behavior. I am blown away. Thanks, Paul

    49. Rose July 1, 2015 at 4:31 pm - Reply

      I said goodbye to the little guy yesterday. I knew he wasn’t going to make it and could not bear to watch anymore. I stayed off all day today until now. I’m glad he is finally at peace. So sad. This site is wonderful showing nature in the raw, but nature at times can be so brutal. RIP little one.

    50. karenliny July 1, 2015 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      I have been following this site since nearly the beginning.
      I can’t seem to shake the feeling that the little one’s place on the earth was to inspire us. To persevere when the odds are stacked against us. To remain resolute in our determination to succeed and, in fact thrive. And also to be kinder and gentler to this planet by picking up after ourselves and, indeed, others. It is a pleasure and an honor to have witnessed little one’s days on this earth.

      • Jon July 1, 2015 at 5:13 pm - Reply

        Couldn’t have said it better.

    51. Karin July 1, 2015 at 4:20 pm - Reply

      there is such a void….everyone staying off to the side… i had watched the parents go out of their way to see the wee one got fed ( we think he had an eye bitten out ) but the parents did nothing to interfere with the attacks..It’s sad. Had he been bigger he could have fought back…Even though I can’t look at the older brats, uh I mean older babies, the same way they are still babies and I do want to see them grow and learn to fly.

    52. Rose Petejan July 1, 2015 at 4:15 pm - Reply

      Are there bald headed eagles in this area? Could these chicks be in danger?

    53. DianeNY July 1, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      About an hour ago Gracie picked up black plastic that was in the bedding of the nest and the wind blew it over the body of the little chick.

    54. Monica July 1, 2015 at 4:04 pm - Reply

      Hi, just logged on. So, is the little guy gone? In a way I’m glad I didn’t see his last moments. 🙁

    55. lee July 1, 2015 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      Well little one would have been alive if someone had gotten it out in time. No excuse here. Definitely would have climbed up there myself if I lived there.

      • Pat July 1, 2015 at 5:24 pm - Reply

        So would I.

    56. DQ July 1, 2015 at 3:33 pm - Reply

      Could you please tell me the dates of birth for these babies, including Little One? Thank you!

      • ospreyzone July 1, 2015 at 3:43 pm - Reply

        Baby #1 was born June 12, #2 was born on the 13th, and the little one was born on the 15th.

      • DQ July 1, 2015 at 3:51 pm - Reply

        How appropriate that the black tissue paper is covering Little One!

      • JB July 1, 2015 at 3:55 pm - Reply

        Chick 1: 6/12/2015
        Chick 2: 6/13/2015
        Chick 3: 6/15/2015

      • DQ July 1, 2015 at 3:56 pm - Reply

        Thank you, Paul!

    57. Jara July 1, 2015 at 3:26 pm - Reply

      George looks like he’s trying to cover the little one. And what’s going on with Gracie. She doesn’t look well. She looks like she’s going to keel over. Can’t keep her eyes open.

    58. GinaM July 1, 2015 at 3:19 pm - Reply

      They have covered the body with a couple of sticks and now sea weed

    59. Bonnie July 1, 2015 at 3:07 pm - Reply

      Likely our little dear PeeWee will become covered by sticks and other nest detritus as the parents continue to add to the nest and rearrange things. Possibly removal by one or the other when decay becomes an issue if not covered first.

      • Barbara July 1, 2015 at 3:27 pm - Reply

        Looks like our dear baby is being covered by debris by the dad…Glad we don’t have to see his small, gray, lifeless body…

      • JB July 1, 2015 at 3:42 pm - Reply

        I posted this YouTube like several days ago, but what happened to the little guy is common in Osprey nests. There is not much effort if any to move the body, and other things can happen also.

        • Mike July 1, 2015 at 7:23 pm - Reply


      • deb July 1, 2015 at 3:49 pm - Reply

        i was wondering what would happen to the body of the little one. i just tuned in and i see it covered. That is amazing! .my heart was so heavy this morning, but this is such an awesome journey to be able to share in their world. if they only knew, so many people are watching. i pray for this osprey family all to thrive.

    60. Misty July 1, 2015 at 3:06 pm - Reply

      I see lil pee wee in the middle of the nest…..will mama or papa remove the body??? I’m just glad his suffering is over!!!

    61. jeanne July 1, 2015 at 2:59 pm - Reply

      I was wondering If George and Gracie are new at parenting?
      Also was the lack of fish possibly due to the rip current warnings we had the past two days? TIA

      • bostonbean July 1, 2015 at 4:21 pm - Reply

        From their behaviors, it seemed like they were inexperienced. The dad at Hog Island brings in half a dozen to 13 fish in a single day, to feed his mate and two chicks. George failed to supply food and when he did, the parents ate a good part of the fish. He brought in a large fish and it fed the whole family well. Had he brought in even three more fish a day, at this stage of growth, its possible it would have not had the consequences we’ve all observed with the death of the little guy. Gracie did not ‘demand’ food by calling all day. At Hog Island Rachel is rarely quiet, calling for fish to feed the family, and she doesn’t even need to. Steve is a great provider. Had Gracie been a lot more vocal, its quite possible George would have stepped it up.

        • Gamma July 1, 2015 at 9:12 pm - Reply

          bostonbean, I was just telling my husband about the difference in parenting between these two and Steve & Rachel or the Osprey in Boulder , Co. Even with maybe fewer fish for this couple they do nothing that resembles parenting. No shading from the sun or cleaning up the nest. I agree and I am new to this , that they seem very inexperienced.

    62. Jennifer July 1, 2015 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      Omg what an emotional roller coaster this has been.. We have been routing for this little guy.. He was so strong to be able to endure being beat up and starved for the length of time that he did.. I know its mother nature but I cant stop crying.. I am so happy that his suffering is over… their journey continues…

    63. Helen July 1, 2015 at 2:23 pm - Reply

      Love you baby bird. It was too much at the end to see you suffering.
      Now I remind myself the fish also has his eyes pecked out while he is still flapping.his trail and feeding Osprey family. Sad, cruel, yes.
      But..The living goes on.

    64. Gamma July 1, 2015 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      Are there any of the experts out there that can tell us what will happen to the chicks body? If the parents have not taken it off the nest does it just get mixed in with the nesting material over time ?

      • kgerette July 1, 2015 at 2:43 pm - Reply

        I am hoping she will remove it and not feed it to the other 2 but she may according to other comments of other nests/cams. I don’t know if the siblings would take it upon themselves to just help themselves but that may be possible also. I’m surprised he is still laying there. The other 2 have been curious and have hovered but because he is not moving they have left him alone. I will not watch any cannabilism.

      • Debbie July 1, 2015 at 2:51 pm - Reply

        Gramma, from what i’ve seen on other nest, (ospreys, eagles ect) they either remove the body or it become part of their nest.

        • Gamma July 1, 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

          It would be nice to think they would just remove it , but with this couple I won’t hold my breath.

    65. Judy July 1, 2015 at 1:54 pm - Reply

      I am sorry if I missed this in any of the information comments but what happens to the body of the little chick? Will they carry it off eventually or will it just rot there? I have no idea what happens in the natural way of this progression. I am trying to watch and form some joy out of the other two but it’s not easy with the little guys body laying there in the middle of the nest.

      • Jon July 1, 2015 at 3:11 pm - Reply

        Some parents feed it to the young like in the above statements from one of the experts and i also saw a video where a chick bigger than this one got beat up and fell on his back in the hot sun and died like that and the body rotted in the nest, the sibling would tear some of the body off it and eventually the body got mixed in with the nest.

    66. Brad July 1, 2015 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      Gracie looks like a drunk passing out with a beer in their hand!. She’s not letting go of that fish for nothing! lol

      • JayCee July 1, 2015 at 2:18 pm - Reply

        Hahaha .. I was thinking the same thing. She must really be tired. Snoozing .. swinging and swaying while she holds on to that fish. I kept watching to see if she’d fall over.

    67. Matt July 1, 2015 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      You all really need to stop anthropomorphizing these birds. They are not self-aware, emotional beings like humans. They may mate for life and care for their young in a way that appears to equate to love but it does not. They do not think and feel like we do. If they did, you would probably not eat chicken. Survival of the fittest means exactly that in nature and the killing of that chick by its siblings is the embodiment of that. If you don’t like it, don’t watch. If you did something to try to save that chick, the other two would probably die. As it is, chances are that only one of those chicks will survive to fledging.

      • JB July 1, 2015 at 1:31 pm - Reply

        Even if you learn how to speak and understand Osprey, which to be sure you will not, then you have no concept whatsoever what an Osprey may think or feel. It’s difficult enough to know what another human being thinks, let alone another species. This is precisely the reason for humans to take the easy way out by suggesting that non-human brains do not feel, think, conceive or reason. For all we know, these Osprey have a better concept of life on earth and how to deal with birth, death, loss and daily challenges than any human now or ever will.

      • mellow July 1, 2015 at 1:32 pm - Reply

        Relax Matt. Not all humans are self-aware or emotional. If they were we probably wouldn’t eat any of the meat we buy because of what they do to the animals. Maybe we would all be healthier. Commercialism is ruining our planet. Even the fish they feed the young could be contaminated from our polluted waters.

      • Helen July 1, 2015 at 1:33 pm - Reply

        Please do not tell others what to think and to feel. I do think the birds have feelings. I will never listen only to what ” experts” say, but listen more to my inner voice. Experts are very often wrong; in this case they are only humans and not birds…we all are. It might be that the souls of the birds are at a much higher level than humans…who knows???

      • Andy July 1, 2015 at 1:46 pm - Reply

        Well put.

      • Vibra July 1, 2015 at 1:53 pm - Reply

        So, Thank Matt.

      • andreaallennyc July 1, 2015 at 2:28 pm - Reply


        I think everyone agrees that Osprey and humans are not identical. But, as far as I can tell, you don’t have any inside knowledge about Osprey thoughts and feelings. Time and time again we have learned than animals are smarter and react emotionally in ways that experts “knew” they didn’t. So, if I were you, I’d reserve judgment on this and refrain from telling others what to think or say.

        • Vibra July 1, 2015 at 3:01 pm - Reply

          Thanks`again…!! But I do, still have feelings

      • LaMar July 1, 2015 at 2:44 pm - Reply

        Matt, thanks for your on the spot comment. It is hard to watch nature take its course but have seen many wildlife situations that break your heart because nature is exacting and demanding. I personally am thankful to those who have spent the time and money to set this opportunity up for all of us to learn and view. It is in fact a great learning chance and educational experience that we can enjoy. Hopefully both of these will fledge but odd are not always in their favor. Thanks again Paul for your patience and willingness to provide this service.

      • JayCee July 1, 2015 at 4:03 pm - Reply

        I thank you for this post …….

      • bostonbean July 1, 2015 at 4:25 pm - Reply

        Matt you have no basis for suggesting that only one chick will fledge. Both chicks are receiving enough food and growing by the day, and there’s at this stage every reason to believe both will fledge.

    68. Eleanor July 1, 2015 at 1:06 pm - Reply

      Gracie almost looks like she is mourning for the little man. Rest in Peace, hope you are flying high!

    69. Kathy July 1, 2015 at 1:02 pm - Reply

      Gracie is holding half a fish in her talon and looking at the Little One. Could she be wondering….come on get up, time to eat.

    70. Vibra July 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm - Reply

      Poor littel Gracie – the male – he is not around ?

    71. Beatrice July 1, 2015 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      Ironic how much there was to eat today for the ospreys. There would’ve been plenty for the little guy but it was not to be. At least there will be no more torture to watch and, in time, maybe we can forgive the bigger ones for their survival instincts…if that’s what it was. All I know is that in the Wolf Bay nest the bigger two used to bonk the youngest and try to prevent him from eating. He persevered and is much bigger and stronger today. There was no mindless biting like here – it was all food related.

    72. Samantha July 1, 2015 at 12:50 pm - Reply

      It’s hard to see Gracie literally sleeping on a huge chunk of fish while the little one lays lifeless a few inches away. If only there were just one or two more fish yesterday… We may have seen a different outcome. 🙁

    73. cloudymoor July 1, 2015 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      Sort of odd behavior (for me anyway). Gracie is holding the fish and seemingly napping over it? Or at least seemingly pensive.

    74. Phil Kelsey July 1, 2015 at 12:41 pm - Reply

      Gracie looks either sick or napping while standing holding 1/2 a fish. Can Osprey’s sleep standing up?

    75. Robert Vitale July 1, 2015 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      Birds are really not nice animals. They are our closest relatives to dinosaurs who were certainly not too nice. So when we see George & Gracie unable to feed the runt of the litter and watch him die we shouldn’t be too surprised. As so many others have commented, nature is not always so pleasant. But if you think about it, humans are not always so pleasant. They are one of the few living organisms that kill for fun (or religion, or greed, or envy, jealousy, etc., etc.). So, when we say “so sad” just think about how humans behave and then nature’s way will actually seem gentler.

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