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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

August 8, 2020: Camera is now back online after the storm!

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

    45,435 Comments

    1. JB July 3, 2015 at 11:48 am - Reply

      The babies are eating well, but the chicks are also doing what they can to get out of the direct sun, by seeking shelter in Gracie’s shade.

    2. Rose Petejan July 3, 2015 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Wow, did you see the size of fish George just brought in. He has really picked up his game and is feeding his family.

    3. Kathy July 3, 2015 at 11:29 am - Reply

      On most nature cams I’ve watched the male tends to remove the head from” incoming meals” when the young are quite small…reducing the possibility of the prey flopping around and injuring the young. As the young grow, more prey is delivered with the head intact….

      • Jon July 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm - Reply

        It’s more of a energy thing for George, fishing is hard on the male, finding fish and than diving in the water and than carrying a huge fish out of the water is energy draining, eating the head is giving him all that energy and power to keep fishing, alot of protein and such.

    4. Gigi July 3, 2015 at 10:22 am - Reply

      I always feel uneasy when both parents are away from the nest. I hope Gracie comes back soon because I have to go out shopping, but I can’t leave the babies alone! Don’t believe I just said that.

      • Tucker July 3, 2015 at 10:56 am - Reply

        Just because you don’t see George or Gracie on camera,that does not mean they are not around. There is a perch above the camera which is out of view. Click on more highlights you’ll see what I’m writing about.

        • Gigi July 3, 2015 at 2:03 pm - Reply

          Thanks for the info about the perch. I was not aware of it and just checked it out.

      • andreaallennyc July 3, 2015 at 12:09 pm - Reply

        I understand the feeling, but at least one of them is probably very close by. Remember, there is a perch right above the nest.

      • Jeanne July 3, 2015 at 5:57 pm - Reply

        The babies are never alone. George is actually on the radio tower out of the cameras view. Some times you can only hear him and sometimes you can actually see his shadow on the nest. I dont believe they would leave the babies unattended unless a long period of time passes and the other does not return.

    5. JB July 3, 2015 at 10:15 am - Reply

      Looks like Mom and Pop went on vacation and left the kids home alone.

      :-;

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

        Gracie is on the perch out of the view of the camera

    6. Rose Petejan July 3, 2015 at 10:07 am - Reply

      George brought in a small fish this morning, but he could see that Gracie was still hungry. Soon after he came back with a headless fish. Ok, now we’re talking George.

    7. Kathy July 3, 2015 at 10:05 am - Reply

      Has Gracie removed the Little Guy or is he/she becoming part of the nest?

      • JB July 3, 2015 at 10:33 am - Reply

        His remains are the same location where he died, which is close to the center of the nest. His fellow siblings sleep and sit upon him as if he wasn’t even there. And, in a way, he is no longer there; he’s in Osprey heaven.

      • Jara July 3, 2015 at 10:40 am - Reply

        Kathy, he has become part of the nest. Every once in a while I see Gracie look down at him and tilt her head. She was trying to cover him again a while ago.

        • Kathy July 4, 2015 at 10:08 am - Reply

          Who ever said animals are not aware or don’t have feelings…are wrong! Just by Gracie tilting her head, looking at the chick and covering him, shows how aware she is!

    8. Jan Klinedinst July 3, 2015 at 10:03 am - Reply

      Happy Independence Day – July 4, 1776 !!! In your pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness!!!

    9. Judy W July 3, 2015 at 9:51 am - Reply

      The Osprey nest at the following has 3 chicks that are a little more advanced . . . interesting comparison. More food? More experienced parents? Location? http://www.sandpointonline.com/ospreys/

      • Victoria July 3, 2015 at 11:36 am - Reply

        Thanks Judy! 🙂

    10. SUE July 3, 2015 at 9:48 am - Reply

      I went out of the Mattituck Inlet yesterday- it looks like the chicks in the northernmost nest are about the same size as these guys. What’s really neat was seeing mom & dad perched on the edge of the nest & 3 little heads were sticking up over the edge watching the boats pass. Most of the babies in the nests are about the same age & little heads peek over the edges of most of the nests. I also notice that sparrows seem to prefer nesting in the bottom of the osprey nests & the ospreys ignore them. I hear a lot of chirping in the background that sound like sparrows- are they ‘sub-letting’ to the sparrow family?

    11. Rob Bierregaard July 3, 2015 at 9:31 am - Reply

      Yesterday and again today I witnessed very unusual behavior. I assume this is the pattern with George and Gracie, but it is very unusual for Ospreys in general. Both time George brought in a fish it was still flopping in his talons. He passed it straight to Gracie, who then tore it up and fed it to the young. Male Ospreys almost always take a meal before delivering a fish. Usually they eat the head of the fish before dropping it in the nest. Then after leaving Gracie to feed the young awhile, George reappeared in the nest and she fed him! He would swallow some bites and then pass some on to the young closest to him. I’ve asked some of my colleagues with many years’ Osprey studies under their belts and no one has witnessed this behavior. Just goes to show that Ospreys have personalities and are not all identical clones. I suspect this is a young male who hasn’t quite figured it all out yet. It will be really interesting to watch his behavior over time.

      • Trinity July 3, 2015 at 11:25 am - Reply

        Of course our Long Island Ospreys stray from the normal behavior ?

      • Laurie July 3, 2015 at 11:57 am - Reply

        Hi Dr. Bierregaard. It is great to see you here, and to be able to learn from your expertise. You are a highly respected Ornithologist, and we are indeed fortunate to have you here monitoring this nest. I didn’t find George’s behavior unusual, because I have seen this at the Hog Island nest over the past two years. Steve often brought whole, flopping fish to Rachel. One in particular, last year, actually flopped for over 10 minutes, while Rachel tore it apart from face to tail, and fed it to the 3 “P’s”. It was the first time I ever had to look away during a feeding! Unfortunately the Hog Island watchers will not be able to monitor that behavior any more this year, due to the tragic events, however next year is already highly anticipated. Thank you so much for being there for all of us.

      • JB July 3, 2015 at 12:05 pm - Reply

        Interesting observation. Gracie and George are doing it again right now. It appears to be a very tender, almost human-like exchange of sharing food and feeding the other.

      • Janet July 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm - Reply

        Dr B. I have seen George feed Gracie as well. Amazing creatures these birds!! Absolutely love them!

      • Gigi July 3, 2015 at 12:14 pm - Reply

        It is 12:12pm right now and Gracie is again feeding George.

      • Karen July 3, 2015 at 12:30 pm - Reply

        Rob,
        Thanks so much for posting your observations. Right now I’m watching Gracie feed George again. At about 12:00 nest time, after she had fed the chicks, George attempted to take the remaining fish from her but she wouldn’t let go. He opened his mouth to be fed like the chicks and so she started feeding him and has continued for 20 minutes.
        Earlier this week,before the little one died, George brought a fish to the nest which he fed to Gracie. I thought that was odd enough with the chicks already hatched. That same day I also saw both George and one of the chicks foraging for bits of leftovers. The baby was trying to swallow a large piece of scale (or whatever it was) and George attempted to pull it out of his mouth. He lost and the chick swallowed it. I found that really strange.
        As for Gracie, I’ve noticed she doesn’t seem to know that she should shelter the little ones from the sun and she also attempts to feed very large pieces of fish. However, she does make a huge effort to make sure they eat.

      • Gamma July 3, 2015 at 12:54 pm - Reply

        Rob, I am interested in knowing your thoughts on this mother also. She does not seem to display the same care for her young as other female Osprey I have watched , like shading them from the sun. I have only been watching Ospreys for a very short time but to me both parents seem a little distant from their young.

      • Monica July 3, 2015 at 4:11 pm - Reply

        Rob – Is Gracie supposed to be shielding her ‘babies’ from the sun? They seem to want to huddle under her wings; sometimes she gets away from them. Also, are they staying close to the edge of the nest in preparation to fly soon?

    12. rodee hansen - Ronkonkoma - NY July 3, 2015 at 8:35 am - Reply

      Thank God for another beautiful day and the PRIVILEGE for watching “our” osprey family.

      Question: are there actually eagles around Long Island? R.H.

      • Victoria July 3, 2015 at 11:39 am - Reply

        That is a good question! Are there eagles around Long Island, NY? I have never seen one…only hawks and osprey.

        • Rob July 3, 2015 at 6:17 pm - Reply

          There is also a pair of Bald Eagles with a baby in Wertheim Wildlife Refuge in Shirley.

      • Ed McDougal July 3, 2015 at 12:38 pm - Reply

        Yes. There have been sightings near us in Hempstead Lake State Park

    13. Janet July 3, 2015 at 8:27 am - Reply

      It is so good to come here and see the chicks well fed and growing. Gracie seems like a good mom. I hope George can continue to fed the family. Its a beautiful view as well! =)

    14. Mike July 3, 2015 at 8:21 am - Reply

      Good Morning: Can anyone identify that old ship that started passing by around 8:10 this morning? Looks like a 3 mast vessel.

      • eleanor July 3, 2015 at 12:52 pm - Reply

        Hi Mike,

        Not sure the name of the ship, but we are having Tall Ships this weekend here in Greenport. There will be 6 ships in total here throughout the weekend. I’m happy someone got to see the ships, been looking myself and haven’t seen any, just in town.

    15. Trishrg July 3, 2015 at 8:13 am - Reply

      Both chicks are crashed out and the adult is eating the rest of the morning meal. Nice start to the day!

    16. Dan July 3, 2015 at 7:52 am - Reply

      Fish delivery 7:47 EST

    17. JB July 3, 2015 at 7:00 am - Reply

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHICK NUMBER 1!

      Three weeks old today.

    18. Ja July 3, 2015 at 6:56 am - Reply

      Thanks Mike i just visited the other ospreys.org site and couldn’t believe how their wings are ready to go … 2 weeks makes a big difference

      • andreaallennyc July 3, 2015 at 9:24 am - Reply

        I believe the oldest of those chicks is 6 weeks old today, so that makes them about 3 weeks older.

    19. Carol July 3, 2015 at 6:52 am - Reply

      Just checked in before I head out on my workday. and see that George has been fishing already! Keep up the good work, Dad!

    20. Shar July 3, 2015 at 6:08 am - Reply

      Breakfast is served! First fish of the day @ 6:07 am EDT. Good job George! ♥

    21. JB July 3, 2015 at 6:08 am - Reply

      5:07 AM Central time. Papa George brings breakfast!

      • JB July 3, 2015 at 6:43 am - Reply

        The chicks actually walked away from Mama Gracie with full tummies before consuming even half the fish.

    22. JB July 3, 2015 at 5:50 am - Reply

      Sun coming up on the sleepy chicks and family. Feathers are growing out and they resemble little baby hedgehogs.

      🙂 :-O

      • Karin July 3, 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply

        JB. I did leave you 3 replies last night around 8:30ish. I do not know if you saw them but I absolutely thank you!

    23. Shar July 2, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      Looks like we might get a little bit of rain tonight after all. Hopefully enough to clean off the camera. Fingers crossed. 🙂

      • Shar July 3, 2015 at 4:56 am - Reply

        We got the rain, as the nest is wet, but not enough wind to drive it up and under the hood of the camera to clean the “blur” off.

    24. Sandy July 2, 2015 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      Am I seeing fireworks in the background and hearing them? Hope it doesn’t disturb our birds. Hopefully people close by with be respectful of them.

    25. Rose Petejan July 2, 2015 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      Is it possible to post how many fish are delivered each day?

    26. Karin July 2, 2015 at 8:46 pm - Reply

      ps. I have been watching from a very small laptop…….That’s why i am so surprised……… I also know an average skid is about 40 x 40….. That’s what really puts it in perspective…

    27. GinaM July 2, 2015 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      I have noticed Gracie often favors her left foot. I wonder if she injured it or it is an Osprey “thing”

      • DHarley July 3, 2015 at 12:41 pm - Reply

        Hi Gina,
        As far as Gracie “favoring” her left foot. It really is a bird thing. I have parrots and when they are relaxing they tend to often stand on one foot. So that is just Gracie trying to relax and take a break. 🙂

    28. Karin July 2, 2015 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      JB, the first thank you was for the beak answer….. These are so cool… I just saw your answer about being high up and predators. I just looked at the pictures…..WOW!!!!! Not only is the nest way way up there, it is HUGE!!!!!!!! It looks like it is setting upon a full size pallet ( skid ). The adult bird in the pictures gives me a better perspective as to his ( her ) size……. This is so amazing! Thank you very much! :)… this is better than tv any day… 🙂

    29. BigBird July 2, 2015 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      Hi Paul. Thanks so much for all of the time and effort you’ve devoted to this cam and for allowing us the opportunity to see these beautiful raptors up close and personal. Do you plan to band the young ones when they are ready and, if so, will you please let us know in advance of the banding date so that we may watch? Thanks again and kind regards.

    30. Guy Santo July 2, 2015 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      I’ve seen the same behavior on an eagle cam from south florida. 3 babies, not enough food for all, the runt is removed by the sibs. Survival of the fittest.

    31. Karin July 2, 2015 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      Thank you JB. Nest watching is something I have done only from the ground…. ( and all the nature shows i watch on TV )

    32. Ja July 2, 2015 at 8:09 pm - Reply

      I cant imagine the babies sitting still for another six or so weeks before they get restless and more active and go closer to the edge …….before they learn to fly ….. This is more stressful than having my own children at least i could catch my kids before they fall.

    33. Carol July 2, 2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply

      It’s amazing how much more alert, mobile and vocal the chicks have become in the last two days! They just had a chat with Dad and were checking over what he had brought to improve the nest.

    34. Ackboater July 2, 2015 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      So glad the little one is in a better place now.

    35. Mike Martin July 2, 2015 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      If anyone is interested in observing another Osprey Nest go to Ospreys.org.uk. The nest is located in the Rutland Perserve in the U.K. The Chicks are about 2 weeks older than ours. And at this stage in their development that they are learning how to Fledge and they are in the early stages of Flight. So we can see what is in store for our Little Guys. And also it’s a great site to learn the research and they have a Foster Parent Program that actually is very successful.

    36. Lucie Pecor July 2, 2015 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      I notice that Gracie does not shelter her young from the rain as Rachel use to. is this her age.? Is this her first nesting? Just curious. Worried about wet chicks

    37. Rose Petejan July 2, 2015 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      Can anyone please tell me about many fish were brought to the nest today?

    38. JB July 2, 2015 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      I notice Mamma likes to “one-leg” it as she sits on the edge of the nest watching over her chicks. Like a stork. Seems perfectly content and well-balanced.

    39. Carol July 2, 2015 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      Got home from work and scrolled thru comments and then watched the 4:30ish feeding. It was funny to see the one chick who wasn’t being fed yet going after the fish’s tail! Glad to hear George is back on the job!

    40. Alice Curtis July 2, 2015 at 5:12 pm - Reply

      I was traveling yesterday and did not get my daily dose of these amazing birds. After reading the comments, I believe I was spared a huge amount of heartbreak. RIP Lil guy.

      • Coleen July 2, 2015 at 6:49 pm - Reply

        Be very glad that you did not see it. Have never witnessed such brutality in all the years I have been photographing birds and their nests. The two chicks main goal was to kill the little one and they did not rest a minute until they did. Towards the end of his torture one had him by the head flinging it every which way. I notice how docile they are today and yesterday after they accomplished their goal. I have lost all affection for these two chicks. Was not a good year for my Osprey watching. A violent hailstorm broke all three eggs in the nest I watch in Missoula, Montana. Then, a pair of eagles took the two osprey chicks from the nest that I watched in Maine when they were about 3 weeks old. One eagle distracted the mother and the other took the chick and came back 45 minutes later and did the same thing.

      • Kay July 2, 2015 at 9:00 pm - Reply

        Looks like a dis

        Looks like the family is not in sync.

    41. Karin July 2, 2015 at 5:05 pm - Reply

      Is it possible George is bringing light and dark stuff to the nest to cameflauge ( sic ) the babies? I was just looking around the nest and noticed how well the babies blend in….

      • Lyn July 2, 2015 at 7:42 pm - Reply

        Right now George isn’t bringing anything that resembles a fish! Everyone is hungry, as usual.
        He is MIA and Gracie is trying to contain the brood.

        • Lyn July 2, 2015 at 8:03 pm - Reply

          I find it ironic that sibling #1 (the MOST brutal) is laying right on top the poor Chicklet, whom
          is becoming part of the nest. Nature is really messed up in a lot of ways, and majestic in others.
          After much thought on all of this, I have come to the conclusion that considering all aspects of
          this much unfortunate situation (the height of the tower, the lack of good food supplied by George,
          the inexperience of these Osprey parents, the inability to reach up and just rescue the Chicklet without
          perhaps causing catastrophic events to the whole nest, etc. etc. etc., the way it went was the only way, given
          resources of the owner of the tower, property, etc. I have fed wild birds, and even feral cats for many years,
          and see nature’s smile and fury.
          We all just have to hope for the best of this nest, and cheer on these parents who are facing enormous odds
          that there will be an abundance of fish coming and they may have to deal with starvation for themselves as well
          as the young. Literally THOUSANDS of bunker are dead and buried at the dump in Riverhead, due to expulsion
          of nitrates from the sewage treatment plant. (which everyone wants to keep very hush hush)..

      • Rich July 2, 2015 at 8:51 pm - Reply

        A little concerned about how these guys are going to react to the fireworks that will surely start pretty soon.

    42. Cloudymoor July 2, 2015 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      It’s around 4:40 PM and why on earth is Gracie feeding this chicks with her back to the nest. She was just staring down at that fish for quite a long while before she started to fee the chicks. They’re picking at the tail now!

    43. Marilyn July 2, 2015 at 4:41 pm - Reply

      Haven’t been on in a while so back tracked. Just saw Gracie grab the fish away from George when he landed. She must be soooo hungry..

    44. Karin July 2, 2015 at 4:33 pm - Reply

      I really have not noticed but do the babies have the long hooked beak yet? I did notice a few days ago how large their claws are… and ,..to me,…. they still look kinda like plucked chickens a little…although i can see little feather sprouts…

      • JB July 2, 2015 at 5:19 pm - Reply

        Yes. The “hooked” beak began to emerge a little over a week after they were born.

    45. Teresa July 2, 2015 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Although I follow the osprey nest in Bremen. Last year Rachel and Steve have three eggs hatched. Pia was at a disadvantage compared to his brothers Poole Pan, because three days from hatching Pan and four from Poole. In Bremen, the food situation was different than many smaller fish Long Island a few big fish. When mom Rachel fed the chicks were always the two biggest that sated before because they had the strength to ask for food. Pia smallest had trouble taking a bite. Even the experience of Rachel was crucial not to leave fast Pia. Enough two days Pia took little food to increase the deficit and the weakening growth and Pia would not have survived. But with the passing of the days set aside the difference with his brothers and proved to be the smarter and stronger. She stole the fish to his brothers, she was the leader. As was said yesterday, it is not always true that the youngest is the unhealthy is only younger.
      This year two chicks kidnapped by the eagle. In the forum someone said that a eagle distracted Rachel and the other acted. Someone else said that Rachel was disturbed by the loud noise of a chainsaw and left the nest unattended. The male Steve was fishing.
      Who can say why Gracie acted as it did. The variables of survival are countless.

    46. Karin July 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      Movement attracts most birds ( of prey ) … The babies are moving around ( and stretching ) a lot more… is this extra moving around ( as the babies get older ) attracting more nest enemies? Is this why the parents seem to be more on the alert?

      • JB July 2, 2015 at 5:13 pm - Reply

        Keep in mind that Osprey prefer to build their nests in places where it cannot be overlooked. If there were nearby trees where larger raptors could sit and look down upon then the nest would be at a distinct disadvantage. However, Paul, the creator of the nest elevated it high above trees or neighboring buildings in which it could be overlooked. Birds are not able to hover, and rarely fly over or above the nest. Gracie and George have a superior 360-degree view at all times.

        Have a look at Paul’s recent photos that provide a very good perspective:

        http://ospreyzone.com/highlights/

        • JB July 2, 2015 at 5:18 pm - Reply

          Note: Click the two arrows in the upper right corner of the photos to view a full size image.

        • Jan Klinedinst July 2, 2015 at 8:43 pm - Reply

          Thanks, JB!! You sure can tell “SOMEONE” loves these magnificent birds! Everyone should take a look at the design of this bird tower. Three Cheers for everyone who played a part in this concept!!

    47. li July 2, 2015 at 1:42 pm - Reply

      Was the little one that fly to heaven, was it removed from the nest?

      • Pawel July 2, 2015 at 2:04 pm - Reply

        His body lays on center of the nest – you can notice similar white linear mark just like bigger chicks have – I think the body may attract other predators and they may be a reason why Gracie is so loud today. Sorry for grammar mistakes if any…

      • Dawn July 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm - Reply

        He actually has become part of the nest. It looked as though Gracie actually covered him with with a piece of black plastic yesterday afternoon.

      • Monica July 2, 2015 at 3:43 pm - Reply

        It looks like whatever was covering the little runt’s body was blown off the nest. I can see that white line on his back. Poor little guy! RIP Rocky. (That was my name for him since he kept fighting for his life). 🙁

      • Karin in Rockland July 2, 2015 at 4:18 pm - Reply

        I believe Paul mentioned a full moon tonight, July 2nd.

    48. Trishrg July 2, 2015 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Nice sized headless fish just delivered. Feeding has begun

    49. barbara July 2, 2015 at 12:03 pm - Reply

      If Mitchell really wants to see the beating let him backtrack on the site. i for one don’t think most of us want to witness that again. Thanks

      • Mitchell July 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm - Reply

        Hi, thanks The stream only goes back 4 hours is there a way to go back more? I appreciate any help.

        • GinaM July 2, 2015 at 6:41 pm - Reply

          I am glad it only goes back 4 hours. Let’s leave that little one a little respect. I prefer to remember the day the big ones both slept and George and Gracie took turns feeding Peanut and doting on him. It was a peaceful, beautiful moment. One we would not have witnessed if not for the generosity of Tommy and Paul.

      • Linda July 2, 2015 at 1:32 pm - Reply

        I Agree.. I’m sure u tube has something.

      • Coleen July 2, 2015 at 2:21 pm - Reply

        I surely do not want to see that tragic event again. It will haunt me the rest of my life. In all my years of photographing birds and birds’ nests, I have never been so horrified as I am to the beatings and suffering this poor little bird took from its nest mates. In its short two weeks on earth it suffered immensely. One can say “nature” and “survival of fittest” forever, but it will not erase the brutality of it all.

        • Renee July 2, 2015 at 4:30 pm - Reply

          I agree Coleen. I have never witnessed anything so brutal as the suffering that little one endured. I continue to try and process what occurred. Not nature at its finest. Every time I hear a bird chirp outside my window it sounds like the little one to me. I am sure our sadness and dismay will pass in time. Yet I cant help thinking I will not forget that little bird, for whatever reason.

        • Gigi July 2, 2015 at 5:44 pm - Reply

          Well said, Coleen. I will never forget our little one and all he was forced to endure. Bless his little heart.

          • Blanca July 2, 2015 at 6:52 pm - Reply

            Thank you all for sharing your honest feelings about the atrocities that poor little Peewee endured. I’ve been checking the comments to seek some kind of comfort that I’m not just over reacting to something “that is normal in nature”. I am actually mourning the loss our little baby and am still processing the visions of suffering I witnessed. I don’t think I can ever forget that. This “little bird”, no matter how tiny or short his life, has made a huge impact in my life. I will never forget him/her. Just content the suffering is over and is finally at peace.

    50. DQ July 2, 2015 at 11:56 am - Reply

      Wow, what are all the extra bird sounds?

    51. Patty July 2, 2015 at 11:52 am - Reply

      It looks like George & Gracie are on high alert. They both seem to be guarding the nest and looking up at the sky. Wondering if anyone has seen possible predators lurking around?

      • HollyW July 2, 2015 at 2:54 pm - Reply

        I live near the nest, haven’t seen any predators flying overhead. Lots of boat traffic, but nothing in the air.

    52. mitchell July 2, 2015 at 11:14 am - Reply

      Can we please view the footage of the chicks beating the young one? I am here to learn more about the behavior of the Osprey and that includes everything, not just the “cute” moments. Thanks I appreciate it.

      • Tucker July 2, 2015 at 11:38 am - Reply

        Nice to see Harry von Zell dropped in to say hello.

      • andreaallennyc July 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm - Reply

        Just to clarify, everything was aired live. There was no editing for “cute” moments. If the owner of this site doesn’t have the time to put together highlights of the siblicide for you, be assured you can find many on YouTube. Just Google. If you’d like to see the Bremen Maine nestlings being snatched by an eagle, those highlights are posted in a separate section on that site.

        • Mitchell July 2, 2015 at 1:55 pm - Reply

          Yea thanks I saw that live. The sibilcied as you call it is one of the biggest events of this nest so far So all im saying is that it should be available for thoes of us that are interested in observing the behavior of the osprey. I am a Student of science and being able to veiw everything is the best way to learn. All i was doing was asking.

          • andreaallennyc July 2, 2015 at 2:44 pm - Reply

            Dear Student of Science,

            Best to have and Google the correct term. I wrote siblicide not sibilcied.

            Andrea

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

            mitchell you came in at a bad time. Most of use on the site have been here since the beginning and were all witness to the events that led up to the demise of the runt. It was very emotional for most of us. We all wanted him to survive and not expecting what happened to him in the mean time. Next year start off with a nest from the beginning to witness all the good, the bad and the ugly of mother nature.

            • Karin from Rockland July 2, 2015 at 8:30 pm

              You are so right Donna, I have been watching from the beginning as well as my Mom in FL. We miss the little one too, I had no idea they do this to one another. I kept saying if only he can eat and another couple days so he can be strong enough, big enough. But it was not the case….

      • Cloudymoor July 2, 2015 at 1:19 pm - Reply

        I’m guessing going on youtube and keying in avian siblicide will unfortunately, yield some videos. Most upsetting imagery. I’m sorry I witnessed it. I’ll remember that little chick for the rest of my life. Like the boxer who kept coming up and trying again.

        • MarilynJ July 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm - Reply

          Absolutely, that is how I feel also.

        • andreaallennyc July 2, 2015 at 2:57 pm - Reply

          I agree. It was devastating to see. I caught bits of it when I was checking in, but didn’t consider it valuable to watch! I can totally understand researchers analyzing it … Really analyzing it … to understand the situation in the nest, the behavor of parents, the behavior of sibs of different ages, sizes, etc. I’m a researcher and I very much get that. However, the value of sitting and just “watching it” at length escapes me. To me it is the difference between a scientist analyzing shark attacks in detail and a curious person deciding to sit and watch a close up film of a friend being eaten by a shark. Yeah, just rewind that and watch again so you don’t miss any details!
          Sorry, I’m still stressed over the Osprey nest tragedies of the last weeks and losing patience!
          Off to watch the puffling!

          • Pat July 2, 2015 at 4:36 pm - Reply

            I agree as well. The torture of the baby went on for days and was brutal to watch. I had to keep turning it off, and I can’t for the life of me imagine why anyone in his right mind would deliberately choose to watch this horror. If Mitchell wants to know, all he has to do is picture a poor, defenseless creature pecked at mercilessly every time he dared to so much as try to stretch its wings or even raise his head. At the end, the bullies had pulled out all his head feathers. Then, they went after his wings. Not in a hurry, but continually, hour after hour, day after day, till he just gave up and died. I am still wiped out by what I saw and will never in my life forget it.

            • Gigi July 2, 2015 at 6:02 pm

              I was totally traumatized by that behavior as well and I stopped watching once the more serious pecking and beatings began. I could only follow the comments at that point which were difficult as well. Even so, I saw more than I ever wanted to see. I am glad there is this comment section as it is comforting to know that we all share the same grief for our little one.I can’t believe how much spunk and fight he had in him. Will always remember that special little one.

            • Blanca July 2, 2015 at 6:35 pm

              I’m right there with you. The suffering little Peewee endured was horrific and has really scarred me. I’d wake up at night dreading for the sun to rise because I knew his suffering would continue. I wouldn’t even look at the live feed anymore but just read the comments to see if the baby made it through the night. And, I completely agree about never forgetting what we saw. I was on my treadmill last night and just started bawling for this “little bird” that was just part of “nature”. He suffered a long, torturous death and no one or no creature no matter how small, should ever have to go through that.

    53. donna weinholtz July 2, 2015 at 11:10 am - Reply

      Hello,
      Thank you for this osprey cam and the privilege of viewing these magnificent birds. I looked for other sites after the eagle attack on Rachel and Steve’s nest in Bremen, ME, last Friday. I just wanted to find a way to recover from the distressing sight of seeing two osplets (I saw Big and Little hatch) snatched from their nest. I witnessed the siblicide for the wee one here and thought the same may have happened if R&S’s third egg had eventually hatched (it was not viable). We humans grow so attached to other living things in Nature, it is no wonder we assign our own emotions and sensibilities to them. I have cried and cried over Big and Little- tearing up as I type this- and I cried when I saw the inevitable for the wee baby on this site. But I believe the greater love is to see these birds thrive, survive, and live well in our environment. There is nothing wrong with having feelings and emotions over the losses we have all had with our Osprey families. It is, in fact, being who WE are: human. So I celebrate the survivors, mourn the loss of what could have been, and look forward to what comes next for all of them. By far and away, the folks on this site, and on explore.com, are the kind of folks I like to be around- your compassion and caring make the world a better place for all creatures, human or otherwise.

      • LISA July 2, 2015 at 11:54 am - Reply

        please tell what site you were on where you saw the eagle?

        • Bob Aylor July 2, 2015 at 1:08 pm - Reply

          HarrisnBayEagleCam has two juvies that have fledged, but are still hanging around the nest. The parents are Elliot & Eloise, and this is in Harrison, TN, 5 miles north of Chattanooga.

        • Mitchell July 2, 2015 at 1:46 pm - Reply

          The eagel attack happend at the Hog Island nest Which is on explore.org I belive that attack itself is now on youtube.

      • susan July 2, 2015 at 11:58 am - Reply

        Good afternoon Donna – Try watching the osprey cam on Maryland’s Easter Shore (The Nature Conservancy) Tom and Audrey…they have two chicks in the nest that were placed there from another nest when their eggs did not hatch, they are foster parents (see complete story on their site, as well as the video of chicks being placed in the nest)..You can also click on their perrigrine falcon cam but the babies are bigger now and often out of view; one of the chicks seemed dehydrated when they were banding them so he was taken to a raptor rescue facility , treated, fed, and returned to the nest two days later! They also have video from previous years to view, even when they freed an osprey in the nest from a fishing net….very informative site….This cam is IN the Chesapeake Bay by the Bay Bridge.

        • kgerette July 2, 2015 at 7:12 pm - Reply

          susan and Donna. There is also the Cornel Labs site and they have an osprey cam as well. Stanley and Iris. They lost their 3 eggs to a freaky hail storm a few weeks back, so we will never know what those chicks could have become. They still come and go but no more chicks for this year. That nest is in Montana.

      • DonnaDecker July 2, 2015 at 12:02 pm - Reply

        Well said Donna, Thank you!

      • Dorothy July 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

        Well, spoken or written, Donna……

      • Helen Rosenblum July 2, 2015 at 5:38 pm - Reply

        Donna – I could not agree more with what you said or the way you expressed yourself. I am still upset by what I saw and was sorry I did see it. However for what it’s worth, it is nature’s way to instinctively destroy what cannot survive and grow – in my opinion, it was not the other nestlings being intentionally cruel. We have to remember that what we saw is undoubtedly replicated in nests all over and while that does not ease what we saw, it may explain the hard lesson we learned. Helen

    54. suzanne July 2, 2015 at 11:09 am - Reply

      i bet Mamma Gracie needs to stretch her wings to keep in shape, this is probably part of process.

    55. JB July 2, 2015 at 11:07 am - Reply

      The Osprey young’s wings are growing out so fast and at that awkward stage. They are not quite sure whether to use them as crutches to walk, or flap them about.

      🙂

    56. Lucie Pecor July 2, 2015 at 10:55 am - Reply

      where is Mama??

      • JB July 2, 2015 at 11:08 am - Reply

        Looks like she’s taking a much needed hiatus. With the kids getting bigger, they are safer in the nest alone. She will probably return soon after she parties and has a few drinks.

    57. Jennifer July 2, 2015 at 10:50 am - Reply

      Wow George brought back breakfast and another bird followed him to the nest and then flew away. It definitely took them by surprise but when the bird came back again George flapped his wings and then the 3rd time the bird tried to land in the nest again George almost went after him and stood guard while Gracie fed everybody. That was about 1 hours and 20 minutes if you want to rewind it and watch.. Very cool!!!

      • Barbara July 2, 2015 at 12:41 pm - Reply

        Thanks Jennifer! That was really interesting!

    58. Lucie Pecor July 2, 2015 at 10:47 am - Reply

      get away from the edge babies!!!!

      • donna weinholtz July 2, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

        I have been saying that as well all morning! yikes! so close to the edge while they are so wobbly and curious.

    59. Lucie Pecor July 2, 2015 at 10:47 am - Reply

      alone for a bit now….where is mom??

    60. Greg July 2, 2015 at 10:42 am - Reply

      Maybe someone has already commented on this but it almost seems that George may have recognized there was too much competition in the nest when he “decided” to limit the amount of fish on Tuesday and thereby precipitating the events that occurred. Maybe the parents also have an instinct to help manage the success of the nest.

      • Ahimsagrl July 2, 2015 at 11:34 am - Reply

        I posed this question to the Experts for the chat today over at the Explore.org site? I don’t know if the question will be acknowledged. But, since the parents did not stop the behavior on this nest. It makes you wonder if it was intentional in order to manage the success of the stronger first hatched.

      • Ahimsagrl July 2, 2015 at 11:42 am - Reply

        I posed that question to the experts for the chat today on the explore.org site. I don’t know if the question will be acknowledged.

      • Trishrg July 2, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

        Nice sized headless half a fish just delivered with much excitement.
        Feeding commences.

      • JP July 2, 2015 at 11:15 pm - Reply

        I see other nests with 3 thriving chicks this size. I don’t think the male would withhold food if it was available. I think is was a bad few days of fishing with murky waters. And with the hunger situation ramping up, competition ramped up as well. Just my thoughts, but if there is ample food around, it doesn’t make sense for an animal to purposely keep a set of his genes from surviving by holding back this catch from them.

    61. Jennifer July 2, 2015 at 10:41 am - Reply

      Those babies are going to hit the camera one day with the way they poop… Very impressive.. lmaooooo

      • ospreyzone July 2, 2015 at 11:18 am - Reply

        It already happened! That’s why the screen is cloudy on the left. We have a highlight of it: http://ospreyzone.com/070115-osprey-squirt/

        • hokiemama July 2, 2015 at 11:50 am - Reply

          My kids have really enjoyed this site, and got a HUGE kick out of the poop incident. They are 3 and 5…it figures 🙂 We have two osprey couples nesting close to our house here in Virginia, but we are loving watching this nest up close and personal. We read “Awesome ospreys: fishing birds of the world” by Donna Love, and they’ve fallen in love with the birds. We’ve learned so much from watching this cam, too. Thank you so much for all of it (even the sad parts).

        • Kathy July 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

          A poop video in slow motion. Funny!

          • Kathy July 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm - Reply

            Hoping the coming rain they are predicting washes it away.

        • Jennifer July 2, 2015 at 1:12 pm - Reply

          Omg!!!!!! LMAOOOOOOO!! Thank you that was too funny!!!

    62. GinaM July 2, 2015 at 10:31 am - Reply

      I have a question for the experts… I have lived by the beach near osprey nests for years. Every 4th of July I worry about them because of all the fireworks – especially the ones set off by kids right near the nests. Do they both stay and protect the babies? Thank you.

    63. Judy July 2, 2015 at 10:28 am - Reply

      Wow a lot of branches in the nest..
      Looks like # 1 wants to fly….

    64. Leon July 2, 2015 at 10:25 am - Reply

      Has there been any food this morning? Everyone looks hungry

      • Ahimsagrl July 2, 2015 at 10:45 am - Reply

        Yes I saw the babies being fed and then later George was feeding Gracie just before you posted your question.

      • Lucie Pecor July 2, 2015 at 10:50 am - Reply

        yes they ate and they even fed each other- mom and dad- so cute

    65. Lucie Pecor July 2, 2015 at 10:08 am - Reply

      omg the parents are feeding each other too cute

    66. Audrey July 2, 2015 at 9:59 am - Reply

      I noticed yesterday that while rearranging some of the nest Gracie picked up that black paper & it covered the little guy who is no longer with us. Isn’t that amazing! I don’t know if she actually did it on purpose or if it just blew over him, but in any event he is now covered.

    67. nascar78fan July 2, 2015 at 9:54 am - Reply

      .Wonder why George let that other Osprey get to the nest, and didn’t chase it away? Usually they defend their nests better than that.

      • Bonnie July 2, 2015 at 5:30 pm - Reply

        NASCAR78FAN
        We were introduced early on to a brother of George , that may have been him .

    68. Wendy July 2, 2015 at 9:37 am - Reply

      I have always loved Ospreys from afar and this close up peak into their world has been totally fascinating and addicting! Thank you Tommy and Paul so much for sharing this wonderful site. It was certainly tough to watch the little guy fail but as others have mentioned it’s the way of nature. Did anyone else see the other adult Osprey land in the nest at about 9:30 with G & G? George had just returned with a fish and the other Osprey followed and landed in the nest!

    69. Rob Bierregaard July 2, 2015 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Interesting bit of Osprey biology just now as George brought in a fish that was still flapping when it hit the nest. Unusual for a male to deliver a fish intact to the nest. The males usually eat the head before they bring a fish to the nest. All that screaming Gracie was doing was food begging, letting George know she and the brood were hungry. Someone asked if that was the alarm call. It was not. The alarm call (when another Osprey is invading their space) is more of a loud chirp repeated a bit more slowly than the hunger call. There was also a 3rd Osprey that followed George into the nest, trying to steal the fish, most likely. This will be a good meal for the youngsters.
      I see that George and Gracie are doing their bit for cleaning up the beaches around the nest! Quite the garbage collectors.

      • GinaM July 2, 2015 at 10:00 am - Reply

        Yes, I noticed that, too. He did that yesterday morning and it looked like she had difficulty tearing the head apart. But when she finally got down to the meaty area, everyone was happy. I also see George brought a rock to the nest. I guess he felt it couldn’t hurt!
        I am really enjoying reading your posts. Your expert views are priceless to me. Thank you!

      • BostonBean July 2, 2015 at 10:13 am - Reply

        Hey Rob. This George should use some coaching from our Steve at Hog Island. And Gracie may be calling for food now, but when little peanut was starving Gracie was not doing any of the screaming we’re hearing now. These two need the manual ‘osprey 101’

    70. Kathie July 2, 2015 at 9:34 am - Reply

      My grandchildren and I have a question for any experts out there. We see that Gracie stays with the chick all night but George is nowhere to be found. Where does he spend the night?

    71. Lucie Pecor July 2, 2015 at 9:30 am - Reply

      oh whew- finally a fish! 🙂

    72. DQ July 2, 2015 at 9:30 am - Reply

      Wow, I did just see 3 adult ospreys on the nest!

      • nascar78fan July 2, 2015 at 9:37 am - Reply

        Did George bring his girlfriend to meet his family? No wonder he’s not around much. lol
        They all must be so hungry, including Gracie. I hope be steps up the grocery shopping.

    73. nascar78fan July 2, 2015 at 9:20 am - Reply

      No breakfast yet.. Where is the man of the nest? She is going to wear herself out calling for food.

    74. DQ July 2, 2015 at 9:07 am - Reply

      Paul, I have watched many different cams with owls, eagles, peregrines, etc…but noticed that these nests are covered or somewhat protected. The osprey nests are the only ones that seem to be out in the vulnerable wide open. It was just something I noted, and can understand how these particular birds have so much to deal with. Hope you have a good day and thanks again, for your moderation’s.

    75. Sandy July 2, 2015 at 9:01 am - Reply

      Last night was the first time I tuned in after dark, what an amazing view of the full moon shining and making the nest so visible. Absolutely beautiful. Their wings are so bulky and awkward for them at this stage in their lives I never thought about that, they don’t seem to know what to do with them. Again THANK YOU all for this opportunity even with all the ugliness or the siblicide and worry of the lack of feeding it’s been a blessing.

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