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osprey 07/11/15 squirt
George and Gracie's First Baby
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Hard to Get
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OspreyZone Highlights: George Returns
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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.
IMPORTANT: Messages from osprey experts
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.
Paul 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.
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
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.
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.
Academy of Natural Sciences
I can imagine how hard it has to be for male osprey’s to provide for their families. On the water today there was an osprey hovering and looking for food. Everywhere he turned there were boats speeding by, sea do’s, fishing and a lot of noise. He was unsuccessful but I can only imagine how exhausted he must have been. So let’s go easier on poor George, he’s doing his best.
I hope they don’t outgrow the nest … it looks so small
I am concerned too I saw fish for breakfast around 6 AM and I have turned it on several times throughout the day but haven’t seen any fish has anyone seen if they had dinner tonight ? Yesterday fish was very plentiful I hope they get more fish before dark.
Have the little ones and Gracie eaten since this morning?
Wow, a lot of vocalization, but George comes back with no fish. And the one chick gets so close to the edge, it’s making me so nervous.
George back again empty-clawed. Very heated discussion, with the chicks adding their two cents!
Revising my last comment after seeing chick go after sparrow! Guess the kids are on alert!
The sparrows nest in the undersides of the big nest. And since the osprey aren;t threatened or threatening, they are just good neighbors.
Could all the boat traffic be a distraction? George is working on the nest so he’s around, not out fishing.
9:00 p.m. – no dinner 🙁 George, nor the pizza guy delivered. Gracie worried.
9:37p.m. – Zip, Nada, Nuttin’n no fish, no dinner. Poor Gracie and family. Where the heck is George?
This is a great site. Thank you for all the work you put into this project.
I was just wondering if you were going to band the chicks while they are still in the nest?
10:18 p’m Fireworks going off – Gracie horrified and starving. George MIA.
~3:15p ET and it looks like we have a little sparrow snipe. Osprey friend or foe? Sure makes the little ones chatter, but no one seems that upset about it.
Just a pleasure to have happy giggles after this emotional week. Little sparrow helping himself to Momma’s short fluff feathers, some nest grass, anything that can be taken for Their nest!! You have to LOVE this experience, thank you thank you!!
Wow, Big guy actually did the “back-up”from center of nest to ‘squirt”!! Amazing watching the instincts! Thank you!
“George, it’s after 4pm. STOP fussing with the nest and PLEASE get some dinner for us!”Love the female take on this….does anyone else out there make up these conversations?? Just love Gracie trying to get it done, thank you!
I have tuned in 3x today (about 9 am, 10:45am and now 4:45 pm and I have not seen George or Gracie! Babies are alone! Has anyone seen them today? I hope the fireworks haven’t scared them away from the nest!
I have been off and on today also, now being 2:40 PDT. I normally scroll back the 4 hours to see what may have happened. I have not once seen them fed and have very seldom seen an adult on the nest although you can see the shadow of one sitting on top of the camera. It has also amazed me that not once have I seen this mother try to shade these chicks. I have seen them go up to her looking for it but she does nothing. I sure wish someone would comment on some of this behavior.
6:00 p.m. – George is off trying to get dinner and everyone is upset. Gracie is about to dial up for a pizza!
Please advise, with the angle perspective, is the nest deeper than we are seeing? It looks like the kiddies are at the edge at times, but maybe the nest sides are higher than we see, thank you!
I’ve always been surprised that the nest isn’t “deeper” but as you said, it could be a camera angle thing. I can only see what you see.
Just wondering if there’s a chance that one of the increasingly active babies could fall before they are ready to fly?
May I please have an explanation as to why non of my posts are going through. They start as showing they are waiting for moderation and then they are just gone. Thank You
Posts are viewed chronologically, in reverse order. We are not able to moderate constantly so my guess is that your comments have all been approved but might be buried as it is quite common for 20 to 40 comments to be moderated at once.
Thanks for responding, thanks for being, xoxoxo
The nest seems fine to me; similar to other Osprey nests I’ve seen. They have added branches to the outer edge and will continue to do so … Crib rails! Osprey have instincts that keep them from falling out, or so I’ve heard the experts say. They will look out and go near the edge to do so, but I don’t think they are in any danger of falling out … There is a bit of a railing all around.
Holy Moly! 3:07 PM, EDT, a sparrow landed inside the nest with the two little ones where were alone. Then, proceeded to walk around and pick up nesting material. Whacky.
3:14 PM, EDT, sparrow is back for more nesting material. Seems to like the feathers. Where’s Mom and Dad?
3:16 PM, one of the kids wakes up and goes after the sparrow.
do we know how to tell the sex of the babies? I am always referring to them as ‘ he’s ‘.. also i need to find out if the sound is off on my laptop or if something is wrong with the audio on the camera… I have the volume all the way up and have not heard a sound…
Seems like a long time between fish today. I only saw one at about 6ish this morning. Several nest building drops, but no fish. I’m not usually here to watch in the day anymore. Is this normal? Posts I’ve read on previous days seem to indicate more than this.
Mom had a good vaca outside the nest. I heard her occasional chirp over the sparrow chatter. I know on the nest I watch at King Kullen in Cutchogue, the mom spends a lot of time on the rim of the nest. That’s an older established nest with high sides, plus doesn’t have the luxury of the nice exterior perch, The male at that nest hangs out on a high pole a short field away. These chicks are growing so fast! I enjoy the 4 hour rollback feature that can be viewed frame by frame. Sleeping chicks are cute but not compelling viewing!
Why did a house sparrow visit?
8:42 am…….beautiful morning… I don’t see the adults though one may be on top the camera… I hope they were not too traumatized… There will probably be more fireworks tonight but hopefully not as bad as last night.
I hope I am wrong, but those fireworks last night seemed way too close. I think it’s terrible that fireworks are allowed so close to an area where seabirds are nesting.
Breakfast was a family affair this morning. Gracie had a few nibbles before Gigi and Izzy woke up. She not only was feeding the 2 chicks but she also fed George.
Gracie is star
ting a fish though hard to see through the foggy camera lense while the two baby birds are still sleeping.
If you are going with an infrared camera, go with a black flash model. The red blob from a standard infrared camera may spook the birds.
Thanks, will look into it.
I don’t know what kind of cameras Cornell Lab uses, but the nighttime infrared on the barn owl cam is great.
Are you KIDDING me???? Long Island allows such obnoxious fireworks under wildlife nesting sites? Gracie is frightened out of her wits. This is NUTS
she wants to fly off but can’t leave the babies….. I have to sleep…. Good night Gracie…..
Awwwe poor Gracie the noise was to much for her …she was so co concerned for the babies 🙁
now she’s in either duck and cover or baby protection mode ( or both ) . I hope it doesn’t last too long…
9:16 pm I can see the colors from the fireworks reflecting off Mama’s chest feathers…. She just seems to be watching them…. not looking like she feels threatened….. I can hear people ooohing and awwwwwwing….
8:47…. Mama’s been very vocal for a while now… The fireworks are louder and closer than last night…..the adults are definitely reacting to the noise… I am waiting to see how they are affected when it gets dark and the colors are more obvious.
8:40…..One of the birds tipped forward a lot and almost lost his balance…. Has anyone seen them do a summersault yet? (I forgot how to spell it )
I wonder if the fireworks are bothering Gracie, she seems to be squawking a lot!
What is all the screaming about?
Do we know how many fish were delivered today?
Looks like the kids need to pick up their room… The place is a mess! ; )
George and Gracie are first time parents. They have two lovely chicks remaining. It is not like babies are vicious; they were hungry or something could have been wrong with the little one–we don’t know. Things have settled down now and I don’t think we should hate the remaining two. George has figured out he needs to produce more fish. It was sad. All I can say is don’t watch Barn Owls, Eagles, Great Horned Owls, or any birds of prey for that fact because it happens in the best of nests.
Thank you for this marvelous opportunity to observe George and Gracie. Hope the youngsters get names. Happy 4th.
I’m still very interested in the lives and survival of this whole osprey family! I’m amazed that anyone would hold its actions against any animal, let alone young ones, for doing what its nature dictates. I’m sorry too that Peewee is gone but am excited to watch the rest of this story. Thank you, Paul, and all who have helped you !
I can’t thank you enough for this bird’s eye view of the ospreys. What transpired the other day was heartbreaking, but it gave us a look into all of nature – both the harsh and the hardy. I cried watching the little one being brutalized and again when I learned he didn’t make it. His lifeless body made it all the more worse. However, the two chicks operated from instinctual behavior. Some on here have reacted with strong emotions, especially expressing anger towards the siblings. Birds don’t use intellect or reasoning like humans. What happened had to happen. We now move on to watch two beautiful adults and two thriving chicks. I look forward to the day they all take flight. In the meantime, I sit like a nervous mother hoping no other danger befalls them.
Just for kicks… It would be fun to watch …… Next year hide a squirt gun right under the camera… When a baby squirts the lens the squirt gun can squirt the baby right back….. ….. Now a real question…. Who teaches the babies to fish?… or is it instinct or do they learn by watching other birds?
How about Lucy and Ricky for the surviving chicks assuming they are a male and female?
just had to thank you for inside look at this nest. i saw baby and am still haunted and crying. and dont care about the other 2. love Gracie and George… …i dont think Gracie was being selfish with the fish incident…i think it was just caught in her claws. i think something happened to George that day that he did not hunt that entire day. or visibility was bad. This has been so heartbreaking and made me so sad. my son told me to get people friends…haha…because i was so obsessed with this after i had to raise 3 orphaned baby squirrels. Winken Blinken and Nod. i named baby Nod just like another viewer…but wont name the other two those perfect names…yes.. i need human friends.But thanks so much for all love and money you put into this…and with all negative stuff…read aesops story of old man kid and donkey. you cant please everybody….thank you
I feel uncaring towards the other siblings, as well. Not surprised by that emotion. I am appreciative for the efforts put forth in making this glimpse into nature happen. It could not have been an easy task with all the challenges, questions, maintenance etc. I check in periodically and do wish the family well. Perhaps the events that transpired in the nest will help those who study these birds, providing a better understanding of how we can help them in the future years to come.
I have no feelings for the two, either, especially since they had an obsession with killing the little one. That will haunt me the rest of my life. I think Gracie is a much better mother than George is a father and I don’t think years will help George. He is what he is..
Your comparing the parental skills of birds to what ? Your own ideal of what they should be doing ? Stop applying our human attributes to wild animals.
I sincerely hope that as humans, who have supposedly evolved, we don’t hold a grudge against these two chicks. It wasn’t easy watching little Pips demise on a live video stream but Mother Nature isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Let’s be appreciative that our Ospreys have given us two healthy chicks to observe. Happy Fourth to all the viewers out there ?
Thank you. I thought it was just me not caring what happens to the 2 bullies. After such brutality especially from the big one I could care less if he walks off the nest and dies a slow death just like what it put its sibling through. Those 2 don’t deserve to live and the parents stood by and watched their baby be killed so don’t care what happens to them either.
You know Nancy, I kind of feel the same way. I would be moving on from this site too. Knowing that the little chicks siblings mercilessly slaughtered it surely changes the feeling about the nest. Here in Boulder the parents seem to have more experience in terms of knowing who to feed first so that the oldest chicks fall into a sleep coma after eating leaving the smallest one time to be fed by Mom. Also the Dad in our nest is a truly great provider. Nature can be cruel and apparently is in some cases it is horrifying. Still, I really don’t care what happens to a nest or its occupants where this type of behavior takes place. It takes all the joy out of watching the nest.
So stop commenting and don’t log on again thanks.
That horrific drama of the beating of the little peanut to death will haunt me forever. I could not stop crying for days. Don’t care about the other 2 – not really interested after the little one died. I know all the “experts” and people talking about nature said nothing could be done but I will always believe in my heart that he should have been saved. BTW his life force was so strong, I am sure he would have preferred to be alive anywhere- than dead. And his genes were probably better than the other 2 -he was just smaller. RIP Peewee
It may seem callous, but I honestly don’t care about these two siblings. I think I got hooked on watching the little runt fight for his life. I had named him ‘Rocky.’ I’m still watching every day but don’t care much what happens to these two. My family keeps telling me I’m obsessed and should stop watching. But, I just can’t. I’m sure once they start to get ready for flying out, I’ll, of course, want them to be ok and safe. But, I’m still grieving for Rocky, may he RIP. 🙁
My sister also named the babies Winken Blinken and Nod…. I had chosen Hughy dewy and Lewie… The youngest was spunky and made me smile…..the way of the wild is brutal but it is also amazing.. I too feel different about the older two but they are babies and i have to root for their survival… I think they will grow on us again we just need a little time…they are who they are and the way of the wild will always be this way but we can still mourn the tragic and celebrate the underdogs who do manage to overcome the odds and survive……
I feel the same way you do. I can’t seem to bond with these baby chicks. I’m so heart broken that we had to witness the killing of that baby chick.
Maybe I’m wrong, but when I watch a camera of animals I only want to see the good. There is already so much ugliness in the world why would I want to see more. Maybe they should have separate camera’s on nests for study. The camera’s that are set up for the public should only portray the good.
Seriously you ladies need to stay off this site, don’t watch and stop commenting. Please do everyone a favor and stop hating on some baby birds.
Sorry…we LADIES had feelings…it was traumatic. You are probably right…I like, others, just had so much love for the baby…we don’t hate the others…just not so involved. and we aren’t hating on birds…we love all nature and cant wait to see them fly. Trinity…is it…have some compassion for human friends, everybody on this website is nice and we do not need a thrashing for sharing our feelings.
Read the posts above ; not all the viewers are supportive, more like vindictive. It’s a disgrace.
Everybody is entitled to their feelings. They are your feelings and are valid. I cried for days during and after little Peewee’s attacks. I lost sleep over it and the visions of his suffering still haunt me. I sat down with my husband and talked about it with him. His response was “it’s nature, you can’t get too invested in that”. I could’ve screamed but I explained that I witnessed “nature” when the eagle in Hog Island snatched the two chicks from their nest. I’m still getting over that loss, too. But this was different. These two chicks were vicious and seemed to attack just for the sole purpose of attacking. It seemed, to me, that both these chicks would rather beat on Peewee instead of eating. I’m still processing what I saw and am still mourning for Peewee. In the end, do I hate these chicks and want to see their demise? No. When the attacks were happening, yes, I wanted to reach into my screen and fling them into the ocean or wanted the Hog Island eagle to swoop in for a meal. The Alcoa osprey fledglings just fledged and I felt like it was graduation day. I had tears of joy and wish them an abundance of fish and many, many awesome travels. But today, for these chicks, I feel indifferent, just two chicks on a nest waiting to get fed. Eventually, they’ll grow up and become the beauties they’re meant to be but right now, things are still a little too raw that some of us need time.
Get a grip. The “ladies” were mainly just saying that they were not bonding with the big chicks … Hardly anyone (maybe one person) was wishing them ill. Seems totally normal and human to not feel as attached to the bigger chicks after watching them attack the baby. It was very painful to watch and it is normal and healthy to become attached to the baby and not the harmdoers.
I totally believe the baby was attacked due to an inadequate food supply. I believe that if he had been born first, he would have behaved the same way the big chicks did. Their behavior increased the chances of the nest having some nestlings survive. The baby’s life was sacrificed for this, so I certainly hope the other chicks survive … to lose them as well would make what then baby suffered even more difficult to bear. But, no, I’m not as attached to them as I usually am to nestlings I observe.
I don’t begrudge the parents, who are inexperience. I think chances are very good they will be much better next year. Couldn’t quite figure out why one viewer hated George so!! I think both parents are working hard and doing the best they can.
You’re right to be bitter, but in the animal world are things that happen normally. Nature is not peaceful. Even if I could I’d take little and I would put him in another nest. But hate the two small chicks not now. You know that some specimens of gray seal abusing and then killing the penguin?It is monstrous.
To Paul and Rob and All Us Osprey Lovers
When the Young start to Fledge and are able to fly unsupervised and then the Family Unit starts the Great Migration South what happens to the Family during the Trip. Do all the Ospreys fly together or at some point do they go their separate ways and if so do they all return to the same nest and start their own families. I read that the young Ospreys will start the Mating process at about 3 years old. But in those early years do they Stay Safe Keep your Head down and always Remember to wear your SCBA with their Parents or do they Stay Safe Keep your Head down and always Remember to wear your SCBA with their Siblings.
By Banding and tracking these Birds it would be amazing to see if they come Home year after year and if they start a Family
If anyone would like to add any Info or just weigh in on the subject or if you have any thoughts of what the future may hold for the family. Let’s have a Panel discussion on this Matter
I’m far from an expert Michael, but I do know that the mother leaves the nest to migrate south first, after the chicks fledge. The father stays behind with the chicks for a while longer, and then they migrate separately south as well. The parents return to the same nest after living separately during the winter months. They don’t reconnect until they’re up here. The chicks stay south for a couple of seasons before returning but they don’t return to the family nest. They return to a nest in the vicinity of where they were born. Ospreys are pretty solitary birds in the winter months.
I’m far from an expert but what I’ve learned is that the female will leave first (late August) then the young will each leave separately. The male leaves when all the young have left (early September). None of them migrate together or meet up during the winter. The male and female return (hopefully) to their established nest in the spring while the young stay in South America till the following year. The males usually return to the area they were born but not to the same nest.
I also thought about a windshield wiper on the camera. Hopefully the rain will wash the poop off the camera as it did last week. I noticed yesterday some green stuff maybe grass in the nest maybe George brought it to cover up Pee Wee’s body. That was very sad but as the experts said it was best for the situation not to intervene.
I’m surprised one of the parents has not removed the deceased chick from the nest. The odor must be pretty bad at this point.
LOL! I doubt if they ‘know’ or ‘care’ anything about odors.
I once read that they have no sense of smell.
From what I’ve heard, ospreys don’t have a very good sense of smell. Sad to have to see this poor little baby , especially in lieu of the fact that the fishing seems to have improved since his death.
Blurry camera at 10:29am. Are both ‘babies’ there? Where are Gracie and George?! Happy Fourth of July!!! 🙂
looks like some rain coming today, should clean the lens
How about sharing some of the film of the chicks beating the younger one. for educational purposes.
Thats not right are you kidding!!!
You can google Osprey siblicide (and many other terms I’m sure). You will get links to video, photos, and solid, scholarly information.
Maybe the folks at ospreyzone have the time to go back and edit video for and will do it. I think it’s a lot to ask someone to do for such heart wrenching footage … There are hours of it.
There is nothing educational about watching what happened to the little one. ….
Why would you want to view the beating of the poor little guy?! It was heart wrenching to watch. I can’t fathom why that’d be educational for you. I’m sure you can find whatever it is you want elsewhere.
Are you serious Patrick? Teachers actually put these feeds on for class to teach nature. Don’t think they don’t log on at home. A 6 year old does not need to see carnage. I only come on this site now after dark,as I also don’t care about the other 2′
Are you for real Patrick? What the hell? You want to watch that massacre? What is wrong with people?
I thank you for time,effort and expense for this site. Next year will be better. Nature is cruel as are people,watching birds is a get away. It is what it is. There’s a reason for everything. Good luck to George and Gracie next year!
I love watching this! It’s absolutely amazing! I was watching this, and the parents aren’t here. Why doesn’t one parent always stay with the babies?
If you go under highlights there are some pictures that shows the platform and you can see where the parents sometimes are when they’re not in camera view
Might the limited diet of fish only make survival of the smallest osprey more precarious?
No Gracie or George in site for over ten minutes now…babies left alone!
one parent is usually VERY close by. Probably just out of camera range. Expert Steve Kress mentioned just the other day that a parent is better able to defend its young while off the nest, not on it, so it can drive into the intruder.
I’m thinking for next year’s nest that maybe we should have a windshield wiper installed on the camera. (only kidding) That one little guy really seems to have a good aim.
We were thinking the same thing. There might even be an exterior case with such a provision, it would need some washer fluid as well. Looks like some weather heading this way.
The camera angle and displacement needs to be out of firing zone of the Osprey rear ends. There are also cameras available that have night-vision capability, along with pan and zoom. Perhaps some of the Osprey experts can chime in on what has worked for them over the years?
A re-positioning might be in order next year however it seems that the wind is the real culprit as far as finding our lens. Definitely planning on a better camera with optical zoom and real pan and tilt. Night vision sounds good, as long as it’s not using any kind of light source which might bother the birds, I suspect that a real infrared sensor would be cool. If anyone has knowledge about camera technology please come forth.
There are many state-of-the-art cameras available today that provide illumination that is outside the optical range of human beings and Ospreys in the infrared range. It’s like a flashlight that provides light the camera can see, but no human or Osprey can. I think elevating the camera above the Osprey super-soaker zone will resolve many of the problems we’ve been seeing. Also, keep in mind these new cameras are off-the-shelf technology and widely available from Amazon and other sites. They provide, pan, tilt, zoom, water and weather proofing,, and even wireless technology, though I would not personally recommend wireless. A wire still provides a better connection that does not require an interface to interpret the connection.
Oh yeah, I forgot to provide this link:
I suggest getting in touch with Steve Kress, Director of Audubon, at Hog Island to inquire about their camera which has night vision (infrared) and is remotely controlled to zoom and pan by numerous volunteers in various locations. The Hog Island camera is superb.
will do, thanks.
I’ve been watching different bird cams for years and it seems to me that the ospreys are the only ones that compete and kill the smaller ones. In fact I’ve witnessed this behavior before. Anyone agree? Every year the eagles have a peewee and it survives.
Siblicide is not uncommon on earth. A large number of other species engage in it; including human beings.
No. It’s very common with eagles and other species. I think the level of attacking usually depends on the food supply; that is true of Osprey. I don’t think they are particularly extreme in terms of sibling violence among raptors. For some species, unlike Osprey, it happens pretty much regardless of the food supply and the survival of only one chick is the usual outcome.
watched an eagle were the older one killed a younger one and ate it. the older ones will always try to kill a younger one to get the food they need to grow.
i forgot to add i have also seen in at barn owl cams.
Thanks for your feedback!
Major remodel of the nest going on at approximately 5:45 ET. Watched as Gracie and George worked together moving a large branch. Gracie had one end and George had the other. 🙂
Judy W posted the following link yesterday to another Osprey cam where the chicks are a little more than two weeks older than Gracie and George’s kids. They had three eggs, and all three eggs hatched and looking healthy.
Breakfast is served at approximately 6:30 ET.
I think we got bombed again…cleanup on camera aisle!!!!!
Oh NO. That’s not good. They mooned the camera several times, but this was a perfect shot to the other side of the camera window. Can’t see much of anything now.
FUNNY. But I think you might be right. Just tuned in at 5:30 PDT. I don’t know what the weather is but if this is from the chicks , in another week we wont see anything :))))))))
Just need a little rain
Could I make a suggestion that when people post they put the time from their location. With people watching from all over it would be nice to know when they saw something as sometimes the posts seem to get delayed. Just a thought. Thanks
It’s almost 5am (ET) and Gracie is calling for George to bring breakfast. Screen seems foggier this morning which leads me to believe that one of the babes had a good BM over night. Any rain in the forecast?
Happy 4th of July 🙂
12:06…..ok now she’s catnapping……. good nite…..
11:59………She sneezed! I’ve never heard / seen a bird sneeze before!
My granddaughter and I have seen Gracie sneeze and cough on many occasions. My granddaughter thinks it may be allergies. 🙂
btw, I loved the garfish video…it reminded me of the old cereal commercial…” You eat it…I’m not gonna eat it… I know, let’s get Mikey. He’ll eat anything……”
11$) pm and I’ve been hearing what I thought was a lot of twig snapping….. It’s fireworks over by the red flashing light…..Mama is still awake. I have not seen her sleep yet…
This late at night, Gracie still standing tall at their nest, fireworks lights in the backround, she is a grand Momma(ok, George, you are not so bad yourself)
To Paul, Rob and the Tremedous Staff and All us Osprey Lovers
Is there any talk in the near future until the Great Migration South. About Banding the Occupants of the nest and possibly placing GPS or Cell Tower Based Tacking Systems.
The is a Research Program in Rutland U.K. The Team first banded the Parents and then the 6 week old Chicks. All this was done by Expects in handling the young Chicks. At no point were any chicks harmed or traumatized and great care was observed at all times and the entire process took 51 minutes. And surprisingly Maya (The Mom) protested very little and the Babies were returned to the nest without any problems. The upside to banding and tracking is the statistical data and information gathered in maintaining Osprey health for one.
Lastly if anyone is interested in tracking an Osprey there is a site Animal Tracker run by The Max Planck Institute. And oddly they have an,Osprey in Mattituck named North Fork Bob and he is a fixed with a Tracking System which you can see where he’s been in a 2 week period and when he migrates what route he takes and where he spends his Winter ( Usually in the Amazon Rain Forest.
There has been some talk, don’t know too much about it, but always willing to learn.
Excellent article. Great progress using this technology. It would be an extension to your efforts learning about this raptor family if you participate with this professional program. As I always say in my archaeology education, “Preservation through Education.”
The last time I was in this site, it was PeeWee’s last day. My heart was breaking when I saw how the little one was treated. His body may still be in the nest, but his soul/spirit is in Heaven. It is a blessing that he does not have to suffer anymore. All of the responses that I have read sure do show the love that everyone had for PeeWee, and how much he will be missed by them, as well as by me.
July 3rd @ 9PM. i see fireworks have started,in the distance. i haven’t seen Gracie or the chicks at all disturbed.
I am glad the fireworks are FAR away; don’t want our osprey family to have any more troubles!!
Jen, I think peewee’s body is covered by nest debris now. Gina, That’s so sad about the accident that destroyed the osprey nest. The 2 nests near me are farther away from the road and located in the marshlands.
It seems to me that since the baby is gone things have been more peaceful in the nest. I haven’t seen the other two siblings fighting like they used to.
Hi Jen it was a sad week but i believe little peewee remained in the nest & amongst the branches. He wound up getting his dark feathers like his siblings and also the white stripe down his back. At least they all stayed together.
And George brings in another big one. Way to go George!
The last time I watched was sadly pee wee’s last day. It was a rough one. I’m glad his suffering is over but can someone tell me what happened to his “body”? Is he still in there or was it removed? I hope our little family doesn’t mind tomorrow’s fireworks. They will have one of the best views.
Yea its still there. They covered it..
There is a shadow above. Is that George sitting on the post above the nest?
Why does the heat cause such a problem with the little ones, but not to George & Gracie?
Gracie, George and the kids are all looking over the water and the beach at all the boating and tourist activity. Looks to me like that all have the best seat in the house!
It has been a tough week for Ospreys and Osprey lovers. Not only did we witness what happened to Peanut, but a nest near me that was on the top of a telephone pole was hit by a drunk driver and it crashed to the ground. There were three babies in it. One died and two are being cared for by a local humane association. I can’t help but think of the parents… where are they and are they looking for their young? Seeing the nest on the ground broke my heart today.
I just wonder if the Wonderful Rachel and Steve (Hog Island) could be Foster Parents for these two ?????
The possibility of rebuilding the nest is slim, I’m sure…..
Always worried about that nest at its position straight north on a hairpin turn east into Bayville (obviously missed by the “driver”). I’d heard the O’s originally wanted to build up on the light wires which was why the pole was put there – drove up there today on an errand and to see – snapped pole and nest all over the ground…heard the second baby also died (News 12 update yesterday afternoon) and the third is nursing a broken wing. Poor parents! Also heard male was seen attempting to bring new sticks (local info, not “News”). So sad after watching “Pee Wee” fight for his/her life here, then this…They seem to be making great strides, despite learning curves (what have you) and idiots. I see more and more overhead each year – one today near a nest southeast of that disaster was screeching with his fish flashing in the sunlight. I’d be interested to know what the parents of the lost Bayville babies do…anyone?
Hi Kathleen…Maybe for next season local authorities in Bayville could consider putting up a nest platform near where the pole was….Since the osprey will most likely return next year, they would (hopefully) use this instead of the pole…..We have a nest near me in So. Md where the osprey nest on top of a light pole/sign on rte 4! This nest has been blown down a couple of times and if there’s lightning, well, it is metal! They did put up a nest box nearby, but other osprey use it as it is on the other side of the road….We hope they will put one on the side w/this pole so these two will nest in a safer place! Too sad about the nest and the babies….Will hope for a positive outcome for the remaining little one.
Yes, I have seen the parents circling where the pole was. There are some other platforms set up nearby, but over the years the Ospreys have chosen not to use them. They know better than we do! There is a lovely, big, empty nest on West Shore Road, but it is on one of the poles they are going to tear down. I hope one of the Osprey experts will tell us what they think about the parents and the future of the one surviving little baby. Here is a video of the news report and him being fed minnows at the arboretum. He is the same age as “our” babies.
Is that 4 fish today?
This video from Kathy – in my mind – won the SUNDANCE FILM AWARD.
Thank you for this one-of-a kind FEEDING !!!!! RH
Such fortunate people we are to be able to witness this beautiful part of nature….even with the trials and tribulations the joy is overwhelming…the good so outweighs the bad…and sometimes there is even comedy…this young couple are named Mai and Mikk….they have a lovely nest (and 2 babes now) in Estonia…nest observers believe that they are a first time nesting couple (Mai wears a ring that identifies her as a local 3 year old) and are inexperienced…but they are doing wonderfully with their young…back in May, while they were building the nest and getting prepared Mikk brought a nice fish for Mai…he miscalculated his landing……
Sometimes questionable, scary things are brought to the nest too…here’s an old, but classic video of Monty and Nora from the Dyfi nest…starring….:the garfish…..
Thank you Kathy for that great video.
Great video. MARS ATTACKS! haha
Thank you for posting this. How fascinating.
IS she afraid of it-? LOL, he took it, ooohh i just love her lil body langauge, it is a nasty looking thing (fish) , whatever that thing is, awesome video though
I noticed on some of the birds on other videos besides George & Gracie that the birds have bands on their legs. Are they being tracked?
12:15 and I see Gracie is once again feeding George. She certainly is making sure the whole family get their belly’s full! : )
Lunch being served…George feeding Gracie first. What a guy!
July 3rd around 11:58
It’s a picnic!! What a joy to see the whole family chowing down. Happy days are here again!!