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An Intro to OspreyZone

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Bald Eagles Visit Nest

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Belle’s Journey

Written by Dr. Rob Bierregaard & Illustrated by Kate Garchinsky

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

Click HERE for more information!

IMPORTANT: Messages from osprey experts

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

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

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

Hello Paul,

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

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

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

Best wishes, and good luck,

John W. Fitzpatrick

Director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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

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

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


Charles Eldermire
Bird Cams Project Leader
Cornell Lab of Ornithology


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

Rob Bierregaard
Academy of Natural Sciences
Drexel University

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

    Leave A Comment


    1. Featherdog July 6, 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      Me again. Just caught up with the last 4 days of comments. I am not an expert so when a little one was getting brutalized by a nest-mate on another cam last year, I wrote a heart wrenching letter to the host organizaion pleading for intervention. I had all of the concerns and got all of the answers found this year on this site. Yet, this year’s events were by far worse. I got angry, frustrated but I found relief. You can too.

      Educate yourself about ospreys (and other birds). Every site that has a cam also has an expert affiliated with it. I watch a bunch of cams, including one in the UK. If you don’t belive, like, or understand — even if only to see more resources — read what other experts have to say. Most say the same as here, some say much more. I found great relief by educating myself through seeking out the many experts in the field.

      Please be kind(er) to first year viewers, they don’t have the experience that most of us have. They, too, will learn that these ospreys are hard-wired for what they do/don’t do. They aren’t “emotional” — they are hard-wired and it is limited. Perfect example: Gracie “let” Brut and Brutus kill the little one. Perhaps if George had been more experienced and a better food provider, none of it would have had to be…

      • Karen July 6, 2015 at 10:48 pm - Reply

        I agree with everything you said!
        There is very little actual intervention and when it is done, it’s in very specific and limited situations.

      • Janet July 7, 2015 at 8:07 am - Reply

        Well said Featherdog. I have watched the same cams you mentioned for 3 years now. The unfortunate siblicide here was the worst I have ever experienced. I had to stop watching till the littlest chick was gone. My choice. Cant stop nature now can we? We can happy for the nest that there will be 2 healthy chicks to migrate in the fall.

    2. Laurie July 6, 2015 at 9:19 pm - Reply

      It is not pretty, but it is nature. If this camera wasn’t there, this would still occur. Try to keep that in mind if watching, and if you can’t deal with the fact that it is nature, then don’t watch. The only time where intervention occurred, is when there was a parent or more dead. Not the case here. There was a shortage of fish for a while, and nature took it’s course. Now there is another shortage, and the strongest is ensuring it’s survival. Hard to watch, but nature at it’s most real. Hang in there. All will be as it should, whether we agree with it or not!

    3. Karen July 6, 2015 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      I feel so bad for them – just not nearly enough food. From what I’ve read, it’s quite possible that #1 will push #2 out of the nest but I’m not sure there’s enough fish to support even one chick.

    4. Doreen DeLuca July 6, 2015 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      7/6/15 How long since they’ve eaten?

    5. Ja July 6, 2015 at 9:05 pm - Reply

      He wants his sibling out of the nest !!! He keeps pushing him to the edge even when it’s not feeding time ?

    6. Debbie July 6, 2015 at 8:59 pm - Reply

      Mom and Dad had better build up the rails on the nest… #2 chick needs all the help it can get…!

    7. Karin July 6, 2015 at 8:59 pm - Reply

      8:58 Wow. They’re at it again… Thank goodness the side rails are higher…

    8. Featherdog July 6, 2015 at 8:41 pm - Reply

      I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS! Two seconds after I posted at 8:39pm, 07/06/15 (awaiting moderation as I type), a zillion posts showed up… Sorry for the panic.

    9. Karin July 6, 2015 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      Have you noticed the color changes in the oldest baby? Not sure on the younger ( he’s behind the blur ) but I don’t think the color changes are as obvious on him yet……… ps…. I also have noticed only two feathers lying in the nest so far……….. I find that interesting… I would expect more…

    10. Patty July 6, 2015 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      Just a tee hee, it’s a Thanks for just missing the Cam, Big Bull!!

      • Patty July 6, 2015 at 9:13 pm - Reply

        OK 9:08pm. Looks like Gracie was Still looking for George to bring home more…still learning about their habits, but if it is lights out tonight for meals at nest, hopefully we can see an early breakfast for them! Thank you

      • Patty July 6, 2015 at 9:21 pm - Reply

        My Goodness, I applaud Gracie’s posture, Mommy style, to overlook her brood tonight!

    11. Karin July 6, 2015 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      I missed the 5:30ish feeding too. Based upon the comments I’m reading it sounds like this time there was more shoving than biting… Luckily the younger was not pushed out AND he should have fewer injuries to recover from and he might be learning a way to keep the older off him……… I do hope so…..

    12. GinaM July 6, 2015 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      I love to watch the chicks help mom rearrange the nest.
      Regarding the “lack” of fish, I know the East end had a big fish die-off due to a brown or red tide.
      Here on North Shore, the bunkers are jumping out of the water. I thought of George when I was out on the bay this weekend… it would have been so easy for him to catch one. However, I noticed that ALL the Ospreys were laying low this weekend. I think the fireworks seriously freak them out. I worry every year. As things calm down, George will bring home more sushi.

    13. Karin July 6, 2015 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      7;26 pm That’s it. Build those side rails higher…. Next year you ought to glue down a play pen ( now a days a pac n play ) and build the nest inside it. 🙂

    14. Rjoneal July 6, 2015 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      I too was scared that we were going to watch little one get pushed out of the nest he sure was very close to falling out . If George would bring enough fish once the bully gets enough then the little one will get some food. Mama even flew over to the one and tried to give it food but he dared not take any while the bully was still close by and begging. Let’s all hope plenty of fish for tomorrow and the siblings will stop I hope. Could be as the bully gets stronger he’s going to eventually gang up on the little one whether there’s enough food or not we’ll just have to wait and see what he does and if mom tries to intervene which I don’t think she will at this point . I have watched other Osprey live cams and the mothers have intervened between siblings and the ones I watch there have been three babies . But that’s what we have been taught nature can be unpredictable sometimes under certain circumstances . Thanks Paul for keeping up with all the comments and trying to answer everyone’s questions you’re doing a wonderful job and it is greatly appreciated . Here’s to hopefully a very successful day tomorrow !

    15. Elaine July 6, 2015 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      One chick was off target this time. He missed hitting the camera with a squirt. Maybe next time. Did the same chick just squirt again?

    16. Jean July 6, 2015 at 6:42 pm - Reply

      I’ve been watching Osprey cam’s for 2 years now. I finally realized I got used to hearing them talk. I live in the far North end of Seattle. Twice already I went to the grocery store and as I park my car I could hear the Osprey. I was soooo excited !!! Got out of my car and looked up and low and behold I could see them flying way way high in a giant circle. Whoooo ooo !!!

      • Karin July 6, 2015 at 7:16 pm - Reply

        Now that’s cool! I am in the middle of Indiana…. Not much water around here…The biggest birds I have seen here are hawks and cranes.

    17. Ackboater July 6, 2015 at 6:19 pm - Reply

      Is the little one still at the bottom of the nest?

      • Coleen July 6, 2015 at 7:53 pm - Reply

        Yes, and it will probably stay there and become a part of the nest. Let us allow it to rest in peace.

    18. Carol July 6, 2015 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      Just got home in time for the 5:30ish feeding and was nervous that one chick was going to push the other over the side! It took a while for the one to submit by putting his head down! I scrolled through today’s postings and it sounds like it has been a day of fighting. I guess yesterday’s shortages brought out the survival regimen. I just hope the less dominant one starts conceding quicker!
      As to only one chick per nest comment: The success rate on the nest I’ve watched for 5 seasons has been:3,2,1(big guy), and two unsuccessful years. Just observing from below, it appeared last year that something hatched but after a bad storm, something happened to it.

    19. brad July 6, 2015 at 6:09 pm - Reply

      Tuned in a little before 6 just as George came home with a fish. This is the first real aggression I’ve seen #1 have against #2.
      It does seem once #1 gets it’s crop full, it’s much more tolerant of #2 being near it for food. I thought #1 was going to shove #2 right out of the nest for sure!!!

    20. Joan T. July 6, 2015 at 6:01 pm - Reply

      Could the weekend fireworks and boat traffic in the bay have spooked George so he held back from fishing? Saturday was a good day, but yesterday was a disaster.. I hope this evening meal is a sign of good things to come.

    21. Linda Kay July 6, 2015 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      George just dropped off dinner , stayed for miute then left. As soon as Gracie started feedig 2d chick the bully appeared to be trying to push the other chick out of the nest. Did not stop until she was in submissive position with head tucked.

    22. Linda July 6, 2015 at 5:48 pm - Reply

      I’m watching the near 5:00 pm feeding. I swear the bigger chick is trying to push the smaller on over the edge of the nest. I think human intervention is needed here. The smaller chick needs to be removed from the nest before he either gets pecked to death or falls over into the water. Gracie seems not to care ! Please, someone get him out of there !

      • ospreyzone July 6, 2015 at 6:03 pm - Reply

        Linda, I’m not sure if you’ve been following previous conversations concerning intervention, but there will be none. Please read the top commentary from experts in the field. I totally understand that some might not want to witness nature in the raw, if that is the case please don’t.



        PS: all commentary concerning others will be moderated out.

        • susan July 6, 2015 at 6:48 pm - Reply

          I have been watching other osprey cams that have 2,3,4 in the nest and they have not had the bullying that has occurred here. Another cam I view does intervene if necessary; they also have removed chicks from a nest and given them to other osprey to foster; have removed netting when needed, and they also band the birds later. While I respect all that you do to bring us this cam, I can’t help but be concerned with the volatile issues with this nest. It always seem very windy, then a net, trash, now fireworks and at times not enough fish. Cam is often cloudy as well. I don’t understand why some experts will intervene, and others deem it’s not appropriate; I guess everyone has their beliefs and I do respect that. I hope for a positive outcome for the rest of the osprey in this nest…George and Gracie deserve as much.

          • Karin from Rockland July 6, 2015 at 7:52 pm - Reply

            Susan, I would like to be up there today, nice ocean breeze…
            The cam is cloudy because the babies poop near them!!
            They look just fine, growing everyday. My fear is the heat, If I had one wish it would be a bird bath…

    23. Leanne July 6, 2015 at 5:48 pm - Reply

      Fish number 3 so far today. Chicks didn’t seem in much of a hurry to eat but when Izzy went to get some of the fish Gigi chased her to the edge of the nest and I was afraid she was going to push her off. Very scary!

    24. Debbie July 6, 2015 at 5:46 pm - Reply

      You know i didn’t know better, right now watching these 2 it looks like the one is trying to push the other one out of the nest.
      Why are they fighting so much lately. Very unusual….There is plenty of food… These 2 really need watching….

    25. JB July 6, 2015 at 5:45 pm - Reply

      Another fish delivered by mister George. And, as to be expected, peckerwood number one (whipper) is not only pecking, but trying to push number two (whippee or also, snipper) out of the nest.

      • JB July 6, 2015 at 6:02 pm - Reply

        You know, this is getting way too brutal Their ain’t a soul watching who doesn’t get that this is just nature. Unless something we all can’t see right now happens, then whipper peckerwould is going to kill another sibling on live video. Today, I can tune in and watch mass beheadings, or beatdowns online. Paul, you’ve a done a great job bringing this to the world, and no soul among us has control over peckerwould and his murderous ways. It’s just too much to watch it. For me, that’s not entertainment. Sorry

    26. Patty July 6, 2015 at 5:26 pm - Reply

      5:16 p.m. Where is George with some dinner?? He’s been gone a long while….hoping he will bring home a fat fish soon….I’m getting an education everyday of the Osprey life. I have learned that if there is not enough to eat, the “pecking order” begins…Reality of Nature…so privileged to be allowed to see first hand , thank you!

      • Patty July 6, 2015 at 5:40 pm - Reply

        Do you think that, because they are “first time”parents that this is the struggling norm? Haven’t watched other cams yet, but just would love to hear if it is so, thank you

      • Patty July 6, 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply

        5:41pm Thank you, George for supper….let’s see what happens!

      • Patty July 6, 2015 at 5:46 pm - Reply

        Hmmmm, 5:45pm, Bull dog trying to push Maisey out of nest, rather than eat gorgeous supper…….

        • Patty July 6, 2015 at 5:49 pm - Reply

          Gracie turned around to try to feed Maisey, BullDog wouldn’t have it….

    27. GinaM July 6, 2015 at 4:15 pm - Reply

      Watching what happened to Peanut broke my heart just as much as it did everyone else. I have lived around Ospreys my whole life. I never knew what went on up in the nest before. I don’t think we should equate natural survival instincts to be the same as human bullying. It is really important everyone read what Dr. B said at the top of the page. Here it is copied again:
      “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.”

    28. Karin July 6, 2015 at 4:14 pm - Reply

      It would be nice if George could bring two small fish for snacks, set the siblings at opposite ends of the nest, plop down a fish in front of each one and let them have at it while he gets a proper big fish for mom to start shredding…..
      From the comments I’ve read since i started watching… ospry are loners… they do not run in herds, packs, flocks or families… therefore understanding of the alpha order ( alpha dog, other males, females then kids etc ) would not apply… Also it would seem the only one they actually bond with would be their mate and that isn’t even full time. Therefore it must be only natural for the younger to keep trying instead of steering clear of the first-born till he’s full?

    29. Candi July 6, 2015 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      We were just at the nest and saw Gracie!! It was so cool. I wished that George was flying around but did not see him.

    30. Karin July 6, 2015 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      I missed the midday feeding….. I read the comments. I figured it might happen again but I was not expecting submission from the younger… He’s bigger, stronger and feistier than the wee one….. I figured he would fight back or just get out of the way till the oldest was full…..I hope his survival instincts kick in real quick!

      • Linda July 6, 2015 at 5:31 pm - Reply

        By the time the oldest is full, it looks like mom is tired of feeding and eats for herself. The younger one has to be more aggressive and step in but even if the big one is finished he tries to keep the younger one away.

    31. Emily July 6, 2015 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      Oh no, not again !!!!!!

    32. JJ July 6, 2015 at 2:16 pm - Reply

      It’s clear the chicks do not like each other.

      • bean July 6, 2015 at 3:20 pm - Reply

        does any one know if ospreys eat anything other than fish

        • Monica July 6, 2015 at 4:21 pm - Reply

          I believe they only eat fish.

      • Jean July 6, 2015 at 4:49 pm - Reply

        At the very top of this page .. “IMPORTANT: Messages from osprey experts” … Rob Bierregaard shares with us his knowledge of what is going on when we see the chicks attacking each other. It really helped me to understand how nature works. I am able to step back and look at the whole functioning system of an Osprey’s life cycle. I take this information and use it as a foundation to understand the natural life cycle of any species. Thank you RB …..

    33. Monica July 6, 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      Hello everyone!! So, what’s been going on? I haven’t logged on since July 4th. Hope everyone had a great Fourth!! 🙂

      • Mitchell July 6, 2015 at 3:35 pm - Reply

        Hi Monica. Well the two chicks were nearly starved to death yesterday. they had gone over 24 hours without food. finaly they were fed today. However now when A fish is brought to the nest the two chicks start fighting with each other.

        • Monica July 6, 2015 at 4:24 pm - Reply

          Oh, that’s sad. Poor things. I read somewhere that usually only one baby osprey “makes” it. But, I defer to the experts on here. I’m hooked on these guys. I hope they all make it. Every day as soon as I wake up, I say to myself, “I have to log on to see what’s going on with MY birds.” lol My family thinks I’m nuts. lol 🙂

    34. Rose Petejan July 6, 2015 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      Lunch is served and it’s a whopper. Way to go George! (But, I feel sorry for those fish, darn couldn’t they die quickly)

    35. Linda July 6, 2015 at 2:05 pm - Reply

      Unfortunately, I fear we may be in for round two. #1 is now going after #2 who becomes submissive and plays opossum just like the little one. Again he will be deprived of food which he needs for growth and hydration. #2 is afraid to get close enough for food. Amazing how mom seems to ignore feeding #2 because #1 is demanding and because bigger one requires more food.. I don’t view too often anymore. Will keep #2 in my thoughts and hope he fights the bully back and gets his fair share.

      • andreaallennyc July 6, 2015 at 3:33 pm - Reply

        Yes, if George isn’t able to bring enough food, consistently, we may lose the second chick. If there is enough food, everything will be fine. Let’s hope for the best.

      • Diane July 6, 2015 at 5:48 pm - Reply

        I feel the same way, Linda. It is too heartbreaking for me to watch the little one have his head beat in by the older ones & not get any food I haven’t watched since before July 4th, and that feeding session was horrible to see. And now, apparently, the oldest one is beating on #2. I know it’s “survival of the fittest” and all, but I am too emotional to watch that. Maybe it’s because I have my own African Grey parrot, that I have had for 19 years. It is heartbreaking for me to watch a baby animal—and I don’t think it would be different if it were another breed of animal—-starve, get assaulted & see the mother not do anything. I know it’s human thinking, not animal thinking, but I can’t help it. I’m not sure the little one is going to survive, and I don’t want to see that.

    36. Leanne July 6, 2015 at 2:04 pm - Reply

      Lunch is served. Good job, George. 🙂

    37. Dawn July 6, 2015 at 1:54 pm - Reply

      Watching this feeding is reminding me of Pee Wee. The older chick is beating on the younger until he gets his fill first. Hard to watch and hear for that matter. 🙁

      • Monica July 6, 2015 at 2:13 pm - Reply

        Oh, so the older ‘guy’ has been beating on the younger one? I honestly can’t tell which is which. Oh no, I hope we don’t have another repeat of the little runt’s demise. And, yes, I know it’s nature and the ‘survival of the fittest,’ but it’s still heart wrenching to watch. 🙁

    38. Rjoneal July 6, 2015 at 1:46 pm - Reply

      1:42pm lunchtime good going George. everyones hungry! Here’s hoping he can get at least one more fish for dinner tonight to hold them over.

    39. JB July 6, 2015 at 1:45 pm - Reply

      George delivers lunch and oldest chick is pecking and digging, and really hurting the other. This is not a good trend. More fish needed.

      • JB July 6, 2015 at 1:51 pm - Reply

        Not good! The big bully is going to take down the only remaining sibling if this continues much longer.

      • Karen July 6, 2015 at 2:20 pm - Reply

        Things settled down quickly after #1 ate enough to start filling his crop. They went 24 hours without food and this is only their second meal of the day so they really are starving. Hope the fishing picks up as they continue to grow. If Gracie somehow managed to feed both chicks equally while there was only enough food for 1, she would have 2 weakened chicks. Another couple of days like yesterday and neither one would survive. By feeding the strongest first she helps assure her goal of passing on her genetic material.

    40. Samantha July 6, 2015 at 1:43 pm - Reply

      Go George! Huge fish at ~1:45p!

    41. misty July 6, 2015 at 1:43 pm - Reply

      Great article!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    42. Andrew July 6, 2015 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      You guys are crazy. If you didnt want to watch the runt killed or beaten or starved, then simply click the X in the top right of your screen.

      Why would you interfere and disrupt nature? you could risk the rest of the nest by intervening.

      This is as close to reality as youre gonna get. Nature isnt a Disney movie, nature is red in tooth and nail. Nature is neither good nor evil, it just is. What happened to runt is sad, unfortunate, and at times painful to watch. But nature isnt cruel, thats just how life is.

      Everyone needs to dry their tears, tone down the outrage, and let Nature take its course. Be thankful that we can learn and get a true glimpse into these animals lives. It will give everyone some perspective.

      • Linda Ardizzone July 6, 2015 at 2:11 pm - Reply

        Wow Andrew, Talk about outrage. I guess you told us. Tone it down a little will you.

      • Mitchell July 6, 2015 at 2:19 pm - Reply

        I couldn’t agree more. I really thought I was the only one here.

        • Mitchell July 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm - Reply

          I ment couldn’t agree with Andrew more. Should have seen the way people jumped on me when I asked to view some of the footage of the chicks beating the runt.

      • JB July 6, 2015 at 3:53 pm - Reply

        Obviously little andrew thinks he’s got a better grip on the nature of things. Newsflash! Ya don’t. That’s just how nature is fella.

      • Elena July 6, 2015 at 6:14 pm - Reply

        I agree with Dr. B. that it’s been like this long before the cameras were put on. I just think that cameras are there not for the sake of pure observation, but with scientific purpose as well. Since people have been contributing a lot to harm the nature, why they may not help it to survive when it is possible. There were suggestion in the net to give the little guy to R&S from the Hog Island who recently lost there chicks, but nothing was done. Obviously, we cannot help every osprey in the world, but whenever it is possible to make a difference, why not to?

    43. JB July 6, 2015 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      Was just watching the nest, when suddenly something flew between Grace and the kids out toward the water. I rolled the video back and it was in fact a bird. It may have been the sparrow, but not sure. It moved to fast. It must be resting on the perch above the nest.

      • Lyn July 6, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

        1:44 EDT – Second fish delivered. Now #1 is beating #2.

    44. Karin July 6, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      i gotta admit, I am surprised the babies have not shown more interest in the sparrow……..

    45. Karin July 6, 2015 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      12:49 pm ice cream, anyone? is that what i hear?

    46. Nancy Fetherston July 6, 2015 at 12:46 pm - Reply

      ‘Pecking’ order, (fighting) starting from first to hatch and feed, is clearly a successful survival strategy for allocating potentially limited food resources. As each belly is filled, and sleep results, the next is fed, and then the next, as long as fish are available. Mom seems to keep feeding as long as Dad provides them. The ‘fight’ instinct really works for the species survival. I’m 73 and familiar with the reduction of local marine diversity and quantity compared to the 1950’s and 60’s. Apparently the area seems to be able to supply only one or two fish a day, therefore supporting only 2 chicks assuming Dad is an average provider. If he can’t provide an average of 2, I suspect only one chick will survive as they grow and mom needs to feed.

    47. Karin July 6, 2015 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      on nature shows bears are considered cubs, juveniles, teens then adults… I have not seen this one in the comments ( or i missed it ) may I please ask, are the osprey considered adults around one year of age and how long is their average life span? Thank you.

      • ospreyzone July 6, 2015 at 1:01 pm - Reply

        I’m not sure exactly when they become adults, but they get their full adult plumage around 18 months. They usually do not mate until they are 3 or older. Some ospreys have lived over 25 years, but most make it to around 15.

    48. JB July 6, 2015 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      Just submitted my names for the chicks.

      First born, “Whipper.” Reason: Bully, whips on other siblings
      Second born: “Snipper.” Reason: Passive, but will engage whipper if pushed a lot.
      Third born: “Post.” Reason: Never had much of a chance. Entered the world only to become a whipping post of Whipper. Sad, but true.

      I noticed that both chicks are enjoying playing “get as close as you can to the edge of the nest and give it your best Leonardo DiCaprio” with their wings. Your typical soccer mom would be freaking out and locking them in their room.


      • Linda Ardizzone July 6, 2015 at 1:15 pm - Reply

        Those names could not be more perfect. How appropriate. So sad and disgusted by the bully behavior that goes on. The world would be a better place without bullies no matter what the species.

      • Jean July 6, 2015 at 6:27 pm - Reply

        JB perfect names for the little buggers ….. I hope you win !!!!!

    49. Carol July 6, 2015 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal about ospreys—go to :

    50. Karin July 6, 2015 at 12:23 pm - Reply

      12;22 PM ha ha!!! missed again! 🙂 with their backs to the camera I figured the lens would take another hit soon…..

    51. Karin July 6, 2015 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      that little thief! Grace probably doesn’t care. She can bring up a lot more nesting material in one trip than the little sparrow could in many…I’m still trying to figure out their language….. July fourth night was definitely frantic upset… sometimes she seems to be calling George back to the nest, sometimes she seems to be saying the babies are hungry but the confusing one is when she is calling him and he shows up and she still squacks at like she’s nagging or something close to it. By the way, it also seems he is better at rearranging the nest than she is… no offense, Grace.

    52. Gigi from long island July 6, 2015 at 12:07 pm - Reply

      i read that its normal for sparrows to nest under Ospreys…too cute cant believe he just stole some twigs.and was back again.its hysterical.

      • Coleen July 6, 2015 at 1:13 pm - Reply

        Sparrows nest under any large nest. They nest under eagles’ nests.

    53. Leora July 6, 2015 at 11:56 am - Reply

      Hi Paul, Thanks for setting this camera up for everyone to see. It is amazing and I am addicted to it like crack!
      Just curious to know how big do you think this nest is now? and where is George at nights? I only see one parent in the nest at nights. Is the other bird perched on top of the camera for a better watch over the nest or does it sleep somewhere else?

      • ospreyzone July 6, 2015 at 12:31 pm - Reply

        On the Highlights page, we have a few pictures of the nest taken from the ground that give a better perspective of the size. I’d say it’s around 3 feet wide. There is also a bar above the camera which George probably perches on at night.

        • Leora July 6, 2015 at 5:32 pm - Reply

          thank you!
          this is all very interesting to have insight into their life. they are brilliant and beautiful birds.
          and I am praying for rain!

      • ospreyzone July 6, 2015 at 1:25 pm - Reply

        I’m guessing that the nest is about 3 X 3 and we’re not sure where Dad meanders too at night but he doesn’t frequent the nest area as far as I know.

    54. Marietta July 6, 2015 at 11:27 am - Reply

      Look how she’s shielding them from the sun with her wings. It’s amazing to watch!

    55. Karin July 6, 2015 at 11:17 am - Reply

      Grace has been shielding the babies from the sun a lot this morning….. She is looking so exhausted….. when it’s time for her to leave ( some commenters said she leaves about a month before the others? ) I think she ought to find a place to hide out and sleep for a few days before heading south. I even saw her yawn a little bit ago…

      • Karen July 6, 2015 at 12:28 pm - Reply

        I noticed that too! It’s the first time I’ve seen her doing that so she must be learning as she goes. Lifting her wings could be something she does to cool herself and then finds it helps the babies too.

    56. sallyanne July 6, 2015 at 10:51 am - Reply

      Sounds like a massive truck and/or commotion now @10:50AM Poor Gracie is SCREAMING What is going on????? Sounds like a pressure washer or vacuum!!

      This poor family!!

    57. Karin July 6, 2015 at 10:19 am - Reply

      …. at my age, it’s all about comfort……. I’d be bringing in a few inches of grass to cover the floor of my nest…

    58. Karin July 6, 2015 at 9:54 am - Reply

      thank you for your answer….. please, do not apologize. I have noticed the dew forming and drying is helping clean the camera… Right now I see only one little blurry spot… it’s much better than it was…….. and yes, thank you for all your troubles.. this nest watching is amazing… George just took off from atop the camera a few minutes ago and jostled the camera as he did so… I hope he brings back a nice huge fish… If not, they can call Jimmie Johns,,, 🙂 the munchkins seem to be getting a little roly poly, but it most likely just their huge wings….. I have seen a hawk snag a bird mid air and keep going… I am assuming osprey can do the same if the opportunity arose but i also think fishing is much easier…

    59. GinaM July 6, 2015 at 9:54 am - Reply

      I live where there are many Osprey nests around me. I have never had an “inside” view before- that is why I adore this site and am grateful for the work that has gone into bringing it to all of us. I wanted to comment on people mentioning the various materials brought to the nest. At least from what I have seen from my home, Ospreys are notorious garbage collectors. I have seen plastic bags hanging from the nests, rope, paper- everything.

      • Karin July 6, 2015 at 10:41 am - Reply

        I wonder why all the garbage,….. filler? I was thinking all this plastic would be hot and sweaty but then again I don’t have feathers on my bottom and also plastic is a good water proofer and wind breaker…….

    60. Jennifer July 6, 2015 at 9:52 am - Reply

      That little sparrow is so funny picking at their nest lmaooooo….. He is getting very courageous….

    61. andreaallennyc July 6, 2015 at 9:48 am - Reply

      Hi Paul,

      It is very difficult to have to deal with comments! I know you are moderating and not approving some comments and that it is impossible to please everone. Here are some ideas other moderators use that might be helpful. Sorry for offering unsolicited advice, I realize it can be irritating; it is well intended. I do think you are doing an amazing job dealing with the situation, which is certainly not anything you could have imagined when you took this on.
      * Given how many comments there are, some invariably get buried, thus repetitive comments asking about the lens! Although, as we’ve seen, not everyone notices the announcements at the top, you might put notices there, but start with a current comment above the letters you have now. Then you can have a cut/paste response to answer the others, on or off list.
      * A key rule is is often to not allow comments that are directed at telling others how to behave on list or criticizing what others are posting, especially if it is insulting. There is nothing educational about this (about birds anyway, I’m a psychologist so consider such comments an education in other ways!) This is more likely to be used for ongoing communities, but I think the explore website uses a rule something like that.
      * Allow people to contact you off list. If there is an easy, obvious way to do this, it might keep some stuff off the list that others don’t need to see. You’re moderating/reading them anyway, so it doesn’t necessarily add work.
      * Some moderators announce that a topic is ended and then either delete or don’t approve comments after that point.

      Keep up the good work,


    62. Debbie July 6, 2015 at 8:31 am - Reply

      George returned with a fish about 7a…Gracie was happy and fed chicks and than fed George…It’s gonna be a good day….!

    63. JB July 6, 2015 at 8:09 am - Reply

      I noticed the male sparrow returned this morning after George had returned without food and left. But, Gracie remained the the kids. The little sparrow hopped about on the perimeter of the nest, and Gracie didn’t seem to object. I guess she doesn’t view him as a threat. I suppose the sparrow could begin to get more bold and start pulling fluffy tail-feather down out of the kids butts. But then, the kids are big enough now to peck him back.

    64. Linda Ardizzone July 6, 2015 at 7:49 am - Reply

      Now, now, I have a right to my feelings about this and my comments. Live with it.

    65. Leanne July 6, 2015 at 6:58 am - Reply

      Breakfast at approximately 7am. Chicks were fighting with each other as the fish was delivered. Looks like Gigi is taking her own fish, thru Gracie’s legs, as Gracie is busy feeding Izzy. I hope George delivers more fish today so these 2 chicks don’t continue to fight over food.

      • Tucker July 6, 2015 at 8:18 am - Reply

        Paul I read posts using names for the nestlings. Have you selected names?

        • ospreyzone July 6, 2015 at 9:26 am - Reply

          ongoing contest, go to “Name The Babies” on top of each website, prizes and details will be announced this week. All 3 babies will be named.

          • Lynn Cutler July 6, 2015 at 11:58 am - Reply

            i have a question, is this gracie & george’s 1st clutch of babies? I have read through some comments & saw they are new to having baby birds, i am new to this nest,so, please,don’t mind my 50 questions, love watching cams

            • ospreyzone July 6, 2015 at 12:21 pm

              Yes, they are first-time parents this year.

    66. Rjoneal July 6, 2015 at 6:52 am - Reply

      6:48am finally A fish breakfast is served good job George. Let’s hope he does a lot of fishing today now that the fireworks are over for the most part.

    67. Ja July 6, 2015 at 6:40 am - Reply

      Oh no George 6:35 and no fish again !!! What’s goin on ???

    68. Carol July 6, 2015 at 6:35 am - Reply

      I didn’t see any fish after the early morning. Nesting material only..I did see Gracie trying to eat seaweed or something and offered it to chick. She was only picking at whatever it was and chick not thrilled. Back to work for me so I just hope fish start showing up for the family!

    69. June July 6, 2015 at 6:19 am - Reply

      Have been away, last I saw there was some nesting material over little one..has he become part of the nest or was he taken away?

      • Linda July 6, 2015 at 10:45 am - Reply

        June. Little one has become part of nest. Been covered up. Yesterday you only saw white strip down back.

    70. JB July 6, 2015 at 5:28 am - Reply

      5:26 AM, EST. Gracie is not happy this morning as she called for food and George returned yet again without fish and nesting material. He left very quickly to go back over the water. Let’s hope he returns with what he needs to feed his family

      • susan July 6, 2015 at 7:25 am - Reply

        Feeding time now…good to see them eat! I do still care about the remaining little ones and hope they do well; it isn’t their fault really about the circumstances that caused them to attack and kill little PeeWee..RIP…..there were many things that may have caused unrest in the nest…the net that was there for so many days, not enough food for all three, etc….whatever the reason, hopefully the experts can assess the area, waters, trash brought to the nest, watch the vides and make changes to help improve conditions for next season. I still don’t understand why for survival of a species, Nature doesn’t have the parent birds intervene in such situations.

    71. Karin July 6, 2015 at 3:43 am - Reply

      have you given any thought about trying rain-x next year?

      • ospreyzone July 6, 2015 at 6:16 am - Reply

        Not sure if rain-x is the answer, it’s supposed to rain tomorrow and that usually cleans up the lens. Tommy has already designed a “lens washer” for next year that should do the trick on our new camera, to be determined. Sorry about the image, it looks worse right now but it might be dew which could make it a little better as it dries.


    72. Karin July 6, 2015 at 3:34 am - Reply

      3:30 am …..something woke up mom…kids are also restless. i hear chirping….if George never brought home dinner maybe he is planning on early fishing or a sparrow sandwich…does Grace ever get fish while George sits with the kids? ps need rain on the lens.

    73. Rjoneal July 6, 2015 at 12:12 am - Reply

      Paul I want to thank you for getting to all the post today I noticed at 11:30 pm everything that posted throughout the day. Hope you and your family and all the Osprey live camera viewers had a good fourth and here’s hoping for good fishing tomorrow for our Osprey family. Paul you’ve done a great job and all those who have helped you keep up the good work. I am thankful for having it. I wonder if we could maybe keep some of those not so nice and negative posts and put them somewhere else. I am so tired of a couple of these viewers going back-and-forth about the dead baby bird and whether the parents were abusive and to stop watching this live cam. Move on I just want to stop reading about it and watch and learn as the family grows. Thanks for all you do!

      • Trish July 6, 2015 at 6:32 am - Reply

        Ditto….on all your comments!

      • Rjoneal July 6, 2015 at 8:13 am - Reply

        8:00am breakfast is over and George didn’t eat very much at all.
        I hope he catches fish for a good lunch today. Sunrise on the water looks beautiful.

    74. Elaine July 5, 2015 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Sounds like brief fireworks again tonight. Also wind sounds strong. Gracie very attentive to chicks, probably concerned about the noise and the wind.

    75. Heather July 5, 2015 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      Poor Gracie…those fireworks are freaking her out. 🙁 Did anyone see George bring home a fish this afternoon or evening?

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