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osprey 07/11/15 squirt
George and Gracie's First Baby
Eggs Over Easy
Changing of the Guard
Breakfast is Served
Let's Hang Out
Hard to Get
Dinner is Served
OspreyZone Highlights: George Returns
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Special Thanks to Tommy and Christina: George & Gracie’s Landlords
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
Squirmy is chirrrping happily, maybe saying….’we need to move this stick poking my tummy’! 6:56 AM, 6 Aug., my first pic in a long time. Hope I’m doing this right! Good morning to my east coast osprey viewers, it’s just after 4 AM here in Arizona.
She has discovered her voice, for sure! The nagging has begun! Nice to hear from you!
One more smallish fish….. Squirmy watches George coming.
Jane and Squirmy both went over, but Squirmy may have had just a few bites. Jane had the leftovers.
Weather- Still hot; still humid. *0 @ 8pm. Dropping to 71 by dawn. Clear night, with partly cloudy towards dawn. Cloudiness lasting in to Monday, with temps in high 80s.
Hadda get a Squirmy fix, since she’s been in hiding all afternoon!………… Nice to see ya!
Squirmy’s new play toy
And HEEErrrrre’s Mamma!
This was the lunch fish that wouldn’t post because the “page was no longer available” Other post that said that went through…..
@12:19- George brought in a headless fish. Squirmy was asleep from a fish filled morning, so George waited. He had a snack or two while he stood around.
When Squirmy finally requested some, George headed in, pre-loaded!
ive been watching them for coulpe of days and the baby appears to b stuck can someone help them
@18:46- BIG fish!
.which Jane took and flew out.
………..Jane comes back with a now headless bunker
…………….to feed Squirmy
………………….. who enjoyed the sketti…………
Driving along Ocean Pkwy at sunrise this morning, counted 21 osprey ( a new personal record ) ! Seeing all of the chicks on perches close to their nests and obviously learning to fly makes me 😀. Best way to commute from Suffolk to Nassau County.
Sounds like my kinda ride!
Chick is 5 weeks old today
I can’t believe I forgot! Thanks for the reminder!
Wonder what those white chips are in that clump? They kinda glowed in the shadow…………
George is upstairs alarming and Jane flew in as back-up…. she checked all around, then moved to Squirmyland
Jane brings in a new walking stick
Then she poked around that right corner for something to move and this was her choice………… thanks, Jane!
It’s been such an uneventful afternoon I’m watching boats and shadow puppets of Squirmy stretching…………….. ””yawwwwwwnnnn””””
Isn’t it time for a fish dinner?????
Meant to mention this yesterday……. that looks like a tick just by Squirmy’s beak….. I don’t know why I was surprised…… the little suckers are everywhere!
Jane has been calling and is being answered from the distance…….. Maybe she’s putting in a dinner order!
It will be interesting to see when Jane leaves. First time mother…. chick still younger than she would be in normal circumstances…. will it be a diurnal cue or the needs of the chick?.
George is more than capable to parent alone. And since there is only one to feed, he probably doesn’t need a second provider, as when there are multiple mouths to feed…..
Not that I’m in a hurry for anyone to go anywhere!
That was an exciting take off….. and well covered, being able to see where s/he flew! And back to the nest. Well done, L’el’e !!
auditioning for The Bee Show!
To the river and back
I think she’s trying to climb in!!!!!
Right towards the camera
10:45- Super George with another fish.
Jane takes it- already minus a head
Squirmy bum and happy noises attest to feeding
And a thorough beak cleaning…….
I think Squirmy may have been cheeping for cover, but Jane would just call her back and pop more food in to her mouth!
L’el’e…ready for takeoff!
Considered that maybe we were changing pages, but there is no NEXT option in the pages section…….. pending posts not showing……….
I know you can’t please everyone. but if they ever reset this camera. I would hate to lose this intimacy that I haven’t seen on many wildlife cams.
Our Squirmy….. maybe getting a little shade?
Hellgate’s chick fledged this morning at 7 am (their camera’s time) then 7:45 am. Counting the days till Squirmy fledges as well….
I don’t know if you saw the comment from Dr. Rob but he said Squirmy is on course to break the record for the latest chick hatch of the season ( for comparable area) ! We could have a little record breaker!
Of course, the main concern is a safe and timely fledge with enough time to prepare for the migration!
I am hoping for the best and entrust George , as well as Gracie. Knowing that George is experienced, gives us hope that all will be ok, even though Gracie would decide to leave “as preprogrammed” 🙂 At least if one parent remains with Squirmy, like you said, to prepare him for his life ahead, all should be good. Makes me nervous, but on another hand I let myself trust their instincts (but I’m still a bit nervous, I will admit). Aahhhhhh
Meli- Just a reminder– That’s not Gracie, that’s Jane. As far as we know, she’s a first time mom, so we’ll see if she is already pre-programmed.
I meant fledged!!!!! Always see my mistakes as I hit post!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry Jane!!!! Ahhh I can’t believe I called her Gracie again.
No explanation necessary…………..
So poetic… the Sun and the “moon” are interconnected by a thread of digested fish, on a glorious day, in a nest almost floating under the beautiful skies, and, in the background, there are sounds of waves that are fighting with the silence. Such a tranquil moment… Love it! I would happily put this on my wall 😉
HAhaha…..You saw poetry where no one else would!
THE SUNDAY WITH SQUIRMY SHOW………
Make sure beak is clean before going on air……… check
Good Morning, Peeples!
Weather report… HOT and sunny
Boating report……… they’re out there already…
A foot passes in a fish to Jane. Squirmy goes to eat and all we see is that bobbing tush.
Squirmy poses to show her full crop afterwards……
I just liked all the fairy bubbles in this one!
Pretty in pink!
George hands it over without drama- partial fish…..Jane feeds it all to Squirmy, except the tail…. Mama’s gotta eat!
Jane arriving with seaweed……….
ADMIN: There is no longer a place to check beneath the name box…… each post must be individual, info filled in and doesn’t show up as pending, so I can’t add on to a previous post
Not sure why…I’ll check it out
TY- sorry to be a pain…..
Not a pain Carol 🤗 that’s what I’m here for
Morning! Happy Sunday!
Goodnight 😴 Ozland!
Abstract family photo
Just find this pic humorous
All those sprouting feathers must be sooooo itchy!
Was gonna say headless osprey, but that crop is a big enough replacement!
Sorry to “piggyback “ off you CarolV. I don’t see any new post. Also don’t see my post. What happened to the box that you check when you post?
I mentioned this and Shelli is gonna check it….. Also, I was told 2x that the page no longer exists, but I think all my posts came thru (except my most recent, which I’ll check later) So just checking others now. The heats getting to everyone! Even the OZ page
Did they finally dispose of the non-viable eggs?
It has become buried in the nest
And then—- there’s this………………….
It almost went out immediately………..
And then, Squirmy………….
……… did a wing stretch……………
Hangin’ on by a twig!
Noticed the new filigreed addition to the right side of the fence
And here it is being built…………
Lovely filigree work ! 🙂 I haven’t posted much, perusing posts, and curious if my ‘Reply’ will show, considering there have been issues? Let’s see :)…love the pics, thanks CarolV
I think I see where some of that fish went! FOOT and talons!
AND @16:23…….. I’m getting tired and George is doing all the work!
No takers and Jane flies off ….
George patiently waits til Squirmy sleeps off her last meal and she starts in again! Is this wing food or feather fish???? Squirmy-thenics fuel??? Where will it go?
Jane is back
Looks like she’s taking a charcoal drawing class………….. She stepped on Squirmy, who protested!
Jane recoups her dignity, grabs a walking stick and strolls over by George……….
It looked like George might be feeding Jane- but that’s a guess.
The sun is making an effort….We had bands of rain in to the mid afternoon- way later than predicted…… now it’s 78 @5pm. supposed to be a clear night with temps dropping to 71 by dawn. Tomorrow looking like a sunny day with temps in high 80s. Hopefully!!!! less humid after the rain!
Love the “walking” stick!
@15:05- George comes in with a fish….. Jane makes sure she gets this one! Squirmy doesn’t show interest and Jane eventually flew out.
I really tried to get this ps but the best I could do was that spatter over the water and dangling from that nearby stick…………. drat!
15:18- George is in with another fish! This time Squirmy say YES, PLEASE! George fed her well……….until………
….. alarm; pancake; chase! George carries his fish……..
George comes back and feeds Squirmy to the brim!
Jane comes back- 2x- with her fish. Squirmy just couldn’t eat another bite!
I kinda felt bad for Jane. I think she was ready to feed the kid– timing was just off………..
Wasn’t much to see anyway!! (re: I really tried to get this ps … )
Second pic were Jane grabs fish….great shot! 15:05
Okay, they’re all great shots!!
Love the one were Jane is sadly looking down at the fish 🐟!
And the ones of George “fish flying “ !
And dont you all wish pooping was this easy? 😆 re. Poop shot
It was a rough morning on Eastern Long Island for the osprey. Rain came thru in monsoon bands! When I was at work, I looked toward the Verizon nest just in time, during a pause, to catch someone fly out. They started to sink then managed to shake the water from their wings while flying. It was interesting to watch!
I scrolled back to see George bring in a fish. He landed on the right edge and Squirmy, in her gloom, didn’t even get up. She just cheep. cheep. cheeped, probably asking for a dadbrella! George moved to the left and got Squirmy’s attention.
Squirmy had a good long feed…. when the rain came down a little harder, and Squirmy started to cheep, George just worked harder to get that food out faster to distract her!
They finished the whole fish and George went out.
Jane came in as Squirmy watched. She went to perch, then dropped in to the nest. Jane checked for leftovers and found some nice gooey bits. Then. she went to keep Squirmy company.
Misery loves company, as another band goes thru-
Squirmy kept moving her head around the slingshot. I thought she was going to poke an eye!
Squirmy was a lean,mean,preening machine!
Mom,can you please move this slingshot?
It wont budge!
Mom has big clown feet!
Making room for the big belly!
Squirmy wont mind if I rest my tail on her
Hell yes she does!
I worry about that slingshot, too. Someone is always getting poked! Cute catch & story line with Jane ,
Wheee l’el’e wheee! Love it when they helicopter. L’el’e did this after watching Iris fly around. She’ll probably fledge today!
Osprey tails…..now here’s my tale…I fell down stairs Thursday night. When I landed on the landing, I hit my head on the front door 🚪. Went to St.Charles . Nothing broken but I don’t have a good leg to stand on!
Isabella— good healing wishes to you. Hope you are feeling better.
nfc…thank you very much!😊
OH, darn, Isabella! Was the doorbell not working??? (Too soon for a joke?) I’m just glad nothing was broken! Take care of yourself!!!
And wingercize………… and 1/2 of us nervous grammas will hold our breath as she gets closer to the edge!
Holding our breath, yes! Nice pics., thanks.
Mom…. Mom….. MOM!– they can’t see me, can they?
80 now, at 6:30pm…….dropping to a mere 74 by sunrise.
Clouds moving in overnight. Beginning about sunrise, increasing chance of rain through morning in to early afternoon. Mid to high 70s….
There has been some crazy weather to the west of us. Storms work there way westward across south NY and NJ, often leaving rain and even a small tornado in Queens . Then they break up as they hit the water.around us. I hope we do get some of this rain….. we really need it out here!
Squirmy stretch! Look at the size of those wings, in all their glory!
Squirmy pushes herself up….
…………………………………………………and LET”S HER RIP!
Great shot,CarolV and Squirmy!
Squirmy pics– Just because she’s so darn cute!
@16:36- Squirmy sees George coming and chirps him in!!! George only left about 15 mins. ago.
Jane, meanwhile, may have some leftovers, because it appears she is eating and, now, feeding Squirmy…
Squirmy starts toward George, but Jane offers more–
For now, Squirmy if satisfied and settles under Jane’s tale.
And our hunter is left eating his own fish………..
Jane wound up canoodling with George over the rest of the fish…..
……………. I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all………………………
Joni Mitchell- “Both Sides Now”
Isabella— song 2 just for you! teehee
This looked like a feeding but I don’t have sound right now……….. no confirming squeaks,,,,,
There was a lot of tail bobbing and action off right…
….and evidence of a food coma!
George has been in and out, toting a piece of fish. I don’t know if it’s the same fish. He was offside right for a while, with Jane and/or Squirmy, but I didn’t see any signs of feeding.
Look how well Squirmy is standing! She’s got legs, and she (almost) knows how to use them!
Welll….just when I was enjoying not having a song in my head! Lol!
Look at how BIG our baby is!! WOW!
About 3 days ago George and Jane were standing on the right edge of the nest, visible only from the shoulders on back. Jane had just finished feeding the chick and the chick had moved away. Then, George’s tail started bobbing up and down and it looked as if he was getting fed by Jane, but you couldn’t see what was actually happening. Well, today, you could!! Jane fed George!!
Love it!!! 🙂 Jane the romantic…. taking good care of her beloved Georgy 😉
George flying with fish to nest
George- not fish
Jane- not fish
A little nibble- no, not fish
Hey- Anybody see my breakfish?????
Now……… there’s a fish!!!
George is counting toes as Jane feeds Squirmy
CarolV…now there’s a fish….love the look of awe on Jane and Squirmy’s face,pic 1.
Jane does a stretch …
While Jane was on the nest shooing away an intruder …
George apparently was doing the same on the perch …
He jumped down from the perch … and ended up doing a jig to keep from landing full force on the chick …
to land in a safe spot …
George, not at his most photogenic!!
George tries on neck-wear!!
Family affair!! 😀
Squirmy spent most of the late afternoon headless facing the no-see zone. This was the only way to see her pretty face……
The stick was being moved by the invisible osprey………….
THERE she is!
Camera started acting up- video going dark or blue screen. HAGN!
Tale of Three Tails………. good to see that there’s a good breeze to ruffle feathers….
Temp @ 8:30- 78. Starting to drop but only going down to 75 by dawn. Clouds coming in tonight.
Tomorrow overcast morning, with sun in the afternoon. Temps low 80s. And humidity the continuing story.
Squirmy’s plumage changes daily as his pinfeathers grow out. Awesome to watch. His little tail is so cute when it is “squirmy”.
It’s like she has discovered that she has enough there to wiggle, and keeps testing it!
Chick gives a good view of its wing feathers!!
@7:21am…..Another fish; another feeding
Squirmy moves in, yapping as she goes
Jane is in and George feeds both.