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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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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
8:11 am CST and still no fish. No sign of George yet either. Babies seem content but where is George? I’m getting a bit worried. 🙁
He’s flying around the neighborhood..I can hear him squawking and see him overhead! A few daye ago, he was in my neighbors pine tree watching me eat my dinner! I’m stingy like Gracie, I don’t share! Lol
You’re so lucky! I’d love to be able to live in your area.
Chicks are getting loud! I thought I heard Gracie but it was one of kids. Unless she’s on perch, In case it was missed, I just wanted to thank all responders who answered my question about the CC nest. I was not familiar with that site and not aware that ospreys would adopt other fledglings. I’m still learning and don’t mind admitting it, so nothing is obvious to me, so I would rather ask.
We are all still learning here. I do not think there is one expert among us at all. So its all good.
Carol, I don’t think the interloper has been adopted. They tried to get rid of it but it kept coming back. It’s not always there so who knows if it will learn to fish and make a life for itself? Something must have happened to it’s original nest, I have no idea.
There is a chick in a nest in Woods Hole, Mass that is all but abandoned but it cannot fly to another nest for help.
8:30amEDT….haven’t seen a fish yet. Changing tides affect fishing? George’s success shifts each day. Too bad Gracie didn’t share that late night fish instead of getting out of Dodge with the loot. Kids didn’t seem that enthusiastic last night so I guess she figured it was a good time to fill up.
Beautiful sunrise and a nice breeze ruffling the chicks feathers. Heard Gracie chatting with them so she must be on perch. But if there was any rain as predicted, it wasn’t much. This has got to be one of the driest spells on record. At least it cooled down to the high 60s. Immense relief!
Where’s Grace? I’ve scrolled back all 4 hrs and havent seen her? Babies are hunkered down as it seems quite breezy. Aha!! She must be on perch because I hear her now. Whew! I was worried for nothing! Have a good day, everyone 🙂 Weather is suppose to be much nicer today so enjoy. 🙂
Just saw someone fly up from below nest toward perch…
Just before 9:00pmEDT, George flew in with most of a good sized fish. Gracie was yelling at him from the perch and the kids were waking up from sleep. Gracie flew down, grabbed fish and started to eat, then flew off with the fish, flinging plastic over George in the process. George shook off plastic and flew up to the perch. The chicks just kind of looked around sleepily.
It’s 9:20 now and too dark for me to see…but there is chirping…maybe chicks and George talking?
GRCA cam has a great intervention policy posted. http://www.grandriver.ca/index/document.cfm?Sec=64&Sub1=7&Sub2=1
Wednesday night 9:15 pm if you go to grandriver.ca you can see the two baby ospreys flying from one side of the nest to the other they are so cute and it’s daytime there since our Osprey family George and Gracie are in the dark you might want to take a look to see what to expect our babies wI’ll bring doing soon
George flew in with a fish about 10 minutes ago or so and Gracie flew off with it. Dont know where she went but George is currently on perch. When Gracie grabbed the fish from George it dislodged the plastic which then blew up in the wind and almost totally covered him. Hopefully, it will blow out of the nest because I really dont think the babies like it very much.
Ha! Let’s name Chick #1 Kimye. It’s got to be a girl. Chick #2 is smaller and must be a boy so let’s name him Kanye. The Birdashians.
Does seem to fit her as she does like to primp and preen for the camera. Last night she put on quite the show as she stretched her wings and stuck her right leg out. I really think she was doing it on purpose. lol 🙂
I got a chuckle at the “Birdasians”. Very trendy. Lol
The family is having a nice moment.. 7:55pmEDT… Gracie even cut back on the chatter. Dad is hangin’ for a bit and he and one chick are surveying the scene.
Just tuned in and it’s good to see George, Gracie and the two babies all in the nest together. They look good and seem to be growing so fast! Maybe next season they can put the cam up high and off to the side a bit, out of the way of , well, the stream! The Nature Conservancy cam is up higher, and off to the side of the nest so it stays pretty clear. Someone is fussing right now! Has there been a feeding lately?
George- that had to be a six pound fish you brought in at 5:20. Way to go!
THANK YOU for G & G’s “Love Story”! (2014 highlights) That was pure joy of each other’s company and just lovin” life! To see the courtship adds to their story.
Gracie was easier to spot with her full “necklace”. I wish she still had more spots than the few that are left to help identify her.
Mom and Dad please get that baby’s face out of the plastic!!!
Around 6:35 eastern time, on july21st, the setting sun is shining on the two chicks now relaxing in the nest. Their features look chiseled; their feathers are glowing. the whole scene looks like a 17th or 18th century European painting.
What that long thin string like thing that took a long time to ingest. Thought it might be fishing line that the fish ingested.
Haven’t been to the site in 2 days My how those babies have grown. No longer babies, they are now toddlers. lol
Another good size fish brought in by George around 5.25pmEST.
Each chick has a piece of the fish now and trying to eat it on their own.
Grace is giving them huge chunks of their own and they’re pulling it apart themselves. Good thinkin, Gracie!
George delivered a good sized fish about 10 minutes ago. So far #1 is eating with #2 waiting her turn.
Got in and tuned in just as big whole fish delivered at 5:25pmEDT. Good to see everyone is gonna eat. Have to get caught up on the day
Wow! Good job George! That looks like some big fish! It’s 5:30 pm est. Hopefully they can all fill their tummies!
5:25 PM George delivers a big fat fish! Everybody very hungry this evening!
A little out of the camera shot but I think the guest fledgling is back at 5:05. I like to call it The Avenger here to take back the food that little Pip Squeak never got.
WOW. Geo arrived with nothing and the whole nest is currently telling him off. Not very happy at all.
4 23 Gracie out hunting for a fish again
5:00 – George returns with nothing 🙁 Everyone starving!
George is plain lazy.
4 14 pm Gracie rips into George explicative and all.
Is that baby putting on quite a show for us! !I can’t stop watching it is so funny.
Has anyone seen any fish this afternoon? I can’t seem to find any footage.
I dont remember any and the last comment on fish was around noon time. They must be thirsty by now and sooo hot. I wish George would just bring them a huge fish and possibly also get rid of that plastic! Nest is a mess!
Baby#1(I think) is definitely hamming it up for the camera!! Has been staring into the camera and preening for a long time. Wonder if he sees his own reflection or is he trying to impress what he thinks is another osprey? Maybe we should name them Kim and Kanye who do a great job of being seen by the public and love it.
LOL. Kimye 🙂
Well, hello there beautiful! I just clicked back on and saw who I think is #1 getting right up close to the camera. I love looking into their eyes. So pretty. 🙂
Maternal instinct must be extremely powerful to keep Gracie in that hot sun, with those chicks pressed against her. She would be so much more comfortable any place else, closer to the water, in some shade, maybe with a pina-colada. What a marvelous mother she is!!!!!
Yes, it’s very interesting to see how she’s learning as she goes. She’s doing a great job of attempting to provide some shade for the chicks today.
Wonder if she’ll go out for her own fish again today. Right now she’s yelling at George who returned empty taloned. 2:00 pm
Carol and Lynn, About the CC nest….A fledgling from another nest,( nobody knows which one) has been visiting this nest and asking for food. The parents have been as accommodating as possible but we know on this site if there isn’t enough fish to go around it’s not a good situation. So the third osprey you see being fed is the visitor from somewhere else. The new one is a bit bigger and more assertive than the smaller foster chicks so it’s a bit troubling. We’ll see what happens because apparently this new one leaves and comes back.
Beatrice, I watched that this morning. Dad delivered a nice size fish only to have it taken away from mom and eating the entire fish. Yes, it is a large baby and dominated the n eat. We shall sees what happens as this bird comes and goes. I am happy to see this nest sound, today.
Beatrice, No worries with Mom and Dad and the VJ (visiting juvie).. If Mom/Dad don’t want her/him there they’ll run it off for sure.
So far fish has been good. VJ is not treating so no problem with that. Mom/Dad make a great foster parents..All is good..
Beatrice: When I first saw the new guest in the Chesapeake nest on Sunday, I was surprised. Mother Audrey seemed upset at first. It seems now that the new one helps himself, flys off and then returns. No fighting yet. This nest with Gracie and George needs some serious housecleaning. I can hardly see the nest for the clutter blowing back and forth.
Thank you and everyone who answered. I got a lot of info.
11:45 Eastern and George just brought in a good size half of a fish. Gracie did the same thing she did yesterday – she mantled the fish and squawked loudly until George flew off the nest. Then she started eating it herself and before offering some to the kids.
I have noticed this morning that the chicks are pecking at the plastic I hope the don”t swallow any. I think they have about had it with that piece and are trying to get rid of it.. It seems to be under the branches so it won’t fly away with the wind. Maybe that was the reason Gracie brought seaweed to the nest a few days ago to cover the plastic but that disappeared . I really think it is bothering them. I hope George or Gracie bring in some heavy branches to cover that piece.
One of the chicks talons actually got caught up in the plastic and the chick was dragging it around the nest. Made it hard for the chick to walk at times because it was caught in the bag and would step on it trying to walk. Finally became unwrapped BUT it still seems to be bothering that 1 chick. I think it may be #1.
Being the good mom Gracie is, she fed most of the fish to the 2 chicks. She’s calling George, but I think he has selective hearing!
A fairly good size fish was delivered at 9:45am EST.
That was kind of cool. Gracie stopped feeding, started to squawk and all of a sudden, flying in the background from right of screen to left, was George (?)
Paul or anyone else know if there was enough wind, could the babies actually fly if they needed to? Meaning, if they got too close to the edge of the nest, do they have enough feathers to support themselves? I thought I saw some babies flying in Lloyd Harbor yesterday. They probably have a couple of weeks on our two.
Fledging.. Ospreys typically fledge between 49 and 60 days from hatch. The average is 56 days. Each nest is different, and it depends on the development of the chicks and food supply. Food has everything to do with the growth and development of the chicks.
George delivered another fish just a short time ago. #1 was first to eat and wasn’t happy when 2 tried to get in a few bites. #1 would start to walk away but the minute she saw #2 trying to or getting fed, she’d hurriedly go back to eat some more. #2 ate thru the back of Gracie’s legs but didnt get as much as she should have. At least as of right now. Hope Geo keeps delivering so they both get what they need. Gracie too.
Nice size fish just brought in. That should last them for a half hour. If they have any left over they can wrap it in one of the many plastic bags they’ve accumulated.
That was definitely a “Sea Robin” Gracie brought to the nest yesterday. After watching Gracie bring in the “Monster” fish yesterday, I rewound the video and watched it over and over again thinking it looked like a catfish to me, but not really a catfish but similar. It had a somewhat wide, flat mouth like a catfish. After someone suggesting it could be a “sea robin” I googled and looked at pics of some. It definitely was a “Sea Robin” that Gracie brought in. The pectoral fins were long and wide and looked almost like wings and it was flapping them when she brought it in. That explains the hard time she had getting to the meat of the fish and how long it took her to eat and feed the chicks.
yes, i was watching the Chesapeak Osprey cam, i have a question, when i got to the site, there were 3 adult Osprey on the nest with the 2 chicks ,i think the female it was, was feeding the chicks, is this a common practice among the Osprey? Thank You
The third Osprey is not an adult. It is a fledgling from another nest that showed up 2 days ago. Audrey had decided to let it hang around and she feeds it along with her two chicks.
It comes and goes.
9:45 George finally brings in a good sized fish, head and all. They are starving. There should be enough for the 3 of them.
5:40 CST…George brings in either half of a very small fish or a chunk of a bigger one. Hard to tell but either way, it was small. Gracie is bust feeding the not so little ones and I really hope George is out looking for something a tad bigger for them to eat. It’s suppose to be another hot one for the nest so he needs to make sure they get plenty hydrated for the day. I have a feeling that, after feeding her chicks, Gracie will INSIST that George continue his fishing! And yup. she has started already. Have a good day, everyone. Stay cool, if possible. 🙂
First fish in about 6:40amEDT George had his share first. He hung around and posed for the camera and we saw his handsome face before he took off.
After morning wing exercises…breakfast is served!
If the fish Gracie caught was a Sea Robin as some have suggested, it explains why she had such a tough time tearing it apart and seemed to give up on the head altogether.
“Most species are around 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 in) in length. They have an unusually solid skull, and many species also possess armored plates on their bodies.”
Who is bringing in the plastic bags or are they blowing in? The nest is so crowded with that yellow bag that the babies barely have enough room to move around.
Gracie brought the new plastic bag to the nest after she brought a small branch of leaves, yesterday.
When I looked at the Chesapeake Conservancy nest yesterday, I thought there were 3 chicks, suddenly, not the two that were just banded. I had only been on that site briefly before. I was surprised to realize that the adult female has sort of outlined feathers giving her the appearance of being a youngster since the chicks are almost her size. The male is all dark like G & G. Does anyone know if this is unusual coloration for an osprey?
Now I’m more confused. I went back to C.C. site and the large dark bird is feeding all three other birds. Can anyone who watches that site fill me in? I know 2 chicks were banded and named.
It’s a fledgeling t hat showed up from another nest
Not really hard to understand, a juvenile bird flew to their nest and audrey accepted into the nest and it comes and goes but she feeds it and it gets along with the other two chicks, some think it may have came from the same nest as the two that was adopted, possibly they are all siblings
I also see an additional bird. Not sure where it came from and bigger than the chicks. I have not seen it fly and have watched it for a few days already.
There is a stray fledging that landed on the nest yesterday. Audrey has fed it and allowed it to stay on the nest. It was gone during the day today but has now returned and again it fed itself on a fish that was delivered. I hope that Tom brings enough for 3 chicks and mom.
On Sunday a youngster who apparently just fledged landed on the CC nest. Audrey and Tom have accepted him/her and Audrey is feeding him along with her own 2 chicks. This new one looks about a week or 2 older than Montana and Maine. He is able to do some self feeding and took flights out of the nest and back again throughout today.
Apparently it’s not uncommon for this to happen when chicks first fledge. They might not be able to find their way back to their own nest but still need help being fed.
Hi Carol, Montana (female/red band) & Maine (male/yellow band) were joined by an interloper (“Lopes” for the fabulous Eastern Shore cantalopes; aka MacGyver for some unknown reason) the other day. Lopes has fledged but neither of the fosters have. Lopes may be a week older. There can be five ospreys seen on this nest at any given point in time.
Emphasis on Educational:
The thought is that Lopes is from a nearby nest. Ospreys will sometimes find a new/temporary home as a matter of natural course. They may also find a new nest out of necessity: lost nest to a storm, lost one or both parents, or some other bad reason. Osprey parents will take in ‘orphans’ or at least fledglings that seem to be orphans. It seems that Lopes knows how to fly but not how to catch fish yet. It is expected that Audrey & Tom will teach Lopes how to fish as well as the fosters when they fledge.
I posted a Reply @10:46pm 07/20/15 but it is awaitng moderation…
Carol, a fledgling from another nest landed on the CC nest. Audrey has been feeding him along with her 2 chicks. The visitor flies off briefly, then comes back. He even tussled with Audrey over a fish that Tom brought. Weirdest osprey year! 🙂
So just like humans..teenagers go to whichever house has the best eats! Thanks for filling me in! Just another reason I enjoy this site! Everyone is so helpful.
There are 3 chicks now. A ” teenager ” from another nest has been visiting. He is creating some havoc there and people are not happy with his visits at feeding time.
Can we have a ‘Hi-Lite Video’ of Gracie bringing in The Monster Fish ? The video does not seem to go far back enough to watch it happening. Thanks !
I took some screenshots of the capture of the monster fish as well as when Geo and Gra were fighting over a fish the other day. I’m not sure if we can post images or how to do so. If not, I can try to post a link.
What: Wing Flapping Party!
Where: George and the Bag Lady’s Nest
When: Now. Come one come all.
I may have to stop working! I miss the most exciting things! Something else to be considered for a highlight, watching the diving and the arrival of the seamonster!
If this helps…On the June 19 highlight( I know some people find them hard to watch) There is a moment when G & G both have their beaks on a fish and you can clearly see the markings on their heads and the differences. Gracie is on the Left and George is on Right. Sometimes hard to tell when they’re moving around but I usually scroll back a time or two and can get a better idea who’s who.
Was able to scroll back to George’s arrival with the fish chunk. Didn’t matter that there was still some of monster fish left, she had to have that piece! And then another intact large fish around 5:35pmEDT!
Gracie really getting the hang of shading the kids. There was a moment yesterday when you could almost see the lightbulb above her head…she was sort of holding out her wings and the kids popped their heads into the shade and she thought “Oh, I get this!”
The nest I watch at work is on a huge drum on a Verizon tower. Today , we saw the chick for the first time actually sitting on the rim next to mom. She was busy scolding her “George”, who was sitting on his post, lounging and fishless, across the field. No rest allowed!
Feeding time now! Both chicks now being fed, the smaller one squeaking between each bite, making sure Gracie hears him/her! Unfortunately, large piece of trash in middle of the nest, but glad to see a nice day there, and both babies looking well and being fed. 🙂
I think the babies are staying to the right side of the nest because of all the ‘garbage’ (plastic pieces in there).
I think that strange fish may have been a sea robin.
It’s 5:50 PM George brought in a fish and big brother just started beating up on little brother they were fighting over a piece of fish little guy isn’t getting much this feeding so far I was so scared for little guy my heart was pounding !!
Actually, I think #2 took a good peck at #1 first because he wasn’t getting anything. George was sort of caught in the middle of them while trying to steal some for himself. #1 fought back more aggressively, making sure #2 knew who was boss. George took off to find his own food.
Eventually #2 did get a good meal though.
another fish at 5:40, george is really working hard even though its 90 degrees on long island today, keep up the good work 🙂
Another big fish delivered at 5:40 PM
Way to go, George!!
George just brought in a fish for the nest to enjoy. Yes, that was Gracie who got the previous fish. I can always tell by the small black spot she has just under her wing on the right side.
Division of Labor
The male, dedicated to providing for his family, does all of the hunting until the chicks are six weeks old. The male delivers the fish to the female on the nest who tears off pieces to feed to the young. At three to four weeks of age the chicks start to exercise their wings by holding onto the edge of the nest and flapping their wings. Mom then moves to a near by perch to guard the nest. The female may leave the nest to hunt when the chicks are six weeks old. The young start to feed themselves at this time.
That’s a great link, JB. Thanks for sharing it. Very interesting and I learned a lot. 🙂
Was not privy to see who landed the fish, but really enjoying the long, filling feed!And watching the wing span exercises! Love seeing the kiddies trying their beaks at pulling at the fish, too. They are growing and learning so fast! Gracie just left the nest and it was a happy, comforting site to see the siblings watching her take off, sitting alert, side by side
BTW, cannot post comment without posting e-mail address, always an error..
Wow, 5;45pm Unbelievable, just witnessed # 1 attacking # 2, shoving it out of the way to feed again. Had not witnessed the meal being brought in, but very surprised that after the grand long feeding just awhile ago that # 1 was so aggressive, hmmm…
The best part about Gracie bringing in the Fish is that she could be seen in the back round diving several times to catch one just before she brought it in. Did anybody else notice that?
Mitchell, I saw that too . It was awesome to watch! She flew off of the camera perch area and was directly in front of the nest. Hopefully it will make a highlight video. 🙂
I did notice and it wasn’t she beautiful!!
You mean George.
I watched all day, off and on. I did see ish being brought to the nest a we Times. BUT, it sounded like Gracie calling and kids joining In as George delivered pretty big fish each time. At no time did I see Gracie deliver a fish while just the babies were alone in the nest. Can anyone confirm Gracie is fishing and bringing them to the nest?? Is it possible George is staying in the nest while Gracie goes fishing???
Yes, Gracie did bring in the big fish, whatever it was. The kids were alone on the nest and I don’t think George was around or else he would have come down to see the fish. It was a couple of hours till he showed up with a small leftover piece.
Gracie seemed especially hungry today. I think it just got to be too much for her to stand.
It was most definitely Gracie who brought in that huge fish and not George. It was beautiful to watch and will hopefully become a highlight so you can enjoy it too. 🙂
4PM July 20,
Wasn’t it wonderful to see Gracie bring home that HUGE fish around 2? Desperate times call for desperate measures. And did everyone notice that both chicks were pecking at the fish?And did you notice that after George brought in that insignificant piece of fish he was off to the side cleaning his beak. He certainly had had a full meal. and Gracie was giving him a big piece of her mind.
I wonder if George knows that Gracie was off fishing. I hope not. George did OK over the weekend, but I still consider him a deadbeat. Or maybe he is just having a hard time keeping two nests going.
I saw the whole thing as it was happening and I believe the fish was a HUGE sea robin. It definitely would account for the hard time tearing it up for feeding. Catfish only exist in fresh water and I don’t know if there are any ponds around.
It’s 3:55 pm and Gracie is still working away on that fish! She’s feeding herself, as well as some bites to one of the chicks that’s still hungry. That’s one tough fish! She’s been eating that for way over 2 hours now.
This has been very strange. Does someone know what type of fish Gracie brought home? She really had a hard time ripping it apart and after an hour and a half, parts are still there. Looks like she might have had to start from the middle. She was still at it when George came in with a piece of fish at about 3:30 and she went crazy like she hadn’t eaten all day. She even took the fish and was mantling it while squawking at him to keep away. She fed some to the chicks and to herself. Maybe she hadn’t been getting enough and reached the point of starvation.
These chicks just ate better then they ever have to date.
Is it really taking them almost 2 hrs to eat that fish? It did seem like Gracie was having trouble pulling it into pieces for the chicks.
guess i am responding to my own previous comment. Just a few minutes ago, adult and two chicks still eating!!! The other adult, who i think was George, flew in with a fish head. So it looks like BOTH adults brought in food today. (JULY 20)
Is this what happens when the chicks need lots and lots of food?
Was that Gracie who caught the BIG fish around 1:45 p.m. New York time? I believe it was her!! It was HUGE!! And this is not a fish tale, ha-ha.
Yes, it was Gracie. She had enough of waiting for a delivery, was getting a sore throat from screeching, and the kids were going ballistic from hunger.
Love the site.
I was watching at 2:30 pm est when the chicks stretched their wings. It’s hard to believe they could open that wide.
However I noticed the leg feathers on the youngest chick seems to be diseased. It may just be the difference between the development of the two chicks, but it did not look good.
Can’t wait to see them FLY.
I love watching the babies flap their wings. Any predictions when they may actually fly?
At approx. l:39 pm Gracie brought in a whopper of a fish. It looked like a catfish to me, but I don’t know if there are catfish around there. Maybe a fisherman/woman could scroll back and look at the video. It was so big she barely made it over the rails with it. She was panting and had to stop and catch her breath. They are still eating it at 2:39 p.m. and there’s a lot left. It must be a catfish as they are pretty tough & this one is taking a long time.
That was George who brought the sea creature. I say sea creature because I see what you’re talking about as it does not appear to be the typical fish. It appears to be a baby shark.
No, it was definitely Gracie. I rewound and checked several times. Plus, she went on to feed the kids and George has never done that. It was still the same bird working on the big fish when George arrived with his small piece.
It did look like a Catfish
Donna-I’ve done some fishing as a local Long Island girl, I’d say the fish you saw was a Bunker (proper name Menhaden). Almost all the fish that come into the nest are Bunker. Bunker travel in huge schools, and are often chased to the surface by their mortal enemies Bluefish and Striped Bass who feed on them also. A good size Bunker can run a little more than a foot long.