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osprey 07/11/15 squirt
George and Gracie's First Baby
Eggs Over Easy
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Hard to Get
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OspreyZone Highlights: George Returns
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Written by Dr. Rob Bierregaard & Illustrated by Kate Garchinsky
Take flight with Belle, an osprey born on Martha’s Vineyard as she learns to fly and migrates for the first time to Brazil and back–a journey of more than 8,000 miles.
IMPORTANT: Messages from osprey experts
I haven’t seen the little guy yet this morning, but I would be very surprised if he survived the night. That sure was tough to watch yesterday, but that whole process is as much a part of the essence of being an Osprey as is eating a fish. It’s part of the life of Ospreys that was rarely seen before we started putting cameras in nests. As hard as it is, we should not label the behavior as mean or cruel. Being mean or cruel implies that there is intent to do harm just for harm’s sake. Those young were responding to a set of stimuli (very little food being delivered to the nest and the presence of a very small young) in a way that evolution has hard-wired into them. It helps ensure their survival. Nature is not cruel. It is harsh, unforgiving, and often random (had the little guy been born 1st, he would have been just as aggressive as was his sibling), but not cruel or mean.
Paul Henry ospreyzone July 1, 2015 at 8:17 am
Thanks Rob for bringing your knowledge and experience to help us all gain perspective here. We are all saddened by the events that unfolded before our eyes and it’s only natural for all of us to feel and express our emotions appropriately. There have been many issues pertaining to intervention which have been discussed amongst us all. There is no doubt in my mind that the right decision was made, to let nature take it’s course. By the way, that doesn’t equate to heartless, on the contrary, nobody feels worse about this then the apparent decision makers. I say apparent, because when all was said and done, and all the issues were properly weighed, there really weren’t any other options. It was clearly pointed out, by experts, that intervening at this stage could have spooked the whole nest to the point of losing all the young. If the little one was saved, and nursed back to health, what kind of a life would it have had, perhaps caged up in a zoo. I remember when I was younger I saw a golden eagle in captivity, caged behind a wire mesh. I could practically see it’s tears. As far as placing the little one in another nest, such a low probability of success would never have justified the possibility of spooking the nest. There’s a piece of me, however heavy hearted, that believes that perhaps it is better to be born free and die free. We mourn for the little one as we marvel at the wonders of nature.
Thanks for your query, and you have my admiration for persevering. We know very well how tough your job is, including dealing with an anxious public.
Our policy with our Bird Cams project is essentially “just say no” to pleas for interference. The behavior you are witnessing – while seemingly cruel and heartless to us – is natural for many kinds of birds, especially those that feed on variable, unpredictable food supplies. The little nestling does have a chance to survive, but if it does not then that result was “meant to be” by the nature of Osprey breeding strategy. The wonderful things about these nest cameras also sometimes yield the difficult things for us to watch. As you might know, we actually post a “siblicide alert” on some of our cams where we suspect the possibility exists.
I’m copying your note to Charles Eldermire, project leader for our Bird Cams. He may have some additional comments, and he would be the one to ask if we might be able to use your stored files for biological analysis.
Best wishes, and good luck,
John W. Fitzpatrick
Director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
It’s also important to acknowledge that intervening can also cause problems of its own—depending on the ages of the birds in the nest, disturbing them can trigger an early fledge. We have restricted the scenarios in which we would even consider intervening to injuries or dangers that are explicitly human-derived. For example, 3 or 4 years ago we were alerted by viewers that one of the osprey chicks at the Hellgate Osprey nest was entangled in monofilament line. We consulted with our partners there (wildlife biologists, raptor researchers, raptor rehabbers) to determine if the monofilament was an issue, and if intervening was both likely to solve the issue AND not have bad effects on the other nestlings. In the end, a quick trip to the nest was scheduled via a bucket truck, the monofilament was removed, and the nestlings all eventually fledged. In that case, all of the permits were already in hand to be studying the ospreys, and we had already discussed how to approach issues in the nest.
Good luck to the young one—hope it all turns out well.
Bird Cams Project Leader
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
I’ve been to your site—great cam! And I noticed the runt in the nest. This is just normal Osprey reproduction. It happens all the time and you should not intervene. It’s tough to watch, but it’s how nature works. Ospreys almost always lay 3 eggs and on average fledge between 1 and 1.5 young each year. They stagger the hatch so there is a spread of ages in the young. That way, if food is short, the first-hatched (and therefore largest) will get enough food to survive while the smaller nest mates do not. If all three young were the same size and there was only enough food for 1 young, none of the young would get enough food and they would all die. If there’s lots of food, the smallest will eventually get fed and can survive. These nest cams can show some gut-wrenching scenes. The most infamous perhaps was one of the very first Osprey cams (on Long Island somewhere), where the smallest young died. One of the adults carried it out of the nest and after several minutes flew back into the nest and fed it to the other young. Waste-not-want-not at its goriest. At Hog Island up in Maine just last week a Bald Eagle came in and took the young out of the nest. Last year at another nest, cameras documented a Great-horned Owl taking young Ospreys out of a nest in NJ or MD. All of these things have been going on for millions of years and Ospreys are doing fine.
Academy of Natural Sciences
Waiting for egg # 2?
She has been so quietly hanging out
And the egg stands alone.
It feels like last year all over again. Neither one of them seems to have a clue about what that thing is or what they are supposed to do with it. (Sigh!)
Looks like we have an egg
Hi Daria, yes, she laid it on 4/29 at 2:40 pm.
Now that’s a good lunch….this feels like a repeat of last year..hope she sits on next egg
Hoping a 2nd egg will kick start her instinct…
@8:34…. George comes with a fish, followed by a pest.
George chases it, with fish in foot.
When he comes back, Missy wasn’t interested, so he took it out.
A moment of quiet. Missy looked so pretty and the $#&() stick moved ….. get a good shot while I can!
Saturday….. and busy already!
When they showed up, there was a mating attempt.
And then there was fish…. good size.
Then, as George got comfortable, Missy returned several times, alarming.
As Missy returned yet again, George chose mating….next time he’s delivering a board…… But finally, George settled in.
The piece of wood moved to the left at 5:16am and you can see the egg. Don’t know how long it will stay there. Let’s hope for the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy May Day 💐
The one that got away was this big!🐋
I was only able to peek in and grab a few shots today
Oh dear….not again
Egg napping 💤
Now, George flew in and tries to get to the egg but Missy won’t let him! She’s planted over it, standing in his way, yapping.
He’s pushing against her and trying to reach under her but no …. not moving!
He took off…..
Missy wasn’t in when George came back. He went to the egg and fluffed bedding.
As Missy flew in, George flew up and landed to say good-night . He left and then she went to perch…
And no fish……….
Thanks for the pics CarolV 👍😊
Missy came in….
When George stood to go, he lifted his wings and sort of blew backwards and sideways! Missy watched him as he went out of sight to the right…..
I had to watch a couple of times…. I swear he looked surprised!
This has been some season! I loved watching her pop out her beautiful egg yesterday. Her little “peeps” as she pushed was so cute. But there is no peace! It is either incoming marauders or George getting frisky. I know we call him the Stud Muffin but what kind of fish is he eating?? The good thing about all the extra ospreys, though, shows that there is a healthy population and that is a good thing to see. It is just so hard to keep track of all the players. I hope our new girl continues to hold her own. She is really such a sweetheart.
I agree wholeheartedly 😀
Oily fish is supposed to be good for male fertility. Lots of menhaden (bunker) in the diet. And bluefish today! ((;^}]
Clearly, I was not meant to mow…. Barely got started when the ominous clouds rolled in. big splattery rain drops and big gusts of wind ….. I watched my BIG garbage can roll about 30 ft. down the driveway! It took me so long to talk myself out there!
The forecast is for intermittent bands of storms to work through. Winds may gust to 40mph.
I’m sure we’ll all be watching that stick ! Rooting go-go-go-
Still clear out in East Marion….. George has spent more time on the egg and was just fussing around it. Could see Missy’s shadow as she sat on perch.
@14:35…. Teafish…. a tad early…
It got a little stuck but Missy got it, with no hassle or tricks from George. He gave up the games.
BIG fish, minus the head. Enjoy, Missy, hope the pest is sleeping somewhere!
George not giving up….. hope she learns to care for eggies….
And again….. so soon….
She should sit on the nest just to get out of the flyzone!
George sneaks in a fish………….. Missy heads out……
…….. and she’s back…. George goes on the chase of u-no-whoooo
Let’s try that again….
When she returned after 20 mins., she had leftovers…. George collected them and went…
That hung up plastic looks like it ‘s trying to crawl back in….
Winds have picked up to w21mph…………………………. and the &#@& stick still standing…
That was George…. Missy is in and at least she got closer!
If I occasionally type Jane, ignore me… having flashbacks…
CarolV do u think you can rent a cherry picker and go up to remove the object? If u need company I can come out to help😁😁
If only!!!!!!! Don’t think THEY would consider it an emergency…. party poopers….
It sure looks like the stick may be here to stay. I guess it’s better than poo! What a shame, it’s kind of looking like a “throwback” season with the occupants of this nest.
And the osprey day goes on…..
George jumped up to chase some one…
Missy sort of fell in to the nest backwards….
Not sure, but I think crazy George was dancing on Missy…
She is not a happy camper with the flyers….
Who can relax????
Missy is back from breakfish with a big load of seaweed. When G leaves, she stands her position on the top edge of nest.
George returns with his contribution. He checks egg and goes.
Forgot to show Missy’s contribution.
George took time to mate before he was off..
George decides to sit on the egg
Friday morning….. no one was in the nest last night. George came in and checked … moving some nest material. Missy came in. Now both are out again
@6:05, George brought a fish. He put it aside to check the egg .
Missy dropped down. She checked in with George but didn’t go for the fish.
George decided to take it and go.
George was back with breakfish. Missy dropped down.
She took the fish in her beak to go….
George settles on eggie……………… I don’t know about the viability of that egg. We can only hope Missy learns the routine from George, so that any other eggs are cared for.
Early morning disturbance
George arrives with a big fish sans head….thought he would sit on the egg….more concerned about the nest
Wind picking up already….amazing that stick is smack dab in the middle!
It’s dark but I don’t see anyone on the nest
Missy left the nest about 8:30 and it’s too dark to see if she went back. I had hopes she was experienced.
It has just poured here on my side of the Island.
As I post, about 8pm. Missy is on the egg. She’s spent a good bit of her time, standing on the nest.
George came in and I thought he was taking over, but he flew out. Missy stood for a few more minutes, then went and slowly settled on the cup.
Just have to see if she stays.
20:33:11e Looks like she went to the perch..
Hope the high winds forecast for tomorrow move that darn stick!
@18:13…. Dinnerfish….. Missy was in good voice, calling in that fish….
An intruder was lurking, so Missy was too busy yelling to get her fish….George made a leap after it, leaving the fish
Missy spotted the fish and it was as if she couldn’t make up her mind… hunger won out.
Fortunately, George was right in…
ARE U KIDDING ME! This is so not fare… please move…
The egg sat alone for about 1/2 hr. Missy came back and George was right there, working on #2.
George came to cover egg and Missy flew out.
Why isnn’t she sitting on the egg????
Missy introduces herself to the egg.
George comes in; she was trying to get his attention.
Looks like he’s spotting the egg; goes to look and even rolls it toward him!
But , of course, he has a pest to take care of!
Oops…. missed this one… Mom introducing herself to eggie
as June c pointed out, George was more than ready to take a turn!
I see George on egg…I hope she knows what to do…at least Missy staying by nest..I think Jane just flew off…
I thought he was gonna steal till he got called away by guard duty! I’m hoping that this female has some experience. She seems a little more savvy than Jane was.
OH! I see what you mean! He did come back and take over! They really don’t need to be incubated yet but the guy does love being Mr. Mom!
Look at you! Absolutely glowing!
Now, could you talk to George about moving that stick so we can get some proper eggie pics??!!
4/29- Egg #1 at 2:40 pm. So happy for them!
I felt it would be today..she was on the nest so much more…thankfully things have quieted down
June c….just in time!
Brown egg for a change
Now if we can make it past May 1 st
We don’t want Jane to return now, that would be trouble. Did you see what happened at Chesapeake Bay? The female who had been there since 2010, did not return in March. Tom, the male, took up with a new female, she laid the first egg yesterday. Later on, the previous female, Audrey 2, returned and ousted the new female. Somehow the egg was buried. The male was trying to incubate it a while ago, even though it is unseen. He’s mated with Audrey 2. Crazy osprey soap opera!
When do you think she will be named?
If the owners don’t want to. I think you should have the honor!
Hi Isabella, thank you, but no, I wouldn’t do that. If they are not interested and I doubt that’s the case, we should all help decide. After the egg was laid, I reached out to inquire about it, so we shall see.
Congratulations on egg 1!!! Hoping things calm down and we have a successful season. Thanks for all who have posted . It has been hard to tell what is going on.
I’m estimating 14:40:00…. looked like final push….?
CONGRADULATIONS 1st egg of the Season. George you Stud Muffin!
Looks like labor for Missy
2:40 1sr egg..
She looks extra beautiful here…….
….And it’s baaacckkkkkk….!
Can see just enough (and HEAR!).. Missy singing in lunchfish @12:43′
And off she goes.
Haven’t done a screenshot in awhile, so we will see if this does it. Missy seems to have a little scratch on the left side of her neck. Doesn’t look bad thank goodness. Just a little battle scar from defending the nest! Hope these battles are about over with!
George says one can never have too many sticks,…. I say that one poking into the view is one tooooo many.
He moves some things out of the bowl. Good to see those bigger pieces were moved.
Missy comes in… she always seems to bump him out of the way.
It would be great if today’s wind would blow out the one blocking the camera!
Some inspiration for a good season…
7/10/16…. think that’s Mama Gracie….Rocky is right next to her… (s)he had that light head. Then I think Ali and Brutus (or vice versa?)
It was a moody morning on the bay… both before and after the color change.
Never heard or see signs of a storm last night. Not unusual for line storms to break up as they travel west to east on the Island. They are still forecasting intermittent rain throughout the day. Temps mid 50s
The movement of the stick helps some.
Not sure what happened here.
Missy had been flapping and acting like there was someone unwanted nearby. Someone landed with a fish and she went after him. So I’m not sure if it was an unknown male or she was just wound up and went after George and chased him out.
@6:14, George brought in the fish. Missy took it to go and made ,what has become routine, a quick return . And out
@19:07….. Dinnerfish. Angles were tight and getting pics limited. But we know they ate.
There’s supposed to be a line of showers, possibly hail. heading out this way…. weather service warning till midnight. Then probable showers throughout the day tomorrow.
I miss this this morning! George been watching S&M videos??? Geez, George!
She bounced back…. slowly. She’s fine.
Geez CarolV……I posted it down below 😀
Isabella… just had an all around unobservant day! Missed the incident, missed your pic.
Missy on duty….
George doing a chest push, ( with a modesty panel…. (teehee)
That sun feels toooooo good……………….
Just enough breeze to bring out the crowns…..
Missy brings some grasses….
UGH. Is that a giant piece of plastic in the nest ?
One of several. And some has blown out. It looks like landscaping plastic. I hate it too.
The whole fish again! And she’s off…………….
Once again, Missy flies back…….
George dances on her…………..
And the harasser flies over, with George taking off to escort it away. Hopefully, Missy gets to eat her share without trouble.
Missy is back, fishless.
George brings a stick and lands on her. Hope he’s not planning on snacking on leftovers
George is home and Missy is non-stop cheep-cheeping…….
G takes off…. is he listening?
G is out again.
Missy made a quick trip for fresh seaweed…..
George does his thing…then his wing thing
Goodness sakes George…does she look comfortable!!
Things seem quieter …but they still are looking over their shoulders
Barnegat beat us to it
They are having same issues as us…female has an injury
Every time I peek in on oyster bay and patchoque they are sitting on the eggs
How many are there?
Hi Isabella, there are three eggs in each nest!
Thank you Mary Anne 😊
You’re very welcome, Isabella!
She was differently not in the mood…
Can you see me now???????
Staring at it…. cursing it or at it, trying to make it levitate…… all not working. It’s still there. Beyond annoying now…..
You did it Carol..it moved
Hahahaha…. I saw that. Will have to try harder!
Now it’s just moving back and forth…trying to hypnotize us!
Happy Wednesday! GM, Missy!
She goes after that annoying stick, which is not just in the way, it moves with the wind….
Hello, George! And pest…. Another flyover goes right above them
Posing for us…..
7:55…. Fish delivery. We can’t see much but got some interesting feather pics…. and off she goes.
Missy returned briefly… George took that moment to mate,,, although it looked more like a back massage…
Always like a good feather/wing pic!…..you also mentioned the elbow feather pattern….I’ve been noticing the patterns more this season…
Thought my eyesight was improving….maybe it’s because so far the screen is clean!
Wings and feathers always have been my favorite shots as well….
Last night around 12:30 AM got up to get something to drink…was looking a screen saw bird flying in sky and a second later someone flew off perch…
So they are hanging by nest….sometimes
Not a good picture
It seems like Missy, at least, sleeps on the perch. Most mornings it looks like she comes down from there
Nice shot with the bright moonlight!
Didn’t take a pic , but checked in about the same time….could hear someone on the perch…their talons on the perch reminds me of nails on a chalkboard 😬
@19:21…. another fish….. and George had a large share first. Missy dropped from the perch just as George came in.
Missy was having a hard time. The fish kept getting hung-up on all the odd sticks. But she was patient and maneuvered her way till she was ready for take off.
Nani-nany ,,, I touched it, I touched it…..
2 second touchdown by the uninvited…..
Missy flew in , flapping madly…… scram, pest!!!
Excellent under wing shot for next years identification….
Did I miss a fish? I think the endless breakfish was the only one today. Funny how the daily supplies vary. They did spend a lot of time on guard today.
I’ve been noticing those wings, where they fold….elbows? You can see the reptile ancestors in the feather pattern. Truly beautiful!
Missy has been lobbying for fish, amping the volume when George came in.
@16:05…. George comes through! Big fish and he gave her the whole fish! I thought he was showing her then taking off and I think she did too. When she realized G was staying, Missy was struggling to get a grip on this biggy.
But she did!
Missy was in and out several times….
Someone followed her at one point, but I don’t know if intruder or George-on-the-job.
She even tried gobbling some fish, but the uncleaned fish was slowing her down.
Missy was away for a while and made progress. Off again
George has been in and out, checking the nest. Maybe he’s policing the area and keeping the pests busy…
And here’s Missy back…. fishless…
Someone was above her, so guessing she lost the remainder. Poor George! No fish for YOU!
OK… that was a little confusing! Wanted to check back so tapped # for previous page and suddenly I’m reading about bucket trucks and tangled chicks…. Took me all the way back to 2015!!!!! pg28.
George getting a little lazy with the dismount….. He just barely slid off after mating, putting Missy in the dark…
I love watching these 2 together. She has a mind of her own but they like to be close, too. Really sweet.
Just like this pic
She was quietly chirping for George
Showed up for a bit of nest patrol
Guess those sticks bothered him too….determined to fix them
Down they go…but of course he brings another….meanwhile she is loudly asking for lunch 🎣
Back to same scenario….this time George gives chase right away
It’s good to see that George stays nearby. He is often showing up to chase the intruder(s). It’s relentless today. maybe just a bit more than yesterday. Missy seems on edge, even shrugging George off sometimes when he attempts to mate.
I was only gone for a little while!!!
OK… apologies to George….
The wind picked it up enough that it got caught in Missy’s tail
George disapproved …….
He worked it down, out of the way for now.
Missy wheep-wheeped the entire time. The stomach must be empty.
Whoa! Look at the privacy fencing! Soon we may be locked out of our peeping.
So far no egg for us June c!….we did say around the 27th…so still have tomorrow
Morning started out with a brief but beautiful sunrise
George’s fiancé spent a good part of that morning in and out being pestered
George’s go to move…he wasn’t much help in the beginning
Look at the poor girl’s wing!
His other move….playing with his Lincoln logs
One track mind
Don’t know if it was George’s jilted girlfriend going after the fish or the nest…but it cracks me up that the fiancé held onto the fish
Are you folks watching this?……it’s like Groundhog Day!!
I know…..should be soon…I hope…
Poor Missy is so wound up by the flyovers, she went after George! Poor girl is HANGRY!
She left the nest riding on his tail……………..
Seconds later, this Fe bounced thru going the other way….
That may be what set her off. Missy could see this one coming but G was right there.
They go so fast!!….hard to ID them!
The day starts ….. George goes a’huntin’ and Missy is already yelling at intruders.
Brief showers may pass thru but , in general, a nice day in the mid 50s with winds from west@8mph
@6:18, George brings his headles catch.
Missy wasn’t in, so George killed time working on the nest bowl, then leaving the fish while he went to perch
Missy is back and spots the fish…. yummy!!!!She grabs and goes….
Missy returns, with her fish, alarming at someone.
George waylaid her…..hmmmm, good choice of word …
After that mating, M flew out than back, still alarming……. and G was there again! This time it was mostly tap dancing…. he’s a needy boy today
George on the job!
Poor Missy can’t even eat! She’s still toting that fish!
Pretty in the sunset……. Full Supermoon tonight…..around 11:30pm… need to check for exact if you’re gonna watch.
Moon is showing…
It got better once it cleared the horizon…. I had planned on waiting till 11>30 but…. who was I kidding!
George brought a fish but Missy was kind of listless.
George cleaned his beak and left, while Missy decided to stay. She did eat the fish but stayed right here.
Not sure what’s happening here….
I think this was George but he did a tap dance on Missy’s back….. never completed anything but a jig…..
…. dance and run…
I’m just hoping that if Missy is George’s new mate she’s better than Jane was her first year. If it hadn’t been for George none of the eggs would have hatched. I was seriously worried that he was going to starve to death incubating. Thankfully Jane got some maternal instincts after the chick hatched!
Missy reacts to flyover…. who looks familiar,,,,
George comes to back her up….. must have interrupted lunch, he’s carrying fish…,,, he flew out and Missy followed.
George leaves the fish in the nest and goes upstairs.
Here’s Missy, finding the fish…..
And out she goes…..
Osprey date…… love seeing them together
Booooooooooo!!!!!! No, George, NO!
Missy not too thrilled…..
BYE! Don’t get stuck on the way out!
Never know who’s gonna show when you’re not home…….
She leaves just before the homeowner approaches……. kinda looks like George…….(3rd photo is 2nd photo enlarged) ……. flew toward perch and did some alarm calling