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March 18, 2016 Timelapse
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Osprey Rescue Extended - July 30, 2015
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osprey 07/11/15 squirt
George and Gracie's First Baby
Eggs Over Easy
Changing of the Guard
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Hard to Get
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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
Is there anyone who can be contacted to help this chick??
We must save this bird.
I contacted our expert Rob and he agrees. He said,
***** “This is absolutely a case where intervention is both called for and needed. There is no ethical problem with helping a bird that is in trouble because of human trash brought to the nest. Do whatever you can to find someone who can get up there and free the young.”*****
I found the following information on rescue groups in the area:
– Numbers to call for assistance located on Long Island are:
Volunteers for Wildlife, located in Huntington, 631-423-0982
Wildlife Rescue of the Hamptons, 631-728-9453
(Wildlife in Need of Rescue & Rehabilitation)
N. Massapequa, 516-293-0587
If you need funding for this I am sure we will all chip in. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. HE CAN LOSE HIS LEG OR DIE. In the meantime, that line is cutting into his skin. He is suffering.
Please, let’s work together on this.
Thank you Gina M for taking the time to look up the information.
GINA A: Thank you for contacting Rob. I watched an intervention of another Osprey that also had fishing line snagged around its leg. The professional climbed up to the nest, even with the female standing there watching, and cut the fishing line off the bird. At no time did any birds get frightened. They just all stood there and watched. I sure hope someone can get up there to rescue this bird from human trash!!
Did his talon get loose??? I can’t tell? I started reading the comments and am terribly upset by the anguish he could be experiencing. I hope it comes undone. If anyone has been watching vigilantly can you please indicate?
Will this present very serious situation warrant human intervention? Please don’t wait too long to help! This nest has had enough sadness!
Which chick has the string around its foot? The bigger chick? Hard to see with all the poop on the lens.
OK this is ridiculous! Steps should be taken to free that bird. At some point here you are going to be seeing a broken leg, and then what?
It’s really a hot and humid one today, and no wind to speak. Maybe some pop up storms later, can only hope.
The longer we leave the poor little guy the more damage that will occur.
The little guy in Ontario was cut free from fishing line and he is still favouring that leg.
Please let us viewers know what’s going on if anything?
At 12:30pm looks like he is free from string……Gracie moving sticks around.
Paul, maybe we could donations towards the cost of a lift truck tall enough to untangle the chick. I for one would donate as I’m sure many others would?
What are your thoughts.
I believe Cornell university used a 100 foot truck lift to remove a nest built on a stadium light by Iris and Stan. They were successful and put a deterrent up.
Let us know what your thoughts are?
People DO intervene in cases such as these. Ospreys can lose their legs and/die a long, painful death because of this.
Long Island people HAVE intervened – http://patch.com/new-york/wantagh/police-young-osprey-rescued-wantagh-park
If we need to start a fundraising drive to help this baby now- please let’s do. Send someone with a bucket truck – please.
they are so hot
Please someone get to that chick
There are a lot of us that are concerned. After these 2 chicks beat the little guy to death, it took me a long time to feel anything for these two. Now that I do one is in danger. Please let us know what is being planned.
Suggestion for next year. Lower the tower or move the nest to simplify emergencies.
Call Long Island Audubon…….They will help!!!! I have called once before.
Cant watch this happen……This is not natural,Its human error and stupidity.
OMG…this is realty bad. Don’t think I can stomach another death in this nest. Isn’t it time for human intervention?!!!!!
What can be done to untangle chick’s leg?
Whatever it is is wrapped around his leg securely. It may be some of the dried grass or plant strips because it seems to be frayed – not smooth. I wish he’d try pecking at it.
I know from 2 other sites where a possible entanglement happened recently, CC and a UK site, it was said that this is a dangerous time to try to approach a nest because the chicks are big enough that they might attempt to fledge from fear even though they can’t fly.
I just scrolled back on the video after reading the comments about the entanglement. It’s not clear whether the chick was able to free himself or not. He appears to be staying in the same location and has lost freedom and confidence of moving about in the nest.
If this continues much longer, I do hope that Paul considers calling professional Osprey handlers to free him.
Omg the leg is caught. We need to cut the strong.
Right now this little one is missing a feeding, it can’t reach where mom is giving out food. The wire or string is attached to the little one’s right leg and a branch on the far left.
One chick is in trouble. That line around his foot is getting tighter and tighter each time he struggles to get free from it. In the case of a human cause (fishing line) creating the problem, is it now our place to correct this? He cannot eat when Gracie has the fish on the other side of the nest because he is tied down to the left side of the nest. If you look carefully, his foot/leg is swollen. Please, is there something we can do??
11:00 7/29 I can see baby is still caught by string and pulling it as it tries to get to other side of nest. Other end of string is caught on branch so baby is limited in movement,
11am edt. Wondering where are the July 29th posts? I posted comment awaiting moderation around 9am and cannot find it. At 11am the poor chick’s foot is still stuck in the line. What will happen if he can’t untangle his talon? Feeling anxious for the chick…
Looks like one of the little guys leg is tangled and stuck in some fishing line…
Screen not perfectly clear, but clear enough to see one of the chicks is TANGLED on something. it ‘s around his right ankle. Today, July 29th @11AM
i saw this entanglement about two hrs ago.
i hope he can bite it off, step out of it…….something!!
It is so nerve wracking.
i hope it is just a heavy string and not a wire cable someone talked about previously
10:45 EDT 7/29 I am hoping that the nest is being monitored, and that those who can do something are aware of the string probably still caught around baby’s foot or lower leg (hard to really see with the cloudy lens). The way baby was pulling the string when he was being fed, it didn’t look as though he would be able to just step out of it. Dangerous situation for leg. And this is not a case of nature; this string is human fault even if idiot George brought it to nest
At 2:39 it looks like the baby is still caught on the string or fishing line or whatever it is. The baby was practicing flapping its wings & got a tiny bit off the ground, but it will never be able to fly unless its freed of the string.
10:43 If he’s tangled he’s not going to be able to get food. Will he not dehydrate. Please rewind and you’ll see that he’s tangled.
It appears one of the little ones facing the camera has something attached to it’s talon or leg preventing it from moving too far. I can’t tell what it is at this time, a string or wire.
8:25 this morning I noticed the chick on the left of the screen had his one leg tangled in what I think is fish line. He has not moved from that location. Please Please look into it.
Paul, one of the babies has a piece of fishing wire stuck on its foot, tying it to the nest and it can’t get it off. This is very serious and I would like to know what the experts think about intervention if he cannot be released from this. I am very worried.
I notice the chicks are panting. I’m assuming from the heat. I didn’t think they felt the heat and what will they do when it gets hotter this afternoon. It’s a good time to learn to fly and go for a dip.
9:29 am ET … Does the “baby” bird on the left have his foot caught in netting, plastic, or something? I sure hope not … I’ll keep watching to see if his position changes.
9:03 ET just noticed one of the chicks is stuck on some sort of line, string or monofilamant. Stuck on its leg or claw… what more of an example of why we have to be more careful with the things we throw away.
Uh Oh. One of the chicks has a foot caught in something in the nest. Since it is all blurry I can’t tell if it is string, netting, or what.
We now have a chick in distress. It looks like fishing line.
6:03am PT. The chick in the front looks like the claw is caught on a fishing line or net of some sort. Poor thing, got some food but was hard stretching to mom for it. Sure hope he/she breaks free from it.
Is one of the baby’s legs caught on fishing line? He seems to be hung up on something, but because the lens is so dirty, I really can’t make it out. I am pretty sure it looks like fishing line
Oh No!!! Is that baby’s foot caught in some fishing line????????????
Is there someone to call to help release the osprey from the fishing line…
What could make this nest worse? This morning the leg of one of the chicks is tangled in what looks like some fishing line. This area must be a man-made trash dump, caused by many lazy, careless humans not picking up after themselves. Pathetic! What will be done about the osprey now?
chick foot caught in netting this am.
It appears baby still has his foot stuck and can’t get close enough to mom to get enough food every once in a while gets a bye what’s going on here maybe is it a fishing line ? I thought baby got unstuck but now I looked again and baby stuck again
Wednesday, July 29 815 George finally brings in a very small fish with the head already eaten off
Not sure if there is any other fish deliveries earlier since the cam was hard for me to see
George once again try to stick around Gracie determined to kick him out of the nest she is not happy with him right now One of the babies kept getting foot tangled in something for a minute there I thought we were going to have a problem he/she finally was able to work foot out of the entanglement I think just a bunch of branches For what little fish there is both babies are getting fed
No fighting at this time
Camera lens is getting better as the day goes on but George needs to up his game today they are hungry and hot
8:25 chick is tangled in fish line. Can’t get to food. Please, please don’t let anything happen to this chick.
Uh-oh, chick #2, I think, has right talon stuck on some line or netting and cannot break free to get closer to Gracie for feed. Pray that he gets untangled !!
CHICK IS ENTANGLED WITH FISHING LINE!!!
Oh no, at 8:23 am, noticed one of the babies leg is caught up something in the nest. He/she can’t get to Gracie to eat.
I see the baby that is caught on something is at least getting to eat, but how will it get unstuck?
8:25 one of the chicks’s leg is caught in something.
Well, it is going to be a hot, sultry, summer day on the Island today…ditto tomorrow (high 80’s, low 90’s). Only hope for a cleaner lens, is there is a forecast for a weak front to come through tomorrow, late afternoon. If there is any luck a good wind blown rain could clean up some of the lens.
http://www.chesapeakeconservancy.org/osprey-cam pop over for a peek sometime! The camera is clear too 🙂
yes we really do a better camera placement next time! 🙂 lol little sqirters
6:45 George brings in half of a large fish. Good start to the day. Come on George we need more.
We need to beg the fire department to suck saltwater from the sound and spray “rain” gently over this nest. Potty aiming is in order. LOL
There was a shadow of a good sized fish in George’s claw when he flew in just before 6:00amEDT, but it looked like it was still on his foot when he took off. And squawking still going on..
He came back about 6:15 with headless fish, Guess he decided to fuel up. Both chicks were standing by him saying hello while Gracie was off to the side saying hello and goodbye. Couldn’t see who got fed but it looked like a decent piece of fish.
<3 Oh little Osprey in the nest, why'd you have to make that mess? Soon you'll be flyin', that's for certain, but we can't see you through that "squirt curtain"! I hope this image clears up soon, 'cause Friday night's the Full Blue Moon. We love to watch you day & night, but squirtin' that camera just ain't right! So please little Osprey hear our plea, all we want is just to see. <3
Anyone have a drone? We could attach a squirt gun to it….maybe? LOL Just a thought…probably freak them out. We can only hope it clears before the takeoffs.
There was a positive update tonight about the Woods Hole chick called C1:
“C1 fledged from the rehabber on it’s own, no bands, just good. C1 was much stronger than C2. C1 had been getting most of the food brought to the nest all of July, the last days took a toll because of dehydration, that was reversed, C1 flew off strong. Never know C1 may show up on the nest..to bad no cam..but I’ll watching as time permits…”
From now on I’m going to spell the species name with an “a” instead of an “e”. OsprAy seems much more fitting with these chicks! 😉
I’m going to start spelling osprey with an “a” instead of an “e”. It seems about right for these chicks. 😉
I watched that poop squirt and it was, I repeat, it WAS deliberate. The way that lil stinker backed itself up…..it was intentional!! Do Osprey think? I think we have our answer!!
Around 6:24 p.m. NY time, chick #2 REALLY did a number on the screen! I don’t think our weather is calling for rain. Clearly, Gracie did not give him potty lessons.
About 6:18 CDT one of the little ones got the camera again.
Hot Hot Hot, they seem to be panting. I wonder if Climate Change will someday alter the migration pattern of the Osprey?
Oh dear, what happened, who and how many decided to pull the squirt curtain on us!?!! Will promise to do a rain dance so that we can see the beginnings of fledging, hope hope to see All of next steps soon
hahahahaha! Love the “squirt curtain” comment!! I used it in my poem!
6:15 George brings in another half a fish. Unbelievable!
I think they are tired of being spied on…what to do? Squirt bird turd on the camera….that will fix those nosy humans!!!
Saw that George brought in 1/2 fish about 6:10pmEDT. To amuse himself while waiting to eat, chick 2 backed up and flooded the camera lens. Very thorough job, little guy! Hope we get enough dew to clear it so we can see this drama through!
Just after 8 Gracie brought something. From lack of reaction I’m guessing seaweed. Could make out through the fog that the kids were practicing and getting a little loft. There couldn’t be a worse time to lose our view!
Now that there is poop all over the screen we cant see when they fly.
This is Just aweful ssomething needs to be done about the camera……. What am I going to do with myself all day now that I can not watch? Some one come pick me up Ill climb that tower and wash the camera myself. Ill band the chicks while Im at it too.
Oh no!! Not again! LOL Worst one yet! May not get to see them fly…. :/
6:30, EDT. Well, the aim couldn’t have been more perfect to totally blur lens, and no rain in the forecast. In rewatching the tape, I think that the aim was deliberate. I can’t be sure that it was the same bird that I saw staring into the camera earlier today, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
Don’t know what happened ( I can only imagine) but the lens is all hazy. Just see images. By the way went past the nest Fri picking up my grandson from the ferry. He was all excited on the way back to see the nest in person after watching it on this site. So cool for kids and adults. Thanks again
Jeez………they got the lens again. Little poopers…………
Oh no, there goes the camera lens again. Direct hit.
Ut OH!! there goes the view (6:18 PM eastern) July 28th
Quite the shot there, Mr. osprey chick!!
Well, unfortunately, that super-soaker bullseye to the camera pretty much ended any reasonable viewing of the fledglings for the duration. Thanks again Paul. Next year will be better.
5:10 CST George delivers half an ugly fish. Gracie squawks for him to leave nest but he refuses. Baby decides to help herself to fish and Gracie decides to feed it. George flies away and one of the baby backs up and fires a direct shot of poop right at the lens. NOT good!!