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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
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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
About 74 just before noon…..
It’s not the gift it’s the thought…..
Be prepared for a hot one, Lucy!
She looked like she was taking breaks yesterday, giving her eggs a chance to cool a little. I am continually amazed by the mom she has become!
I have to get out to work on the lawn or the neighbors will be picketing. See ya later ✌️
George brought a nice sized bunker.
Lucy was quick to grab her breakfast.
Guess I got no 🐛 worms this morning… I was late to breakfast ! TY!
Of course, by the time I get back to the video, it’s running again and George is here. No idea if he delivered any fish.
And I gotta go
Good morning on a beautiful Sunday wake up! You can hear lots of birds, including at a distance, our super singer mockingbird.
Lucy waiting and fussing with the nesting around her.
There was one small reaction to a flyover.
Then at 6:46 the video froze and went out
So dark without the moon
Camera comes and goes so calling it a night.
Warm overnight… low-mid 60s under mostly clear skies w/ winds from the south
George throwing shade….
He drops down
Watch out here he comes…… the great fisher!😎🎶💕🎵
🎵go on…. Take the fishy 🐠and 🏃♂️ run🎶🎶
Watch out fish they’ll chew you up
George has been yelling at the skies while Lucy is yammering a lunch order… noisy.
Instead of 🐠 G brings grassy bales.
And again… he wants those eggs! Lucy gave in but it looked like she stayed close.
Gee… wonder how that got there…. Didn’t see it come in, but G would be my guess
He’s hanging around upstairs yelling…
G comes in for a turn….
Lucy wasn’t out long…
George goes up as Lucy moves in.
I haven’t heard Lucy yelling for fish so perhaps George brought one at some point
Saturday morning…. The haze pulled back across the bay….
Flyover has Lucy upset. Calling didn’t bring in backup…
Lucy was up and looked to sky…. About 8:56-8:58 she was doing her Daffy squacking as she fussed.
A quick glimpse…. Lucy took a quick trip out and back
Weather is quiet… rising temps from the low 60s to mid 70s by evening; gentle winds @4mph from NE
Heavy rain preceded by thunderstorms have Lucy restless.
Temps hovering between 59-61 overnight with possibility of more thunder as storm clears out around 2am.
Hang in there, pretty girl!
Just noticed that new stick…: big one….
Shhhh…. 💤 George
I’m supposed to be taking a screen free day…. Don’t tell anyone I was here😁😆😄😃😇
Good night, Lucy…..
Fairly steady 52-53 all night under partly cloudy skies w/winds @3mph from the south.
George loomed over Lucy til she finally got up.
She left just long enough to fly to beach for a footful of grasses then edged him out again….
That’s what’s been happening most of the day. I haven’t seen a fish so if anyone has…..
Lucy’s anxious to get back on the eggs
Lucy and. I both thought she was getting fish. Haven’t heard George even in the distance lately. So when she saw him coming…. She got excited….
Just a stick……. After hesitation… and disappointment… Lucy decided on a break
A man and his eggies
The rain showed up.
Hopefully tapering off by noon.
Temps to high 50s; low winds to 4mph from SE
Between wet heads and wet lehs, I’m guessing…
Lucy’s the pancake…
George comes in with stick and shuffles quickly in…
Opinions subject to change every time I look!
George is on the perch yelling!
George was in 3-4 times with clawsfull of grasses, tucking in Lucy. He even cuddled in next to her. I think he ws lobbying for the nest but Lucy stayed firm
And he finally got hrr out for a break!
Yay! Eggies time!
Here’s G with supperfish….
Lucy wasn’t frantic so I’m guessing there was fish earlier that I missed. Enjoy!
Cool night, dropping to low fifties; light winds from the SW; possible rain after 2am continues into morning..::
George in for another break for Lucy. He’s taken the nest a couple of times. I didn’t see a fish delivered but I haven’t checked in.
But Lucy doesn’t beg like she’s hungry.:::
A peek at the eggies
And Lucy back after that quick break
George slid in at some point….and Lucy back requesting the nest…
Good morning Lucy and ospreyz
Good Wednesday Morning All — George in with breakfish for Lucy…..
Every eggie here?
George is loudly alarming….
Lucy pops back in
Did you call, George?
I remember when breakfish used to be earlier?
Around 5 ish?
Lucy comes back and tells George to scram
She settles in for the night
Another moonlit night
Good night ospreyz
Someone left a light on!
Lucy has been getting restless…
George has slipped in and out several times, glimpsed as he flew up and heard loudly calling.
Here’s George now! Quick turnover…Hungry girl!
And on to the eggies
Here’s Lucy after a good break from the eggies
George considered the turnover as Lucy crept up from behind…
He was ready… it’s tree time
Other than those alerts on my phone earlier, no other signs of rough weather tonight…. Showing clear skies and winds 12mph from the NW.
Everyone, have a good night 💤🌙
He’s been bringing nice size fish
When should we expect the first hatching? Seems like should be soon.
Either Egg 1 or 2 is buried, and is likely both of those are not viable, so we could have a hatch of egg 3 around June 6th.
Getting severe weather alerts on my phone despite forecast of 🌞 suns across the board… then I see temps plummeting from high of 70 @6pm to 52 by dawn… setting up for t-storms. We shall see. Hopefully breaking up as they travel to the east…
Interesting and a little scary when it changes so suddenly
Was checking in and saw this comedy…
Lucy wanted the eggs..,.. so did George!
She tried sliding under him
He tried standing in the way….
😄🤔💭 if I ignore her……
More than 20 minutes…. Was kinda cute!
Sorry… read #s wrong….. more like 10 minutes human time! Probably longer in osprey time!
Too cute….sorry I missed it
So nice to see them brooding!
Lucy was checking all around…
Something down below caught her attention for a while
George brought ina seaweed banner..
Lucy wasn’t sure… she checked his feet as if looking for fish then watched to see what he was doing before taking off
George was fluffing the eggs with his head down and nd his back to us when the wind caught him by surprise… (me,too!)
He was blown almost straight up on his beak in a flurry of feathers!
He hunkered down with his dignity….
I’ve been checking in and hoping for the best but not wanting to say anything because I truly believe I might jinx the nests I watch. But I do have a question, how many eggs did they end up with? I’m so happy that Lucy seems to know what to do this year. I was worried at first because every time I checked in George seemed to be on the eggs. I guess she was doing it right and waiting until she was done laying. George as usual just wanted to sit on his eggs!
Here’s hoping for a successful nest that we can actually watch this year!
Lucy laid 5 total. It was either the first or second egg that she buried in the nesting material the morning of May 1st. So that left one egg, which she did not brood. But something seemed to click when she laid the third egg and she began brooding in earnest, including overnight. Lucy went on to lay a fourth, and then a fifth egg. So there are 4. It’s quite incredible for a female osprey to lay 5 eggs. It’s very possible they end up with 3 chicks. I know George brooded that 1st or 2nd egg that was not buried but I don’t think enough for it to be viable, but who knows. We will see!
Not sure who went out after pest ( just saw the last bit of flyby and chase) but here’s Lucy coming in while George is yelling from the perch… great teamwork!
A little bit of sunshine in my life🎶🎵. GM, Lucy!
Could it be G on his old schedule???
YAY! No fog makes a difference!
Looks like a good breakfish with a little sauce….
Yup… all there, George
Bright night from 2nd night of full mon….
Full Flower 🌸 Moon
Who left the light 💡 on?
That’s some moonshine
Good night ospreyz
Isabella… looks like we were wandering around OZ at almost the same hour!
Glad you got the horizon… somehow chopped mine off…sleep cropping….
Sleep cropping 😆
Lucy was yammering and I think I heard G in the distance…
Unfortunately for Lucy, she was getting a break when I’m sure she wanted fish!
Oh, well, a break works. Too….
Lucy returns with one of those mud balls that she likes….
The wind is blowing 11mph from the south with stronger gusts. Things are blowing around.
One good thing…. The showers are breaking up as the storm travels so even tho we may still have a passing t-storm, the duration of the showers seems to hshrunk
Yammering turns to pest alarm
And now we are fed….
Good thing Lucy is loud…. I was falling asleep waiting!
Am I just not used to Lucy on the job or is George away a lot? It’s true that he could be on the perch but I miss knowing he’s here!
Guess he’s over on his tree but I don’t hear him.
With Lucy and even Jane he had to put in so much more time!
Maybe should be happy he’s not building up the nest!
Getting a nice breeze
Between the fog and camera feed jumping
Makes for interesting pics
Then going in and out all night
Humidity and gnats…yuk!
Going to be hot and humid
I remember the middle of May being around 55 …60 degrees
I almost gave up on the breakfast wait because the video was so annoying! It calmed down enough to get the shots.
And, yes, I was thinking the same thing about sometimes it helps get a good shot you would miss if it wasn’t doing freeze frame!
High clouds and temps to 68 by noon. Winds 3mph from E….
After noon, temps dropping and rain, possibly t-storms, coming in later
She was loudly calling then finally took a quick trip out and back….
When Mr. Dependable is late, we start to worry! Lucy flew out and circled back and forth as if looking…
Finally!!! It’s a good one!
Love the talon release
.The usual egg check before settling…
Lucy dropped down as George went out
Good night ospreyz
Another foggy night
Lucy making a quick get away with little fanfare!
Glimpsed a fish but missed pic.
She’s in second pic as a speck over bay beyond G’s tail…
Lucy back and”shadowing” George…
She took a good break and hopped down so G could go….
Long night ahead …: still 66; dropping about 10 degrees over night under cloudy skies
Lucy against a pretty blue backdrop
Think she hears George with fish
Good size and she must have been starving
Didn’t waste time to grab and go!
Exit stage left
George takes a gander at the eggs before settling in
Time for fish!
Lucy was ready…
Happy Lucy goes
G settled in…
Lucy back @15:50, to sit upstairs….
After a break, L is back….
Top photo is G on his way…
Lucy was calling…. Think she needs a break.
Lucy stepped out; G was in
Already 65 before 10am. Lucy panting to regulate
Nicely framed by the cloud formation
It’s funny to watch about 10:47ish as Lucy tries to step around eggies… she almost goes back to old bad habits but remembers in time that stepping ON eggs is a no-no!
Didn’t see it…but know what you mean
She tucks her talons and kind of pulls back
When she does step…she steps lightly
Lucy running the place from the nursery… calling and alarming…
She made a quick trip to the mud store.. you can see the dark clump in her claw…
You can see the fog pulling back as the day brightens
Lucy alarming and calling…
She took a quick trip to the beach for a claw full of mud… you can see the dark clump in her foot….
As you can see, the fog is back…should lift in about an hour to an overcast morning with partly sunny afternoon.
Breeze of 3mph and temps getting warmer to about 70
Lucy dropped from the perch and G took off.
L has some interesting sticks to play with.
Checked on Lucy last night…
Waiting for George….
I‘ve been missing him. Usually could catch him on the eggs but I haven’t been able to check….
And here he is!
With a nice big breakfish!!!!
Lucy takes off, with a few words to G…
He settled in.
I guess I’m so used to L not doing her job that I expect G to be here more! Miss him!
Now he gets to listen to Mr. Mockingbird 🎶 ing away…. He’s claiming his territory and letting everyone know….
68 and passing showers…;
Lucy calling for the waiter !
Can someone get this darn stick outta my face!
Irene Doherty…. Welcome back!
Did you go back through the pages listed here, too? You may have jumped in at the start of a new page. Scroll down to the bottom.
Hope you found all you need on Fb…. We try to keep up both. It started out as a bumpy season but we seem on track for a better one than we’ve had for a while . But as always, we shall see! It’s always an experience!
Isabella… got Lucy’s foreign language pinpointed…
Mary Anne says noise made by osprey when upset… usually when spotting a dog. A human or an eagle. I just never really noticed anyone else doing it. Must have a lot to be irritated by!
I’ve also heard ospreys make that sound if a Great Blue Heron flies too near. They generally don’t make that sound for another osprey intruder. Sometimes, but not usually.
It is similar to alarm call?
Heard Lucy do that when I guessing a heron went by
I called it a 747 bird…it was big and close
If she picks up another language…most likely will be sparrow!
A sound I’ve heard when it’s hot…almost like a duck sound when panting
Isabella, yes, that’s it!
I was wondering how Lucy would do regulating temps for the eggs but she seems to know what to do. As it’s gotten warmer, she’s taken some quick breaks from sitting. Excellent!
A little close!
A mockingbird was close by, singing a long complicated serenade…. So many different bird 🎶 songs! Lucy sang along for a bit. I think mr mocker even had his version of osprey added in!
L has a stick in front of her to keep her busy
Lucy was antsy…. Lots of calls to George
Finally, breakfish arrives
Nice big fish!
Lucy disappeared in a jump in a skip on the video…
And happy G hooked in…
GM, Lucy! “Pea soup “ for breakfast! Fog supposed to hang around til about 9am. Temps to hit mid60s…. Spring is winning!
Video is popping in and out.
Mary Anne: Lucy made that noise around 6:22:30am…. While flying out and back.
And it did sound a little like a duck… Daffy!
A peek at the treasure…
Snug as a bug in a osprey nest
A look at the eggs
Fog rolls in
It was a dark and foggy night
Though looks like the neighbors have fog lights
Good night ospreyz!
Lacy tucked in….
Getting foggy over the bay. Temps staying mid50s all night; wind light from theE. Small chance of passing showers; heavy fog after 2am into the morning.
Video is jumping, with some graying out so calling it a night. Everyone have a good one!
You too Carol!
Hello Everyone!! I was so very surprised when I checked in here…….I am looking for the egg dates if that is at all possible.
I will go back into my pictures from the 2021 season and see if this is George and Lucy. Oh, and I will go to Facebook and see the different post.
That may help me catch up. Wow, I am so very surprised. Hope you are all well!!!
Hi Irene, here are the egg dates- Egg 1- 4/27, Egg 2- 4/30, (Egg 1 or 2 was buried in the nest unintentionally by Lucy on 5/1), Egg 3- 5/3, Egg 4- 5/5, Egg 5- 5/8.
Thank you, Mary Anne, I scrolled allll the way back in Facebook last night also and found your posts!! Now I just have to chart it all for Hatch dates.
Has anyone else noticed that funny noise Lucy makes? It’s like she’s learning a foreign language… crow or blue jay! I thought I was hearing things the first few times but she did it a couple of times today…
I thought Lucy was really quiet
Then realized had volume off
Will try and listen
Don’t tell rodee Lucy’s learning a foreign language 😉
Lucy struggled with this snack….while trying to eat it at her “desk”
Too wide to swallow…too small to get a hold
She tried to swallow it over and over
George popped in from perch
Lucy took off
Hopefully got to eat her snack
George takes a turn
When Lucy took off….was like a magic act
Feed is jumpy…she was there…then poof ….gone
George was on nest….. he was up stretching, then took of as Lucy came in
Lucy has the end of a 🐠 tail she’s carrying and can’t quite choke it down but I think she wants to get the eggs covered….
There was a jump in the video and I lost track for a few secs but I think Lucy went off to finish her snack while G took over again…..
Now this I know is Lucy back again….
Fog has lifted ….funny how it seems to quiet things down