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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
I am going to rent a bucket truck to move that stick…
I was rejoicing in the absence of that “log” from the forward view when more sticks were descending. Fortunately George decided to put them on the far side!
4th chick hatched out of egg 5 shortly before 2:27 am. Lucy is seen discarding eggshell here. It was there under her at 2:15:49 as she stood up. So either egg 1 or 2 hatched first, then 3, 4 and 5. Incredible. If Lucy had not buried one of the first two eggs, there likely would be 5 chicks. If she had brooded them last year, she might have had five also. Mind boggling!
Thank you for pic.. last year she laid 5 correct. And none hatched?
That’s correct, Lucy did not hardly ever brood last year. I remember her brooding a little bit after she would lay an egg but that was it. Same thing this year until egg 3. It was like someone turned on a switch!
Good Morning! Happy Juneteenth!
Spotted all 4 chicks. #4 looks tiny next to older ones.
Same to you, Carol! Hoping for #4 but, you know how it is being the smallest and youngest in an osprey nest.
Lucy looking lovely this morning beyond the split rail fence in the mist.
So big and bright-eyed.
I am on vacation and keep checking in. Shocked to see number 4 at 2:58 pm today. Hopefully Lucy and George will know what to do. Hope there isn’t any bonking. This is mind blowing. Thanks for all the screen shots. I am sure we will all be looking at progress every day. After several bad years, this would be a blessing and a miracle. This will be an evolving story.
I won’t be surprised if #4 does not make it. And very happy if he does! I think there will be some bonking, especially with 4 chicks there. I noticed chick 2 yesterday already grabbing the beak of one of its sibs and shaking it!
Your right about 4… nest too small…and there is going to be a lot of pecking on younger chick…still amazing that they hatched…
Hoping the best for all of them. Hard for a 4th to survive but it does happen. There’s a nest in Missouri where they raised four chicks two or three times. Female much more experienced than Lucy, but she has George helping her so we shall see.
THERE ARE 4 CHICKS!!!!
Oh no. You know, I was trying to find that other egg!!! Does not bode well for a 4th. Oh wait until June sees this!
I have hope in George. He is the best Osprey Dad I have ever watched, so we can have some hope.
But you are probably right, darn it!
I was looking before but figured it was under seaweed G had been bringing in…
I always had a feeling another would hatch
Didn’t say because didn’t want it to be so
Lucy is doing a fantastic job!
I don’t know where George is fishing…but they’re huge! Thankfully!
OMG. …how is this possible…she never sat on one and two…didn’t she break an egg?….so this changes all the numbers..close to 42 days incubation..April 30th egg 2..hatched June10…42 days later..#3 May 3rd..hatched 40 days..egg 4 May 5th..38 days then egg 5 May 8th..39 days later..how was this possible…she never sat on them…I guess George sat on them enough to do the job..THIS IS CRAZY….that’s why I love this nest…
Are my numbers correct?
Looks good June. I was shocked as well. She buried an egg, never saw her break one although i seem to remember a stick landing on one. But I think that’s the one she buried! If she had not buried one, they might have had five chicks!
You must be going crazy crunching numbers!
Does anyone have time?
I think very shortly before 2:27 am. Will post a pic.
This is so fascinating..can u Imagine five hatches…
I have never heard of five osprey eggs hatching. But it could happen here next year if Lucy lays five because we know she now will brood them!
Mom came home and this time, she was the one carrying leftovers.
She was feeding the kiddos when G brought seaweed
George was in several times delivering seaweed or small sticks….
Lucy kept feeding the trio
GM, Lucy! What a beautiful sunny Hump Dawn!
The day should be mostly sunny with some early clouds….66going up 73 and winds N7mph
At my house, the aroma of honeysuckle is intoxicating! This cooler weather has been a boon to the flowering plants. The Koosa dogwood has been the best I’ve seen in years. Ty , mom nature!
UberEats arrived and Lucy wanted breakfast in bed; G obliged.
Lucy finally stood and G served…he was doing so well, Lucy went back with the bobs and G continues to feed all
Sleeping with the night light on
🎶“ Yes, I’m being followed by a moon shadow, moon shadow….”🎵🎵
The show begins ! Love watching koon from the nest… we land people have to contend with the trees and houses and whatever else clutters the horizon!
G was working on a fish when I checked in.. Lucy must have had her share and fed the gremlins…..
Love the changing colors as the day ends…
From a high of over 80 today, it’s forecast to be 63 or so by dawn. Almost no wind.
Three little eager bobble heads (almost) visible behind perimeter fencing.
Lucy has a mini me
Mom…give me a piece of that tail!
G brought some leftovers….
Lucy took it to feed the trio. And they were a trio, with all at attention.
It looked like everyone had some, even tho it wasn’t a long session.
Another hot day
Lucy opens her “jalousie window “
I read that epaulettes were coming back!
Mom let the kids out to play….
George tried to break in to Lucy’s pantry….
Lucy finally stands, a little disheveled
George grabbed fish ….
Turned out there were 2.
Lucy took hers out but was back
Each had some for themselves and then Lucy started feeding kiddos.
And so did George.
It was a nice long session.
It looked like all ate. Hard to tell since littles are beyond that stupid stick. But it seemed productive!
Lucy did an impressive job guzzling down the last of her fish
G had gone; Lucy back on deck duty
They did all eat!
That was wonderful to watch!
Very happy to hear they ALL had something to eat..yesterday I shut screen down ..I think it was 2 years ago I watched 3rd chick pass…this one looks stronger…
Thank you for your wonderful observations….it may happen again put I’m praying this little guy keeps his head up..
Good Morning, ! Both looking well!
Looks like a good day on the nest. Mostly sunny, mid70s, almost no wind @SE2mph
George is back with fish.
He kept a grip when Lucy tried to pull it over.
It was a decent session, with Lucy getting fed along with the kids.
It was hard to tell which chicks were fed and how much. Lucy stayed where she was, picking up dropped pieces and getting a share
Good to see he returned with the fish and they got fed again
Don’t know if the kid in the back seat got any
Lucy did try
Chick trio 🐣🐣🐣
I mean…look how darn cute they are!! 🥰
Lined up at the breakfish counter
Lucy under the strawberry moonlight
A little progress… Lucy has really come a long way!
I’m sure I’ll find plenty to worry about still!
Still77@8pm… dropping to61 by dawn, under partly cloudy skies; wind SW@7mph
George must have a secret fishing spot where the big ones hang out! Works well cause he has leftovers to stash….
I think when Lucy’s hormones kicked in, she got a louder voice! My eardrums are still vibrating!!!!
G again wanted to feed but L was adamant….her way or the skyway!
This time, she got right in the swing, with 2 bobbles stepping rightin. The best thing with Lucy is she gets fairly close.
And it’s still #3’s 1st day so she still has some yolk sac to sustain her. I was happy to see she does look stronger , lifting her head and showing interest.
Doesn’t look like the newest one got any of the fish. Too out of the way.
Still first day for #3… Hopefully she’ll he strong enough to get her head in there… and Lucy has been getting a little longer with feeding sessions…. When she remembers it’s her job….It’s a learning curve for us all
Don’t get me started about that stick upfront…..
One kid on the move already… started on a walk about.
Lucy got out her fish stash and started calling for G. G came and wanted to feed jrs. But each effort was thwarted by Lucy…. And then she would eat but not feed
After a couple of these games, G brought back the fish and Lucy started tearing in to it.
Lucy would not Let G feed them.
She got the blockade set for our viewing pleasure so I’m guessing the gang got fed, from the couple of glimpses I caught. Who or which or how much is a mystery
G brought a BIG fresh fish….
Lucy had a real wrestling match trying to get it positioned to her liking
She was a little overwhelmed just handling the whale….
All 3 heads are a bobbin’
G watched before taking off. I hope him taking over hasn’t affected her to the point where she expects him to do all the feeding. Maybe as they get a little stronger, the chicks will be more of an attraction. We know she has her own learning curve.
Can’t quite hear you???
Lucy provides shade while George eats then feeds 🐣🐣🐣
George thinks chick can finish the tail 😃
Providing shade and privacy
I tried posting something and I think it came up a couple of pages back. By the time I found my way through the forest, I see you guys had covered the subject all ready…. So….
ADMIN Mary Anne…. If you see a recent post hanging in limbo, ignore it please!
Just a shot of Lucy landing after a quick trip
Temperatures to reach high 70s with high humidity levels….. 😕
Don’t look at that egg, Lucy. Nothing to see there. We hope.
I was so hoping for only two. Lucy is doing great but three is difficult for pro’s!
I completely agree with you, Paula. That nest bole is deep, its small, and there’s an egg in it besides, so even less room. Lucy is doing a wonderful job feeding those chicks and you can see her trying SO hard to reach that second chick. I saw her almost fall over yesterday, she leaned so far in. I think it will be very difficult for her to reach the third chick and for that chick to get to the front. If Lucy cannot feed the #3 much, we all know what the outcome will be and I won’t blame her for a second.
The only thing in its favor not 6 days apart 2-3 days..I am hoping for the best for this little one..the first egg that hatch should be named Miracle…
We shall see down the road, what the owners want to do as far as names go. Possibly another name contest!
Then egg#3 hatched June 10th…egg #4..June 11-12…egg #5 right on time..crazy
Mary Anne..38 days..for egg 3…38 days for egg 4..and 36 days for egg 5…am I correct
Oh, I hope so, June! If no more hatches than yes. We don’t want another one!! I know, the one not buried on May 1 was not brooded much except by George sometimes. If the one not buried was egg 2, it sat from early morning April 30 until early on May 3rd before Lucy began brooded it consistently. That’s a long time, it was cold in April and May, especially at night. But we’ll see. Nothing surprises me anymore with this nest!
The unexpected trio!
#3 still trying to get its head up long enough. Last egg a handy place to lean….
Good Morning………..Welcome chick number 3!!!!
OMG..I SEE 3. So egg #3…did make it…this nest is amazing
Here’s a pic of the third chick still in the shell at 6:12 am.
Third egg was hardly sat on….blows my mind with this nest…time?
6:15 am out of shell.
Mery Monday…… “ O, say, can you see??”
Lucy removes the eggshell…
Third chick is out!6:15 am.
Lucy feeding chicks while third chick 🐣 comes out
Oh boy hope she can deal with this, this is really something!
May explain her restless night
Think in her excitement….Lucy kicked fish off the nest
Getting some lightning….
Beauty in the moonlight
Something startles Lucy
Made me jump
Almost 🌕 full moon!
Lucy with chicks tucked in….
The rain we were forecast to have all day mostly missed us. We had a decent cloudy day with patches of sun. They are still warning of Tstorms overnight. Temps only going to 66; winds SSE 6mph
George brings dinnerfish and Lucy took her time zz
Lucy had to wrestle the fish ioff G’s talons… it was well dtuck!
Lucy did a good job…. Still in disbelief that we are praising her for doing a good job…. Was afraid it might not happen this year!
And G has yet another addition….
So proud of her!
He’s been catching big fish!
Say ahhhhhh! Littlest one got fed also, good job, Lucy!
Mom and Dad chowing down
Looks like they ordered the family feast
Already squabbling over beak outs
Well, hello there.
OK… let’s fix this issue….
They’re happy with that “window”
We’ll hang curtains!
Guess G got tired of losing out on feeding…,
He got right in there and fed the kiddos…
Not even mad he blocked our view… it was fun to watch!
He even left extra fish…
Another stick… goody….
At least we can see something thru this for now…
George lobbying for nest… Lucy obviously ignoring….
But at least it would Keep him away from stick store. Give him something else to do besides shop!
George up to his old sticks
At least he flattened them down
Then he had to try to install an antenna
Which thankfully got pushed aside
Like some men..he had to try again
Chicks have been entertained with sticks
Now dad brings a big fresh fish
Which Lucy took for a quick ride
And fed the chicks
Doing fine job… I think they both are getting some.
It will be good, potentially, that they are so close in age.
Lucy showing off her slipper shell juggling….
She carefully placed rest of fish next to jrs. So all will be safe.
She’s too funny!
The live feed is a bit skippy, on and off, so don’t be surprised if it freezes. If it does, it won’t be back until tomorrow morning.
Been noticing… and saying good words to the tech gods
No good words to say….
10;08 am oops, posted too soon- George is moving that branch around……….
Thank you dear George for moving that wood for a better view of the chicks!
I have come to the conclusion that when we are happy, they are not….
A little paranoid? Perhaps…🙄🤣
Right Patty K …..
Chick 2 *might* have hatched last night around 11:45. Lucy is removing an eggshell here at 11:48. It’s in her beak and another piece on the nest in front.
So do you want to call it one on the 11th , #2 on the 12th?or both on the 11th, a.m. and p.m.???
We’ll leave it as Chick 1 hatching on 6/11, and the second one *first seen* on 6/12 at 5:50 am, and, (possibly hatched around 11:45 pm on 6/11. Lucy seen removing 1/2 of eggshell from nest at 11:48 pm.) There’s another thought that keeps popping into my head. Lucy laid five eggs last year and five this year. Quite remarkable really and very rare. Now that she has got the hang of brooding, if she lays five eggs next year yet again, she and George could end up with five chicks. I can’t even imagine it.
Maybe after this introduction, she’ll learn to push G away!!!!!
I did have that thought also…
And was overwhelmed at the idea of just watching that!
It would be one for the books. I have seen four chicks raised to fledge a number of times. I have never, ever seen a nest with five osprey chicks. The only nest I saw with five eggs besides this one, was the Marders nest in East Hampton last year with that female who was blind in one eye. The live feed went down for the season before the eggs hatched and we don’t know the outcome. I do know she laid four eggs in 2020, they all hatched, and only two chicks made it. Sadly, that female did not return this year.
G working on leftovers….
Rain is a likelihood starting in an hour and continuing through the day.
Temps 63 rising to about 73
Wind S@6 mph
Rainy day Sunday….
How cute is this?? Lucy has got this!!
What’s wonderful she is feeding the chicks!!!!
We have hope!
Second shorty getting some!
And G eating at home….
This top one was Lucy still feeding jrs
And then there were TWO!!
OMG…. turned on and saw the two…so day early?….time 5:50 Mary Anne? how wonderful….at least you can see them behind wall…happy the are close in age….
Hi June, that’s when we first saw him, but I think he *might* have hatched much earlier. Around 11:45 last night. I’ll post a screenshot. Trouble is, did the that chick come from the eggshell Lucy removed at that time? She did stand up and flap her wings. We’ll just say anytime between 11:48 pm on. But I have a feeling that was when that hatch occurred.
Thank you Mary Anne…Will change time…could it be possible that the 1st hatch was egg number 3?
I don’t think so, but I’m not counting out anything with these birds. Being that egg 3 was laid on 5/3 around 4:45 am, you have to count that day as pretty much a whole day. 40 days (yesterday) is unlikely for a third egg. And if it was egg 3, that would mean egg 5 hasn’t hatched and it would be 35 days for that egg today. That would be something if we looked in tomorrow to see three bobbleheads instead of two! Not wishing for that, though.
I am so happy for Lucy and George on their two hatches. They sure will be busy from now on. I will now have something else to look forward to while I recuperate from hand surgery next week.
Hi Elaine, the best of luck to you, and best wishes from all of us for a speedy recovery!!
Sunday morning dawning….
Was that eggshell there???
There are TWO chicks!!! 5:50 am
Is that 2 heads?
It sure is!
Beautiful night on the bay
George on perch alerting
Didn’t seem happy with this boat
Hope tomorrow is a good day
Good night Lucy
G just visiting…. At least he’s back spending time…
About 70 dropping to 61 by dawn…. S winds@3mph.
I have to go so let me know if you catch shorty getting fed, please ……
Groundhog Day Ospreyzone style….
G returns with same fish when Lucy demands…
Lucy eats; can’t tell if shorty eats….
George collect s remaining fish and goes.
He did make an effort to feed chick but Lucy took fish
G brought a large fish to this side of the nest. Lucy had a hard job pulling it in and across the nest. Rather scary watching it drag across…..
Lucy ripped in to it. Couldn’t tell if she fed Jr .
Lucy was yelling towards perch and G dropped down with a still large piece of fish.
At least Lucy is staying on nest to eat.
Once again, can’t see if Jr got fed. Did have brief glimpse under big stick when G joggled it in his balancing act and saw movement…..
G left with rest of it.
Wish I could be more helpful….
When Lucy headed back to jr, I think G took the fish. She had to move a stick before settling
I thought I heard the little wheezy sounds the chicks make but so many bird sounds, not sure.
Also sorry posts are out of order… some new system I’ ll have to watch….
Small stick delivery
Loud conversation – mostly one sided
G goes again
G in with another stick… think he wants a turn…
Lucy says no
When di privacy become such an issue to George?
Congratulations OZ Family we have a baby!
Miss you all take care
Hey! Hi! Long awaited baby!
Why do you learn all G’s most annoying tricks?
Could not believe it when I saw LOG right in front on Lens….hoped it’s more before next egg hatches
There’s a fish
Somebody feed me!
Looks like George got a few decent pieces in
This is more of a branch than stick
I will complain about this one
Stick bad enough….Lucy playing lens blocker not funny
Here’s George giving the chick a tiny bit of fish, before Lucy moved that other branch and blocked the view!
Little is being fed by George!!!
You can just see it between L and G…
G came in with fish… don’t know if recycled or new.
Lucy had a long conversation with G,
It even looked like George tried feeding Lucy
Lucy stepped forward, helpfully? moving stick again; and eventually just getting in the way. But there was just enough view to see Dad on the job!
This little bitty looks ready to eat
Lucy made a move for the fish
George took it away
In your face people
As the chick looks on
And she’s got the fish under there….
Maybe she’s encouraging independence! 🤔🤗
Was thinking same thing