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An Intro to OspreyZone
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Bald Eagles Visit Nest
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March 18, 2016 Timelapse
The Summer of 2015 by GinaM
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
Breakfast is Served
Let's Hang Out
Hard to Get
Dinner is Served
OspreyZone Highlights: George Returns
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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
There was a lot of alarming and calling from G on the perch.
Saw all three kids pop up but not at the same time….
Rain ot shine, G is on the job…. Feeding is happening.
Around 5:35, we had a huge thunder boomer followed by some rolling thunder. Quiet for now.
Pause in the heavy rain but more later and for most of the day.
Lucy still doing her job… as well as she can cover the big babies!
Giant raptor feeding its young,,,,
Rain in the forecast overnight into tomorrow…. Temps staying in the 70s
And I was complaing about the arshway this morning……
I really need to sharpen my typing finger
Or use the eraser end😉
Lucy was working this stick trap over G’s tail til he (and she) took off
No printable comments in case the kids are watching..,.,,,,,
Don’t know the appeal of that right side is but it’s been popular for all the chick each season.
Wonder what it looks loke?
The dark side of the moon
Would love to know what it is about that right corner closet to cam cause they all seem to find it and disappear from sight….
George is feeding.
One of the bigger two takes a bite at other biggy, who back off to right
Little one gets in there.
Lucy is yapping away
Little ate and ate till he couldn’t stand and still kept going!
Lucy came for the fish and the one that got bitten finally comes out of the corner.
I don’t want to attribute motives or strategies but it had looked like the biter was blocking his victim in to that corner and fell asleep.
And little managed to get in more….
I thought it was #2 dominating #1, but they’re pretty close in size….
. The kids are home alone. That nest is so crowded!
Tracking someone flying
Little is off the right, I think. Looks like wing(shoulder) poking
Mom comes in
4 wheel driving over your sibling to get shade from mom
I’m hot too🥵
Jumbo just took a big nasty bite on med’s neck… small already staying low.
I hate to see that…. I n general, they were doing well…
Btw… dinnerfish in
Jumbo should pick on someone his own size
But that might be mom and dad😜
I think I see the future and It Is Not Clear!
I hope they start aiming the other way.
Yes….. I see those little waddle duck butts facing camera
I think….please no!
6/30/22 6:18pm Wowzer, just watched dominance rule…not sure who is who, but wow..
Look at the size of these kids! They really do grow in their sleep!
All those pin feathers
Soon will be cute and fluffy
Little crowded under there!
As temp hits 82….::::
This made me think of you
Raptors…we bred raptors!
Having a chick chat
Cam is back and feeding in process…. Think that’s Small getting a good meal… Medium and Jumbo rest…
Winds out of NW7mph.
High clouds burning off while temps get close to 80…currently 75
Gonna need a bigger umbrella ☔️!
Goodnight Lucy and chicks
I was drifting off myself waiting for dinnerfish! But it’s here and the gang is well rested and ready to party!
Lucy quietly slipping in and out; brought up some clumps.
Lot of free time and more clumps delivered. Love the way she stands on them like a statue on a base….
74 now, dropping to about 63 overnight under clear skies. Winds @ S9mph
Feeding time again.
Not sure but think it’s ?Lucy? Head twisting so much and fast…
Whoever this is, …. Someone using what sounds like a weedwhacker down below and she’s keeping an eye on them
Here’s G…. Came off perch, checking up ….
I keep reminding myself how incredibly wonderful and lucky we are to be able to see nature up front and personal, many thanks and love to all of you who do all you do!
PattyK..I agree….Thank you all for all the posts and pictures
I second that!!
And I’m so thrilled to see what a great job Lucy is doing this year!
I agree what a beautiful family Watching them is wonderful & is therapy for sure Thank You!
Lucy has her head in the clouds while throwing some shade
Disturbance during a feeding
What sounds like a sickly chainsaw is making Lucy upset
She keeps looking down and making a sound I call the ultra alarm
Rachel make the same sound when GHO’s attacked
Can’t hide on the perch anymore…. They have found you!
Lucy stepped out for a moment…
Yes, dear, I’m calling your father to go shopping… patience..
Guess George snuck in and dropped the groceries when I was distracted. Eating in progress.
When I see the chicks described as Young Dinos and look at the live pics, I can’t help thinking….only a mother could love ’em!
The line from Jurassic Park also comes to mind ” Raptors! You bred Raptors?”
Too true! Without fuzz or feathers we have to fall back to “inner cuteness”😃
Enjoying quiet time
High clouds burning off to a shiny day with temps close to 80…. Breeze NW 2mph
The kids are getting lessons.
George went overhead from the perch and out.
Jumbo watches everything ; Medium casually glanced; Small popped up and looked around and back to sleep….
Starting the day getting stuffed with fish
Enjoying a nice night
George brings a big headless fish.
Lucy told the world but was in no hurry to take it. I think she wanted G to feed everyone, including her.
G was desultory about feeding anyone. He tore off pieces and held them out but was dropping them if no one reached out fast enough. Finally, Lucy went and took the fish.She was feeding the 2 smaller kids. Jumbo was busy watching George. When G took off, chick gave his attention to Lucy.
So safe to say, everyone is getting well fed!
She has become a great Mom…so good to see….
Looking at these 3 very healthy chicks amazes me…I think if 4 , if he was at a better spot he would have made it…..to think chick 1 (egg 1/2) was never sat on and to see how big he is….is mind boggling..then chick 3 hardly sat on….they are all well feed…and chick one moves back when he/she had enough….they are going to become 3 beautiful Ospreys…
Thanks for all posts….
Hey…mom’s feeding me!
Fly by “osprey “ in the distance
Open auditions for Jurassic Park
Where you going with the fish?
George returns to finish lunch de..tail
Chicks move in for second helpings
Making sure sky’s are still friendly before settling down
What can I do to be annoying today????
Brunch fish! George gets a loud cheer from Lucy
Chicks waking up….closing in on the noisy mom!
So cute with the waddles….
All in a row…. And not too pushy… everyone getting something
As long as those waddles aim off camera 😉
Jr steps up for his closeup….
Other two are 💤right next to him.
Lucy telling the neighborhood she’s in charge
Another jr smiles for the camera
It’s a family feast
Good to the last drop
Everyone finally full
I don’t see #4 anymore. I guess he didn’t make it 🙁
Sadly, no he didn’t. Even when both osprey parents are experienced, taking care of four chicks and successfully raising them all does not always happen.
George feeding Lucy AND she’s got fish in her vlaw! Talk about bountiful! The little poopers are pooped out for now.
I love Lucy….wonky feathers and all!
George eats the leftovers
The breakfish has arrived and everyone getting a share…
Skies to clear and a beautiful day on the menu…. Mid 70s and lots of sunshine…
4:44:44…….. 🎵Sittin’ on the nest by the bay…🎶
……,,,,Watchin’🎶 the tide roll away 🎵
Waiting for daybreak………
Lucy has the lid on the jrs. George is keeping her company.
The rain has cleared the lens some but there are some more solid looking chunks sticking on.
Rain tapering off towards midnight; temps dropping to about 60 by dawn
Slight break in the rain. Lucy managed to pop a couple pieces of fish in little beaks before gathering the gang back under shelter…
This is Lucy getting kids undercover
Getting rain at my house but gentle for now but getting heavier ….
forecast till midnight
Can’t tell if it hit OZ yet
Judging by this pose and Lucy shaking her head I’m guessing
🎶Rainy days and Mondays
….. always get me down….🎵
Sadly does seem like someone “decorated “ camera
Let’s see what the rain does🤞
I think there was something added
…….. time to start shooting overboard!
Slightly better view of the stick collection.
Breeze rippling feathers.
Ever changing forecast as line of storms headed towards us forms and breaks up. As of now, rain possibly in next hour; maybe t-storm
who Put Vaseline on the lens
Made sunrise interesting…..made it look like it barely changed
Hopefully due to fog…not poo
Feeding on the right
The view, which I’m hoping is condensation and not a wild shot from the dinos.
Temps 72 rising a degree or so…humidity 81%
Rain starts this afternoon.
Just got confirmation via Betsy…. That was a gift from one of jrs…. Shot in the eye/lens from one of the kids. Yesterday evening.
Now have to hope rain hits it.
Is there a window wiper with water like was used a few years ago for rinsing the camera lens?
I thought same…..don’t know if they’re big enough to cause such a mess……I hope!
It was a dark and foggy night
Foggiest I’ve seen
May the wee one be in osprey heaven
Little belly full of fish
To the little one….
Amen, Isabella and June
Now that I read Betsy’s report…..explains “fog”……aka….bratty 🐣 poo
Getting refreshments as they watch the boat show
Til George’s tuchus blocked the view
Down in front!
You are the osprey sib beneath my wings
First poop shoot I “caught “
Making room for more
Finally full…..for now
George wasn’t out more than 15mins. When he came home with Moby’s big cousin! They look so much bigger intact- fat head et al.
He came in with the fish right in the camera… sadly I ws too late for that shot.
G was bouncing up and down a L went after him, ear piercing yammer, while G was trying not to squish jrs.
I think G wanted to start the fish but Lucy wasn’t giving up!
Looked like G won the fish tug….
The kids got stuffed. Coma time….
Lucy got to watch from the perch.
The 3rd kiddo was right in front of the other two, squatting down and getting itds share with out attracting attention
Funny second pic
Fish head…fish head…roly poly fish head
I have never heard that song anywhere but here! Ty for the laugh!
My kids sang that …eat them up yum🎶🎶🎶🎶
……..:::::Three little birdies all in a row….
Of course, got pics backwards…. Sigh…
George feeding the gang. Lucy takes an occasional piece.
Could everyone step back please?
That;s ok, Carol!
Love it when the epaulets ho up!
That’s GO not ho… sorry, Lucy… nothing personal
All vents open to catch that breeze….SW@4mph
G helping with shade
Lucy adjusting as kiddos follow the shade.
George was feeding these 2 while 3rd asleep 💤 right behind them. Multiple feedings and not even 8am.
Lucy stands to rear
Enjoying a moment
70 heading to 83 under clearing skies; burning off the high clouds.
Breeze @2mph from south
Sunday morning sunshine… a pastel sunrise…..
Then it all went black…. I thought that was it for the day…. But it came back!
George is there, leisurely eating fish while Lucy stays in place, yammering.
I guess she was inquiring what was on his menu, because she stood up and pulled out her own supplies! She chose the cured fish from the larder….
The 🦖 dinos are eating with Mom
George plowed through his fish, building up strength for the day of catching fish and hauling sticks.
The dinos are asleep already. Wonder if Lucy already fed them from the larder earlier
All quiet for the moment
Winds S4mph ; temps still 74 @9pm, dropping to about 63 under clear skies
Typically busy parents…. Waving as they trade places …
Lucy flew in; George flew out
George is back with, fortunately, something small for the nest
All 3 in a row, tho hard to see in the shadows…
Just checking in and was happy to see video current! Thought we were stuck for the weekend.
One parent to right. One on perch. Flipping fish tail is attracting one jr. as it makes its way over.
Also, it makes some room for next courses…
Little creeper coming up to see when fish is served
Someone just woke to the realization of fresh fish and hustled over, peeping. Too cute.
“Hey, hey! I’m here!”
I think we are back live folks as video clock is displaying the time which is exactly 5 hours behind UK Time which is where I live !
Hello, on”the other side of the pond”! Tnx for the heads up!
Good Saturday morning…. Gonna be a sunny day, in the low 80s, barely a breeze @ S1mph
And were watching the chicks eat their way to food coma land….
But we’re watching yesterday afternoon .. video is down again
Yes, we are likely looking at Monday morning before it’s running again.
That’s what I thought. Probably just kvetching about George’s sticks in your face decorating anyway. Have a fun weekend!
Dragon peeking in…
Settling down for the night.
70@8pm…. About 63 at sunrise.
Not helpful, not helpful at all……
Snack time. George is in charge. Biggest kiddo getting his share..
Lucy was demanding. She came in for the fish and started feeding the other 2 chicks
They each got fed.
I only see 3 and all have eaten…so I am assuming 4 passed yesterday ….
I think 4 may have passed the day before. But we won’t know.
In a way I’m glade the cam was down……
So am I, June.
Bonking for exercise
Lucy stepped in… started cleaning house between them….
She was trying hard to put up the sunshade but kids not cooperating…. Heading in different directions xxxx
Putting nest in order as she settles bobbins
at12:03 you can see three chicks fighting it out.
Jrs are up and peeking.
Grub hub at the door….
Saw G head out then circled back to perch…
Babies are getting “dino” look already…. I saw 3
G picked up the fish… little tubbies look well fed
Thank you Aidan…
I saw three…