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March 18, 2016 Timelapse
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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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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 12;35pmEDT 4/49 George came in to give Gracie a break…she was gone just minutes and came back to take over again..On arrival, George had a seaweed bouquet for his sweetie, which he almost draped ON her…
4-29-16 Have not posted in awhile but we had another beak kiss today. I got lots of pics. I just love it when I can ketch those precious moments. Intruder allot today poor Gracie cant even get a days rest after having labor and an egg yesterday, between Geo going in for quickies and the intruder who loves to push her buttons. Female ospreys have to have allot of patience since they try and rely on the male osprey during breeding time. Here is hoping she has a 3rd egg!
11:56amEDT 4/29 Glad to see George is staying nearby..he has been in and out the past few minutes,,,seeing that shadow gliding over Gracie as she protected her nest was very ominous!!!!! Not to be an alarmist. 4 days ago.I saw an eagle pass over as I was crossing over the Peconic River on rt.105, on my way to work…as the bird flies, that’s maybe 20-25 miles from East Marion…I believe there are also a nesting pair on Shelter Island..just a good spit away…..as happy as we are for the eagles returning to L.I., I now cringe for the safety of “OUR FAMILY”…
I just saw a male sparrow land right next to whoever is on the nest, hop around & pick up grass for their own nest. The osprey watched, but otherwise ignored him, even tho Mr. Sparrow hopped around right next to the osprey. The neighbors are allowed to borrow nest material?
Sue: The other viewers and I frequently see sparrows, and sometimes starlings, hopping around on the nest “stealing” grass and small twigs for their own use! I usually saw them when the osprey was not in the nest, but now they seem to be more brazen! (I don’t know that I would if I was a little bird, or even any bird, even though ospreys eat almost exclusively (some 99%) live fish and will “only occasionally, when fish aren’t available, will the osprey eat small mammals, birds, or reptiles.” (http://www.birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/osprey)
And, here’s something interesting that I read: “Ospreys nests are used by many other species of birds. Smaller cavity-nesting species, such as common grackles, tree swallows, barn swallows, European starlings and house sparrows build nests inside osprey nests. Other larger species take over osprey nests for their own use in the spring before the resident ospreys return. In North America, these species include great blue herons, Canada geese, bald eagles, Red-tailed hawks, Great horned owls, herring gulls and common ravens.” (Poole, et al., 2002) (from http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Pandion_haliaetus/)
11:17amEDT George brought in a fish..Gracie wasn’t interested so he took off….Gra was tired of the decor so she has been rearranging,,about 11:05ish, she wrestled a big piece of pinebark to the left side; she seemed pleased with the new look….
11:10amEDT 4/29 MichaelG Martin…..on mating..they do it a LOT,,if an egg were produced for each session, eggs would be raining down to the beach below!! Guess they just want to be thorough……….From what I ‘ve read, they will to continue to mate until Gracie has produced all the eggs for this year’s clutch…generally 2-3, sometimes 4
10:51amEDT 4/29/16 I’m still wondering what that round 1/2 sphere is that is just in front of and to the left of Gracie’s head … Any guesses ? It came in, I think, with a clump of seaweed…
I thought horseshoe crab shell, looking at the inside???????
11:36am Busy sparrow has been in and out..always takes a parting gift….it’s adorable to see the size difference and that there is no aggression or fear….Gracie just started chirping and stood up..11:37…there was a glimpse of a wing and the shadow of someone above the nest..George dropped in and backed her up, then floated off again with his fish still in claw…
Carol, I think it’s a slipper shell.
April 29- 9:13 am- George delivers a good sized headless fish to Gracie which she flew off with.
5:30amEDT 4/29/16 Gracie was up and futzing with the nest…George dropped in 10 mins. later and sent Gracie off for her morning exercise….In and out a few times;talking turns at brooding, not the mating, which is happening, too……
The wind is really whipping up, pushing the waves into shore…no rain in forecast til tonight…
And those eggs are beautiful….
April 29, They really are 🙂
The nest really does look most impressive – George beyond a doubt came through – and so comfy … no wonder George and Gracie doze off while sitting on the eggs! 🙂
Is that a strip of bark I saw George bringing to the nest just after I posted my previous comment?? So much for comfy!!
Poor George, so buffeted by the wind this morning … had to abort landing several times! He and Gracie mated several times already today … guess they’re anxious to complete their family!!
While trying to find other osprey info, I stumbled upon this that I think will put all of our minds to rest about George and Gracie not really incubating the egg Tuesday morning (and other really interesting info): “…Newly laid eggs, before incubation has begun, can withstand a lot of chilling. It’s much more damaging for an egg that has been incubated for a while to cool off. …” (The Incredible Egg by Rob Bierregaard http://fergusonmuseum.org/the-incredible-egg/).
around 5:50 AM George came in to relieve Gracie..the around 6 AM an intruder flew very close to nest.
Thank you Tommy & Paul for sharing, once again, the wondrous beauty of nature.
7:40pmEDT 4/28/16 I watched til 7am this morning…darn this job anyway!! Glad to see egg 2..and good to see they have managed to corral the plastic at least temporarily. I know it’s not unusual to find plastic in the nest..it just gets annoying to see it flapping in the wind…….
At last…we have our 2nd EGG!! 😉 😉
Hello all, I haven’t logged on in a while. Last time I viewed the nest, there was one large egg. I couldn’t believe how big it was. When I started watching last year, they were all hatched so didn’t realize the eggs are so large. So, are there any more eggs?
Female ospreys lay from 1 to 4 eggs, but usually 3, at 1 to 3 day intervals and incubates them for about 38 days per egg. They are about the size of a large chicken egg, with the first egg being the largest and each subsequent egg smaller than the previous one.
It is 4:17 pm on aprill 28 I scrolled back 52 minutes and Gracie stood up when George arrived and I see TWO EGGS wow.
Hi everyone.. I started watching last year.. Fascinating! Thank you 🙂
This might have been mentioned before and I missed it, but has anyone else noticed that they always seem to fly off from the nest to the left and return from the right? Wonder if it has to do with air currents or just habit for them.
Had a senior moment of confusion just now! I pulled up the site to see what was going on, and George was on the nest. A few minutes later Gracie flew in with a half of a fish and gave it to George! To say the least I was very confused, until I scrolled back! Around 9:30 Gracie was on the nest and suddenly got very upset. She was squawking and stood, and then an intruder flew over. She remained up and upset, as I’m guessing the same bird did a fly by. Hope this bird doesn’t cause issues later!! Things were quiet then for awhile, and at 10:45 George brought a HUGE headless fish to Gracie. She took off with it and George took over nesting duties. Gracie then returned around 11:45 with a large remaining portion of the fish and passed it to George. That is where I had tuned in and thus the confusion. You just need the whole story sometimes!!
April 28 @ about 10:40 EST George arrived with a headless Moby Dick sized fish which he was hanging on to till Gracie managed to get it away from him and fly off. He them put himself over the eggs to warm them while Gracie was away. That fish was so big she may not return from eating it till tonight.
I see we have egg #2 in the nest- looks like it’s been there since this morning about 8:30 AM. Gracie was working on it yesterday I thought, so I’m not surprised to see it there. Are we going for names yet???
At about 16:12 hrs saw George attempt to mate with Gracie
Question: Do they have to mate every time to produce One Egg and I order to produce Three Eggs then as many mating attempts to produce an egg or is it a one time deal for her to get pregnant and then produce as many eggs that she can lay
Michael, I hope this helps: Although sperm may be viable within the oviduct for some time, likelihood of fertilization drops after a couple of days. Mating occurs multiple times over a 2 week period in order to raise the odds of fertilizing ova as they mature in sequence to form the clutch. (http://www.conservewildlifenj.org/education/ospreycam/)
In a successful copulation the sperm travel to the female’s oviduct. This is where the various stages of egg development occur. First, the sperm fertilizes an egg which has been produced during ovulation and already has a yolk. Then the principal coating of albumin is applied before the outer and inner shell membranes are added. These stages take about 5 hours. Next the calcareous shell forms. The background pigments are laid down. The egg stays within the uterus for about 20 hours and tiny glands excrete the streaks and patterns that result in the darker markings on the shell. Finally the egg is laid! The eggs weigh between 60 and 80g and are about the size of duck eggs. The background colour ranges from off white to pale brown, the mottling is red or dark brown. (https://kielderospreys.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/copulation-and-laying-eggs-a-bit-of-a-biology-lesson/)
Betsy. You are the Best. If it’s OK with you, You are now my go to person for ” Everything Osprey ”
Michael: Hope I don’t disappoint!!
It is 9;50 and it looks like George still wants more eggs.
April 28-10:45am-George brings Gracie a LARGE headless fish which she flew off with 🙂
I tried to post link yesterday to video of George and Gracie’s first egg of 2016 to make it easier for people (seems there was a lot of interest and disappointment), but post didn’t go through. So, I’m trying again now. Video does link back to Osprey Zone, so, no harm, no “fowl”? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G67pCxp5-Y
Betsy, do you have the video of the second egg with George in the nest, missed it ?
I don’t know how I did that!!!!
The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xmh5thFTD5U
LOL…what ever you did…it worked! Thanks.
Even though i watch when she gave birth to second egg it was great viewing again.
April 28- 10:05- Little thieves are pretty brave today and stealing nest material right with Gracie sitting on eggs 🙂
Poor Gracie! Nothing like fighting off an intruder while “giving birth,” then having your husband plop things on top of you and wanting to have sex immediately!!!
April 28 at 7:10 A.M.(about) EST Gracie laid another egg. George was in the delivery nest for this one.
April 28- 9:43 am. Intruder passes closely over nest a few times but does eventually fly away. Gracie was NOT happy.
Margaret, Gracie’s video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZtuCof78-o
Is there anyway these newest posts can be back up at the top instead of further down. I know I have missed some thinking nothing was showing up for several days. Thanks
That’s because you’re not getting notification of follow-up comments by email or new posts by email!!! 😉 But then again, as CarolV pointed out, when comments finally get posted, tons of notification emails flood in. (Sorry, Aidan and/or Paul, we love the site and know that you are working hard and working hard to make it more efficient, but I just couldn’t resist!!) It was even more confusing a few days ago, but OZ made it a lot better.
Looks like another egg was laid approx. 7:00 am Eastern time. Next one probably Sunday or Monday ?
looks like 2nd egg dropped 705am today looking good.
Egg # 2 at 7:10 a.m. on Thursday!! It looked like Gracie had a bit easier time with this one. YEAH!!!!!! Good job Gracie!!
Leesa I have noticed that with the first egg laid you can always tell she is ” in labor ” so to speak. But all eggs laid after the first you have little warning. This may be because the first egg is usually the biggest so it probably paves the way for the others :))))))))
I wondered if that was the case. Nice to see that at least it seemed a bit easier for her.
Leesa: I hope you don’t mind my adding, Gamma Carolyn, but another thing I’ve observed (at least with Gracie, I don’t know if it applies to all female osprey in general) is that imminent to her laying the egg, she’ll appear to defecate over the side of the nest several times without actually defecating. Whether she just has an urge “to go” or whether its an intention clearing the cloaca (“cloaca: The body cavity into which the intestinal, urinary, and genital canals empty in birds, reptiles, amphibians, most fish, and monotremes. The cloaca has an opening for expelling its contents from the body, and in females it serves as the depository for sperm. Also called vent.”), that I don’t know.,
I saw her do that, but couldn’t see if anything actually came out. Very interesting! Thanks for the added info!
I noticed she did that with the first egg. And, since women often have the urge to go to the bathroom during active labor because of the pressure of the baby, I just kind of extended that to Gracie — especially since everything comes out of one opening!! 🙂
8:21 am, Gracie stood up and I just spotted egg # 2!! Anyone see when she delivered it?
around 8:15AM intruder close fly by..Gracie calls out and George comes home right away.
At about 7:10am egg #2 arrived!!!!! George there to see, both parents looking on, so proud.
II think I saw another egg???????
Just noticed 2nd egg. Well done Gracie.
We have #2. Just after 7 a.m. this beautiful morning. Go Gracie and George!!
Does anyone know when the 2nd egg was laid? Cathy R
Very close to 7:10am
April 28- 2nd Egg at about 7:10am
Glad to see all is well today
EGG 2 7:10 YEA!!!
Wait, is that … At last! At 7:11 am the first egg was joined by a second egg! Gracie sure did keep us waiting!!!
Betsy, Actually 3 days between eggs is pretty normal. It just seems like a long wait . Start looking for another Sunday or Monday. I have a sister Betsy , but then I have a lot of sisters :))))))))
Gamma Carolyn: Nothing like getting teased with “Betsy Wetsy” while growing up!! 🙂 Everything I’ve read (as from my posts you can see I’ve been doing a lot of that! 🙂 , says 1 to 3 days between eggs, and I was really hoping for 1 day between, but settling for 2, and getting tortured by 3!! 🙂
Betsy, If I recall that doll was not allowed in the house although I think someone did have it. TOO many years ago to remember. Reading is how we all learn and listening to the experts. Even at that nothing is a definate such as how many days between eggs. I think that is also why many Osprey wont really start incubating the eggs until they have all been laid so that there is a closer hatch. Once the laying starts it does make it hard to wait just as once the hatches begin you want them all hatched like ” Yesterday “
about5:50amEDT4/28/16 George came in to take his turn..As Gracie left, her claw dislodged some seaweed/shell clump and dislodged some odd object..thought it might be a horseshoe crab shell, but that’s just a guess..a while later, it seemed to annoy George. He got up just before 6 and purposely rearranged that clump to hide whatever that was….the phagmite seemed to bother him, too, since it was right in his face..
Gracie came back about 6:15am and George went off to work….
There goes George fussing with the stuff around him! I am so glad Tommy had the platform built and that Paul set up the website! And, I’m so glad George picked this site for a nest; he sure is Mr. Personality! I love Gracie, but she doesn’t quite have George’s charm!
Gracie just got up from incubating. Bummer, no second egg.:( George sure is decorating the nest nicely with shells, I guess he wants to keep a beach-themed motif! 🙂
George brought Gracie half of a HUGE fish at about 5:00, which she took and flew off to eat. George then proceeded with nesting duties, and ended up fighting off another intruder around 5:45. You can see it flying off to the left of the nest, but I can’t tell if it’s another Osprey or and Eagle. Maybe some of you that have the equipment to zoom in can tell. Either way, he was successful, and settled back down on the egg till Gracie returned shortly afterwards. I will say his fishing skills so far have been awesome! Let’s just hope and pray the supply continues to be plentiful!!
What George did just bring, a ready-made nest??!!
5:37pmEDT 4/47/16 I notice some additions to the nest,,interesting placement of seaweed on left side..guess George didn’t get the suggestion to cover the rosebush branch…
5:02pmEDT 4/27/16 Dinner arrives with George and Gracie does her version of take-out….
I remember reading several people’s questions about molt on OZ, and since we were discussing Gracie’s feathers recently, I felt this would be interesting: “… Most birds drop feathers out and regrow new ones in such a way that they replace their feathers about once a year. … although adult Ospreys replace their flight feathers once a year, they do it in a much more extended fashion. Ospreys will drop one or several primaries on a side and start regrowing a feather to replace it. Once these new feathers get pretty long, the next feather is dropped. This molting strategy is called “Staffelmauser” which means “molt wave” in German. This wave of molting means that the airfoil of the birds’ wings is never too aerodynamically compromised by having huge gaps in their wings. … it takes an Osprey about a month to completely regrow a big primary feather. Since molting is so energetically expensive, Ospreys divide up molting over the course of the year, and put molting on hold during energetically-stressful times – migrating and breeding. … What this Staffelmauser molting means that is at any one time, an Osprey can have three generations of feathers on its body. If you look closely at some of Iris’ feathers, you can see that some are old and worn with frayed edges. These are feathers that are a year old or so. Next to these worn feathers you can see fresh feathers with crisp, unworn edges. These are new feathers that have been regrown recently. (from: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=165072613556909&story_fbid=757263337671164)
There’s a video of Gracie laying the egg on YouTube, if you missed it.
4:42pmEDT 4/27/16 Thanks for the heads up..took me a minute to find; also found an alligator and a cat, both named Gracey, and their egg stories…..
Can you tell us what exactly to put in the search bar to be able to you tube the video. Thanks
I did not know – thank you.
Ruth – tried to find it – any hints? I am just not great with You Tube. Thanks again.
Found it – thanks so much.
Around 15:56 hrs saw Gracie starting to feather the best more so than in the past
Does anyone notice that the diameter and circumference of the nest is getting larger
I predict a second Egg is on its Way
3:25 – George fights off an intruder overhead, while brooding the egg. Then, he takes off and leaves the egg alone 🙁
LynD: I saw that … and I thought George, not seeming to be the most coordinated osprey, was going to break the egg!!.
Can anyone say why George, when he’s sitting on the eggs, sometimes puts the stuff he’s fussing with on his BACK?? Seems to me almost as if he’s fidgety and bored and trying to find something fun to do in his own bird way!
1230pm nookie saw this the other day and 10 minutes later 1st egg dropped perhaps a 2nd today
Thank you!! I think we all had massive heart attacks, thinking “what if we miss the second EVENT!!”
Wed 4/27/16 just saw a teeny bird on outer edge of nest. Don’t know what kind.
Barbara: Earlier in the morning, I saw starlings poking around the nest. Then later in the morning, I saw sparrows — what type of sparrows, that I couldn’t tell you!
I believe they are House Sparrows. At least the one I saw was. They have a gray cap on top of their head and are very common over most of the states.
Thanks, Leesa. I should know that, from when I participate in the GBBC and have to figure out which species of sparrow I saw! 🙂
Looks like a beautiful day today on the North Fork and not windy. Hopefully the nest will dry out. Gracie didn’t look too happy having to spend time on a soggy nest, especially all night!
8:45amEDT 4/27/16 Gracie is acting restless.. George is on perch, chirping away….
Betsy, thanks for the osprey info. It is appreciated.
Thanks, Marlene. Sometimes when I see someone’s observation or question (or even just crazy questions racing through my own mind!), I want to find out more! I’m teaching myself, too!
7:20amEDT 4/27/16 Just around 6 G & G did a trade-off…Gracie’s getting her exercise…She was gone about 15 mins…she took egg duty while George went to work….
George brought in 1/2 fish about 7:10am which Gracie took away…and Geo was back on egg….
April 27-Approximately 7:10- 1/2 a fish is delivered to Gracie. She flies off with it and George tends to egg.
It’s funny to see the difference between George and Gracie when each is sitting on the eggs: George frequently fusses with things within beak’s reach; Gracie not so much.
Of course, except this morning, when he’s more interested in napping!
That should be egg, when each is sitting on the egg (singular). Don’t want to get anyone excited thinking there is another egg. Hopefully though, before the end of the day there will be.
A couple of minutes before 5:30 am, Gracie got up off the egg and as she stepped to the side, you could see her left talon was snagged on something and it was jostling the egg. I sure was hoping that when she flew away, the egg didn’t fly out of the nest with her!! George is incubating egg now.
keeping it simple…Gracie noticeably has highlights- mixture of feathers making her look fuller and possibly bigger.George is a more solid darker color hope that helps,
its what has always made it easier for me tell the difference 😉
Big hair and highlights = Long Island! 😀
Scrolled back to from about noon to now … George and Gracie must have read the comments 🙂 and picked up a timer 🙂 because from then until now they’ve been alternating incubating shifts about every 30 to 40 minutes or so!!
04/26/2016 3:32PM George brings Gracie 1/2 fish. She chirps her thanks and gets off of the egg. She leaves and George settles in for his incubation shift.
Scrolled back: From about 8:45 am to about 11:45 am, was mostly seeing George breezing in and out — more out than in — bringing sticks, seaweed, and phragmite to the nest and sitting on egg for brief periods of time, Gracie was mostly MIA and there were long periods when no one was in attendance at nest (maybe up on perch, though). Got a good look at George’s (L) upper chest wound — appears healed with just small patch of no feathers. This HAS to be in Highlights: About 10:10 am, George tried to land on nest with a stick and as he was grabbing the stick with his beak to place it, because his wings were outstretched he was lifted up, up, and away(!) by the wind (dragging the stick with him… still in his beak). He was finally able to fight the wind and land with the stick. Another funny moment: About 10 minutes before that, Gracie left nest and George decided to move one of the sticks. I was reminded of Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz” when she was returning to the farmhouse from Professor Marvel’s wagon as the twister was approaching!!
4:58pmEDT 4/26/16 I think the afternoon before egg#1, Gracie disappeared for a while. Maybe she needs exercise to help the egg move? Or maybe she just needs a break from Randy Andy…..
CarolV: Good one!
1:31pmEDT 4/26/16 Betsy…It looks ,to me, that Gracie has more “edging” on her feathers, a hint of white tracing, which makes her feathers look more separated and disheveled…or as you suggest..a little dab ‘il do ya…..
Maybe … but I just looked at pictures of Gracie with fully outstretched wings and it looks more like there are whole light feathers scattered among the dark feathers, and you know how a flag frays at the edges?, well she’s got a whole lot of that going on. My understanding is that during the incubation, she’ll lose feathers in stages (not all at once) and symmetrically (matching feathers on both sides of her body will be replaced) — so, maybe we’ll have a less patchy rumpled-looking Gracie!
So happy to see the first egg!! 🙂
12:32 ET- Gracie got off the egg long enough to have birdie sex, then got back on. George just flew in, landed on her & did his thing & left. They’ve been doing this since she got back to this nest- enough for dozens of eggs!
Did the camera angle get changed a little? I know one day I was watching & she flew off the nest & sat on the camera flapping her wings & bounced the camera a bit. If so, this might be better- when the chicks (?) fledge, it may give us a better view at this angle. Again, thank you. I’m a 65 YO granny who grew up on a Riverhead farm & I still live in the same house and always been curious about all of this! I can’t tell you how much joy watching this gives me! Birds fascinate me, as do fish, but the Osprey was always my favorite, next to my parrot!!