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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
Breakfast is Served
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Hard to Get
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Special Thanks to Tommy and Christina: George & Gracie’s Landlords
Written by Dr. Rob Bierregaard & Illustrated by Kate Garchinsky
Take flight with Belle, an osprey born on Martha’s Vineyard as she learns to fly and migrates for the first time to Brazil and back–a journey of more than 8,000 miles.
IMPORTANT: Messages from osprey experts
I haven’t seen the little guy yet this morning, but I would be very surprised if he survived the night. That sure was tough to watch yesterday, but that whole process is as much a part of the essence of being an Osprey as is eating a fish. It’s part of the life of Ospreys that was rarely seen before we started putting cameras in nests. As hard as it is, we should not label the behavior as mean or cruel. Being mean or cruel implies that there is intent to do harm just for harm’s sake. Those young were responding to a set of stimuli (very little food being delivered to the nest and the presence of a very small young) in a way that evolution has hard-wired into them. It helps ensure their survival. Nature is not cruel. It is harsh, unforgiving, and often random (had the little guy been born 1st, he would have been just as aggressive as was his sibling), but not cruel or mean.
Paul Henry ospreyzone July 1, 2015 at 8:17 am
Thanks Rob for bringing your knowledge and experience to help us all gain perspective here. We are all saddened by the events that unfolded before our eyes and it’s only natural for all of us to feel and express our emotions appropriately. There have been many issues pertaining to intervention which have been discussed amongst us all. There is no doubt in my mind that the right decision was made, to let nature take it’s course. By the way, that doesn’t equate to heartless, on the contrary, nobody feels worse about this then the apparent decision makers. I say apparent, because when all was said and done, and all the issues were properly weighed, there really weren’t any other options. It was clearly pointed out, by experts, that intervening at this stage could have spooked the whole nest to the point of losing all the young. If the little one was saved, and nursed back to health, what kind of a life would it have had, perhaps caged up in a zoo. I remember when I was younger I saw a golden eagle in captivity, caged behind a wire mesh. I could practically see it’s tears. As far as placing the little one in another nest, such a low probability of success would never have justified the possibility of spooking the nest. There’s a piece of me, however heavy hearted, that believes that perhaps it is better to be born free and die free. We mourn for the little one as we marvel at the wonders of nature.
Thanks for your query, and you have my admiration for persevering. We know very well how tough your job is, including dealing with an anxious public.
Our policy with our Bird Cams project is essentially “just say no” to pleas for interference. The behavior you are witnessing – while seemingly cruel and heartless to us – is natural for many kinds of birds, especially those that feed on variable, unpredictable food supplies. The little nestling does have a chance to survive, but if it does not then that result was “meant to be” by the nature of Osprey breeding strategy. The wonderful things about these nest cameras also sometimes yield the difficult things for us to watch. As you might know, we actually post a “siblicide alert” on some of our cams where we suspect the possibility exists.
I’m copying your note to Charles Eldermire, project leader for our Bird Cams. He may have some additional comments, and he would be the one to ask if we might be able to use your stored files for biological analysis.
Best wishes, and good luck,
John W. Fitzpatrick
Director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
It’s also important to acknowledge that intervening can also cause problems of its own—depending on the ages of the birds in the nest, disturbing them can trigger an early fledge. We have restricted the scenarios in which we would even consider intervening to injuries or dangers that are explicitly human-derived. For example, 3 or 4 years ago we were alerted by viewers that one of the osprey chicks at the Hellgate Osprey nest was entangled in monofilament line. We consulted with our partners there (wildlife biologists, raptor researchers, raptor rehabbers) to determine if the monofilament was an issue, and if intervening was both likely to solve the issue AND not have bad effects on the other nestlings. In the end, a quick trip to the nest was scheduled via a bucket truck, the monofilament was removed, and the nestlings all eventually fledged. In that case, all of the permits were already in hand to be studying the ospreys, and we had already discussed how to approach issues in the nest.
Good luck to the young one—hope it all turns out well.
Bird Cams Project Leader
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
I’ve been to your site—great cam! And I noticed the runt in the nest. This is just normal Osprey reproduction. It happens all the time and you should not intervene. It’s tough to watch, but it’s how nature works. Ospreys almost always lay 3 eggs and on average fledge between 1 and 1.5 young each year. They stagger the hatch so there is a spread of ages in the young. That way, if food is short, the first-hatched (and therefore largest) will get enough food to survive while the smaller nest mates do not. If all three young were the same size and there was only enough food for 1 young, none of the young would get enough food and they would all die. If there’s lots of food, the smallest will eventually get fed and can survive. These nest cams can show some gut-wrenching scenes. The most infamous perhaps was one of the very first Osprey cams (on Long Island somewhere), where the smallest young died. One of the adults carried it out of the nest and after several minutes flew back into the nest and fed it to the other young. Waste-not-want-not at its goriest. At Hog Island up in Maine just last week a Bald Eagle came in and took the young out of the nest. Last year at another nest, cameras documented a Great-horned Owl taking young Ospreys out of a nest in NJ or MD. All of these things have been going on for millions of years and Ospreys are doing fine.
Academy of Natural Sciences
PSEG Long Island might be willing to provide a small bucket truck.
Paul – If you would, could you PLEASE let us know if there is a plan in place at this time 2:45 p.m. or not. It has been way over 30 hours since it was noticed that
the chick was entangled, and most of us can’t understand what is causing a delay in a rescue. Is it equipment, or lack of personnel to accomplish the task safely,
or lack of funds for equipment? Please, clue us in at this point. I hope everyone involved is cooperating with each other and not just standing around “thinking” about
the most efficient method to use. What is the deterrent to an expeditious rescue? This poor bird!
This entails more then finding a bucket truck or however this rescue will take place, I believe they also have to obtain a permit from then state to approach the nest and that probably takes a little time. Hopefully h/s will get help soon.
aw I swear the other one is keeping her company!
at 10:53 one baby did a hop spreading the wings trying to fly
is it me or does it look like all is ok with the tangled chick.
I’ve been studying the picture and I think you might be right. I don’t think the chick is entangled anymore.
The chick is still tangled up
There are enough of us on this website to cover any cost involved here – even with small donations. There are certainly many logistics to be worked out with assisting this chick. There will need to be on the ground backup in cas the smaller chick should fall from the nest during the intervention. Really hoping for some activity today to mitigate the possibility of injury (or further injury). There has to be some sort of ladder/bucket truck from the utility companies to expedite this.
will donate to help coat..
A net in case other baby falls
Sending out positive thoughts and heartfelt prayers to all who may be involved in this rescue. Poor little baby hope all goes well for the entire osprey family!
Is anyone else having problems keeping a live cam..?? I keep losing my picture and it says error occured than black screen.
Please try again later….Just cleaned cookies and everything else….Thanks
yes Debbie, I was having issues with cam earlier. Seems ok now.
You are not alone. It’s been off and on all morning. I even downloaded windows10 into my better computer to upgrade and now I can’t even get that online. My normal non-tech person misery. Oh well, glad for backup!
Thank you, Paul for the update and for working so hard on this.
I did a search on the Island and found this company in Bohemia that has boom lift trucks that are over 100′ and even 125′ high.
I don’t know what happens to Gracie- I guess she flies away and watches from a distance, but what happens to the other chick? I hope he doesn’t try to fly away. This is a very difficult situation, but one that is so important. I am glad we have so many people here with ideas and help.
In additional local osprey news….The chicks from the Flanders, Riverhead nest(rts. 105/24 corner) seem to have been in and out of nest about 5 days at least. This is the furthest west of nests I see almost daily.
Yesterday, when I went to work in Cutchogue (just west of Greenport) the chick was out of the Verizon tower nest. He was sitting on a climbing rung of Dad’s eating post and a parent was sitting on top, keeping him company. It’s at least a football field’s distance from the nest. He sat there for about 5 1/2 hours till I saw him back on his nest. I’m just sorry I didn’t see him fly, but for some reason they expect me to work when I’m there. I did get to watch on my lunch hour and I saw that the parent would chirp at him and also take short flights then come back, so maybe it was show and tell. I don’t imagine the chick got fed because of the set up at the pole so eventually he probably got hungry.
So after our chick gets freed, we will “lose” them shortly. Sadly we won’t get to see them outside the nest.
Lots of positive energy and thoughts for all involved in helping this chick!
I’m sure a call to Asplundh Tree Service, who contracts with PSEG would be able to get a bucket truck to get to the nest!
Why is the rescue of this poor bird taking so long? Come on everyone, get together and get this accomplished! We are
all on the edge of our seats!
Message to “Mike”: Paul is the wonderful person who installed the platform on his radio tower, because last year two osprey were squawking around every time he came out of the house. You can read the entire story on the website. Paul started this website so that everyone can enjoy this osprey family.
Paul, saying a special prayer for you and the chick that everything goes well. I know that you have a lot on your plate and are reaching out for assistance. I agree with Jan’s comment that media involvement might be beneficial.
Bless you for all that you have done for us and George and Gracie and their family.
I saw your answer until now.
Loves you for that. Greetings from Germany.
Would a Boom Truck be able to get to the nest safely?
Or a Cherry Picker?
Thanks for keeping us updated.
Don’t know if it’s wishful thinking but it almost looks like mom is trying with her beak to disentangle her chick.
I’ve been trying to scroll through the last few hours but I keep losing the video feed. It looked like around 5:30 amEDT Gracie brought in something and George followed within a minute or two. I did see tied chick grab something and was feeding himself.
Unfortunately is the Cam view very bad. So I can’t see how are the situation with the tangled Chick. Was somebody there, to help him or she and when not- can anybody say why not?
Who is “Paul”, is he a person with legitimation and opportunities to help?
I hope so.
Paul IS ospreyzone.com. He is responsible for the creation of the platform and the whole site. And takes his responsibility seriously. You can be assured whatever can be done will be done.
praying that today our chick gets free. Was sorry to hear it is still tangled and sitting in the same spot as yesterday
What about a power company truck? It would be safer with a bucket.
The tangled chick did eat around 7:00 ish last night and a little around 6 or 6:30 also. So far he is still active and does not seem to be in pain……..Hang in there little one… Help should be coming today….
Is the chick still attached to the line?
4:39 CST. What a beautiful sight! George brings in breakfast for Gracie to feed number 2 and then within a minute he brings in fish number 2 to then feed Gigi. You’re a good dad, George. A real good dad! 🙂
Both babies are being fed by George at the moment. I guess they prefer his fish to Gracie’s. 🙂
It’s VERY hard to see through all the “gunk” on the lens but as of right now, 4:20 CST, both chicks appear to be ok. Cant tell if Gigi is still stuck because she is laying down at the moment. I just hope today she frees herself and that George keeps the nest very full. 🙂
Glad to hear that help is on the way……………let’s hope this chick isn’t hurt……
Good Luck Paul thinking positive thoughts here. .Hopefully this situation can be rectified
Sorry for the delay in responses to all concerned. Today I talked to at least a dozen people about accessing the nest and at the very least cutting and removing the line and if necessary treating any possible cuts as a result of the entanglement. It seems everyone is agreed (including us) that the entanglement is a “man made” obstacle worthy of intervention. We all want to fix this potentially dangerous situation before anything happens. Having said that, we are still faced with a very challenging situation due to the height and location of our tower.
This afternoon we had a generous offer from. the fire dept. to deploy a ladder truck, but after careful consideration there were several problems of getting the equipment to our tower and raising the ladder 90 feet.
We remain hopeful that a different type of vehicle can be brought to the site tomorrow which will allow access for a rescue.
Trust that we are doing everything possible to remedy.
Thank you so much for keeping us informed. It really does mean a lot.
I’ve been wondering about what type of truck was used in the process of building the platform. Is there any way possible for that truck to be used in helping this chick?
Thanks for all that you do!!
Thank you for the update. We are all pulling for the chick. You’re a great man, to do what you can to help the little one.
Paul, Thank you for this update and your devoted time to this raptor family trying to rescue this chick.
Just a thought. . Media might help reaching that one person who could help.
Wow, 90-feet will be the first challenge to scale safely.
My husband is an engineer with many connections.
I will make a few phone calls this morning.
“Saving, Risky Business”
Jan that Archaeologist
hanks for update Paul
“T”hanks for your Update Paul.
So elated to hear something is going to be done..its was hard enough to watch the little one..so close to their first flight…
Why don’t you call the Nature Conservancy 749-10001 and speak with either Mike Scheibel or Mike Laspia and ask them what was used to access the nest on SI. I saw the equipment – it had a hoist but they can tell you more specifically.
Paul – we are thankful for you and are praying for this little chick and you in your attempts to find a resolution to this very heart wrenching situation. God speed!
Never really watched much later at night. I’m usually asleep! Can’t see much through the poophaze except the moonshine on water. I think it’s actually enhanced by the schmutz; gives it an artistic ambiance! The chicks seem to take turns being restless and they even flap at night! Just felt the need to check in tho I wasn’t expecting a resolution yet.
I was wondering what happened with the chick’s tangled leg? And there is a bright light shining in the distance which I haven’t seen before.
Maybe the moon? It’s almost full and was shining across the bay.
Was really hoping to read or see an update before dark…… 🙁
I just got home and the first thing I did was turn my computer on to see how the little guy was chick. He’s still tangled.
Paul, please post something to let us know where you’re at with the situation.
Thanks really appreciate it.
Came in after work to this tough situation with the chick. Last post at this time is 31:4pm and Paul says the situation is being looked in to. I can scroll back to about 4:00pm and see the tangle on his leg.
I had posted on the 26th around noon that Gracie brought in a fish that was trailing fishing line and seaweed. It got hung up on branch on left side of nest then went slack as Gracie tore in to fish. I was concerned that there was probably a hook in the fish (it was no doubt somebody’s “the one that got away”) and she might ingest it. After that I didn’t see the line but it was probably camouflaged by the seaweed. I’m guessing that’s what is holding Jr.
5 :50pmEDT I saw that George brought in a minnow and trapped chick got most of that. Then George followed up about 6:10 with a flopper that Gracie had to chase. Both chicks were fed. Sorry to see that chick was picking at the tie and seemed uncomfortable to be tethered.
I’m hopeful that the powers that be can come up with a good solution for the morning. And that Jr. stays calm in the meantime.
Almost full moon rising and shining across the water. Beautiful even through the schmutz……
It doesn’t appear to me that the chick is in pain. I have seen it doing it’s wing dance and it’s usual small jumps in the air. You can tell, however, that it is bothersome to her. I have faith that someone will help this chick but it’s gonna take time. Makes a stressful situation that much more stressful.
We are all so distressed about the chick’s problem. I can imagine how Paul must feel! This is his feathered family. It looks like the baby was trying to untangle him/herself, but without success. We’ve seen them grow up before our eyes. Hope it’s a real easy fix. It’s certainly true about litter and garbage. It makes me sick when I see how careless people are. This nest is proof of where a lot of it ends up.
It’s 8:10 pm EST ..does anyone no what is going on with the chicks tangled leg?? The lens is so cloudy…I can’t see if it’s still on his leg…. I am hoping that this poor baby’s leg is ok. SO WORRIED ABOUT THIS BABY!
I pray the chick is free soon. I know it’s got to be tired of being in one place.
Paul – So happy to hear you are on it. My heart breaks for that little bird. Please post an address when this is over so I can donate something towards the rescue. You are so great to do all this.
It seems our little chick is aware of this it seems to be trying to pull at the tangle around his talon…hard to watch and hard not to watch, praying it comes undone.
so is all clear now? it looks calm at nest. (besides Gracie calling for food)
Wow that was sweet.. The other sibling gave the one stuck in the fish line a piece of fish at approx. 6:36 pm EST. I hope he gets help soon…
At 6:25 or so, it looked like both babies were eating, one being fed by Gracie & the other eating by itself. Did George bring 2 fish close together?
Gracie was feeding the one chick and then George definitely came in with another fish and deposited it right at the feet of the tangled chick. Hero Dad, nature at its best!
Approximately 5:15 CST George makes a delivery. Stuck baby is currently working on either freeing her leg or a big hunk of fish that Gracie may have given her. I can’t tell which it is. Poor thing 🙁
She’s definitely eating!! 🙂
Is there any possibility he’ll figure out how sharp her/his beak is and try to tear the line her/himself?
Any idea how much longer it might be before the chick is loose?
6:20pm It looks like the chick with the tangled foot is not getting any ‘dinner.’ To me it appears he’s trying to untangle himself.
Unbelievable….Nature……George just brought the tangled chick it’s own fish. Gracie continued to feed other chick and tangled chick wasn’t getting any. George, you are my hero, what a great Dad! Now we just need to get this chick untangled. I know you all are working on it, and thanks for that. If this cam was not up, who knows what would have happened to this chick. Thank you, Paul and everyone who made this cam possible.
I know they are working on this problem but the baby is now more than tangled it has a huge mass of something stuck to its leg and it just keeps turning around without being able
to move from it’s position. Looks like whatever the fishing line was attached to is now basically attached to the chicks leg too. Hope help gets there soon.
Wed. Julyl 29@6:15Pm
I am very relieved that help will come; just wondering when!!
Paul, thank you in advance for all your efforts to get “our” chick untangled.
I hope hope hope that later tonite, all will be successfully resolved.
Good luck to every one who will assist in that effort, and i, too, am more than willing to donate $$ to defray the costs.
Just save our chick!!
We would chip in toward rescue costs.
OMG so much noise from the nest. Now it seems that the babies are calling on George to bring the fish. lol
First visit to check on babies and I am sorry poor baby is stuck. I did see Gracie give it some food so that’s a good sign. Hopefully something will be done, shortly, to free this poor chick.
Oh Good! George just made a delivery and Gracie is right in front of trapped baby, feeding it.
George brings in something that looks like a worm at 5 41 pm ESt
On a lighter note…I’m loving their bobbing and weaving head movements. Wonder if it makes them see better? I tried and I still can’t see through the crap…lol
Hello all, I haven’t logged on in a few days. Just read a few of the comments. So, is the little guy still tangled? I can see only one of the babies; the lens is pretty blurry. Where’s the other one?
Whoever is going up there to cut the string, please give them a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels! 🙂
Hey which chick got stuck is that 1 or 2?
perhaps when rescue arrives they can leave a big fish……………………….for the family…………………………………………………………………………..
We have all been so concerned with the little guy being tangled I just scanned back4 hours and I don’t think they’ve had anything to eat. It’s possible I missed a feeding?
I think when this is all done, we need to send Paul a gift card to a resort. He is so on top of things. It must be exhausting. Thanks for the hard work. You rock!!
To all those asking for intervention, please read below the video screen… Message from Paul: “We are aware of the situation regarding the chick’s tangled leg and we are on it.”
So they are aware and are probably working on a plan. Let them concentrate on that for now.
Just saw your post, Paul, and want to say “THANK YOU!” I appreciate all you do for those of us who love to watch the ospreys!
Looks like the chick stretched the string out enough to get loose. At least he/she had a good feeding.
I have watch the little one die a horrible death which made me so very sad, as he/she fought so hard to live………..she/he wanted to LIVE so bad and we as people allowed the brutal end. let us be human, yes show are human side today and help this chick live…………………………………………………so the loss of little one was not a total waste………………………………
Would work if they could somehow throw something over the nest with out scaring them. That way the other chick would not be as frightned.
We are aware of the situation regarding the chick’s tangled leg and we are on it.
Thank you! I know you are doing all you can. I feel so awful for the chick but also for you. You certainly couldn’t know what you were getting yourself into!
I am sure that’s a “DITTO”from all of us! If there is anything our group can do, PLEASE advise- Donations to aid will surely be there for you!
Thank you all !
Much appreciated by all. And on the hottest day of the year no less.
THANK YOU! Hamptons Rescue said they are working on it. You are the best, Paul. Thank you.
Thank you Paul. I have come to love these 2 little guys.
thank you, thank you, ??❤??
Your nest has become way more than an opportunity for us to observe a part of nature normally hidden from us – as cool as that is. Your nest has provided a context for us to share our thoughts on the relationship between man and nature. We have seen quite a profound story unfold – one we never could have imagined. And it continues. We see many views represented here, and we as a group have witnessed much: the beauty, the beast, the happy and the sad – all of it awesome. Good luck to you as you make the tough decisions, balancing the concepts of assisting and respecting, understanding our bounds. You’ve done a fine job steering us through the story so far, and I have great trust in your judgment moving forward. There might be a book in this for you – let me know and I’ll help you write it.
Thank you so much!
Why hasn’t anything been done? The DEC has been called.
There are people ready to step in and help from the wildlife rescue but no one is cooperating
We need a superman to rule this rescue.The job is so risky and the need for wise judgment is so urgent. Thank you kind sir, what ever the outcome.
Thank you Paul! I was checking in on the situation and saw the message from you under the cam. Hoping all goes well for the entire family!
At 7:20 p.m. EDT – What is going on with a rescue? Nothing being done so far! Its almost been 12 hours since #1 got caught up in that line!
Folks, I think we should all give Paul some time to get the situation under control. While I agree time is of the essence, it’s clear from a previous post that phone calls have already been made. If he’s trying to work on this, he’s not going to be answering us. Let’s just be patient and hope we have a happy ending!
I agree. Not only do we have to worry about the chick with the tangled leg, but also the other chick. Don’t want it to fall overboard.
the one that is caught is chick #1 I can tell by the head,which has more white feathers……..This would be ashame if something bad should happen to this chick………
Question to Moderator Paul,
Do you think this is going to be a let nature take it’s course situation or are you discussing with your Professionals whether there could be an intervention to untangle the chick? Heartbreaking to see it struggle to no avail and terrified it will not be able to fledge. Thank you!
My first thought had been that the chick was caught on some type of plant material but now that I can see it more clearly it does looked like a tangle of fishing line.
Certainly hope something can be done quickly.
HELP IS NEED FOR THIS CHICK THAT IS BEING HELD BY THIS FISHING LINE.
ooohh my,when did the youngster get stuck? ooohh, i sure hope someone helps this poor baby, i sure dont like the looks of this not at all, please keep me updated
One of the chicks is for sure tangled/caught on something that looks like fishing line!!!!!!!!!!!
I just got off the phone with Wildlife Rescue of the Hamptons. The person there told me that the cam owners called them, they are aware of the situation and “we’re working on
figuring out what to do”. When that might be, I do not know.
Is it possible for intervention to free the chick from that string?
It’s 2:38….baby is flapping away and can’t get untangled…isn’t there something that can be done?????
Oh my gosh….this poor chick needs help. He is struggling and can’t free his leg. Feel so bad for him. Can’t you help him?….
Still caught. 2:37 pm. Flapping wildly trying to get out. Now what?
Gracie is standing beside the fish line. What will happen if she also gets stuck?