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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
Let’s see how I do
She can’t stand that clump!
Still steps on eggs when concentrating on nest
She reminds me of I love Lucy
Finally saw her do the wiggle waggle while settling on eggs
Ok: in that 1:06pm group… you have Lucy circled. Great when you can see chest. Now look at her head… do you remember Edie Munster? Reminds me of the way his hair looked…
And the other pic… George’s head… while not perfect, those top feathers are more like rectangular with morel white between the patch and the top of his beak.
Plus it’s a combination of chest feathers and the way they act
And still getting them mixed up!
Lost track again….
Thought this was Lucy but sat on eggs for awhile…
Then a line of sticks came in as both flew out and back…
Renewing my request for name tags! Could we send a drone up snd paint talons???
And if they continue at that rate with sticks, we’ll be viewing knee caps in no time!!!
Yes, you are right, that is Lucy.
Thanks! She sat still for a long time for her!
And then it was like that ball in a cup shuffle… which one is the egg under?
Yes, she did! I cannot figure her out! She DOES know what to do, but doesn’t seem to know she has to brood for hours, or until she gets a fish from George.
It’s like the puzzle is fitting together and she is seeing the picture… bit by bit…..
Interesting to see
Very interesting, I have never seen a female osprey like her.
I watch several programs about zoo management and an issue they have shown is what they do when parents don’t care for the young. They of course have the luxury of solving the problem but it did make me aware that it can be an issue. We assume it’s something that comes naturally. While some can learn, not all do.
Too bad they can’t do role reversal
Hard to tell at times when wind is blowing feathers,or they’re wet. Old eyes don’t help either.
Lucy’s necklace looks like hand painted brush strokes to me.
That said…sure I’ll mistakenly identify them at times 😜
Not to be rude but George is a blockhead… to me, those top head feathers look rectangular while Lucy has more of a widow’s peak triangle….: but all of your comments apply
That one on the right looks like a little watermelon…..
Lucy stops back, carrying a fish G brought before.
George took off but was right back as L left again.
George spent the night?
Lucy comes back
Determined to move whatever that lump is
Tried to tiptoe around the eggs
She kept “biting “ eggs…never seen that before….her attempts to roll them?
She didn’t get down and cozy with the eggs like George
But she is on them….briefly
Egg #3 laid between 4:42 and 4:48 am. George brought a small fish, Lucy takes off and we get a peek at the eggs.
Lucy is back from her break…
George is up and there’s the new star
Lucy carefully aerates
And settled ON it!
She was restless…. Up nd down several times… rolling the eggs around… draping seaweed…
And then up to the perch…
There’s another egg but I dropped phone… would make a great reporter!
The switch from Lucy to George was quick….
Waiting for sunrise…
Someone has been here whenever I checked
I saw that ….today should be egg 3…. Maybe she will stay on it..at least one will hatch if she does..
Is the buried egg still viable?
I doubt it is, Judith.
Soaking wet George
Except for a possible stray shower, rain is done for the night.
Temp steady and only dropping a few degrees to about 47 under overcast skies;
Winds about 11mph from the E.
Lucy does such a good job guarding the nest and nestorating. It’s a sham she doesn’t get that parenting thing. Egg # 3, if in the works, may come tonight or morning.
Finally… talking as Lucy!
George braved wind and weather to bring home dinner…
Lucy has been up and down to the perch…
Don’t forget to brush your beak!
Guess other egg is out of site…out of mind
One is the loneliest number
Sporting her wet look
Is this Jane or Gracie?
It’s Lucy, this is her second year with George.
where is the other egg?
It was buried unintentionally yesterday morning, when Lucy landed with a stick.
Hard to tell for sure
Doesn’t look like anyone on nest
I checked a couple of times and couldn’t see anything
Shame if George wasn’t there
Felt it gave a chance for a good outcome
Red sky @ morning. … yes, rain in the forecast. Possibility all day. Teps 50 now only rising a few degrees; breeze maybe 5mph from the E.
About 6:15, G went upstairs and said good morning. Both came down and G left.
Morning pest pass over…
George settled in …..
Lucy landed on him… twice x… with a footfull of sticks and he got the hint.
Here’s the rain…
G took responsibility
Have mostly same morning pics….so, no sense posting
What happened to the second egg? I only see one now.
Val , it was buried at 7:47 am, unintentionally when Lucy landed with a stick.
George is getting snuggled in. One egg clear.
I think I saw the other in the grasses earlier but enlarging loses focus.
Lucy is in.
George was just dropping with a footful of sticks and grass- you can see a strand dangling above Lucy. Think Lucy would like to see a fish.
Watching the not so friendly skies
Til George showed up with fish she had been squawking for before interrupted by intruder
Back to business
As of now i can only see one egg…….however I have noticed that they do camouflage well so maybe its under there somewhere
Some chirpy squeaks and camera rocks… a private moment off camera…
Lucy not quite on egg…but close
Where is other egg?
Scroll back to 7:47am. Lucy delivers a log right on the other egg, its been covered up since.
Yes, I saw, thank you, Charlie. I don’t even know how to feel about this.
There’s concern on Fb that Lucy dropped a stick on the eggs and then stepped on them.
Can’t really see but I think the darker egg os right by George’s feet with tee second just in front. Not much we could do anyway.
Just a little more drama.
At least we have an ever enthralling drama at this nest!
Is this like button, button, whose got the button??
George flying in with breakfast, headless fluke..or flounder.
Lucy with her breakfast George brought in.
Glad to see she’s fed….
George brooded all night long.
Don’t know how long he’s been here but George is on the job this Sunday sunrise…..
Barely a breeze @3mph 42 rising to 60 on a perfect May Day!
Looks like he was on the eggs all night!
George was out when Lucy stopped by. She was there long enough to yell at a pest.
Keeping an eye on the eggs
Lucy comes to say goodnight
Daddy’s home…..settles in
George on the nest for now….
I didn’t see if G brought dinner… but I don’t hear Lucy so maybe she’s off eating…
Here’s Lucy… stands behind G til he leaves…and….
We’re all waiting…
Lucy on guard….relaxing
I just liked the way the shadow aligned with the horizon….
A gentle 60 now with light winds 7mph from the NW. dropping temps to low 40s under clear skies.
Winds NE, not nw… if anyone pays attention to that
Please, Lucy! Sit on the kiddos.
Peaceful moment enjoying beautiful sunrise
Didn’t know when I snapped pics another egg was under George
Too bad jack sparrow can’t help brood them
Would LOVE to see sparrow sitting on one of those eggs!
Good morning! Congratulations Lucy and George on 2nd egg. So glad for this nest.
George is on the nest while Lucy stands closer
When G goes, Lucy nestorates
Lucy steps out.
Mr. Spar comes shopping and checks out the new egg.
G is back to incubate
Lucy reacted to a fly-over. It came close enough that she jumped at it.
George made a quick stop on his way to perch, where he had a lot to say to the pest
George delivers a stick while Lucy oversees placement… it’s ok for now.
G tries to squeeze in to eggcup but Lucy stays put in her hover and he Went off
G flew back in for another try…. Too cute!
Way to go, Lucy!
Looking good Lucy…6:53 am.
6:08 am. She settled on them later at 6:33:44. Until 6:34:20. Not even a minute, but she is digging around and aerating the nest more than she did last year. as I write this, she settled back on the eggs. 6:47:45.
Two eggs on this beautiful morning
2egg..6 AM…I saw her pushing earlier…
Yes she was. Interesting, as she didn’t even look down to see after she laid it.
Second egg seen 6:02 am. She finished contractions shortly before, she just didn’t stand up.(5:47 am)
Good morning…what time are you calling it?
About 5:47 am..
Right on schedule
On the day she told you she would!😉
Hi Isabella, Tues, May 3rd should be the third egg. I hope she stops after the third egg, yikes.
Most likely George on nest
Most likely no one on nest
Like trying to do magic eye
I think G left between 9:15/9:30pm. Lens must have been foggy because it WAS like a cloudy crystal ball.
Is this George or is Lucy in egg mode? Meaning getting ready to lay
Think it’s G…
Really like third pic of Lucy looking over the bay
Contrast of colors
Regal! There is no other word for her.
Oops- I see I’m NOT the first!
I see egg #1. Anybody else see it yet?
Sue, yes, Lucy laid it on Wed the 27th, at 7:35 am.
Was just about to ask if G had just delivered lunch because it looked like he was cleaning beak when Lucy flew in with fish 🐠 in foot. Guess she decided to eat at home, up on the perch .
He’s checking on her. I could see her wing shadows.
Lucy’s back. Still has fish.
I think there’s someone hanging around as both are on guard.
G doesn’t knn
Ow if stay or go.
He left with a quick “hug”
George 💤 naps in the sun with L on perch- see her tail shadows on left.
Can you see the little ball in the background? Mr. Sparrow making a dash across the nest
Hey! Maybe someone is playing badminton… since that’s a BIRDIE 👀😊🤣
Always love those feathers in the wind!
Saw a wing shadow, so Ms. L still on perch keeping her honey company
There’s a little bird coming in and taking twigs from the nest and flying off. He/she is about the same size as the egg. It puts natural things in perspective.
Love watching those little guys! Can hear their chicks getting stronger … won’t be too long before those kiddos bounce thru as they practice their flying: they grow so quickly!
Two little burglars robbing grass.
George had trouble hitting the mark
Don’t think he stuck the landing
Clear shot of eggie… she does make pretty eggs.
But making them hasn’t been an issue….
Good morning sunshine! Beautiful spring Friday as April gets away from us.
Already had flyover. Went right over Lucy. Wen she alarmed, George came in to perch to back her up. He dropped down to se the egg and straighten up
44 heading for 56 with winds from NW @18mph
Lucy on egg
She kind of stumbled on to it
George on egg
George on Lucy
Good girl Lucy!
🎼 It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s Lucy still on the egg
And I’m feeling good
Back to classic Lucy
Hopefully before wasn’t a fluke
Time will tell
Looks like nobody on nest…..egg
Sun rising and so is trouble
Maybe they had same mother
Fairies looking after egg🧚♂️🤞
Talons don’t count
Yes we see you
George made 4 attempts to land this fish!!! Even dragging it afross Lucy…
Com’on! Land it, baby!
Phew!! That was a workout!
Is she gone?
On to the important work…..
George settles in…. Quick peek at egg before G snuggles in and fairies arrive for morning chat
When Lucy came back, she “asked “ for the nest til G left….. then she straightened up but only made it to hover for awhile before taking off
Lucy has more to learn…..
Temperature just @40,slowly climbing through the day to low 50s. Winds from the WNW @18 and increasing with gusts to the 30s in places. Don’t put away those jackets yet!!!
George is seconds behind…. And leaving
Lucy puttered around fluffing for several minutes….
Hold your breath…..
I t’s progress…. Baby steps… pardon the expression
Better then last season…so far
Is this usual for George and Lucy to not be in nest while an egg is present? I know last year Lucy wasn’t interested in sitting on egg. Hope not the case again
Meghan, no, this is not usual for the egg not to be incubated, especially by the female. I was hoping Lucy had matured by now, that her maternal instincts had kicked in, and that she’d take to brooding. It seems odd to me that she brings in sticks sometimes, moves things around in the nest, yet she shows none to very little interest in the egg. I have never seen a female completely disregard her eggs and refuse to brood longer than a few mins here and there. We’ll see what happens with the next egg, but I’m concerned that we might have a repeat of what happened last year.
She does the nesting bit. Then when egg is there. She seems perplexed.
Could there be something amiss with Lucy?
I’m thinking genetic or environmental
Last season there may have been a possibility eggs weren’t viable. They didn’t remove and test them so never know for sure.
To so far have a repeat this season??
Even the experts are still learning due to the cams.
Sure there could be something amiss. Lucy seems to not know she has to settle on the egg and stay there, instead of crouching over it as she seems to do sometimes. Or she will just stand over it. Even if those eggs last year were not viable from the start, George and Lucy would have no way to know that. George brooded them plenty, and ospreys will brood eggs long past the time they should have hatched, sometimes. We will all see what happens when she lays the second one. That likely will be on Saturday, the 30th.
If I’m learning anything from osprey- and cam watching in general- there is no normal! What you read in the book isn’t always what you get! The roller coaster continues! We don’t always enjoy the ride but we’ve had a lesson…..
Lucy never read the osprey 101 manual! This is one for the books, especially since she laid five eggs last year. I wonder if she will do that again. That half blind osprey in East Hampton last year laid five eggs and then the cam went down for the season, so we have no idea what happened. She laid four eggs the year before and two survived to fledge. Sadly she did not make it back this year. But I was amazed that two Long Island ospreys laid five eggs!
Must have been something in the water!!!
And she was too busy off having fun to read! Think she needs glasses? But she can certainly spot G coming!!!
Is this Lucy?
I nodded off and woke to what appeared to be her all the way on the eggs, then standing.
Was it wishful thinking?
About 17:56-58. Anyone catch it?
Meant to put time as 19:14-19:16….
Trying show-and-tell….in the mean time, he nods off…
How many eggs?
Hard to see..good job of camouflage
Just one egg so far, Isabella. Lucy will likely lay another on Sat, the 30th.
Thank you Mary Anne
At first quick read didn’t see the word likely
I thought..how does Mary Anne know when Lucy is going to lay an egg?…..too funny!
Cold front coming through…. 52 dropping to 38-39 by sunrise under clearing skies. Winds about 18mph fro W
George has always been such a good daddy.
Yea! Hungry Lucy gets her fish!
She showed it off…
Lucy got as far as the “hover “ she adopted last year… early days… we can only hope.
George knows his part. Not all males participate in incubation as much as he does. Everyone is different… just like humans!
SSSOOOOOOO close! But, no…..
Is she teasing us?
Is the live stream unavailable for anyone else?
It’s up and running again, Meghan.
Live stream down, I reported it. Hopefully won’t be down very long.
Good morning Lucy….George
Lucy looks in the camera a lot
Checking her ““hairdo “….or is she on to us?
🎶🎶Hai-do, check my talons…. Baby, how yu doin”?🎶🎶👀👀🎤
An intruder flies towards the nest, upsetting George and Lucy.
Puttering around the nest…. Lucy very sure how she wants her nest… and that’s anyway except what George wants!
Lucy brings in a stick while George broods. Now all they have to do is switch roles.