Good news, bad news. I made some rounds today, partly in torrential rains....to check on the chicks. I checked seventeen nests and most had all chicks still present and accounted for after our stretch of extreme heat and humidity. One nest that had one chick nine days ago, when I last visited, had failed. One nest,that had two chicks nine days ago, had one on the nest and, sadly, one hanging dead from the side of the nest tangled in fishing line. Heart breaking. Must have happened shortly after my last visit because it was quite decomposed. On another nest where there were originally three chicks, only one remained. I believe that one of these chicks died from injuries related to baling twine.
Let me reinforce the plea for people to please pick up fishing line and baling twine to prevent these tragedies. These materials kill.
So fourteen nests had chicks, 2-3 on most nests, that all survived this tough week! I always tell people that it is amazing what they survive, but they are built for this, made for sitting out in the sun, in the rain, in the open, and they handle it all much better than I do! I thought I would find more chicks fledged than I did, but perhaps the wet weather caused fledglings to just stick to the nest today. I try to confirm successful fledging, and I will visit all these nests again, but sometimes I have to settle for confirming that they survived to fledging age. With so many nests to watch over now, I simply can't get to all of them as much as would like. As the population grows we have an increasing need for good volunteer monitors that will make a commitment to watching some nests thru the breeding season and sharing their observations with me weekly. Skilled birders with spotting scopes, cameras with long lenses or hi powered binoculars are especially treasured. We do have amazing volunteers who are watching so many nests, sometimes stretched so thin, and we are still getting new monitors who find out about our efforts and want to join in the fun (and work). Just got a new one last week with lots of experience with other raptors! Yeah! Thanks to all who are helping me watch over these birds. It's a labor of love, fueled by passion and curiosity, and a deep commitment to the welfare of these raptors. We are all still learning so much, sharing the joys and sorrows involved with this kind of a project. Grateful to all who pitch in to help, grateful that so many chicks are fine after the brutal weather this week. And yet, we weep for those Ospreys that have been lost, here, and around the world. Each one is precious.