Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23...

Another long day in the field with one of my great nest monitors! We confirmed the number of chicks on all nests in her watch area, and sadly found one chick missing since last week. We remained concerned about the remaining chick since we did not see the resident male bringing fish. They seemed to be visited repeatedly by other males...flying by, trying to land on the nest, sometimes carrying a fish but leaving without offering it. The female was food begging and acting defensive, chasing males. We believe something may have happened to her mate and she may be a single parent now. We also visited another nest where, upon arrival we saw no adults. A lone chick looking in all directions. We searched, waited, started talking about rescue plans and then finally the female arrived with a fish. Is she alone now too? Not sure. A male was here last week. These nests will be checked again soon. On the second nest, the chick is quite large and will fledge soon. She will be able to successfully raise a single chick if she has to. We also found many nests with three big chicks and both parents close by, so we had much to celebrate. I received interesting emails from osprey watchers in Wisconsin...one had spotted one of our females, nesting there for three years! We also had some interesting discussions over the causes of mortality of chicks at a more advanced age...GHO's, black flies, raccoons, blow flies, being blown out of nests. It's always fun to share info and ideas with others who share this interest in ospreys.

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