Friday, June 15, 2018

A full house!


We now have a full house, with three chicks hatched on the Arboretum cam nest! First chick hatched on 6/11, second on 6/13, and the third on 6/14.
The male on the Arboretum nest is always feeding that female! I am so touched by his attentiveness and devotion to his large family. Remember back to his first year when he was clumsy, stepping on eggs (yes he cracked one), as he struggled to figure out how to be a good male. He has become a model male osprey, delivering food often, feeding his mate, perching nearby. 
All chicks are being well fed. The little guy is still weaker as far as holding his head up, but he definitely is getting enough fish. The oldest chick clearly has a stronger neck and “gets” the feeding routine better as far as grabbing the food and swallowing it. Then dear Dad showed up and, yes, he tried to feed Mom again! His instinct to feed his family is so strong. They are all growing quickly, gaining strength and we are so thrilled to watch this threesome. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Two!

And then there were two at the Arboretum cam nest! You can see a big piece of egg shell on the front edge of the nest and I have seen two bobble heads falling over underneath mom! Now we wait to see if egg number three will hatch too! Link to the web cam: http://www.arboretum.umn.edu/ospreycam.aspx

Monday, June 11, 2018

Hatching at the Arb

We have the first hatch at the Arb Nest!  I knew it was coming yesterday based upon the females behavior....looking down a lot, restless. Hard to get a photo this morning but I have seen the little guys wobbly head! This first egg has hatched in day 39 of incubation which is the normal period here in Minnesota. Right on schedule! Break out the champagne and keep watching for more eggs to hatch within a day or two. Watch for the feeding of the wee one....

Friday, June 8, 2018

A million thanks....

I want to express my sincere and deep gratitude to John Howe and John Dingley at The Raptor Resource Project for the very generous donation I received today. I cannot continue this research project without the support of so many people. Thanks, also, to all those that have donated to the Go Fund Me page this year. It touches me deeply to know that what I am trying to do is valued. Thanks, thanks, a million thanks!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Hatching!

Well our first osprey chicks have begun to hatch in the past two days! Every year it is as if I am experiencing it for the first time....although, after all these years, I am much more skilled at recognizing the subtle early signs of hatching. Often the females have a sligtha  different body position, but you have to have been watching them closely during incubation to notice  the changes. They may be sitting a little higher, a little more hunched over. I often notice that when they do stand up, instead of the egg rolling action, they often just stare into the nestcup. When they resettle,  they do it much more gently than the “plop” that I often see when they are sitting on eggs rather than newly hatched chicks. Their attention becomes much more focused downward than outward. Of course the tell tale sign of hatching is when the male brings a fish. If the female takes it and leaves to eat, there are no chicks. If she has chicks, she will begin taking small bites and leaning into the nest cup to feed them. They are unable to stand up at first so when viewing from the ground, you will not be able to see them for quite some time. It may be ten days or more before their little heads pop up and they begin to move around the nest. Part of this depends upon the depth of the nest and the angle of viewing. The feedings go quickly as those little crops can’t hold much, but what a joyful experience it is to see evidence of the new little osprey lives beginning. I watched two nests that had hatched today, and it was as moving as the first time I witnessed this. Many more nests will follow this week, and we may see hatching as late as the third week of June this year. Some nests have failed already, so we will see how this unusual year ends up. At any rate, we have some happy birthdays to celebrate!