23 October 2008

Osprey Cam Maintenace

We are in the process of doing our annual camera maintenance. Maintenance can only be made during the non-breeding season and it is indefinite at this time when the camera will be operable. We will place a post on our Osprey Blog when the camera is up and running.

12 July 2008

Scottish Osprey Chick Takes Flight!

Over at the Scottish Wildlife Reserve site:

It is with great excitement and jubilation that we bring this special announcement to you all!
At 1.54pm our osprey chick flapped his wings and flew straight off the nest. It was back within minutes but attempted a second flight at around 2.30pm.


Click the link above to read more about their osprey chick.

On our nest the occassional osprey is seen milling about and moving sticks around and bringing in more grass. Our utility pole number is still present and continues to be moved around the nest. The osprey's should be around for a little longer until they begin their southward migration.

24 June 2008

Storms Pass By

We had a fantastic lightning and thunderstorm last night on the island bringing about 60 mph winds, driving rain, and hail. It doesn’t appear any damage done to the nest on the communications tower. Our ospreys apparently are maintaining the nest by bringing new items to fortify it: one being a pole number from one of our utility poles. Not sure how the osprey removed it from the pole, but nonetheless it’s there.

Over at the Scottish Wildlife Reserve site the single chick is growing at a steadfast pace. The paragraph below is an excerpt from their site.

Our chick is exactly 5 weeks old today! It’s doing really well and has gotten much stronger over the last few days. Although it doesn’t quite have its flight feathers yet it is beginning to stand up and exercise its wings!

11 June 2008

New Osprey's on the Nest

Not much action is happening with the osprey nest. This year’s mating couple left the nest which is a surprise. I thought they may stay and defend their nest and wait for migration. The couple may be young and inexperienced.

A new couple has taken over the roost and the male’s head markings look very close to Ollie’s, last year’s male, though the female does not resemble Olivia. They have moved a few sticks and moss about the nest, but not much more than that. I haven’t seen any mating between these two and don’t expect any at this time. We may see these two again at the beginning of the 2009 season competing for this site.

12 May 2008

No Osprey Chicks....Again

Well, it looks as if we struck out again with our osprey’s clutch of eggs hatching this season. This puts us at 0-2 so far with our osprey cam, not a good way to start. The female osprey continues to rummage around the center of the nest for the eggs with her head to no avail which was what I hoped not to see. The ospreys have continued their mating activities, other than that not much action on the nest.

On the 29th of April an intruder male osprey appeared on the nest which closely resembled Ollie, from last year’s nesting pair. This intruder osprey may have been the culprit behind our couple’s odd behavior. The intruder osprey repeatedly attacked our male osprey, jumping on top of our male and thrashing him with his wings. Our male osprey perched on the edge of the nest with his head downward withstanding the attack and eventually flew away with “Ollie” in hot pursuit. Was the intruder’s presence the cause of our pair not producing any hatchlings? It’s possible that in combination with the severe weather mid April and the pair not incubating their eggs during this timeframe caused the eggs not to develop.

I’m not sure if our ospreys are laying their eggs too soon, if the weather the past two seasons has encumbered the osprey’s care for their eggs, or if they were viable from the start. We are disappointed for the osprey and our viewers that our second season did not produce any hatchlings.

For those of you who have been watching our nest cam, updates to the Osprey Log will continue as well as photos to our Osprey Gallery. Our birds are still here and on the nest so keep watching.

28 April 2008

Photo Gallery Updated

Osprey Gallery has been updated with new photos.

25 April 2008

Where are the Chicks?

Not much has happened since the last entry: the ospreys have continued mating and maintaining the nest. The female has spent more attention to the area where the eggs were last seen, which is a good sign. This weekend is the 6th week since the first egg was laid. The pair has been taking turns watching the nest and been seen with their heads buried in the nest as though they were rotating the eggs.

Did the colder weather a few weeks ago harm the eggs while the adults left the nest totally unguarded? Our ospreys returned, but were not attentive to their eggs while the weather was unfavorably cool. Will these eggs hatch?

15 April 2008

It's Almost Time!

This coming weekend begins the 5th week since the first egg was laid. If the eggs are still viable then egg activity should begin soon. The female osprey has been seen on many occasions with her head down into the nest where the eggs were last seen on March 28th. Both ospreys continue to cover the eggs with moss, twigs, and grass. I’m hoping that the eggs are still thriving and that they will hatch, but again time will tell.

03 April 2008

Egg Rotation

Both ospreys have frequented the nest more the last three days than they did over the weekend, but their ongoing absence is disconcerting. Last Friday afternoon, 28 March, the female was seen rotating the eggs then covering them with Spanish moss. That was the last time I saw them. The first egg was laid 18 days ago, the second, 15 days ago, and the third, around 12 to 13 days ago. If the eggs are successful, it generally takes 5 – 6 weeks until the eggs hatch.

Yesterday I witnessed both ospreys looking up and following an object in the air circulating about them. Both birds were lifting their wings and squawking about the nest. This could be an intruder osprey or predator bird which may be keeping them off the nest.

Both ospreys have continued mating, which is a good sign, and repairing the nest with sticks, moss, and various vegetation from the several storms we’ve had since Saturday, which also could be keeping the osprey off the nest more so than usual, though I would think they would uncover their eggs to rotate them and check on their general condition. The female was seen this morning with her head down over the area where the eggs were last seen then flew off shortly after. Both birds seem to be taking turns again on the nest as they did in the previous weeks.

Time will tell where the eggs are concerned. Keep your fingers crossed for a successful clutch and stay tuned in.

31 March 2008

What's Going On?

In the past few days our ospreys have taken an apathetic attitude toward their three eggs. Neither osprey has been seen sitting on the eggs considering the cold front that came through Saturday afternoon which is a concern. Also, the nest has been left unattended more than ever before. Usually an osprey will fly off after its mate is there to watch over the eggs.

I’m hoping we will not have a replay of last year. This is quite strange for both birds to be so attentive then to be so disinterested. Over the weekend the female osprey was mostly on the back edge of the nest and occasionally would lean towards the eggs location, but nothing more.

23 March 2008

Three Eggs

We now have our third egg on the nest. Osprey generally lay two to four eggs so it is possible for another egg in a day or two. The female has been seen rotating the three eggs and spreading her wings out and squawking. A predator bird or another osprey may be in the vicinity.

19 March 2008

And Then There Were Two

Our resident couple now has two eggs on the nest. The female continues to move Spanish moss, sticks, and other material about the eggs to safeguard them.

17 March 2008

Correction

An avid osprey viewer contacted us indicating that the egg was laid Saturday evening betweem 6:00 pm and 7:15 pm and not Sunday morning as first thought.

16 March 2008

First Egg Laid

A storm blew through this weekend bringing heavy rain, thunder, lighting and an egg. The egg, which was laid Saturday evening, has the usual mottled characteristics. Both ospreys have been sharing parental duties caring for the newly laid egg.

Over the course of the weekend, the nest has taken on more branches and moss creating a deeper bowl shape ensuring the safety of the egg. Osprey usually lay 2 – 4 eggs one to two days apart so additional eggs should not be too far away. Osprey eggs do not hatch all at once, but instead the first chick hatches out up to five days before the last one. The older chick dominates its younger siblings, and can monopolize the food brought by the parents. If food is abundant, little aggression is seen amongst the chicks, but if food is limited, the younger chicks often starve.¹

Check back to see how many eggs our osprey couple will ultimately bring about and also for pictures in the gallery.

¹Cornell Lab of Ornithology http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Osprey.html

05 March 2008

Osprey Eviction

A lot has been going on since the last log update. The pair of osprey that had been on the nest for most of February has been evicted. Another pair of osprey has taken over the nest. Thought to be Olivia and Ollie at first, their markings indicate otherwise. These osprey have brought more Spanish moss and sticks to the nest forming it into a bowl shape. The female has been seen with her head pointed downwards as if deep in thought and the male continues to brace the structure.
Last year the first egg was laid on the 22nd of March so we are hoping that eggs will be laid in the near future.

21 February 2008

Fortifying the Nest

1436 hrs - Fish Meal
The female osprey was seen eating a fish on the nest. Not sure which osprey caught the fish or when it was brought to the nest.

0747 hrs – Twigs and Moss Nest activity has increased tenfold since the last update. The osprey, especially the male, has brought in branches, twigs, and Spanish moss to fortify the nest. The osprey continues to mate while preparing their roost.

20 February 2008

Three's A Crowd

1429 hrs – Mating Season Has Begun
Cupid’s arrow must have hit its mark because mating season has begun. The two osprey residents were spotted mating this afternoon. Ospreys copulate on average 59 times per clutch.

1300 hrs – A Scuffle Breaks Out
Three ospreys were seen on the nest and a scuffle broke out among the male osprey and the new osprey. It is possible the new osprey was Ollie from last year, but we couldn’t quite tell. The two birds flew off shortly later leaving the female on the nest.

0700 hrs - Cleaning House
Both ospreys were seen moving Spanish moss and sticks about the nest.

19 February 2008

New Pair Of Osprey

Over the past two weeks a new pair of osprey have established their roost on the communications tower. Neither of the birds are Ollie and Olivia, last year’s ospreys. This female has a much darker “necklace”, the speckled markings on the breast, than Olivia had and the male’s head markings are different than Ollie’s. Only time will tell if Olivia and Ollie will return to claim their nest. Sparring will surely ensue if there is competition for the nest.

So the wait begins…for courtship that is. Love is in the air. Our new resident couple has not been seen mating yet, just repairing the nest from winter’s weather. Now that the arrival of Palmetto’s star attraction is here: a pair of ospreys, we can all sit back and watch and hope that 2008 will be a good year for the ospreys.

04 February 2008

The Ospreys Have Returned

The osprey's have returned from their southern vacation to South or Central America. The first osprey appeared on the nest, which is located at our Hilton Head office, Friday afternoon on February 1st.

We were not able to see the osprey's distinctive markings to tell if it was "Olivia" or "Ollie", Palmetto's resident osprey couple from last year. The osprey moved sticks around the nest, tidying up the homestead, then flew off shortly later.

Today we spotted a pair of ospreys, but again we could not definitively identify them, though one did have similar markings of the male.

21 January 2008

Welcome to the 2008 Osprey Season

Palmetto Electric would like to welcome last year's osprey viewers as well as new osprey viewers to another season with our Hilton Head Island osprey nest.

For those of you who are new to our osprey web cam, this is our second season watching ospreys with our live camera located at our Hilton Head office.

Our first season viewing "Olivia and Ollie", Palmetto Electric's resident osprey couple, had a clutch of three eggs which never hatched. We believed the extreme cold in April may have harmed the eggs. Ospreys are believed to mate for life and usually return to the same nest each year rebuilding the structure over time. So if our couple survived their annual migration to South or Central America we should expect Olivia and Ollie back to the nest in January or early February.

Once the ospreys return, we will have to check out their distinctive markings to ensure that they are indeed Olivia and Ollie. As last year's viewers will remember we had a new male and female on the nest in early July, so we may see some competition for the nest between the couples.
We look forward to the upcoming osprey season and to hearing from our viewers!