02 December 2009
A little excitement on our nest this morning around 8:20...we had two bald eagles. One was definitely a juvenile while the other may have been an adult. Their size in comparison to an osprey is amazing. One of our cam viewers from Ohio also saw the birds, which was quite unexpected. The gallery has a few photographs of the two majestic birds which you can view here. I don't know much about bald eagles so if anyone can elaborate on these two please post your comments.
09 October 2009
The other day while walking along the shore on Hilton Head, I saw what I was almost certain were three ospreys. Today on a similar walk there were three similar birds flying over the water searching for fish. Fortunately, a man was there taking pictures with a powerful looking telephoto lens. They were definitely ospreys and he got some nice pictures. I wonder if these birds are adding sticks and stuff to our nest. They were definitely staying together. It was quite a site to watch these beautiful birds. They must be on their way south and decided they wanted some of this Hilton Head beauty before traveling on.
22 September 2009
About two weeks ago we had six osprey circling above our office, where the nest is located on Mathews Drive, using the warm air currents to keep them aloft. I had never seen that before with osprey...flying in a group that is. Maybe some of our osprey viewers may have knowledge of osprey flying together.
Not sure why this osprey is bringing in spanish moss and sticks, though I'm sure next seasons osprey will appreciate it!
18 September 2009
09 September 2009
For all that were interested I read some sad news today on the looduskalender blogger website. (here is the link for all who are interested; http://www.looduskalender.ee/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=107&p=46019&hilit= Koo was euthanized. I copied a pice of a blog but be sure to go to the blog website and read for yourself. I was very saddened when I read the news.
There was a news from YLE (Finnish radio) from 17:59. Description of the condition and situation of of Koo, soemthing about the results seen from x-ray of Koo's legs. I hope someone who can better English than me could translate the news. Anyways it is told that the knee, or leg of Koo had been broken sometime before time (?), "the doctor said that bones had ossified in the wrong position. The bones were so fragile be cause of lack of calcium (?), so it was impossible to make surgery operation".. well.. There is also recorded interview of Ranua Zoo's Intendent (Curator?)Mari Heikkilä to be listened in Finnish, 4,30 minutes.
:( Mary Pat
06 September 2009
12 August 2009
This past season began a bit earlier than others with the osprey arriving January 15, only to find a pair of Red Tail Hawks enjoying the view from the communications tower. The male osprey was the first to arrive and the female followed in short order. We were a bit concerned with their early arrival due to the cold weather that was to follow. Both ospreys began renovating the nest from last year while chasing off other osprey looking for a home, possibly offspring from past seasons. For about a week three ospreys were seen on the nest, two of them our couple, but the third we could not distinguish, as we never could make out its head markings. It could have been a young male attempting to steal the female away.
After two weeks of nest rebuilding the osprey couple began mating and about five weeks later the first egg was laid March 7, the second egg March 10, and the third egg March 12/13. Both parents were very attentive to their eggs as opposed to last season. The parent osprey appeared much calmer and mature. The female never left the nest during thunder and lightning storms, where last year she abandoned her eggs during cold stormy days and in the end the eggs didn’t hatch.
On April 14th the first chick, GJ, hatched (38 days), the second chick, MG, hatching on April 16th (37 days), and eventually the third chick, DS, hatching April 18th (37/38 days).
The chick’s quick growth was quite astounding for us as this was the first season we have been able to see osprey chicks develop. Palmetto Electric has had the osprey nest on the communications tower since 1989, but the webcam had only been installed in 2007. In 2007 the osprey couple, Ollie and Olivia, had three eggs with no luck in any of them hatching. In 2008 Ollie and Olivia were driven out from the nest with our current couple taking over. The new couple had the same result, three eggs – no hatchlings. Our third cam season proved to be successful even though the third chick, DS, died after its fifth week on the nest.
Throughout the season the male provided a generous amount of fish for his family and the osprey chicks grew into juveniles. As time approached for the young ones to fledge they flapped about the nest, practiced hard and strengthened their wing muscles. MG, the second chick, was the first to fledge with GJ following along about one week later. In time both juveniles were flying about and landing effortlessly on the nest.
We held a contest for our blogger’s to name the osprey couple and the winning names, submitted by viewer Katt, are Bella and Benecio.
Many viewers asked why we haven’t banded the osprey. The osprey nest is located atop a one hundred foot tower, which also resides within a quarter mile or so of our local airport. The communications tower, which is regulated by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), is required to have a technician that is certified with antenna, tower climbing, and rescue skills. The problem is we don’t know of anyone in the area that is certified to climb our communications tower and also knowledgeable of osprey to band them.
With our osprey season now at a close we at Palmetto Electric would like to thank all of our cam viewers and blog participants for a successful year. We had a great time building our own osprey community and to want express appreciation to the local group of viewers that were able to gather to discuss our resident osprey. We are considering streaming audio/video for next season, but that is dependent upon equipment cost. The blog will remain open for commenting and the camera will continue operating unless we have maintenance to perform. Again, a very big thank you to all for this past 2009 osprey season and your participation.
MG - moderator
08 August 2009
Question: Have read differing information about chicks learning to fish and when. Scotland says chicks migrate before learning to fish; Blackwater says they learn to fish from parental guidance before starting to migrate. Google isn't helping me much with this information. Thanks for any clarification you all can give me.
From everything I have read juevenile osprey have an instinctive ability to catch fish and are not taught by their parents. The following excerpt is from the Rutland Osprey site...In 1954 a British naturalist called Colonel Meinertzhagen published a paper in which he described his observations while on holiday in Sweden. The paper, entitled The education of young Ospreys, describes parents apparently luring young from the nest by flying past with fish and also repeatedly dropping fish into the water, perhaps encouraging their young to stoop for them. However, others have questioned Meinertzhagen's interpretation of his observations and it is difficult to find other evidence to support the "education" thesis. Roy Dennis believes that there is no evidence at all of Scottish Ospreys teaching their young to catch fish. It would certainly be interesting to hear of any recent observations of activity like this.
So by the above excerpt I suppose it's not conclusive. If anyone can expound on this topic please post your comments.
04 August 2009
03 August 2009
Bella and Benicio submitted by our blogger/viewer Katt.
We had many names to choose from and we would like to thank all of our bloggers for participating in naming the osprey parents.
29 July 2009
25 July 2009
24 July 2009
At the Friends of Blackwater the sole chick has been named Braveheart by one of their viewers. As of July 18, their chick was 45 days old and could fledge very soon.
Sad news at the Lake District Osprey Project site ...the female bird, know as White 10, has not been seen since making her maiden flight at Bassenthwaite on 17 July.
Staff and volunteers of the Lake District Osprey Project mounted an "intensive search" after she failed to return to her nest in heavy rain.
Over at the Loch of the Lowes site...Both of our osprey chicks have finally fledged and are having a brilliant time learning to fly.
The New York Montezuma osprey site had one if not two juvenile osprey's on the nest. The one chick, which was in full view, appeared quite healthy.
The PSNH Osprey Cam seems to also have a heathy juvenile in its nest. I didn't see an osprey diary of this past season so I'm not sure how many chicks they initially had.
20 July 2009
One of our bloggers asked how long the ospreys would stay at our nesting site. The last two years the osprey hung around mid to late August, of course the osprey can prove me wrong this year. But it should be about that time frame. The blog will continue to be open for viewer's to make comments.
26 June 2009
Our osprey parents need names so if you have any suggestions please post them in this blog entry.
Our local osprey bloggers gathered together at Reilley's restaurant at the north end of the island on the 25 June to talk about the current season, past seasons, as well as future seasons. It was great to put faces behind the names to our commentators. Vivian, Carol, Toni, and Doris met with MG and GJ, from Palmetto Electric, and had a great time getting to know one another. In a nutshell we discussed the possibility of streaming audio/video for next season, what might have caused the third chick, DS, to die in it's fifth week, and the history of Palmetto Electric's involvement with osprey on Hilton Head. We also discussed local wildlife around our homes and our personal encounters with our feathered and furry friends.
During our discussions we realized that our current osprey couple have yet to be named, so if you have any suggestions for our osprey parents please submit them. I will create a post just for names.
Again, I want to thank everyone for making our third season a success. Our osprey are still on the nest so keep watching. They should hang around until mid August to September and our camera will continue broadcasting after they are gone so we can see what other birds are passing our way. I want to thank Toni for suggesting the blogger get-together as we had a great time meeting everyone and had a lot of laughs. Remember to submit suggestions for naming the osprey parents which will be in the next posting.
19 June 2009
We have yet to notice whether or not GJ or MG have begun hunting for fish. The only fish we've seen so far have been brought in be either the father or mother. GJ spends more time on the nest than MG. GJ still gets aggressive when fish are brought to the nest and has pecked at MG and the mother. I'm sure dad would straighten him/her out if he got pecked in the head! When a fish was brought in MG snagged it away from GJ which didn't go over well. Hopefully we'll soon see both GJ and MG bringing in their own fish.
The temperatures suppose to be close to if not in the 100's today and the weekend could be hotter.
17 June 2009
16 June 2009
The female either seems curious about our camera or is looking at one of her kids on top of the web cam.
I'll try and update the osprey gallery in a few days with more candid shots of the osprey family.
14 June 2009
11 June 2009
A third osprey was just seen attempting to land on the nest. The female quickly dispatched the intruder as GJ and MG kept low on the nest.
10 June 2009
Both parents seem to be enticing the chicks to take flight by hanging out on the communication equipment, just out of reach. I'm thinking MG will go first!
06 June 2009
Friends At Blackwater have their second chick and are expecting their third any day. Over at the Scottish Wildlife Trust both chicks are beginning to develop feathers, mainly on their heads.
02 June 2009
27 May 2009
25 May 2009
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the chicks, if we can still call them that, sixth week on the nest. They almost are equal in size to their parents. We should see them flapping their wings more and jumping up in the air in anticipation of their first flight.
22 May 2009
20 May 2009
Our smallest chick, DS, has apparently died unexpectedly. As of 6:50 am Wednesday morning DS has been unresponsive on the nest. All three chicks, which hatched mid April, were coming along fine so were are unsure as to the circumstances of the chick's death. As of yesterday DS was active and moving about the nest and eating after the other two chicks were full.
It is sad to loose one of the chicks at this stage when they are so close to fledging. The adult osprey may expel the dead chick or leave it in the nest. The other two chicks seem unfazed by the dead body and are going on with their daily routines. It is natures way of survival of the fittest.
We will continue showing our osprey cam to our viewers.
18 May 2009
It's hard to refer to the brood as chicks anymore because of their size. As of this writing mom, GJ, MG, and DS are hunkered down on the nest bracing themselves against 40-45 mph winds and chilly rain. Due to the predicted rain for the coming week the male may find it harder to provide fish for his growing family.
19 May marks the 5th week of the ospreys hatching so we won't have much longer until the ospreys fledge. The chicks have been stretching their wings, which are of a great span now, exercising them in anticipation of their upcoming flights.
Other osprey nests are now having chicks hatch such as the Kentucky Osprey cam and the Scottish Wildlife Trust cam.
12 May 2009
06 May 2009
To give everyone an idea of the ospreys surrounding fishing holes, you can click on the map of Hilton Head Island, SC to expand it. The blue marker is where we are located. Savannah, Georgia is about 45 miles southwest of us.
04 May 2009
May 5th marks the third week since "GJ", the first chick, hatched. All three chicks are growing like weeds. This is most likely due to the male's proficient fishing skills. He definitely has a knack for catching flounder. I believe the count up to today is eleven flounder. You can’t really explain what the fish looks like underwater until you actually see it. Basically, you are looking for something on the bottom that just doesn’t look right. It could be rock covered up by sand, or maybe a random depression … but every now and then it’s a fish. The osprey, like other daytime hunting (diurnal) birds of prey has excellent vision. We've probably all used the term "eagle eye" to denote someone with keen vision. The osprey's vision is one of his most important senses for hunting and reacting to danger. Like humans, an osprey focuses on objects through binocular vision (using both eyes to see). Unlike birds that have one on each side of their head and use each in isolation, the osprey's eyes are facing forward. This enables him to have great depth perception as he hovers searching for prey. Ospreys have more sensory cells in their eyes and can see objects at a distance up to three times better than a human. They are also able to discern colors. This helps to discern prey, and aids in reproductive behavior.
As a lot of commentators have noted, the chicks seem to be hanging by the outer edge of the nest. Disconcerting for all of us, but I believe the female has it under control. She doesn't seemed stressed by their proximity to the nests edge. Thank goodness she can't feel our anxiety. Upon this writing she is feeding them again. They just ate an hour and a half ago. To have that metabolism. 8)
29 April 2009
We are still seeing the occasional aggression from GJ, but that is to be expected in a raptors nest. The female is doing a great job of spreading food amongst the three chicks so aggression is minimal.
We've also seen the chicks standing, lifting, and stretching their wings. This wing activity will increase as the chicks near their time to fledge.
27 April 2009
26 April 2009
At Blackwater: the pair has laid their first egg and are expecting more any day.
At New York Wild: their osprey pair are back building a new nest.
At the Connecticut Audubon Society: they have four eggs. The male will definitely be busy feeding six mouths!
At the Kentucky Nest Cam: they have three eggs.
At Scottish Wildlife Trust: they have three eggs. They have had their share of intruders which quickly have been turned away from the nest area.
At RSPB: EJ returned to the nest with a new male and they have three eggs.
And there is an osprey cam in Finland, Sääksikamera, that is in an absoutely beautiful setting.
25 April 2009
The parents are providing adequate food and care for their offspring. The last two years efforts with this pair never saw any chicks hatch, for what reason we will not know for we never saw any chicks hatch. The past two years we had three eggs each season, but nothing ever came to pass. This years brood appears quite strong and able. So maybe the third try is definitely a charm!
We at Palmetto Electric want to extend our appreciation to all of our cam viewers and commentators for their support with our osprey cam.
21 April 2009
Chick survival (or brood reduction) has been reported to happen in three ways: infanticide, parent kills a chick by selectively feeding individual chicks instead of all, suicide, a chick voluntarily stops eating, and fratricide, chick kills chick. Fratricide can be caused through aggressive measures, pecking and biting, but also from older chicks preventing younger ones from feeding. It is a means of survival and natures way, but it does seem cruel by human standards.
This morning it did appear that MG and DS received more food than GJ since he was in the rear of the brood. Maybe he just didn't get enough fish this morning and is letting his siblings know it. All the chicks seem a bit restless this afternoon so they all may be hungry.
The male has been providing about an average of five fish a day up to this point and even though fish may be plentiful, chicks are not always fed equally and chick aggression can appear. Let's hope they all are fed until they can't eat anymore and the aggression stops.
20 April 2009
18 April 2009
The are two fish on the nest so the siblings ought to have enough to eat today.
1st egg laid: March 7
Hatched: April 14 (38 days)
2nd egg laid: March 10
Hatched: April 16 (37 days)
3rd egg laid: March 12/13
Hatched: April 18 (37/38 days)
17 April 2009
16 April 2009
The threat of predation during the day would be from crows or hawks and at night, would be from screech or barred owls. Since our communications tower is 100 feet tall the threat from raccoons, snakes, or other climbing wildlife is unlikely.
Osprey chicks will grow quickly on a steady diet of fish. At birth the chicks are covered in a fine grey down with feathers pushing through around 28 days old. By 40 days, the chicks should closely resemble their parents.
The fully feathered chicks will spend much of their time flapping their wings and developing their flight muscles.
Our second chick hatched this morning, Thursday, 16 April, at exactly 7:00. This chick is dubbed "MG".
15 April 2009
14 April 2009
We have our first osprey chick!!!!! 8) We are dubbing it "GJ".
The first egg was laid March 7 - hatched April 14 (38 days). The second egg was laid March 10 with a possible hatch date of April 17 and the third was laid March 12/13 with a hatch date of April 19/20.
12 April 2009
04 April 2009
We are expecting temperatures to get down into the 30's for Monday and Tuesday evening then warming back into the 50's for evening temperatures the rest of the week. Hopefully this cooler weather is winter's last surge and warm weather will stay for our resident ospreys.
With about a week or so to go.....keep viewing and sending in your observations.
29 March 2009
She took advantage of the calm weather this morning and slept in a bit. She appears unruffled by yesterday's event and continues with her incubation. Now all she needs is a nice fish breakfast!
25 March 2009
First egg was laid March 7
Second egg was laid March 10
Third egg was laid March 12/13
The eggs could conceivably hatch the week following Easter weekend. If the weather cooperates for the remaining incubation period and there are no predators, we could possibly have our first osprey chicks since our web cam went live three years ago.
The osprey's have been very attentive to their eggs and deserve a successful brood.
18 March 2009
13 March 2009
10 March 2009
As of this morning the ospreys have a second egg and the male has been quite busy carrying sticks and what appear to be banana tree leaves to the nest. Both parents have been regularly turning the eggs ensuring that the developing embryos do not adhere to the inside of the eggshell which can result in the embryo becoming malformed. Constant warmth stimulates the growth process. With another unseasonably warm day this week it should be easier to keep the eggs temperature regulated, though we are expecting cooler weather beginning Thursday.
Both parents have a brood patch, an area of bare skin under their breast feathers. Males have a smaller ‘hot-spot' than the females; however, the female ospreys have a larger area with many vessels that can be suffused with blood whenever the egg temperature falls. This instinctive ability allows the ospreys to sense temperature changes within the eggs and to control it within the nest through their own body methods.
09 March 2009
With the arrival of the egg, our osprey parents will contribute to the incubation duties, although the female will carry out the majority of the incubating. The male continues to deliver fish to his mate, which will persist until the young fledge or the nest fails. Incubation for ospreys is approximately 40 days, so we could have hatchlings by Easter, but technically hatching could come anywhere from 35-43 days, depending on the egg’s development. A female osprey will generally lay 2 to 4 eggs over the course of a few days so more eggs may be on their way.
We’ll update the Osprey Gallery again within the week.
07 March 2009
Thanks to our viewer's watchful eyes, the first egg of the 2009 season has been spotted. Osprey usually lay two to four eggs within one to two days apart. Each egg is approximately the size of a chicken egg, mottled and cinnamon colored; is incubated for about 5 weeks to hatching and both parents help to incubate the eggs.
We may have another egg any day so keep watching.
27 February 2009
The female has taken recently to meditative stances and has been seen sitting quite often. Since mating began around 2 February, eggs could be right around the corner for our pair.
The gallery page has been updated with photos recently so check those out. Thanks to all those that have commented on our blog. Keep sending in your observations!!!
10 February 2009
30 January 2009
As we open our third osprey season we would like to thank all of our past viewers and welcome new viewers. It has been rewarding to share this wildlife vision to our local community and our viewers from far and wide. If you are new to our site and to osprey viewing, I encourage you to read our Osprey Facts.
The ospreys, having returned a few weeks earlier than past seasons, were briefly in contention with a pair of Red Tail Hawks for rights to the nest on top of our communications tower at our Hilton Head office. Now that the ospreys have established control they have been quite busy preparing the nest by bringing in a variety of local vegetation.
Since their early arrival we are keeping our fingers crossed that their mating does not occur too early and the results of past years return with no hatchlings.
Again, we like to welcome all of our viewers and commentators to our osprey web cam and blog!!
17 January 2009
The camera is up and operating again after being re-wired for a better signal.
The first osprey spotted on our nest was on the 15th of January which is the earliest we have seen on the tower since our camera went live two years ago. The unusual warm weather we have been experiencing may have assisted the osprey’s early arrival. Now that the temperature has plummeted about 20 degrees cooler than what we normally experience at this time of the year, I’m sure the ospreys wished they waited to come North.
We also have a new pair of raptors that seems to have taken a liking to the nest – a pair of Red Tail Hawks. With any luck these birds are only passing through and not looking for a place to roost. The competition between Red Tail Hawks and Ospreys will be interesting to see how it all plays out.