21 April 2009

Today at noon the oldest chick, GJ, began displaying its first signs of aggression towards the second chick , MG, and third, DS. GJ was seen pecking at the heads and biting the back of the neck of both younger chicks. A lack of feeding could explain the beginning of the aggression seen earlier. I know they were fed this morning at 7am, but had not watched the cam until noon today so I'm not sure if they had a mid-morning meal or not.

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.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

It looks like the nest has been built up so much in front of the camera that we won't be able to see the chicks. I hope the little siblings will be able to get along with each other and make it to maturity. We're sure pulling for them!

Vivian

Anonymous said...

Just checked the nest and it looks like one of the chicks hasn't moved from its position for quite a while. I see it raising its head periodically; otherwise, I have a bad feeling it isn't going to survive the day :-(

Anonymous said...

It is 3:00 and all three are eating and look fine...maybe I missed something?

Sue

moderator said...

Hey Sue,

Just checked myself and everything appears to be okay with all three chicks. I didn't see any aggression from them while they were feeding. Maybe the one in question was just taking a nap.

Anonymous said...

I guess you're right...maybe it was taking a nap. I watched them feeding right now and all three were fed without any aggression...phew!

Realist said...

From what I've observed in the past, the runt often lies low...part of the "pecking order" I suspect. But doesn't mean s/he isn't OK - as long as there's plenty of food and parents are mature enough to spread food around to all chicks, all should be OK. I worry more about the fact that this is the first hatching for the parents...and they appear to be learning as they go.

Debi said...

I too am so pleased to see my three "adopted children" thriving and wish MY dear Mom were here with me today...she passed a few months ago and I am lost without her. My doggies would be jealous if they knew I had "step-children"
Thanks for everyone's input daily... I don't feel quite so alone...

Anonymous said...

It is so nice to see so many that care, I too have been watching these babies all the time :) There is an eagles nest I also watch and the last chick born was also kinda slow to rise to the food but he is so big now and all three are amazing. Sometimes he would be sleeping while the others ate and I thought on no what is wrong but than he would make his way there. I think all these babies will be good.. I mean with all these good wishes how cant they be.. have a great day everyone.

Realist said...

Chicklets left completely alone at this time. First time I have seen this happen with chicks so young. Hope parents are hanging around close by!

Anonymous said...

It is 0915, 4/24 and I can only see one bird on the nest. This is the first time I've looked at this web cam so maybe I can't see what I see?

moderator said...

Since the chicks hatched the female usually stays on the nest while the male provides fish for his mate and their brood.

Pam Dillowe said...

This is the nicest Osprey Cam I have seen. I love the fact that it updates every 5 seconds. The chicks are adorable.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, what beautiful close ups! That sure answers the question as to how many (3) chicks are on the nest. Thanks, thanks, thanks!

Vivian

Anonymous said...

just watched the 5pm(EST) feeding. At first it looked like the smallest chick wasn't going to have dinner. Fortunately the older sibs loaded up and passed out, giving the small one a chance to eat...phew. there is a partial remain of the fish dinner left at the top of the nest.

Realist said...

Hope mother continues to feed the runt - she seems to make sure the first two are stuffed (!) and then turns her attention to the runt. Let's hope the food source continues to be abundant...

Blackwater has 1 egg!!

Melanie said...

Hello! I am new here on the blog, but have been watching the Osprey cam for a few days - adorable chicks. But now I am not sure what I am looking at. It appears to be an adult bird but injured? And blood? Is the position of the bird normal. Is all okay? Thank you, Melanie

moderator said...

Melanie,
If you are seeing red on the osprey its most likely from our tower light on our communications tower. We are regulated by the FAA to have a light on our tower since it is 100 feet tall. The osprey are fine.

hedgie said...

BTW....Blackwater osprey nest has it's first egg!!

Anonymous said...

what is the link to the blackwater nest

Realist said...

So glad to see that the little guy appears to be getting his share of suishi! He's asserting himself more and more and mother is paying heed! Each day that passes is a plus for his(her) future.

moderator said...

Blackwater Refuge's link is: http://www.friendsofblackwater.org/camhtm.html