27 May 2009

The osprey gallery has been updated with new photos.

25 May 2009

This is the first time in fifteen days that it has not been raining, though we may get a few showers tonight. The ospreys are not the only ones attempting to soak up the sun - so are we. With the calmer weather the fish are beginning to pile up on the nest. (see picture).

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

The tropical fetch of moisture continues on though we do have a reprive at the moment. The ospreys are drying out and soaking up as much sun as they can before the rain returns. The male brought in a flounder that was large enough that the two chicks and female could not completely finish it with their first attempt. It appears MG has learned to use his/her mother as a barrier from GJ so he/she can eat without being pecked.

The chicks have been actively stretching and flapping their wings and sleeping. Probably enjoying being dry for a change.

20 May 2009

Chick dies at Palmetto osprey nest

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

Rain, rain, go away....It's a good thing our chicks have feathers because it's quite cool for us at this time of year. We normally have high temperatures in the 80's and lows in the upper 60's/70's, but this week is going to be different.

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

Our little chicks aren't so little anymore. Our chicks are maturing at a fast pace and their feathers are developing quite beautifully.

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)