08 August 2009

One of our bloggers, Realist, posted a question for us:

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.

4 comments:

Realist said...

Have been spending time investigating the situation in Finland where Koo (male osprey chick) has a broken leg. From all that I've read on several blogs (Google is great at translating from Finnish and German), the break occurred when the chick was being banded and handled too roughly...leg was pushed up against a steel ladder with such force that it broke.

Bird folks from around the world are outraged at the way Koo was handled during the banding - BUT Koo has fledged and hopefully, will be able to learn to fish, while accommodating the injury. Leg is now twisted backwards and that's is the way it will heal. Finland refuses to intervene to assist the healing.

This forum is in English and has interesting comments and great photos of the situation:

http://www.peregrinefalcon-bcaw.net/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=3&start=60

Mary

Anonymous said...

Mary,
Thank you for the link to the forum. I have been watching this webcam and trying to keep up with posts on Koo also. I hate to see any bird injured. Koo has been eating, exercising his/her wings and eating and has fledged. So we will see what the future holds for him/her. Unfortunately once they all leave the nest we will never know but all of us watching will hope for the best for him/her. I am curious about the statement about ospreys not doing well in captivatity and will research that myself. And I agree with the majority, if that is how they handle banding then they not do it at all.
Mary Pat

Realist said...

Mary Pat -

Here's some additional links regarding Koo and sibs.

Cam:

http://kotinetti.suomi.net/saaksi/index.php

Forum in Finland (Google will translate to English):

http://www.looduskalender.ee/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=107&p=46019&hilit=

We'll hope for the best for Koo.

Mary

Anonymous said...

Mary,
Thanks for the links but I do already have them. It is 11:26am est and as I look at Koo on the webcam he/she is eating. Yeah!!!!!!!!!
Mary Pat