29 April 2009

As many of our cam viewers have noticed and commented on, the chicks are now quite mobile about the nest. Their size difference in the last few days is very noticeable as well as the beginning growth of feathers. They somewhat resemble little cactus walking about the nest - prickly.

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

A view of how much the chicks have grown and changed from April 24 to April 27.

26 April 2009

Wanted to post some of the action going on at other osprey cams.

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 chicks seem to be doing well as of today, 25 April, 2009. The oldest chick, GJ, is exerting its dominance over its siblings, MG and DS, by being fed first and foremost, though the other two are being fed quite well themselves. All three chicks have gained substantial weight since their births last week.

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

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.

20 April 2009

I am happy to report that the osprey family is doing just fine. Papa is bringing in more sticks or branches to create a barrier for the little ones. The female continues to tidy up the nest and cover her chicks to provide warmth.

18 April 2009

We have our third chick, which we are naming "DS". Thanks to cam viewer, Sue, for sending in a comment of the arrival of our third osprey chick. The osprey apparently hatched between 10:30 and 10:40 a.m., Saturday, 18 April.

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

The male is doing a fantastic job of providing fish to the nest. The two chicks, GJ and MG, appear strong and eager to gobble down all the fish they can before falling to sleep. The female continues to rotate and incubate the third egg, which should hatch this weekend.

16 April 2009

Now that there are two chicks and hopefully by the weekend a third, competition for food will begin. With our potential brood of three, the first and oldest chick, GJ, should survive because of its strength and larger size, though MG isn't too far behind. Providing the male brings in enough fish to sustain the family, all the chicks stand a good chance of survival.

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

A third osprey was seen today attacking both parents while on the nest. The male left the nest in pursuit of the intruder. Shortly after the intruder landed on the nest with the female pushing it off. We have yet to determine who this intruder is. Looks as though the parents will have more to contend with than just their chicks.

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

At approximately 5:55 p.m. the male left the nest unattended until the female returned at 6:19 p.m. This is the third time the male has been seen leaving the nest in the past week. We are not sure if he is just out of view of the camera or is about stretching his wings. His absence is raising our blood pressure during those minutes away from the nest. We are so close to possibly having chicks in three years seeing the nest unoccupied and the eggs vulnerable during his incubation time is quite distressing.

04 April 2009

It has been exactly 28 days since the first egg was laid, so we are definitely in the home stretch toward seeing chicks. Keep your fingers crossed, for our couple has had no hatchlings the past two seasons. It's possible that by Easter we could have our first osprey chick...how exciting that would be for all our viewers. Even our employees at Palmetto Electric are bustling with excitement about our potential brood since we went live with our osprey cam in 2007.

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.

Enjoy!! 8-)