04 April 2011

So far Bea and Jasper are doing a fine job caring for their eggs as both continue to take turns incubating the eggs and are bringing in new nesting material. The normal clutch size is three eggs so our pair is right on track. We hardly see one of them off the eggs as they must be kept at a certain temperature for the chicks to develop properly.

Another reason is to protect the eggs from predators. If the eggs were left unattended for long periods, they would be vulnerable to attack from land predators such as raccoons and foxes. Since our nest is clearly out of their reach the ospreys have daytime aerial predators such as eagles, crows, or vultures, and nocturnal predation from great horned owls.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

A Pine cone??? Hope they don't sit on it by mistake! :-)
CW

Anonymous said...

She is hunkered down today...
70/sunny on Thursday :)

Beth/Oh

moderator said...

I was pleased to see that Bea stayed on the nest this morning when I got to work. We've had a lot of lightening and hard rain and our pair's dedication throughout the storm is a great sign.

Carol said...

When do you expect the first egg to hatch and how many days between hatches?

moderator said...

Our pair now has three eggs. The first was laid Friday, March 25, the second, Monday, March 28, and the third, Thursday, March 31.

The eggs are incubated for about 5 - 6 weeks to hatching. The first egg could hatch around April 28th with the next two following in order that they were laid.

Anonymous said...

Looks as if Jasper will be busy with clean-up/adding to the nest once the weather settles down!
Bea has proved herself time and again since the arrival of the first egg .. she has been dedicated through all stormy weather since then.
DB

Carol said...

I'm surprised that incubation for eagles is shorter than osprey and by quite s few days. I think eagles are about 28 days.

Realist said...

Anonymous - thanks for the link to Iowa eagle cam. It's terrific! Have you all been checking out the eagle cam at Norfolk (VA) Botanical gardens? The three eggs hatched some time ago, and all is well. Eaglets growing like weeds! Glad all is going so well, here, too! Here's the link to Norfolk:

http://www.wvec.com/marketplace/microsite-content/eagle-cam.html

Anonymous said...

Is one of them eating the seeds from the pine cone? Something is going on.

11:13 EDT

moderator said...

I noticed that this morning and was wondering the same thing. It is the female, Bea, that appears to be eating the pine cone. I looked on the internet about that, but couldn't find anything.

I've read in the past that osprey may eat seagrass to possibly assist with casting pellets, but nothing about pine cones. Not quite sure what she is doing. I'll keeping looking to see what I can find.

Anonymous said...

I could not find anything on them eating pine cone seeds either, but could we be witnessing history in the making, at least the documentation of a secondary source of food for them? Moderator can you capture images from this morning showing the 2-3 minute process of what happened?

The pine cone leaks pretty messed up this afternoon, especially compared to the other one in the background on the right. Is this a new pine cone?

I have noticed comments on other osprey blogs about pine cones appearing in the nest. Perhaps this has ALWAYS gone on, and we are simply noticing it for the first time?

Anonymous said...

1:01 PM EDT -- There she goes again with the pine cone.

moderator said...

I have a link to a video, the quality is not that great, of Bea eating or chewing on a pine cone. It looks if she is eating the seeds. Has anyone seen this with ospreys?


http://www.palmetto.coop/community/pinecone.mov

Anonymous said...

MG-I posted a pine cone -info/help-on the Dennis Puleston Osprey Cam
Message Board...

Beth/Oh

moderator said...

Thanks Beth!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mov clip.

She was eating the seeds this morning IMO. You can see her mouth open, go down and grab at a light spot (seed) and roll the pine cone a few times.

Plus look at the pine cone now in real time (4:08). The number of light spots on it is less than before (or hidden on the bottom maybe?).

Fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Do you know what kind of pine tree is common in Hilton Head? Longleaf maybe? See map here on lower right:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinus_palustris

Just below the map the text says, "Longleaf Pines seeds are large and nutritious, forming a significant food source for birds (notably the Brown-headed Nuthatch) and other wildlife."

Loblolly is another possibility maybe. Not all pine cones had edible seeds, but if the local pine tree produces an edible seed, that fact may help us figure this out.

Darwin's Survival of the Fittest in action!

Bea here now!

PeterR
Long Island NY

moderator said...

Hey Peter,

To be honest, I have no idea what pine trees we have here. I'm not originally from South Carolina, but I will ask around.

moderator said...

Peter,

I found the following native pine trees from the Town of Hilton Head's website:

Loblolly pine Pinus taeda
Long leaf pine Pinus palustris
Slash pine Pinus elliottii

Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone in the area of the nest can chime in on what type of pine tree is nearby? Anyone at PECI who would know?

The pine cone is pretty messed up now, but your video clip shows it fairly well. Does anyone recognize the type of pine tree from which this cone came?

If Bea starts eating the pine cone in the background, that would be interesting.

PeterR

Anonymous said...

A few more questions -- have they been eating enough fish protein (from what we can tell from the webcam activity)?

Is it usually possible to monitor this?

Has Jasper been around as much as would be expected, in terms of building the nest, sitting on the eggs, and supplying food?

Sorry for maybe dumb questions, I am new to this fascinating slice of life's pie.

moderator said...

Jasper, the male, has been bringing in fish as usual and taking turns incubating the eggs. Nothing out of the usual during incubation. So we're not sure where Bea is getting her taste for pine cones.

Carol said...

I just consulted the moderators at my Hornby Eagle chatroom. They tell me that pine cone seeds are very normal for osprey and they love the seeds.

moderator said...

Thanks Carol,

I've never seen that in the few years I've been watching osprey nor have I read that. Interesting!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Carol, the video clip posted yesterday may be a first recording of this!

Very interesting indeed.

PeterR
Long Island NY