29 May 2011

It appears that one of the birds hit our camera when it was relieving itself so a good portion of the view is blurred. We are going to have to wait for rain to clear the outdoor housing of the camera.

27 May 2011

It's confirmed...Friends at Blackwater Refuge have their first chick! They're expecting their 2nd chick in the next few days.

26 May 2011

Both MKD and TE are growing like weeds and parents Bea and Jasper continue to build up the nest since the two little ones are quite mobile and moving about the platform. MKD has a pronounced white spot on its chest more so than TE and is also a lighter beige than TE.

News from other sites...

  • Friends of the Blackwater Refuge are expecting chicks any time now.

  • Loch of the Lowes is on 24 hour watch in anticipation of their eggs hatching. Their male osprey is having trouble with crows and chasing them away from the nest.

  • The Dunedin nest in Florida recently banded their three chicks.

  • The Hailuoto-Marjaniemi nest, which is nestled in the artic forest in Finland, has four eggs.

23 May 2011

The Photo Gallery has been updated with 41 new images.

19 May 2011

The two photos are from May 6 and today, May 19th. It's amazing how fast the chicks have grown in such a short amount of time. We are now seeing the emergence of pin feathers replacing the down the chicks had when they hatched. Pin feathers, also known as blood feathers, are rolled and protected inside a tubular sheath that contain blood vessels that nourish the feather's growth. More so on MKD than TE at this time are the signs of the rusty-golden pin feathers around the head and neck. When the feathers have developed and break the the sheath, the protective tube will fall away or the chick may remove them while preening. Dark body feathers will emerge followed by the primary and secondary feathers, and finally the outer wing and tail feathers will appear at about 20 - 25 days.

At about one month old the chicks growth will slow and they will be around 70% - 80% of their full-grown body weight and their feathers will have a tan tip, indicating a juvenile osprey.

17 May 2011

With the two chicks maturing at a fast clip, you can see the differences in MKD's crop compared to TE's. The crop stores food for later digestion.

MKD has definitely established dominance over its sibling by pecking at TE and nudging him/her out of the way at feeding time. This mornig MKD was even pecking at Bea while she was attempting to feed him/her...probably not a good idea.

13 May 2011

Sad news....We lost MT.

A little before 11:00 Jasper was bringing in more sticks and inadvertently lifted MT up by the neck with a stick and carried MT to the edge of the nest. MT fell from the tower and did not survive the fall.

11 May 2011

As the chicks develop you may notice a swelling at the base of the esophagus. This area is known as a crop and is a storage area where food can be held for later digestion. In the attached 2009 photo of one of our chicks, you can see the crop protruding from the neck. The crop enables a chick to eat as much as possible as other chicks might take its food. Also, the crop allows a chick to go longer between meals if necessary.

The 2009 photo shows a chick that is 2-1/2 weeks old. Soon our trio will look like this in about 10 days.

09 May 2011

We now have our three chicks: MKD, TE, and MT. The parents, Bea and Jasper, are doing a fine job caring for their chicks. Jasper has been bringing in plenty of fish and Bea has been sheltering the three from the heat and indiscriminately feeding the trio. With MKD being the oldest and strongest, it is usually up front at feeding time.

When the chicks hatched from their shells you may have noticed a white notch at the top of their beak. This is an egg tooth that enables the chick to chip away at the shell poking holes in it allowing it to break through the shell. (See photo). The egg tooth will fall off in a couple of weeks after hatching. Upon hatching the chicks will have a buff down with a white stripe down their back which helps camouflage the chicks making them appear as one of the many sticks in the nest.

At two weeks the chicks begin to develop a dense wooly down and will lose the buff down. The chicks will appear black and prickly, somewhat “reptilian” in appearance. This “reptilian” stage will last about a week to two weeks.

07 May 2011

We have our third chick hatch around 10:13 Saturday morning which was caught by viewer Sue. The third chick's name is MT. You can see the broken shell to the right side of Bea.

06 May 2011

One of our bloggers asked if we had an osprey platform photo. The platform is a six foot chain link fence, give or take, situated at the top of a 100 foot communications tower. The camera is situated on a vertical post so not to interfere with the communications equipment and is positioned on the eastern edge of the tower and overhangs the platform about a foot or so. The camera's size is approximately 7.6" x 4.75". The camera is encased in a weather proof housing which makes its overall size roughly 1'x1'. The photo does not show the bottom portion of the tower.

We have our second chick, which we are naming TE. Viewer Sue caught the second chick hatch around 6:40 last night.

The second chick, TE, is on the left and MKD is on the right.

04 May 2011

The photo gallery has been updated with 43 new photos. We've had a lot of excitement today with our first chick of the 2011 season hatching this morning at 9:38 am. Our chick's name is MKD. The next chick could hatch Friday or Saturday. We're looking at past photos to identify if the first egg laid is the egg that hatched today. Hopefully we 'll find unique blotch marks on the eggs to identify which one hatched.

MKD took it's first taste of fish just under two hours after hatching and has eaten twice since freeing itself from the egg shell. Jasper continues to re-inforce the nest while delivering fish to Bea and their first chick. Of course Bea keeps a pine cone close to where she sits, occupying herself by nibbling on it.

We have our first chick which we are naming MKD. The chick hatched at 9:38am.

03 May 2011

It's Tuesday and still no chicks at this point. Both Bea and Jasper continue to bring nesting material to the platform and rotate incubation times. Bea often appears restless and will pop up suddenly. Friday began the 35th day for the first egg that was laid. A chick will normally hatch within 35 - 42 days after it's egg is laid. Today marks the 39th day for the first egg, 36th day for the second egg, and the 33rd day for the third egg.

We hope to see some activity with chicks at any time. :-)