11 July 2011

I'm back from my two week vacation and it appears the juveniles have fledged while I was away.

The juveniles fledged in 8 weeks and are most likely hunting on their own at this point. Since osprey migrate individually, the juveniles must be completely independent of their parents for food by the time southward migration begins. We may continue to see the "family" osprey during July, but they could begin migration to Central or South America in late summer. With Hilton Head's southern location we do have osprey that reside here throughout the winter and do not migrate.

Juveniles become sexually mature around 3 years of age, but may not begin breeding until 5 if nest sites are scarce. Determining a juveniles sex by its coloring is not always exact. In the past juveniles have been banded with information indicating male or female, then as the osprey matured the banding proved to be inaccurate because it could take about to 18 months to reach adult plummage.


Anonymous said...

do adult Osprey's stay as a mating pair together for numerous years ?

moderator said...

Osprey's generally pair for life, but if mating is unsuccessful it is possible for them to split or "divorce" or if one of them dies.