23 July 2012

There is a new adult male on the nest. It appears to be the one GV was chasing off a few weeks ago. The male was moving palm fronds and sticks about the platform. It would be a bit early for a migrating osprey so this male may be attempting to secure this site for future breeding rights.

11 July 2012

As the close of our osprey season is fast approaching, I thought I would go ahead and post the season in review.

Our first osprey appeared on the platform on February 1st. This new male didn't waste any time bringing nesting material and its mate followed about a week later and the two began copulating. The 2011 pair, Bea and Jasper, arrived on February 21st, forcing the new pair to find another home. As with the first couple, Bea and Jasper quickly began repairing the nest and began to mate.

Throughout the remainder of February and up to mid March, Bea and Jasper mated and built up the nest while fighting off the previous couple for rights to the nest. Bea and Jasper improved their nest building from last year, but not by much. The 2012 nest wasn’t a beautifully constructed bowl shaped nest as seen at other sites, but they got the job done well enough and the first egg was laid on March 24th. The second egg was laid on March 26th and the third on March 29th.

During incubation we predominately had cool, wet weather so both parents didn’t have to be concerned with oppressive heat. On occasion an intruder osprey would land on the nest, but both Bea and Jasper dispatched the trespasser and they went back to incubating the eggs.

On May 2nd the first chick, GV, broke free of its shell after 39 days. About 15 hours later GV was joined by its sibling, RJ, who was in its egg for 38 days. The third chick never hatched. On May 8th we noticed the egg shell was broken and we could see a formed chick inside. The chick may not have had the strength to break free of the shell or any other possibility, we’ll never know.

As the weeks passed GV and RJ sprouted like weeds and at times fought mercilessly. Since our osprey web cam went live in 2007, we have never seen such fierce sibling rivalry. Frequently, GV was relentless in its attacks against RJ. This domination ensured GV would be the first to eat and eat as much as it wanted.

Towards the end of their two months on the nest GV and RJ grew into beautiful juveniles and began exercising their wings and began hopping about the nest. In early July we had a line of strong thunderstorms pound the Lowcountry with high winds, rain and a lot of lighting. The family toughed it out and the following day GV fledged with RJ looking on in apparent disbelief. About one week later, RJ was joining GV flying over our office.

Once RJ took flight he/she didn’t waste any time getting away from GV…you couldn’t blame RJ since all the abuse the little one took earlier. RJ currently hangs out close by with GV still on the platform and Bea and Jasper nearby.
Both juveniles still rely on Bea and Jasper for food, though this will only last until they learn to fish for themselves.

We want to say a big “Thank You” to all of our viewers and bloggers in making this another successful season. It’s great to have our locals and friends from far away participate and enjoy the ospreys at our Hilton Head office. There’s still plenty to see, so stay tuned.

As always, keep your blogs coming and the camera will continue to stay active.

09 July 2012

It appears RJ finally fledged sometime on Sunday. He/she was on the nest Sunday morning, but as of Sunday afternoon RJ was not there. GV is the only osprey on the nest as of 7:03 a.m. this morning.  RJ is probably happily eating all the fish it can without having to compete against GV.

03 July 2012

GV successfully fledged today at 9:26 a.m. and circled the tower multiple times then landed back on the nest much to the amazement of RJ. RJ spun around watching GV soar overhead our Hilton Head office. RJ has not been as proactive as GV with wing flapping and hopping about the platform. GV's next test will be learning to fish. RJ better step it up!

02 July 2012

Strong winds and heavy rain pounded the Lowcountry last night leaving many without power due to uprooted trees taking down power lines. Upon arriving at work today we were delighted to see GV and RJ sitting on the nest which didn’t sustain damage. We did notice GV fly from one side of the platform to the other this morning so these two might make up their minds to fledging soon.