07 May 2013

In the photo below you can see the "crop" on JB, chick standing up.

Ospreys are diurnal raptors (active in the daytime), and all raptors of this type have a special organ called a crop, which is a swelling at the base of the esophagus that forms a storage area where food can be held for later digestion. When the chick's crop develops over the next couple weeks, it will look like a small bulging protrusion on the chick's chest, and its presence will make life easier for the whole family. For the chick, the crop means the little bird can quickly swallow food that its siblings might want, and for the adults it means the chick can go longer between feedings.

Besides storing food for later consumption, the crop also stores indigestible material -- like bones and scales. These unusable fish pieces are captured in the crop and eventually molded into pellets that are later regurgitated.

Information from Dennis Puleston Osprey Cam Message Board.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Glad to see that 'stick' has been moved out of the bowl of the nest.