17 June 2014

There was a steady breeze at the top of the tower yesterday that may have assisted BK and CR in taking their flights. Strong winds can send a fledging osprey to take its first flight whether it wants to or not. The days are becoming more humid with occasional afternoon thunderstorms scattered about the Lowcountry, which is typical for this time of year. Both BK and CR seem content on staying on the platform, as of this post, which will continue to be their home for several more weeks.

Jasper continues to provide fish with Bea occasionally feeding both juveniles. The young ospreys will soon be working on their fishing skills which they will develop up to migration. It's been reported that siblings that fish together after fledging will develop their hunting skills faster than single juveniles, though once migration begins single juveniles demonstrate no difference in hunting ability. 

A few viewers have asked about the sex of the juveniles. Necklaces on young osprey can be deceiving as many chicks start out with one and lose it as they mature. Body size is another indicator, but as they continue to grow it is not definitive in determining sex.  Since we don't band the osprey on our tower we're not sure what sex the two young ospreys are.

We still have several more weeks of osprey viewing before the family moves on so keep watching and commenting.

16 June 2014

We had our first juvenile to fledge this morning at 7:05 a.m. Details to follow soon...

Update at 7:08 a.m.: It was BK that took flight early this morning and has been flying overhead quite often. For BK it was 57 days from hatching to fledging. Shortly after BK flew off the platform, CR came close to flying off as well, but stopped.
We don't think it will be too long before CR takes flight.

Update at 4:28 p.m.: Our second juvenile, CR, has fledged. It's landing on the platform was a bit wobbly, but it is a windy up there. 

More updates to come about our resident ospreys.

13 June 2014

Updated 16:09
Both BK and CR are getting a little wind under their wings this afternoon. Both juveniles have been flapping their wings and hopping about the nest.
 

As we watch and wait for BK and CR to both fledge, the juveniles continue to preen. Preening is very important as it maintains waterproofing of their feathers. An osprey has a large preen gland located on its back near the base of the tail feathers. This secretes an oily substance which the osprey coats its feathers with when grooming. Additionally, ospreys do not have an aftershaft, the small extra feather that is at the base of the larger feathers on most other birds. Its absence helps the osprey to lose water droplets after fishing. Keeping their feathers in tip top condition is one of the most important things for a young osprey to learn.

06 June 2014

 

The juveniles, BK and CR, are getting ready to fledge, their first flight leaving the nest. It has now been 48 & 47 days since BK and CR hatched, so it's possible they could fledge soon. Fledging usually happens after 53 - 55 days. Last year, the oldest chick KG didn't fledge until 60 days. The juveniles will stay dependent on their parents until they learn to fish for themselves.