31 March 2015

With the daily task of incubating the three eggs by Bea and Jasper there is little action on the nest. Our resident ospreys have about 2 - 3 weeks until we can expect the first chick to arrive. In the meantime I thought I'd report on a few nests with a few snippets from each site.

At Loch of the Lowes their resident male returned Sunday, March 23.
Since his arrival in the early hours of Sunday, our resident male osprey has been busy organising his nest for the coming season. He immediately got to work, displaying some interesting cleaning techniques by using his body and splayed wings to flatten the growing grass tufts in the centre! It is possible for a female to reject a nest if it is deemed untidy enough upon her arrival, so this is a very important behaviour to witness.
On Sunday afternoon, the male treated spectators to a wonderful sight of himself returning from a successful fishing trip with a large pike grasped firmly in his talons. After returning safely from his arduous migration it’s a relief to see him demonstrating his great condition and hunting capabilities.
All of the staff and volunteers are holding their breath and watching the skies waiting for the first glimpse of another osprey arriving at Loch of the Lowes. So far, there has been very little in the way of other osprey visitors, although the reported bad weather in Europe appears to be delaying many ospreys on their migration back to the UK. Whilst patiently waiting for a mate, our male has been working very hard on the nest over the weekend – adding large sticks to the edges and improving the nest cup lining with extra clumps of soft moss. Last year our veteran resident female “Lady” returned on the 31st March at 6.49am, so will tomorrow be the day? Only time will tell…

Over at Black Water Refuge they have a pair that recently arrived.
An osprey on the nest that looks like a female. Once the pair has arrived and are fully rested, we'll expect them to begin replacing the sticks in the box that either blew out or were removed by other birds, like our eagles.

At the Rutland Osprey site they had three ospreys in their bay.
The excitement began at about 10:00… I was in the wonderful Waderscrape hide, opening up for the day, when a high-pitched call broke the silence of the empty Bay. It was 28(10) flying in, carrying a fish and being chased by gulls!

At the Chesapeake Conservancy  their pair has returned.Good morning from the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland and welcome to Season Three of Tom and Audrey!  The Chesapeake's favorite osprey couple, Tom and Audrey, have returned from their long winter in South America and have arrived at the new platform! All over the country, and here in Maryland, winter just wouldn’t give up this season.  In the words of Yogi Berra, it was déjà vu all over again with our pole and platform.  Unlike last winter when the pole was merely bent to the point we needed to replace it, this year the entire pole and platform succumbed to the ice and wind.  After bending precariously, then being spun around in all different directions by the elements, our brand new pole and platform that were just installed last season were reduced to kindling and scrap metal.

24 March 2015

We're now 22 days out from the first egg being laid. Just the daily exchange of duties at the nest. The other osprey that had been pestering Bea and Jasper hasn't been seen in a while, so maybe it has found its own site.

17 March 2015

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to everyone! 

Not much action on the nest. Today marks the 15th day since the first egg was laid. The pair continue trading places incubating the three eggs. This past week has been gorgeous in our area with sunny days and temperatures in the 70s - 80s. Wednesday we should see a change with lower temperatures and several days of rain.

12 March 2015

The last and third egg was laid either March 7th or 8th. Every season since Bea and Jasper have occupied the platform the pair has had three eggs per clutch. 

Jasper continues to improve the nest with both sharing incubating duties. With an incubation time frame of 5 to 6 weeks we are looking around the week of April 6 for the first chick to appear. The third chick will be at a distinct disadvantage if it hatches 6 days or so after the first chick.

Because incubation starts when the first egg is laid, the eggs hatch asynchronously in the order in which they were laid. Chicks that hatch first are larger and have a competitive advantage over those that are hatch later. If food becomes scarce, the smaller chicks are less successful in competing for food, and often die. This decrease in the number of chicks in the nest makes food more available to the surviving chicks, and increases their likelihood of survival. This process, common in raptors, is called brood reduction.

09 March 2015

Bea and Jasper now have three eggs. The third egg was laid Saturday or Sunday. Since we installed the camera we have always had a clutch of three eggs.

05 March 2015

The host provider now has the osprey cam on our site. Thanks for your patience!!
 Bea laid her second egg at 9:53 this morning.  :)

Bea and Jasper still have the first egg. Between another osprey attempting to land on the platform and black birds ever present, the pair have been busy chasing away intruders. Last year we had a black bird poke a hole in one of the eggs while Bea was chasing away an intruder osprey.

04 March 2015

As of 7:28 this morning we still have one egg.

03 March 2015

We have our first egg of the season. We're not sure if it was laid last night or this morning. We apologize for not having the cam back in service. Hope to have that soon as our host provider is still working on that.

02 March 2015

With the osprey cam images still not functioning on our website, I thought an update was in order. Not sure when our host provider will correct that for us. 

Bea and Jasper have been busy with nest repairs since their arrival. The nest has taken shape nicely. They have mated often and Jasper continues to bring her fish. 

The red wing black birds presence are giving Bea a fit at times, but she dispatches them soon enough.  Maybe in the next few weeks we could see a clutch of eggs. Will keep everyone posted.