Nest 2 : ringing the chicks

There was little wind and a mix of sun and cloud as a small band of people trooped across rough ground towards the tall tree containing Nest 2. The female was aware of possible ‘predators’ very early on and flew around, alarming, drawing the male in – who had a fish in his talons! He circled with it for some time as the pair were joined by one, then two, more ospreys who obviously wanted to see what the noise was about. Eventually they all gave up and went further away, but the parents would have been observing from a tree.

The wing span at just over six weeks old is already impressive.
(c) Joanna Dailey

As with Nest 1, a licensed Ranger climbed the tree and lowered the chicks to the ground one by one. The first to be weighed and ringed was a little more feisty than is usual, but soon calmed down. At 1950g she is almost certainly a female, even larger than the chick from Nest 1 who had the advantage of no competition for food from an early age. Her feather development has a way to go, but the beautiful buff edged brown feathers on the back of her wings and body looked in good condition. She was given blue ring 1H. Next up was a slightly smaller bird; with a weight of 1500g, and with much thinner legs, the Kielder ornithologist could be be fairly sure that chick is a male. He too seems healthy. He was ringed with a blue 2H.

Watch out, fish!
(c) Joanna Dailey

His sister had been keeping fairly still whilst her brother was examined, then the pair had a photo call. The opportunity to see such stunning birds close to, with the deep orange eyes, already lethal looking talons, and lovely, soft feathers was an absolute privilege. All too soon, but no doubt not soon enough for them, it was time to go back to their moss filled eyrie and forget all about the indignity of being tipped upside down to be weighed! The Ranger reported they settled back down into the nest before he descended. As the ringing party left the area an adult, almost certainly the female, could be seen circling again. Within an hour the male had been to the nest with that earlier fish, and the chicks were tucking in with their usual gusto before mum finished the leftovers. Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

The deep orange eyes will turn pale yellow as the bird matures.
(c) Joanna Dailey

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5 Responses to Nest 2 : ringing the chicks

  1. vivinfrance says:

    What a wonderful experience.

    • joannadailey says:

      It really was something that will stay with me for ever. It just reinforced what fantastic birds they are, and I have been lucky enough to witness ringing of other raptors.

  2. A lovely write up Joanna, great pictures as well. Interesting heres another example of extra Ospreys – hope this means an increase for next year’s breeding stock. The footage on the local TV news was very good too. Great to get such exposure for these wonderful birds.

  3. thehutts says:

    Is the TV footage available on the internet? We have no access to a telly at the moment.

    • joannadailey says:

      Unlike the BBC’s Look North, Tyne Tees regional news programmes don’t seem to be available via their catch up TV player. A shame!

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