A bad day

Unfortunately the elder of the two remaining chicks on Nest 1 has died. Although it seemed fine in the early part of the afternoon on Thursday, shortly before streaming stopped it had become lethargic. By the time the nestcam came on on Friday it was dead.

Mrs YA feeds the remaining chick (c) Forestry Commission

Mrs YA feeds the remaining chick
(c) Forestry Commission

It is more usual for the most vulnerable chick – almost always the last to hatch – to suffer if there is a lack of food or bad weather. Although there have been a couple of wet days at Kielder recently food supply has been good. It appears more likely that the chicks had an infection or other health issue. We will never know the cause but it is very sad.


A later snack for the chick (c) Forestry Commission

A later snack for the chick
(c) Forestry Commission

The weather was wet although not cold on Friday and the rain cleared by late afternoon. With a drier spell promised we can only hope that the remaining chick doesn’t succumb to disease or adverse weather. It was alert today, begging for food and having a number of meals. Now that there is a nestcam some of Mrs YAs traits are becoming clearer. It is very likely that she is a first time mother. She stood off the chick and was even off the nest for several minutes at a time during the rain. When YA brought a fish in she ate herself – she appeared very hungry despite the regular fish supply- before moving a stick over the chick then finally feeding it! So perhaps her skills aren’t quite honed! But it should be stressed that the chick has been fed regularly and looks fine.

Just visible chicks to the left of Mrs 37

Just visible chicks to the left of Mrs 37

The other bit of bad news was the frequent loss of the camera streams on Friday afternoon. Maybe the weather was to blame. Nest 2 wasn’t visible much all day In the morning the rain drops covered most of the screen, in the afternoon access to the stream was worse than for Nest 1. Through the rain drops the chicks look more like ospreys every day.

Click on any image to enlarge it. A video of YA leaving a fish and Mrs YA feeding herself and the chick will be put on later.


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7 Responses to A bad day

  1. Chris Watts says:

    Very sad news, I do hope number 3 makes it through

  2. Elizabeth B says:

    Oh dear that’s so sad! I don’t want to be macabre, but what do they do with the bodies – push them off the nest?

    • joannadailey says:

      Normally the adults take the corpses off the nest fairly quickly. Last year when chick 3 died on Nest 2 Mrs 37 placed the body on the edge and 37 took it off. Sometimes it takes a couple of days. They don’t eat the dead young as happens with some birds eg owls.

  3. This is so sad. I read the post in my emails, but had to come and commiserate. Do I feel a poem coming on? I’ve written nothing for a week – we’re in the throes of moving house, but I keep in touch even if I don’t always comment.

    • joannadailey says:

      Hope the house move goes well, ViV. It really is sad re the chicks, never saw one of them alive and only a few hours of the second to die but it does affect me. An elegy germinating?

  4. Peter Ferns says:

    It is so unfortunate when this happens, It is not always the case that ospreys remove the young and don’t eat them. I have witnessed this on one occasion where the female had not eaten for a day so ate the chick which had died.

    • joannadailey says:

      In extremis, but not as happens often with owls and some other birds. We haven’t seen it in previous years at Kielder. The Nest 1 pair didn’t eat the second chick to die. Fish is in good supply, better than last year.

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