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.
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.
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.
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.