Feathers, fish and intruders

A post earlier in the week included a video of Mrs 37 flapping her wings and dislodging a feather. Today she stepped off the eggs and managed to get a stick entangled in her tail. In the resulting efforts to shake it off there were clear signs of further moulting. The image below shows she has lost P6 (the sixth primary of ten, counting from the outermost feather inwards) on her right wing and a new feather is growing.

P6 on the right wing is re-growing (c) Forestry Commission England

P6 on the right wing is re-growing
(c) Forestry Commission England

In the next image you can see the identical regrowth of P6 on her left wing.

P6 on the left wing is about to go! (c) Forestry Commission England

P6 on the left wing is also re-growing
(c) Forestry Commission England

Paul describes the process: Wing moult in ospreys proceeds in “waves” with a pair of feathers (ie the same feather on each wing) being shed in sequence. The sequence is different for each group of flight feathers (primaries, inner and outer secondaries, etc). This is done so that there are never any large gaps in the aerofoil wing structure – even though it takes more time to grow long feathers than short ones. Because ospreys are a large bird, it takes more than two years (possibly three) for all the feathers to be changed.

The weather has improved since Tuesday but there have been showers most days and the temperature is never above the low teens. The ospreys are quick to return to the eggs after a comfort break or when incubation duty is swopped. Fishing won’t always have been easy but during the 09.00-18.00 streaming 37 has brought in two fish on a couple of days .

Mrs 37 leaves with a fish as 37 cleans his beak (c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs 37 leaves with a fish as 37 cleans his beak before incubating
(c) Forestry Commission England

On Nest 1 YA appears to have been less successful but it may be simply that he is delivering earlier and later catches. Mrs YA wasn’t interested on the first two occasions he brought a partly eaten trout to the nest late this morning.

YA has a fish but Mrs YA doesn't budge (c) Forestry Commission England

YA has a fish but Mrs YA doesn’t budge
(c) Forestry Commission England

There have been a few intrusions, most unseen but identified by mantling by the incubating osprey.

Mrs 37 mantles, probably at an osprey (c) Forestry Commission England

Mrs 37 mantles, probably at an osprey
(c) Forestry Commission England

On Nest 1 YA was incubating when an unringed osprey made a very brief landing on the nest edge.

A quick touch down then away (C) Forestry Commission England

A quick touch down then away
(C) Forestry Commission England

 

 

This entry was posted in Osprey updates, UK and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Feathers, fish and intruders

  1. Mike says:

    Thank you Jaydee.

  2. Cirrus says:

    after LG I just can’t take intruding ospreys. may this nest stay secure

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