The nestcams often show empty nests now as the juveniles become increasingly independent and explore areas outside the immediate nest sites. Food is the main reason for a return to the nest but although deliveries still come in the youngsters sometimes take the catch away. Mrs 37 and Mrs YA are also being supplied by the males. If they are catching their own fish too there is no evidence of it but there may be an odd sneaky snack elsewhere!
On both nests the juveniles can cope with thrashing fish. Once into the body they tear off large chunks which are often not swallowed but left for an adult or sibling to clean up. But sometimes they down big mouthfuls.
Occasionally another fish is delivered soon after the first – this cuts down the long wait for the juvenile that didn’t get in fast enough initially!
If it is several hours since a meal the youngsters will eat for up to an hour or just over before ceding possession. More usually they take 20-30 minutes before allowing their sibling a share.
It probably won’t be long before the females start their migration. Typically Mrs 37 isn’t seen once the young have been flying between two and three weeks. On Monday she spent quite a long time on the nest, just standing and preening now and then. Maybe this will be one of the last views of her this year.
She has had quite a tough year, with the early intrusion resulting in one egg being kicked out of the nest cup and one chick dying very young. The level of intrusion over the season has been high and as ospreys have started heading south from Scotland we should see even more. On 6 August Nest 2 was subject to a prolonged – 36 minutes – incursion by an unringed female who from markings could be the one who trampled on the eggs in May. This video shows a random minute of each of the juveniles enduring repeated strafing.
Peace was restored when Mrs 37 returned and flew after the intruder.
On 7 August a (possibly male) Scottish intruder landed on Nest 2 however the ring number was too blurry to read.
Nest 1 is also experiencing intrusion regularly. Blue 69 and Blue BV landed almost simultaneously on 7 August.
On 10 August a ‘new to Kielder’ Scottish bird pinched a fish draped over the edge of the nest awaiting a juvenile!
And a different Scot also made a brief touchdown on 8 August.
We’ve sent images of the rings to Roy Dennis so hope to receive some information about the origin of these ospreys.