The last egg to hatch in Kielder Forest this year was on Nest 3, early on 4 June. Although the weather that day was fine, since then the prolonged spells of rain on several days have made life difficult for parents with very young chicks.
So it was a huge relief to see a healthy chick 3 on Nest 3 when recent footage was downloaded. The last recorded clips with a view of the chicks was last night, only two chicks visible in this screengrab.
Analysing the footage over the past few days provides more evidence that experience aids the survival of chicks. On a wet day, 8 June, there was part of a fish on the nest in case there was a chance for the chicks to eat.
Later they did, and tiny chick 3 received morsels.
The next day, the chicks benefited from an early 8 minute feed. Here are a few seconds, Press HD for best quality.
That evening chick 3 was begging strongly in a later feed.
Yesterday it was wet in the morning, but rather better later in the day.
The limited insight into Nest 3 has shown that the adults are provisioning their young well. Given the poor weather this last week, that has been so important for chick 3. Who endured some unwanted attention from chick 1 on 9 June. Chick 2 had already been subdued.
Most years there is seldom any footage showing aggresssion on Nest 3, probably a sign of limited feeding opportunities this year for hungry chicks.
Why has Nest 3 fared better than Nest 4 this last week? Probably because 2 extra years of experience have helped the Nest 3 pair provide enough food to their chicks.
This paper about Rhode Island ospreys provides recent evidence of the gains from experience. Plus much more of interest.