Development

Last week, until the weekend,  it was wet every day at some point. Then we had several days of hot and sunny weather. In rain or heat chicks tend not to do much – shelter, feed, sleep and preen sums it up. But there has been plenty of development over the period.

On Nest 1A, the chicks are the most advanced of the 4 nests. Chick 3 is probably from the 4th egg to hatch, given marked size difference to its siblings. All the chicks now look like young ospreys as their feathers grow.

chick 2’s amber eyes contrast with Mrs YA/s pale yellow ones
(c) Forestry Commission England

chick 2’s wing stretch
(c) Forestry Commission England

In the image above chick 2’s primary wing feathers are emerging from their protective sheaths. When the chicks preen, they will break off pieces of the sheath, easier in dry weather as the sheaths are more brittle.

YA is providing between 2 and 4 fish during the 12 hour nestcam coverage. Feeds are orderly, with chicks tending to rotate so that often 2 are feeding and 1 is ‘resting’! Little sibling aggression has been seen – this is one incident, started by chick 3 pecking chick 1. Press HD for best quality on all clips.

Chick 1 was restrained in response. Usually, the dominant chick will ‘peck home’ the point!

The chicks fiddle with nest material.

chick 1 moves a stick
(c) Forestry Commission England

They have started to flap their wings. Chick 1 is the only chick who can stand and exercise for several seconds without tumbling.

Chick 1 is also the only one able to walk a few steps without falling. And it can eat standing up.

chick 1 stands to feed
(c) Forestry Commission England

The chicks on Nest 2 are about 5 days behind Nest 1A. Chick 1 started some experimental wing flapping on 16 May.

chick 1 tries a flap
(c) Forestry Commission England

It has improved a bit since then, and can take a few steps.

37 usually brings 2-3 fish to the nest and provides a slightly more varied diet, with perch and roach being seen in the last few days. The chicks often eat separately.

chick 2 stares intently at the world beyond
(c) Forestry Commission England

On Nest 4, 69 also brings the occasional river fish. But, despite a blurry image, it looked like a Rainbow Trout that flipped over the nest edge during handover to Mrs 69.

a lively fish goes over the edge
(c) Forestry Commission England

69 flew off and replaced the lost meal within an hour. Nest 4 is about a week behind Nest 2, so the chicks are just leaving the reptilian stage. Chick 2 looked quite weak for some time in the rainy spell, but has plumped up, literally!

69 watches as chick 2 starts to feel a bit full
(c) Forestry Commission England

The chicks are becoming more mobile.

Chick 2 looked more like an osprey yesterday.

chick 1 has changed colour overnight
(c) Forestry Commission England

There is most aggression on this nest, doubtless a reaction to limited feeding opportunities during the wet weather and Mrs 69’s tendency to stop feeding despite the chicks still begging. 69 is more likely to feed the chicks until they are sated.

one of many acts of sibling aggression on Nest 4
(c) Forestry Commission England

More intrusions are evident on Nest 4 than the others. Frustratingly, an English or Welsh osprey flew quite close to the nest – but not near enough for the ring to be readable.

an English or Welsh osprey flies by
(c) Forestry Commission England

This entry was posted in Nest 4, Osprey updates and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Development

  1. Vic says:

    Excellent comprehensive update, must have taken a long time to put that together. Thanks Jo

  2. Terry Stock says:

    Thank you for the updates. Thank you to everyone I met & spoke to when I visited Kielder on 18th & 19th June. I loved the Osprey Cruise. I had such a good time:)

    • joannadailey says:

      Thanks, Terry. Your osprey companion was much admired! I’ll let the team know you enjoyed your visit.

  3. Jo says:

    What super pics and videos – thank you Forestry Commission ….. and you too Joanna for a brilliant update …… and my – how they’ve come on …….!

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