Osprey Story - Part Two

Progress on this topic is postponed for the time being - Nelson's property at Stone Harbor suffered considerable damage in Storm Sandy. Bob.

Nelson - these are notes and thoughts which might help us to prepare Part 2

Part 1 - dealt with nesting, chicks and feeding of chicks.
Part 2 - needs to cover development from chicks to adolescents, eventually leaving the nest and fending for themslves.

Your thoughts which I copied from your email were:-

I think it's a good idea. I need some time to sort thru many, many pictures and put them in better order. Have MANY you haven't seen, some of which are fairly good. Please give me an idea of what type of pictures you're looking for. In the midst of separating Nest-1 and 2 and ranking them. Also trying to separate them into categories such as:

- Best Chicks
- Best Adolescents
- Best Flying
- Best Landing/Taking off
- Best Eating
- Best in flight

Any suggestions? Didn't realize how many Osprey pictures I have taken!!!

I like your suggestions for categories as above but I think the overall focus should be on behaviour (comparison of two other birds with Homer hanging his head) and general development to fully fledged birds.

I have added below my notes from your various emails - some dates may be wrong - I was somewhat preoccupied with the bmp versus jpeg saga.

OSPREY DIARY - parts shown bold are I suggest key elements for Part 2.

29/06/2012 - Took the first picture yesterday of an Osprey taking off from it's nest, just getting her wings started. Reminded me of a swimmer doing the butterfly stroke. Note the nest (nest 3) in the lower right. That clump of brown, grey & white fur is one of two chicks, about 1 or 2 weeks old (Osprey 3a). The other picture is an Osprey in flight that I took today (Osprey 3b).

05/ 08/12 - Nest-1 chicks, taken this morning. Getting big!! One has a "bad hair day" (Osprey 3c)

13/08/12 - These are the 3 adolescents in Nest-1. They were left alone on the nest by Mom and Dad…who were close by. (Osprey 3d). They are ready to fly. This one tested out it's wings. Flapped like crazy and rose about 12 inches above the nest (Osprey 3e) then floated back down to the nest (Osprey 3f). The other two watched with interest. A few minutes later a second adolescent gave it's wings a try, but didn't get airborne. They will be flying by the end of the week.

16/08/12 - Visited Nest-1 this morning (by boat, of course). Adolescent Ospreys are almost as large as the adult. Adult on the left, adolescents on the right. Note the difference in eye color. (Osprey 24a). We were able to get within 20 feet of the nest. As we approached the adult took flight. (Osprey 24b). Once they were alone one of the adolescents tested it's wings….but never left the nest. (Osprey 24c). The 3 waited on the nest for the adult to return…..that's the adult in the upper right background. (Osprey 24d).

17/08/12 - Todays pictures are all about Nest-1, and is in two parts.

Part 1 - Below is Nest-1. The adult is on the left perch and the three adolescents ors to the right. Note differences between the adult and adolescents' eye color and plumage. We nosed the boat into the bank about 20 feet from the nest. As we got close the adult took flight. (Osprey 25a). About 5 minutes later the adolescent on the right perch took off. Yesterday NONE of the adolescents were flying! (Osprey 25b).
A few minutes later the second adolescent took flight leaving the third alone in the nest. The third adolescent never moved from it's spot the whole time we were there……to be continued! (Osprey 25c).

Part 2 - The two adolescents flew around the area for about ten minutes, never far from the nest . The third adolescent remained in the nest alone. The adult was nowhere to be seen. We imagine it was hunting fish. As I mentioned in earlier photos, it takes about 6 pounds of fish per day to feed the nest. Soon after the first adolescent returned to the nest – (Osprey 25d)…..the second one made it's landing under the watchful eyes of it's siblings (Osprey 25e) The three were now reunited. The two "flying" adolescents were soooo happy (Osprey 25f) …..they gave each other a kiss!!!…..End of story! (Osprey 25g).

17/08/12 - Nest -1 adolescents began flying yesterday afternoon or early today. We were out there 9am today (see Nest-1 Part 1 & 2 emails).

Below is info I got off the New Jersey "Osprey Project" website:

By this time all osprey young that were produced this year should have fledged. Over the past month, young have been learning the skills they need to successfully catch fish, while still relying on their parents for food (if needed). In the
next couple weeks they will begin their migration south by dispersing locally at first. More will head south when cold fronts push through with winds from the NW. They follow land masses down through the Florida panhandle to Cuba, then Hispaniola and south to Colombia and Venezuela, where large concentrations of ospreys spend their winters. Young from this year will remain there for the next two winters. Adults will begin to migrate south in September. Their migration peaks in October.

17/08/12 - Nest-1 has 3 adolescents, shown below. Two of them have been flying
for about a week. The third, who I'll call Homer, has not flown as > yet. You can tell Homer in several ways. Homer is the smallest sibling; he has a habit of twisting his head by moving his neck back and forth; he holds his head down a lot like he's ashamed of himself.

Ospreys 27,28,29).

19/08/12 - This is a picture of an adolescent trying out it's wings. Adult on right another adolescent on perch. Note eye colors. I have a short video of this which is posted on… https://www.facebook.com/njospreyproject. Video was too big to Email. I also have other Osprey pictures posted on this website. Nelson. (Osprey 30).

20/0812 - Homer on nest - alone, still not flying - to be continued. (Osprey 31).

21/08/12 - Went to Nest-1 today and found mom, perch on right, Homer, second from
right, and the two other siblings.

29/8/12 update - Went to Nest-1 on 8/24 and 25. Have another chapter to write on the "Homer" story, but felt I may be boring you with too much about him. He was NOT flying on those two visits….just sat in the nest despite my getting close (20 feet) and yelling while tooting the boat horn.

Anyway, on this morning's visit….7am….Homer was alive, well and flying. In fact he had caught breakfast (wouldn't share with me). I watched him for 20 minutes while he enjoyed his meal.

31/8/12 - Found these Yellow-crowned Night Herons yesterday on the way to Nest-1. As I approached, an Osprey from an adjacent piling took off close to the Herons.

01/9/12 - As I approached these Yellow-Crowned Night Herons an Osprey flew off a nearby piling going very close to them. They never moved. 4118, 4127, 4128, 4133.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License