Are We Feeling Better Now?

Happy last day of June! As you probably know by now, the naming contest was a success. Thanks to the 500 viewers who voted, the chicks finally have names! The oldest now goes by “Breezy” and the youngest is named “Spitz,” after Dr. Spitzer. Many of you seem to have been concerned about Spitz not getting enough food. The Crazy Osprey Family and the Conservancy assured you not to worry and let nature take its course. As we can all see, Spitz is thriving and appears to be well fed.  So we hope all of the camera watchers are feeling better now.

A lot of our viewers have posted questions on the Conservancy’s Facebook page. This seems to be a good time to address some of your questions and concerns:

What happened to the third egg?

No one in my family witnessed the removal of the last egg, as we were out of town on the day in question. This is an account sent to the Conservancy from a camera viewer.  WARNING:  THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE IN ITALICS IS RATHER GRAPHIC-PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK

Here’s what I just witnessed. I saw what was happening to the old egg. Audrey was calling loudly for food and finally got off the chicks. All calling for food. Chick #1 had his foot caught in the broken shell. Audrey went flying off but quickly came back with a small piece of fish which she mostly ate. She then went to the broken egg, picked it up and brought it to the side of the nest. I thought she was going to throw it into the water. However, what happened is she started eating what was inside. First it looked like gooey, sticky stuff (excuse my bad terminology). Then a small little chick was drawn out which she tried to eat. It was well developed with head, wings etc. Tried giving bits to the youngsters. It must have been hard to chew or she did not like it as it stayed pretty much whole. Finally, it dropped down far into the outer nest or water after several attempts of eating, dropping and feeding. She really did not like it when the chicks went to eat some.

 

When Tom wasn’t bringing many fish back to the nest, were there any eagles in the area?

Some of you have raised concern that the reason behind the lack of fish being brought back to the nest was related to eagles competing for the same food source. Although we do see eagles occasionally, we have not seen enough eagles to be a problem.

 

Tom on the camera

Tom on the camera

Where does Tom go when he is not at the nest?

Tom goes many places when he is not on the nest. He enjoys eating on our boatlift or on the electric box near the end of the dock. We also see him on neighbors’ docks and trees to the north and south of us. Sometimes he is standing on the camera, just out of your view.

Tom on our boat lift.

Tom on our boat lift.

 

One of Tom's favorite hang-outs.  He will frequently eat his fish from this electric box at the end of our dock

One of Tom’s favorite hang-outs. He will frequently eat his fish from this electric box at the end of our dock

 

Why is Audrey so vocal at times?

Most of the cries that we hear are food begging calls. We also hear defensive calls if there are other osprey in the area. If anyone goes onto our dock, Tom and Audrey let us know that they are not happy. Around 3 pm on Sunday, the ospreys were on high alert because our neighbor had his family visiting. There were a lot of children and adults on the dock and in the water making more noise than usual. Tom, Audrey and the chicks were all bothered by the visitors and were especially noisy. A couple mornings ago, an interloper landed on the nest and Tom immediately flew over and chased him off. There was a lot of osprey noise from Tom and Audrey while this was happening.

 

Tom on our neighbhor's boat. Looks like he has been here before.

Tom on our neighbhor’s boat. Looks like he has been here before.

Which osprey eats first?

It is crucial that Tom eats first. He is the sole provider for the nest and needs the most strength to continue to hunt for fish. This is why we frequently see half eaten fish being returned to the nest; Tom has already eaten his portion. Next to eat is Audrey. Without her, there is no one to protect the babies and the nest. The remainder of the fish goes to the chicks, Breezy and Spitz. It might appear that Breezy gets more food than Spitz, but it is common that the older and therefore biggest chick eats first. This should not raise any distress among our viewers. Yes, it is hard to watch, but that is nature. Breezy had been the bigger and the stronger of the two, so he was more capable of boxing little Spitz out of the way. But don’t worry; Spitz appears to be doing just fine and is catching up in size to Breezy. Over the past couple of weeks, we know that a lot of our viewers wanted us to get food to Spitz. The Conservancy and the Crazy Osprey Family have made a conscious decision not to intervene when nature is taking its course. Last year when Ozzie was caught in the fishing line, we decided to intervene because it was a man-made predicament, not something that would occur by itself in nature.

Remember to send your photos in for the Where in the World are Tom and Audrey contest. Here is our first winner:

 

Brites watching Tom and Audrey from Stayton, Oregon

Brites watching Tom and Audrey from Stayton, Oregon

Remember, you can click on each of the above photos to enlarge them.

 

Adios amigos, until next time,

Osprey Girl

18 thoughts on “Are We Feeling Better Now?

  1. Thank you for the updates and the interesting information about our Osprey Family. I guess there’s no information then on why Tom had an interruption in bringing fish for those few days, it was just so uncharacteristic of him, he’s such a good food provider normally. I’m really learning a lot about birds, I had no idea what “crop” meant when I read it a few times, so I looked it up…now I know it’s the pouch below their neck that stores food. A full crop is a good thing to have if you’re an osprey chick. And I always wondered what happened to the fish bones they eat apparently the parts that are indigestible form pellets that they regurgitate. The Osprey world is fascinating and we humans sure do get caught up in their lives and their little dramas. I can’t tell you how many times, I shout at the screen for Spitz or Breezy to move away from the edge! Thank you again for this opportunity to see how another species of family handles life and everything it tosses at them. (Lillie of Lombardhardware)

  2. Glad of your answers, thanks. Nice to know the feeding order–figured Tom needed it first, especially after viewing a video of Osprey fishing. At what age are you able to tell the sexes of the chicks?

  3. I am thoroughly enjoying watch this precious Osprey family deal with Mother nature on a daily basis. THANK YOU SO MUCH I love hearing them chirp on my computer from all over the house. Nice part is I have birds with no mess! However, I, like everyone else, worry about food distribution. Just saw Spitz get the majority of the fish for a change. Breezy stayed back for a while. As you said, relax, it all equals out in the end. Also just saw the shadow of another bird circling the nest. They have been very vocal this afternoon as a result. Love the names!

  4. Just three words for your latest entry:
    EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT!
    Oops… five words:
    THANK YOU!

  5. What in the world was going on earlier today? Was an intruder trying to land in the nest?

    • Yes ( :
      Didn’t see anything but the shadows but it circled several times before being chased off by the protecting parents.

  6. I think Tom and Audrey are watching fireworks, it’s 9:30 pm, they are both perched on nest and I keep seeing light flashes reflecting in the water. So neat!!

    • I do hope it doesn’t frighten them as much as it does the water fowl on my lake!! Perhaps they are accustomed to it but certainly not the eaglets.) : Anyone have information about that ? Hope everyone had a great 4th!

  7. As others have said, “Thank you.” I have come to appreciate the advantage of the “little ones” being at different stages of development as I watch those huge wing stretches and flapping; two at the same time might not work so well at least at this point when they are still slightly unsteady.

  8. Absolutely amazing how the babies wing span has “matured” (the only word I can think of), from those little appendages. I have learn so much by watching the Ospray Family and reading your blog. Thank you so, so much for the learning experence.

    Thanks again
    Sharon

    • We are very glad you have been learning so much, Sharon! Stay tuned for more fun as the chicks learn to fly. Thanks for reading our blog and watching the camera. Mrs. COM

  9. Great to see the time for Ospreys return. I purchased a 70 inch Vizo tv and with chromecast I will have a great time watching the 2015 antics It looks like time is running out to get the perch in the air.

      • Mrs COM it is really nice to see one bird in the new nest.You and COM really do a great JOB. I will be with you all this year and many more as long as I am in this great world with all these great things.

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