Feed courtesy of Grand Lake resident Kent Roorda
JULY 10 UPDATE: Hello, Osprey Friends. A number of people have expressed to me that they feel that there are only two chicks in the nest. I can assure you that there are three, and all are doing well. Likewise, Father Osprey has been bringing a good supply of fish to his family. As you may recall, the chicks hatched over a one-week period. Therefore, the first hatched chick is one week older than the last hatched chick. Each week, the chicks nearly double in size, so the oldest chick can easily be twice as large as the youngest chick. Unlike eagles, ospreys neither kill or cannibalize each other. Generally, if an osprey chick dies, it is because there is not enough fish available to feed all the chicks. But, with my ospreys, there has been a sufficient supply of fish. The coming days and weeks will be filled with rapid growth and maturation. You will be amazed how fast the little ones grow!As always, I appreciate your participation and enthusiasm. Kent
JUNE 25 UPDATE: Good Morning Osprey Watchers. One of our fellow watchers, Norm, who is in Florida, just let me know that the third egg is now hatching. All three eggs have hatched in the same order and frequency that they were laid, so everything is on track. Dad has been bringing plenty of fish to the nest, so that will help insure the survival and success of the chicks. Do remember, the first chick to hatch is nearly one week older than the last to hatch, which is a lot, so the youngest chick will have to work even harder to keep up and compete with the oldest chick. In past years, a few watchers have worried that the youngest chick would not make it. However, the youngest chick has always pulled through and kept up with it’s older siblings. In the days to come, you will see the chicks grow very quickly. While they are young, the coloring on their wings is camouflaged, which is an aid for their protection from predators. In about two months, they will be mature enough to start flying.
JUNE 23 UPDATE: As usual, Dad is in the nest to watch with pride the hatching of the second chick. The first chick is in front and the second chick is in back of the unhatched egg. The second chick is emerging at this very moment. Let’s wish it and all of them very successful lives!
JUNE 21 UPDATE: Mom welcomed the chick into the world.
JUNE 20 UPDATE: Mom is definitely interested in what is going on within the hole in the egg. I can also see the chick moving around inside the egg. As we’ve seen in previous years, it is quite a feat for the chick(s) to get out of the egg. Likewise, Mom does not help get the chick out. It is entirely up to the chick. The first few weeks of life for these chicks (and all birds) is extremely difficult and challenging. With the Ospreys, all the chicks generally survive as long as Dad can catch enough fish for everyone. With Eagles and a few other birds of prey, the oldest and strongest chick often kills and then throws the younger siblings out of the nest. This is nature’s way of insuring the survival of at least one of the chicks. In previous years, I have not seen the older Osprey chicks attack the younger chicks. However, we have seen the younger and weaker chicks as they have had to compete with the older chick(s) for food. When Mom feeds the fish, it is normally up to the chick(s) to go to her for food. Mom does not normally take food to the chicks. This reminds us that what we are watching is completely natural. If there is a death, or something else fails, it is part of the natural event. Not only does this opportunity provide us with a very close look into the lives of the Ospreys, but I hope that it will give all of you an appreciation for all that these animals must go through in order to thrive, procreate, and succeed.
JUNE 14 UPDATE: Dear Osprey Watchers and Friends, I am writing to you because it is time to start watching the nest more closely. If things are on their usual schedule, we should start seeing the eggs hatch in the next few days. Remember, they hatch in the same order that they were laid. This year, the three eggs were laid about every other day.
Dad has been taking great care of Mom, as she has been sitting on the eggs. He has also been sitting on the eggs quite a bit himself. Take Care and Stay Safe. My Best to All of You, Kent
MAY 20 UPDATE: My friend Steve, who is actually on the east coast, has let me know that we now have a third egg! I have never had more than three eggs in the nest, and three has been the average, but that’s not to say that there can’t be more. Therefore, let’s keep a close eye on the nest and on Mom as she takes care of her eggs. I’ve observed Dad making many trips to the lake to get fish for Mom, so he is doing his job well. Remember, the average gestation of the eggs is around 34 days. Likewise, the eggs hatch in the same order that they were laid. I very much appreciate everyone’s participation in this exciting, interesting and educational opportunity. My Best To All Of You, Kent Roorda
MAY 17 UPDATE: We have a second egg!
MAY 14 UPDATE: Our fellow osprey watcher, Terri, spotted the first laid egg this morning. Yah, Terri! The ospreys normally lay 1-3 eggs. Each egg is laid 2-3 days after the previous egg. Likewise, when the eggs hatch, they hatch in the same order that they were laid. Therefore, the first chick to hatch can be up to a week older than the last one to hatch. Therefore, the youngest chick has to compete with the oldest chick to get food from mom. Normally, the eggs need to incubate for around 34 days. During that time, mom sits on the egg(s) the majority of the time. However, if she needs to take a break and get some exercise, she will call Dad, who resides in a nearby tree, and he will come to the nest and sit on the egg(s) while Mom takes a break. Our osprey was late in laying her egg(s) this year. In past years, she has laid her eggs by May 5. We’ve had some up-and-down weather in the past week, and I wonder if that may have delayed the laying. Now, we need to see how many (total) eggs she will lay. So, keep watching. Thanks for all your input and participation. My Best, Kent