We held off in posting an update on our 2014 clutch because we wanted to be sure that the third chick was going to make it. Unfortunately, he did not. I went to Blackwater NWR today and watched the monitor and also talked to our helpful volunteers who work right by the cam monitor throughout the day. They reported that the third chick looked very weak from the start, and they hadn’t seen him in over a day. I did not see him during the time that I was watching, but I did see the other two chicks looking very active and alert.
So it looks like we have a two-chick clutch for the 2014 season. If these are the same parents from last year, then they aren’t very old and it wouldn’t be uncommon for them to produce a third chick that didn’t make it. Although we’re sad to see the youngest go, it’s more merciful if he didn’t linger too long in the nest, with his much stronger siblings making his life difficult.
Speaking of the siblings, even though they’re only a few days old, they’re already pecking at each other and trying to gain an advantage, as you can see in the video below. In addition to the chicks going at it, you’ll also see the parents were involved in a “fight” of sorts. Look carefully at the :44 mark, and you’ll see what appears to be the father go zooming by and then circle back to land on the cam arm. We’re not sure what they were chasing, but I do know there was a bald eagle perched in the stand of trees to the left of the cam nest (our left), and the osprey parents might have been reacting to him if he flew out of the trees. Also, when you see the camera shake during the video, it’s because the father has landed on the camera arm above the nest. If you look in the photo I posted on this page, you can see him perched there. He likes to hang out in that spot when the mother is on the nest with the young.
For those keeping score, here is the update:
Thanks to those sending in their photos of the chicks. We’ll have a gallery update soon.