By Olwen Jarvis
Photo credits Bill Jarvis.
I have been monitoring the Osprey nest many times each day. For several days, the female stayed low on the nest with the male bringing in food. Occasionally, the female left the nest for a very short period during which the male stood guard. Now for 4 days the female is standing over the nest and today, May 13th, I watched as she spread her wings over the nest in the protective way of shielding the nestling from the direct sun. At this time, we don't know how many eggs are in the nest. As of this date, I have not seen a head or heads of nestlings.
Ospreys are raptors and have been around for millions of years. They are found on every continent except Antarctica. A usual clutch will be 1 to 3 eggs, with incubation lasting 36 to 42 days. When the egg(s) hatch, the babies are covered with soft down and their eyes are open. It is usual for the nestlings to remain in the nest for three to four weeks, being fed by both parents. Predation can occur and the culprits are Great blue herons, raccoons and sometimes a Bald eagle. I doubt raccoons could get out to the nest!
On Sunday May 14th, we saw a tiny head appear in the nest. One bird was feeding the fledgling by tearing pieces of flesh of what I presume to have been a fish. the female is standing now, no longer sitting down in the nest. The photo shows the small head to the right of the adult.