As The Song Goes — It’s HOT HOT HOT!
With not much reprieve from the heat and humidity, I’m thankful our osprey chicks have fledged so they can cool off better while flying. This morning’s steady thundershower is certainly helping. Not sure what was up in the sky this morning, our chicks kept looking up for quite a while, thought it was cute. (the streaks is rain…) Mom Olivia doesn’t seem to care.
Both chicks are constantly in the air now, strengthening their wings and you can see just enjoying themselves! In addition, they are learning about the water that surrounds them. One of the chicks left the nest and circled around it going lower and lower to the water. He then landed on a rock under the nest.
He rested a bit, then flew up and around and around, eventually landing back down on a different rock underneath the nest. Mom Olivia and his sibling watched him and then she left the nest to go perch on the channel marker. It was going on low tide when the berm becomes visible and pools some of the tidal water. Our chick surveyed the water and then proceeded to step into the shallow pool. Here are a sequence of photos showing him going for a swim! After which he spread his wings and floated for a few minutes. You know that felt good with all this heat.
When he pulled up and out of the water from floating, our chick had difficulty getting airborne and had to land on another rock on the other side of the nest. He stayed on that rock for quite some time, opening and closing his wings. The distress calls he made were quite different than usual. Mom Olivia did not leave her perch on the channel marker.
However, our second chick who was up in the nest returned calls and seemed concerned for his sibling. I thought he was going to fall off the nest trying to see below!
Our chick eventually took flight and had no difficulty this time. He did go directly to the nest and land, but it wasn’t long before he was off again as well as the other chick.
Another observation I want to mention is the chicks are now doing some self-feeding while Olivia watches or there is no parent present on the nest. I’ve seen some sibling rivalry on each not sharing their piece if the other’s is gone.
Finally, if you are not a web visitor of Friends of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge’s site, check out their website (link to the right) and webcam of their osprey family with three chicks. Lisa, the webmaster, gives awesome information in their blog as well as facts, photos, videos, and more. (She even featured our OC family in her latest blog, I’m tickled, thank you Lisa!) Be sure to check out the nifty pop-up cam feature, it is fantastic! They have an eagle page as well which is most active when the osprey migrate. I have emailed Lisa this year with many Q&A’s and she has helped me learn and understand more about our OC osprey family. I’ve been wondering how to tell the gender of our chicks and Lisa has discussed this in detail in her latest blog, be sure to read it if interested. I’m thinking we do have a female chick for sure, but I’m not sure on our second one, I’ve been leaning towards male. I will send Lisa some photos to see if she can determine for sure what our chicks’ genders are. Then I can correctly say ‘he or she’! Visiting the refuge is awesome too, the beauty and wildlife there is year round. And it’s so close for our community to visit!
One more site our neighbor Patti sent me, it is a live-feed webcam in Chestertown (also not too far from us) on an osprey family with two chicks. I love this one too! If you love osprey, these local cams are a treat. Their link is to the right.