This week continued with crazy weather. When it’s just too hot, we see an empty nest. But the brief periods in early morning and late evening brings our osprey family back to the nest for some very brief home-visits. I did get a clearer photo of one of their roosting trees over at CBEC, but only one of our adults was present at the time.
Mom Olivia continues to care for her chicks, even when she’s not so sure where they are. I watched her for quite some time on her channel marker Tuesday afternoon, calling out that dinner was ready, but I didn’t witness any chicks arriving. In the second photo, she looks back to make sure that fish is still there! Now where are those kids?! 🙂
That evening, Olivia did meet up with both chicks on the nest with dinner and proceeded to feed one of them. In the past couple weeks, the chicks have been feeding themselves while Olivia looked on. So maybe she was showing some motherly love and care! She was just as patient with the feeding as if it were the first time. Although the second chick kept her eye on the feeding, she never interrupted.
I said ‘she’ for the second chick if anyone picked up on that! 🙂 I’ve accumulated a few shots from the last couple weeks to send to Lisa at Friends of Blackwater Refuge to help determine if our chicks are male or female (based on size). A female chick should be about the same size as the mother at this point, while a male chick would show to be smaller than his mother. In the above photo, the far left chick definitely appears to be the same size as Olivia. It’s harder to tell in this photo about the chick feeding because he/she is hunched over and not upright. Both our chicks are pretty much full grown now in size so hopefully the recent photos will help determine. Here’s one I took yesterday where they both look very close to same size.
So do we have two females or maybe one of each?? Hopefully in my next blog we’ll have an answer! By the way, two of Blackwater Refuge’s three chicks on the cam have recently fledged. And at the Chestertown osprey cam, I believe one of the two have fledged. Since no one blogs on the Chestertown nest, I am not 100% positive but I believe I saw only one chick on their nest, hopefully the other wasn’t up under the cam hiding!
Finally this morning, I saw Olivia land on the nest with a nice-size fish. As she did at the channel marker, she called out continuously, alerting that dinner was ready. After 20 minutes with no one showing, she took flight with the fish, possibly to find a quiet spot to enjoy it all to herself this time!
I bet Olivia enjoyed it!