An Oyster Cove Osprey Chick or Dad Oliver?
Sorry for the long break, life’s been too busy last few days; but I’ve still tried to keep tabs on our osprey nest. During the week at sunrise, I watched our nest get several osprey visits for a quick perch or descend down to the nest, grab a talon-full of sticks, and take off over to the Kent Narrows channel markers to their nest to use. I know Oliver would not be happy. This adult visited but didn’t stay long.
The following day another osprey did a quick visit and departed.
And then a surprise! Last Tuesday, I was taking in the cool morning sunrise before leaving for work, and I got to see an osprey chick land on the nest.
He didn’t stay long and was off! I thought, was this one of our osprey chicks? It was the first one I have seen since ours left unexpectedly. As I watched him fly off and away, an adult male osprey came from the opposite direction to the nest with a fish. He was hovering over it while watching the sky. I started to get excited. Could it be dad Oliver bringing breakfast to one of his offspring? Well, I was quick to change my mind when the adult osprey started a threatening chatter while I watched the osprey chick return and descend back on the nest. The adult osprey was not sharing!
Poor little chick, he called out, then departed but didn’t chase after the adult. Were either part of our Oyster Cove osprey family? If either were, I’d lean towards maybe it was one of our chicks instead of Oliver. I don’t think Oliver because his primary chore was to bring fish to the nest for others, and to build and protect his nest. This one was clearly feasting for himself alone. But also the chick could be from our area and was hungry, thinking maybe this nice adult would share.
As August comes to an end along with the heat and humidity, the approaching season change from summer to fall has our area osprey starting to feel the urge to migrate south. What makes them decide any given moment to up and leave? It isn’t exactly known but is guessed there is some type of magnetic pull, maybe from the sun’s solstice and the season’s change that they feel; one day each feels it and just ups and goes without any warning or even a goodbye! It is also guessed that osprey have some type of inner ‘GPS’ that guides them on their long 4-5 week journey to as far as South America. What a migration!
The female adult usually migrates first. Last year mom Olivia had left by mid-August, so we hope she’s already pushing her way south this season. If there were offspring, the male adult will stay behind to help the chicks with feedings until they’re able to fish for themselves. Then both the adult male and the last chick to leave will depart about the same time, but they will not fly together. Each is on his own. Last year Oliver and one chick was still around September 5. We officially decided September 10 they too had departed for sure for the season. This could mean Oliver and his two chicks are still out exploring and increasing their skills before the flight south. Let’s wish them a safe journey with the hopes of Oliver and Olivia’s safe return next March. If our two chicks succeed in surviving the many turmoils they will face in their migrations, they will stay in South America for a year and a half, returning two springs from now, most likely coming back to our general area to start their own families. This means the two chicks I blogged about during last year’s season would be returning next spring to our area to start their own mating and eventually families.
If you have a further interest in the osprey migration, Rob Bierregaard, Jr., a professor at the University of North Carolina, has been researching osprey since 1969. Since 2000, he has tagged 42 adult and juvenile osprey from Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Long Island, Westport, North Carolina, and Delaware with small satellite transmitters to track their actual migrations. The information they have learned is astounding. You can visit and subscribe to his website that shows exactly where each osprey and active transmitter are at the present.
I will continue to blog about our nest and the area osprey migration, as we go into the fall and winter months. The waterfowl around our community and nest platform is awesome, giving me many photo ops to share. I’ll also be adding more photo gallery pages of other types of birds and wildlife I’ve captured. So stay in touch!
Finally, we had a full moon about a week ago at sunset, I tried a few shots to see how they’d turn out. Was kinda cool!
Enjoy your week!