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Bit of a Sad Day at the Osprey Nest

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Retief, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. First a couple of pictures from the 11th of July.
    These frist two are to illustrate the different "look" of the Female and Male Osprey at this nest. Jerry Ploughman had posted a thread yesterday where he was questioned as to which was which. After having watched this nest, and pair, for the past two years, we know them quite well.

    Here is Mom, notice that she is not banded and has more "brown":

    And here is Dad, see the band on the left leg and how much "whiter" he is:

    Now, you might ask how we know which is the Female and which is the Male. Well, after watching multiple mating episodes, it became pretty darned obvious, I'll leave it at that .... :wink:

    Lastly, notice that there are 3 chicks in the nest on the 11th of July:

    Jim Thiel and I went down last Saturday, the 28th. Haven't gotten back sooner mainly due to weather, it has been "less than stellar" here the past couple of weeks, and it wasn't great Saturday morning either, quite overcast and gray. Worse yet, count the chicks in the nest.

    Only 2 now:

    I like the pose, but I am not happy to see that we have lost one chick, no clue how. To make it worse, the nest across the slough appears to have failed as well, we had seen one chick a couple a month or so ago. Last year we had 3 chicks survive in the nest and 2 across the way, total of 5. Now we are down to 2, what a bummer.

    To make things worse, take a look at the right wing here:

    That is a fishing hook attached to some line, probably picked up by the adults in some of the Nesting material.

    And you can see how the chick is constrained by the fishing line:

    While the chick could move about the nest and was feeding well, we were worried about what would happen when they fledged, as I don't think it could fly out of the nest this way. Made a call, Fish and Game went out yesterday, unfortunately I could not be there to photograph them, and I am happy to say that they found the bird had disentangled itself, which is just great. This is just another example of how our "leavings" can have a very detrimental affect on the wildlife around us. I sure did not want to see another chick lost, bad enough to see that one hasn't made it already.
  2. Great Series Bill
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Good images Bill

    Call the wild life folks up there
    They will go to the nest I believe And help the bird

    You can get ahold of Lou and he can prob locate an agency
  4. excellent series. Your time with that group shows.
  5. Nice shots too bad about that fish hook :( 
  6. Bill - Thanks for the great follow-up on these birds. You and Jim have been doing a good job of presenting their behavior and watching their struggles with life.
  7. Bill, thanks for posting such a wonderful and informative series. I'm glad to see that the chick is okay.
  8. Thanks, Gary.

    Thanks, Gale. Read the last paragraph in my post. I was on the phone with a rehab group within an hour of getting home on Saturday. Sunday I got a call from Fish and Wildlife, and they went out to check the bird on Monday. At which time they found that the bird had gotten loose. I'm going back this afternoon for a check myself.

    Thanks, Dave. Time with this pair has really changed me a bit. My initial intent was to "take a good photo", but now it is well beyond that, I find myself caring about the family. Surprises the heck out of me, I never thought of myself this way at all.

    Thanks, Anthony. The good news is that all seems OK now, but I'll confirm that today. And if I see otherwise, well, I have the Officers phone #.

    Thanks, David. I fear that the great year we had last year, with all the chicks in both nests surviving, set us up for the same expectation this year, rather than reality.

    Thanks, Crystall. It was pretty cool when I got the call from the Fish and Wildlife officer as she was in a boat at the nest site and have her tell me the bird was loose. I came pretty close to cheering :biggrin::biggrin:
  9. Nice series Bill. Sorry to hear about the lost ospreys. We had the same situatin here. My favorite two nests started out with 5 chicks and we ended up with just 2 chicks.

    Never like to see fish hooks around birds or any other animal, but I do enough fishing to know it's quite common for responsible fisherpeople to lose line and hoks that they cannot retrieve to remove properly. The good fish hooks are not cheap today...and I'm hunting mine down whenever possible. *-) That's money I save and can apply to new glass down the road.

    Can't help wonder if some of the hooks and line we see on the birds are transfered from hooked up fish break offs? Then again I came in a couple months back and ended up with fishing line wrapped in my prop. I unwound what had to be a full spool of line. Amazing how some folks can't be bothered to clean up their own mess. This kind of fishing line issue doesn't happen by accident. Must have been a good 200 yards wrapped on my prop shaft. What a mess. <evil look>
  10. Bill, it was a sad day but I was really glad to see that the fish hook was out of the chicks wing. You are so correct about the perfect results last year all but the one gosling that did not make it. I may stop by today and have a look with the sun out. Nice shots by the way.
  11. Quite a story, Bill. Glad you were able to have it rectified -- too bad you weren't there when Fish&Game went there.

    As a lover of osprey (don't even live on either coast) thanks.

  12. Thanks. It does suck to see this happen, but nature is nature after all. We were so blessed last year, I guess we just sort of expected the same.

    I have fished, a lot, as well and I completely understand. Until you have seen someone throw a big jig into a Yellowtail or Tuna boil and have it get stuck in the back of a Grey Whale you really don't know the true meaning of "spooled" :biggrin:. I didn't mean to imply, although it sure sounded like it I should edit the first message, that anyone does any of this littering "on purpose", but I have seen fools strip off many yards of line and just dump it in the water, and THAT is irresponsible. I don't know about you, but I lost count many years ago of the number of Pelicans and Gulls that I reeled in to my boat, or boats I was on, when they decided to eat the bait that I was fly-lining. And it is a real treat, oh yeah right :wink:, to gently hold one of these birds trying to release them. Good news is that if you can't remove the hook safely, clipping the line at the eyelet is generally good enough as the hook will rust out in a few weeks.

    Thanks, Jim. Hope to meet up with you at the nest later today.

    Thanks, Paul. I think it is important to chronicle these events and pass them along, even if the pictures aren't the greatest. I was a bit ticked off that the F&W officer didn't call me to let me know when she was going. When I spoke with her on Sunday I told her I could not make it that afternoon, and she said that she would only walk the dike to scope it out on Sunday anyway. I asked her to let me know so I could get her some pictures of her, but such is life. The important thing is that they cared enough to check and that the Chick is no longer entangled.
  13. Bill, so sorry about the loss of the chick. Thrilled to hear the good news about the entangled one though.

    Excellent series.

  14. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Excellent shots and reports Bill. Glad to hear that the line / hook were removed. Life for wild animals is not easy when they live near us humans. Usually, they are the losers when we exist in the same spaces.
  15. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Thanks Bill
    Glad it is ok
    So happy the folks went out to check to:>)))
    That is wonderful
  16. StephanieHelen


    Jun 9, 2006
    Thanks for the excellent narratives and images!

    I was checking on a GBH nest with three chicks, all looked healthy, however, when things became crowded, the two older ones started pecking at the smallest, booting him out of the nest. The poor chick fell out of the nest and took about a day and a half to get back in, but he had not been fed, next morning he was in the water, drowned or starved. The wildlife folks know what to expect when there are three chicks, now I know.
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