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Observations & Images
12 May 2007
Approximate age of nestling(s) in days: 45

Another day accentuated by hunger due to the absence of the male. The flood of fish the male provided for the nest is now sorely missed by all. Missed so much, in fact, that a new dimension has been added to the nest---one of pain and desperation for two of the nestlings.
The nestling at right, presumably the middle hatched, is now showing signs of excessive sibling rivalry toward the smallest, and presumably the youngest, nestling at left. This new behavior can only be attributed to the sudden decrease in food to the nest in the past few days since it was not apparent before.
The attacks can be quite vicious.
Here the aggressor bites at the small nestling.
The aggressor comes up with a feather in its beak from its victim.
Another attack follows. With the stricken nestling up against the edge of the nest with nowhere to go it has to endure the abuse as best it can.
The attacker bites down on a wing.
The attack subsides leaving the victim cowering with its head down. This pattern repeated itself all day.
The female Osprey returns with a fish for the nest. She is now the primary food provider for the nest.
The female feeds the aggressive nestling while the smallest nestling continues to cower.
A surprise visitor to the nest is the male, at left, who brings a fish to the nest which he leaves. He then flew up to a nearby perch where he preened; then he flew off not to be seen again for the rest of the day.
The female continues to feed the nestlings from the fish she brought.
The smallest nestling picked at the fish the male had brought while the other two were fed by the female.
The female consumed a long piece of entrails like a recalcitrant strand of spaghetti which seems to have no end.
Eventually the female moved over to the fish the male brought and this time it was the smallest nestling which feasted. Although the subject of abuse, it obviously will not starve as long as it is not killed by one of its siblings.
The female most not only provide the food for the nest she must now also defend it on her own. Here she goes into a defensive posture to ward off a curious Osprey soaring overhead.
Another round of sibling abuse as the smallest nestling never tries to fight back. The head of the largest nestling can be seen just under the female. The large nestling seems above the fray and does not take part in the attacks nor does it suffer any ill treatment.
The abused nestling adopts its "I'm not really here" cowering posture with its head down.
The irony of the situation is that despite all the attacks the largest and the smallest nestling seem to be the ones getting the most to eat. Here the little nestling was fed for some time by the female while the middle one appeared to be napping with its back to the scene at left.
The aggressive nestling finally caught on it was missing a meal. Here it eyes what is going on with evil intent----well, maybe not evil intent but their red eyes do speak volumes in that direction.
The little nestling endures another attack.
The attacker moved between the female and the little nestling and here can be seen biting the neck of its victim.
Once all the fish were consumed a general calm settled over the nest and its occupants.
When the female flew off over the Indian River Lagoon the nestlings took this opportunity to stretch their wings.
One can only imagine they are ready to leave the nest as soon as possible.
The ragged appearance of their wings mean it will still be awhile before they fledge. The sooner the better given how crowded the nest is getting.
Ready for takeoff.
The female appears carrying another fish to the nest.
 
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
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