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Observations & Images
20 May 2007
Approximate age of nestling(s) in days: 53

A big day in the growth of the nestlings finds the female Osprey perched near the nest. Her absence from the nest is forcing the nestlings to rely on their own resources if they want to eat. She must be quite happy for all the nestlings, including the little one, are voraciously tearing at fish with apparent ease on their own which gives her a bit of peace to relax.
The male Osprey is perched nearby. He is once more at hand to fulfill his duties as provider for his family for he brings two to three fish an hour to the nest. Much more than the nestlings can possibly eat in one sitting.
The little nestling tears into a fish with gusto. None of the nestlings now have to wait for the female to come to the nest to feed them which will be a definite plus on days when there is a big supply of fish like today.
The large nestling tries to will itself into the air. Note it is technically airborne for its feet are free of the nest but this has more to due with its springy legs pushing the bird upward as it jumps up and down rather than any lift generated by the wings.
The large nestling expended a lot of energy but still could not fly.
Despite all the fish in the nest the aggressive nestling still feels it necessary to pick on it smaller sibling. Here the aggressive nestling at right moves in on the little nestling. Actually, it is hard to keep calling it the "little nestling" since it is growing so fast it will soon be equal to the other two in size.
A mix up of feathers and wings as the aggressive nestling lunges at the little one.
The little nestling is showing a marked improvement in being able to defend itself along with recovering quickly from these attacks since now it cowers for a shorter period of time before moving back to join in the activities of the nest. Here the little nestling uses its wing to block the aggressive nestling's advance.
The fight is broken up by the male delivering another fish which he deposits quickly in the nest then flies off.
Another attack by the aggressive nestling on the smaller one. These attacks are short in duration and the birds usually return to eating after each one.
Look out below! A nestling relieves itself over the side of the nest.
The male makes another fish delivery.
The male is only in the nest long enough to drop off the fish which usually amounts to just a few seconds.
Before long he is leaving the nest again after bringing another fish.
There are so many fish in the nest that the female swoops in to remove one.
Interestingly, she takes it to the male's eating perch where she consumes most of it.
The female's meal is interrupted by the appearance of an extremely curious trespassing Osprey which makes a few very close passes of the nest. The male Osprey is off fishing otherwise he most likely would certainly have driven this bird away before allowing it to come this close.
The height of impertinence, excuse the pun, finds the trespasser landing on the snag directly over the nest!
The female's warning cries are ignored. Her tense stance made me wonder for how long she would tolerate the intruder.
The trespassing Osprey eyes the nest.
The female is up and on her way....
....to drive off the trespasser. She headed straight for the interloper who fled at the sight of the oncoming female.
The female landed just below where the trespasser had been then let loose a few very threatening sounding warning cries. After a few moments she flew down into the nest where old habits must die hard for she began to tear into a fish to feed the nestlings who crowded around her.
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
www.lunarcabin.com - - - - www.ospreywatch.org