Osprey Diary 26th May

Will it be Three?
There has been a lot of discussion about our third osprey egg and whether or not it will hatch, so I’ll try to bring together some of the answers, but we will all have to wait and see what today brings!
Today is the 38th day since it was laid and osprey eggs have been known to hatch after up to 40 days of incubation, so it is definately still possible. If it hasn’t hatched by Friday we will probably give up hope for it and be content with two chicks.
If it doesn’t hatch it will be because either it was unfertilised at laying ( quite common and not necessarily to do with our ladys’ age) or because it was damaged at some point during incubation (for example by exposure to cold).
If it does hatch, the chick will be smaller but not necessarily at a huge disadvantage. It is not uncommon for ospreys to be born up to a week apart and still co-exist happily on the nest, provided there is enough food to go around. The female always ensures the strongest chick is fed first, but will then dilegently feed each in turn so no one misses out unless there is a serious shortage.
Our male osprey should be quite able to catch enough food for a family of three chicks- especailly if he keeps up his excellent average of the last few days! There is plenty of fish around, unless we get flash flooding or rivers in spate which make hunting difficult for him.
If the egg doesn’t hatch we would expect the female to stop incubating it and to push it out of the nest or to the side out of the way. It may remain on the nest for weeks, gradually getting buried under fresh bedding.
So which scenario will it be? Only time will tell.
Emma Rawling
Perthhsire Ranger

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Will it be Three? There has been a lot of discussion about our third osprey egg and whether or not it will hatch, so I’ll try to bring together some …

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