What a day our first Osprey chick of 2012 has had- its first 24hrs of life filled with new experiences and excitement! The wee chick has been trying to get its’ coordination – never easy when your head is as large as the rest of you and your feet are huge. Young chicks always seem to find holding their heads up hard at first, but this will soon improve- this chick is showing completely normal signs so far.
There have been three fish deliveries today (well done dad!) and the wee one has had a tiny share of each- not regurgitated or pre-chewed, just tiny bits of raw fish served delicately by mum. Sometimes it seemed to take a while for the two of them to ‘line up’ with the chick mistiming putting its head up with mums reaching in with fish- but in the end they coordinated things and it has had plenty to eat( crucial as the fish also provides its hydration). You will notice that the female hasn’t taken fish away from the nest to eat today: instead she has been stashing her share on the nest to give the wee one tiny feeds often- just like any infant animal.
It has been amazingly warm here today so the female osprey has been using her body as a sunshield for some of the day, sheltering the wee chick, whilst still keeping the other two eggs safely covered. We have not yet seen any signs of the other eggs hatching – this is not really expected until tomorrow for egg number 2 and later in the week for 3.
Add to all this the drama of having an intruder osprey land on or near the nest twice today- to a furious reaction from our female as you would expect- and it’s been a big day. We suspect we have a serial offender involved with these intrusions (probably a juvenile) and though it is not targeting the eggs or chicks deliberately, these could be collateral damage in any squabble on the nest so we can do without them!
Lastly, some more of your Osprey Q and A’s tomorrow folks- thanks for all your excellent questions to : email@example.com
A lovely film clip of the chick being fed on its first day at : http://youtu.be/-msrky2cJ68