A busy day of fish deliveries at our Osprey nest today, with no fewer than four pike brought in by our male bird within 2 hours! It is great to see the chick Blue 44 now fully able to feed himself from these fish, no longer needing his mother to shred it for him. He is now strong enough to stand on it and tear it all by himself, but the females instinct is strong and sometimes she still ‘babies’ him a bit.
We had another intruder Osprey visit this morning by two birds which caused some more defensive behaviour from our family. This will become more and more common again now as the breeding season comes to a close: there are curious juveniles flying, as well as adult birds who have failed to breed successfully and are now wandering more widely before heading south. Without doubt this is the best time of year to watch ospreys aloft- there are more birds in the air and in action over the water right now than any other of time of year.
Some More Osprey questions:
Q: How long now until the female Osprey leaves?
A: Our female Osprey typically leaves in August each year after breeding- it is normal for females to leave first, with the males hanging around a little longer , perhaps to ‘supervise’ the chicks or to take time to add more weight after a hard working summer feeding their offspring and partner.
Q: How long until the chick migrates?
A: Osprey Chicks generally remain in Scotland until late August or early September, though some linger longer. It is thought that the change in daylight length stimulates them to migrate.
Q: Why do they all go at different times?
A: Unlike many birds, Ospreys do not flock together to migrate and all travel separately. No one knows why. It does seem odd that after being such tender and attentive parents these birds leave their young to go the risky first migration alone. We are hoping to learn more about this mysterious aspect of migration with our satellite tracking studies.
Q: What predators do they have in Africa?
A: In Africa these birds have to content with human hunters and hazards, and crocodiles mostly. We have comparatively little information about other potential predators such as monkeys, tree snakes, larger birds of prey etc- more study needs to be done to prove how much of an impact these might have on winter survival rates, especially of juveniles.