Some more great questions about our osprey chick today from our readers- remember you to check out the FAQ tab at the top of this page and if you can’t find the answer, email email@example.com and we will try to answer here for all to share.
Q: Is the chick healthy?
A: Yes it appears to be very well grown for is age, a good weight and is reaching all the usual stages of development for an osprey chick so far. It is certainly thriving on its parents undivided attention and the fairly good weather we’ve had since it hatched have certainly helped
Q: Why is it still so uncoordinated and why can’t it use its feet properly- it seems to walk on its’ heals?
A: This is normal for a very young chick, as different parts of their body develop at different rates. They are very wobbly and uncoordinated for at least the first four weeks and in fact it isn’t until around week five they start to stand flat footed properly with toes and talons splayed- an important milestone. They then will be able to start gripping firmly (vital for perching and fishing) at around 5-6 weeks old.
Q: Why it is wandering around the nest so much?
A: This is natural curiosity and an important part of developing muscle strength and coordination. Perhaps as an ‘only chick’, without siblings to squabble with, this youngster is more adventurous than most.
Q; Why it is moving its head side to side all the time lately?
A: This is a common sight in ospreys- especially when they are perched up, watching for fish- we believe it is them trying to focus, and pinpoint something. This wee chick is probably getting used to his incredible vision which must be maturing about now and is perfecting focusing techniques.
Q: Are the chicks’ wings ok – they seem to hang down and it uses them to lean on – is this normal?
A: Yes the wings are fine- just developing, and at this stage are big and clumsy. The muscles required to arch them are only just developing- you will see lots more of the chick stretching and practicing with these from now on.
Q: Is there ever a danger of a chick falling out of a nest? Would the parents interfere?
A: This can sometimes happen, but the parent birds have built up the sides of the nest with sticks to prevent this, and will sometimes peck at a youngster who strays too close to the edge too early on. At around 6 -7 weeks when the larger chicks are a bit too much in a hurry to fledge and ‘play’ on the nest edge, practicing their wing beats, they can sometimes fall off – I have had to rescue a chick who fell off the nest at this stage and couldn’t quite fly or return to the nest, and would otherwise have died.