It’s incredible how quickly time flies, and at nearly 6 weeks old it was time to ring and tag our osprey chicks yesterday. Whilst our male had witnessed similar events before, this was our new female’s first experience and as ever, our expert team worked as quickly and quietly as possible to minimise any stress to both the adults and the chicks.
Since we only had two satellite transmitters to attach, one of the chicks was ringed as Blue FR2 in the nest and left there for the duration of the tagging, providing reassurance for the adults as at least one chick was always visible. The other two were carefully lowered to the ground where the rings Blue FR3 and Blue FR4 were swiftly attached along with the satellite transmitters. Guessing from the weight of these two, it is possible that FR3 is a male and FR4 is a female as female chicks generally weigh more, however we cannot be sure. As soon as all of the necessary work was done, the chicks were safely returned to the nest and the family was left in peace.
Whilst the male was perched on a nearby tree carefully watching the chicks, the female was nowhere to be seen for a while after the chicks were returned. But to everyone’s relief she returned at 7.14pm last night to find all three chicks comfortably sleeping in the nest, and they all got a good feed when the male returned shortly after 10pm with a large fish. This morning all of our ospreys are looking well and behaving normally, giving us no cause for concern which is what we expected as events ran so smoothly.
The next milestone to look out for in our chick’s development will be them taking their first flight which usually happens around 53 days old, and we have already seen plenty of wing stretching and flapping in the nest!