We are very happy to announce that the first chick of 2019 has hatched!
The excitement started yesterday afternoon around 5pm, when LF15 became restless and fidgety. She began to move the eggs around more frequently and appeared to be listening to them at times.
As chicks get close to hatching, they will begin cheeping inside their eggs, so this was a good sign that the first might be about to hatch. Our hopes were confirmed when a small hole was spotted in the egg at 6.20pm.
LF15 kept her eggs well covered during the hatching process but shortly afterwards, at 6.54pm, we caught a glimpse of a large piece of broken egg shell – suggesting that the chick had hatched. Finally, at 7.17pm, we were able to catch our first glimpse of the newly hatched chick.
LF15 has had a restful night, recovering from the excitement of the day. The chick cheeps quietly each time its mother stands up to turn the remaining eggs. We have noticed that LF15 seems to have changed her incubation position slightly, appearing to be a little more hunched over with her wings sitting lower in the nest. This may mean that she is sitting slightly higher off the eggs, perhaps allowing the chick to move around while still keeping the clutch warm.
In the first few hours after hatching, chicks are weak and unable to sit up or lift their heads.
However, this young bird will quickly gain strength and be able to eat small pieces of fish offered by the mother. Hopefully LM12 will bring in a fish today to feed his growing family!
Which egg is this chick from?
At the moment, it is difficult to say whether this chick was from the first or the second egg. It hatched 37 days after the first egg was laid (4 April) and 34 days after the second (7 April).
Osprey eggs typically hatch 35-37 days after they were laid, so this could either be a late hatch of the first egg or an early hatch of the second. As the eggs were laid 3 days apart, it is likely that chicks will hatch a few days apart as well.
Hopefully a few more chicks will join the first over the coming days!
Jane & Nick
Species Protection Officers