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Thread subject: Betty spending more time way?
Name Date Message
ethel 07/04/06 08:43 pm Would you all say Betty is spending more time away from the nest? And, could any comment on these possible reasons:

1) Chicks need more fish.
2) Chicks getting older and do not require the same amount of "baby sitting" by Mom
3) This is typical at this stage to encourage fledging
4) All of the above.
5) None of the above (other reasons)

Sure hope these guys are not too vulnerable to intruders. At least Dennis will hang out on the camera.
Tiger 07/04/06 08:45 pm I think it is primarily because the chicks needs more fish. Dennis is really failing just now. JUst how much fish has be brought in during recent days? It is ages since he brought in a big fish.
DaisyG 07/05/06 04:40 am Oh Dennis is such a big let down...he's been taking the easy option for a while now hasn't he? Left to him, the chicks would starve.

You've just got to admire Betty. A woman of substance who gets the job done!
Celeste 07/05/06 05:52 am It's almost seems like a double-edged sword. Is he aware she is fishing? And if he is, does it encourage him to not participate as much? Thank goodness the female osprey is known to have an instinct to feed her young, even if she has to go without. I wonder if she'll "dump" him next year! The chicks are not quite there to pull and eat their own fish, in a couple of weeks yes, but not yet. Dennis is still very much needed..
DaisyG 07/05/06 06:40 am Well Betty only seemed to start fishing after Dennis had seemingly put his feet up. I think I know pretty well word for word what she's been saying to the big lazy lump and he'd better watch out, he's on borrowed time!
Celeste 07/05/06 07:02 am Yes Daisy...you have been known to remind him from time to time--he should really straighten his talons and get his act together!
DaisyG 07/05/06 07:49 am Lol! I wonder if ospreys ever get divorced? :)
Melanie 07/05/06 09:15 am Worse than the provider angle he's still got to teach the chicks how to fish (which of course, we won't see)

Osprey have been known to change partners.
cathleen 07/05/06 09:40 am So it is the male, not the female who gives fishing lessons?
Mickey 07/05/06 09:40 am Its all of the above.But as everyone else has already said,top on the list is her gone fishin. Betty has really been the reason #3 hasnt died this year.(yet)
Yes Cath.Dennis teaches the kids to fish.Betty leaves to migrate early.
RI osprey fan 07/05/06 09:49 am What happens in a case where the male dies, leaves, or for whatever reason is unavailable? Who teaches the fledglings to fish? Does the mother stay long enough to see if her mate is on the job? If not, does she take over? Do other, non-related adults? Are the fledglings on their own?
Tiger 07/05/06 10:05 am RI the chicks can if necessary teach themselves to fish. The real problem is who supplies their fish until they can do it for themselves.
ethel 07/05/06 10:32 am With Betty gone in times of rain - like today - will the chicks be at risk from being cold or wet? Or are there feathers keeping the body protected at this point. I realize they could not all fit under her - but it is comforting to have her there....
Tiger 07/05/06 10:32 am There is an interesting story regarding our famous osprey Bluebeard. In 2004 he stayed behind very late to teach a particularly inept offspring fishing skills. Indeed this ultimately may have led to the demise of Bluebeard himself.

See Bluebeard teaches fishing
cathleen 07/05/06 10:54 am Tiger --- thanks for the interesting story. The last report of his last migration south (Fall 2005) indicates they think he was shot, since he mysteriously disappeared in "an area of human activity". (It's at the very bottom of the page.)
Mickey 07/05/06 11:00 am Betty is with them now ethel. All 4 dont look comfortable but I can see water rolling off all 4 of them. 3 is trying to get its head under Betty. And she spreads her wings alittle for his head. Times like these we just have to trust Bettys instincts. If they werent water proof,my guess is she`d be covering them or die trying. We`re under flood advisories till 1:30pm nest time.
Tiger 07/05/06 11:04 am From September 2004 onward Bluebeard seems to have his migration clock running slow. Thus he was quite late in coming north in 2005. My wishful thinking is that he would not have been in that place at that time if he had not stayed behind so long to help "butter talons" who was probably doomed anyway.
cathleen 07/05/06 11:10 am Tiger - I see your point - it might have been planting season there. I guess we will never know. "Butter talons" (LOL!) seemed inept and lazy - both. Was it instinct or empathy that led Bluebeard to stay so late? Hmmm....
Mickey 07/05/06 11:14 am one more thing just entered my peabrain. If the chicks do get water logged it wont matter. They arent flying yet.No one will fledge till the picnic :)
Mickey 07/05/06 11:25 am hmmmmmm instinct or empathy....
I dont think these birds possess empathy. We`d like to think they do. But my guess is what drives these magnificent creatures is 100% instinct.
RI osprey fan 07/05/06 11:26 am "The last report of his last migration south (Fall 2005) indicates they think he was shot, since he mysteriously disappeared in "an area of human activity". "

How sad. Thanks for the all the info! Btw, anybody know how high ospreys can fly?
cathleen 07/05/06 11:51 am Instinct vs. empathy came to mind because I just heard a NPR Morning Edition story on a scientific study showing mice have empathy for other mice experiencing pain or suffering. They don't care so much if it is a mouse they don't know, but if it has been a cage mate for over 2 weeks, then it apparently makes a difference.
Tiger 07/05/06 12:04 pm RI. Ospreys can fly at least up to 10,000 ft. They do fly faster at high altitude suggesting they do not like it and tend not to roost at high altitude.
Tiger 07/05/06 12:06 pm Cathleen that sounds like make friends with one's kidnappers.
Celeste 07/05/06 12:11 pm I haven't had a chance to check the TV or radio, but I just returned from errands and found my car tires in water up to the rim while I was in a store..It comes down heavy and fast.
RI osprey fan 07/05/06 01:15 pm "Ospreys can fly at least up to 10,000 ft. They do fly faster at high altitude suggesting they do not like it "

Thanks, Tiger. There is also less friction and air resistence at higher altitudes. That's why it's easier for planes to make better time the higher they go. All within rating specs for type of aircraft, of course! I just wondered what the specs were for ospreys. 10,000 is pretty high!

On another subject:
"But my guess is what drives these magnificent creatures is 100% instinct."

I respectfully disagree. These are intelligent birds and individual variations in behavior patterns at the very least shjow that it's not all instinct. Of course genetics plays a part but there is a significant amount of learning involved. As to whether or not ospreys have empathy, I couldn't guess, but it seems clear they have emotions.
ethel 07/05/06 02:37 pm Indeed RI - we just witnessed frustration in the nest. Food supply to chicks is certainly down from previous weeks. Flag is suffering most, I presume. Will his cries inspire Dennis to do more? Just how much danger is he or the others in at this point? The heat of summer is just kickin in, too.

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 17, 2007