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Thread subject: Survival of Chicks
Name Date Message
Celeste 05/16/04 02:02 pm In one of the obs Shelley asked if it is normal for chick 2 to be this weak,etc. While of course this chick is not even a day old, one thing about osprey nests is the cold hard fact than rarely do more than 1 or 2 chicks survive. If you read other websites, there have been unexplained deaths of even older chicks. As "we 2nd season observers learned the hard way", it is the way of nature. There were times last June, that many observers wanted to "rescue" chick 3 who was being starved too death. However, I think we have all come to understand, that even if that chick was rescued, it may not have been strong enough to successfully migrate. Yes, there are organizations that band and help the osprey chicks, however, as far as this site is concerned, this is pure nature. Only the strong can be a migratory bird and as we have also learned, the survival rate the first year of a chick's life is not guaranteed either. I know I sound hard, but again, as Cecilia and I have mentioned before, a great book to read is Return of the Osprey by David Gessner. It is written in a very personal way, with all the feelings we are expressing in our obs. He relates one story where he witnessed Chick 3 who was being starved by his older siblings, peck to death an already dying Chick 4. He was so upset watching this that he stayed away from observing until he came to terms about the way of nature. It is very hard for adult osprey to raise more than one or two chicks. Just catching a fish uses a lot of energy of the male osprey. There are so many factors that influence the survival of this bird. All we can do is hope for the best and find the joy of each day in the nest--the chicks that will survive, their fledging, etc.,until the cycle begins again next spring.
Shelley 05/16/04 03:59 pm Although this is my first season here with you all and *our* ospreys, it is my third with the Kent eagles. Last year was so tragic, with the loss of both chicks as well as the unknown fate of Patriot, Star's original mate. So I do know what you are saying, Celeste, honestly I do. I just don't *want* it to be this way (as if any of us do...!). I will continue to cheer them on from my computer room, and it helps tremendously that we are all in this together, rejoicing and commiserating, as the case may be, like a family! Thanks!!

I will be stopping by the used bookstore tomorrow on my way home from school to see if they happen to have this book on hand. If not, I'll order it from the regular store. Thanks again.
Mickey 05/16/04 07:13 pm Celeste........Thank you again for keeping us grounded. I`d like to add a few things. This site and camera are the best on the internet bar none.The falcons in NYC are streaming video but have no sound.They have 3 chicks this year and it looks like all 3 will make it. There is no tension in the falcons box during feeding I guess because the food is so plentiful.In fact at 9am this Wednesday they will band the chicks and do it live they say. IMO the next best camera to this Osprey one is the storches.Streaming video,sound and a msg board. This Osprey camera brings us all sound and video live.Not a snapshot every minute. You will feel the tension in the nest as the chicks get bigger and there is competion for food. We will feel each peck that a chick gives another in its head forcing it to submit.We will hear its cries. We will watch as the adults do nothing to stop it because they know it makes the species stronger.We watch these chicks for 6 weeks and become attached. Then nature steps in and slams your head against the wall. Its no secret that I acted like a butthead last year. So I to know whats in store for the chicks in June.I still dont know if I will watch.I might just go to the Ocean for that 10 days till its over.If your a teacher and your students are 1st 2nd and maybe 3rd grade I would consider not letting the kiddies watch.But thats just my opinion. On another note, we are in store for another beautiful day Monday. Enjoy it everyone if you can !
Celeste 05/16/04 08:00 pm Well put, Mickey. Just want to add to all the newcomers, that in no way are we discouraging you from watching this site, but this as the DPOF has stated, is nature uncensored......and because it is streaming video with sound as Mickey stated it touches you in ways the still video can't....however, there are the wonderful days when the surviving chicks grow and their daily antics, their early attempts to fly, eating on their own for the first time, and the interraction between the 2 chicks with each other and with their parents. So all though we have presented the negative, the positives far outweigh those negatives.
Shelley 05/16/04 09:19 pm Thanks, both of you, for your perspective, thoughts and heart-felt emotions. I just spent the better part of the last hour catching up on the message board posts of last season. And while the emotion ran high and was palpable, at times, the sense of real discussion and concern shone through. Even when some people got a bit *testy*, I never saw or heard any disrespect on that board. I have to tell you, it makes me proud to be part of such a group!

I have been on other message boards where things have turned nasty and vicious for far less. I, myself, have been a victim of personal attack by some *troll*, for simply (and respectfully) expressing my opinion about something. I bowed out of that conversation immediately and eventually that troll disappeared but it was quite a shocking and unpleasant experience, I can tell you. I have felt very comfortable and welcome here from the first time I posted, back in March, and a large part of the reason for that feeling is because of all of you. I just wanted to thank you for that.

As for watching it in my class of 6,7,and 8-year-olds, Mickey, I do appreciate the heads-up. I will always monitor what they view online and if and when the time comes, I will make sure we are otherwise occupied...thank you, again.
RonS 05/17/04 12:00 pm Amen to all that has been said on this tender subject.
It's interesting that all of the emotion that this natural selection process evokes is on the watching side of the camera. The birds are just doing what they are hard wired to do, it's our humanity that gets us all tied up in knots.
Hey, Mickey, you don't have to apologize for being a caring, feeling person. Just look at the sheepins grins we all wear as we recognize those same pangs within ourselves!!
Cecilia 05/17/04 01:12 pm Mickey wasn't a butthead last year...he was just more honest than the rest of us. He expressed all of the feelings that many of us had but didn't share. I know, from that experience, that I will have to turn off the cam for a couple of weeks because I'm way too soft to watch anything that brutal. Even though I know that Ron is right...they are only doing what instinct tells them to do. I just wish that they would instinctively protect their chicks from each other as valiantly as they protect their chicks from everything else! :-(
Celeste 05/17/04 02:55 pm AMEN!

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Fri Dec 31 23:49:43 EST 2004