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Thread subject: Just How Good a Fisher is Dennis?
Name Date Message
Tiger 06/06/04 01:18 pm After two late breakfasts in a row I am beginning to wonder how good is Dennis at fishing?

In the UK people point to the exploits of Ollie, sadly now dead, who was osprey in residence for 10 years. Ollie's exploits included delivering 14 fish to the nest in one day. He also mated 49 times in one day (not the same day he caught the fish) :)

He also raised three chicks as a single father which is thought to be an unique achievement.

Interestingly when Ollie failed to return his widow Olive was courted by a new osprey who did not seem to understand that delivering fish is a must for male ospreys.

So those of you who know Dennis well can you say anything about his fishing skills?
Marie 06/06/04 02:41 pm I read that info too......Amazing bird that OLLIE!!!Even more amazing was his achievements at being a single DAD... ;-))Too bad he is no longer around. I don't think Dennis is a super- hero for there seems to be a timid/sensative side to him that I believe I have seen. Watch the achived video of a strange female/intruder in the nest earlier this year. It was Betty who saw this bird off with quick action. I have read that male ospreys will tolerate another female around. Infact when they have their mate on eggs the males will go a looking for another unguarded female. Tut Tut! Who knows how he would have behaved if it had been a male during that intruder scenario
Marie 06/06/04 03:01 pm As for Dennis's FISHING abilities...I think I have only ever counted five in any one day that I have been watching. Others may have a better idea.
Tiger 06/06/04 03:11 pm Ah the fidelity of ospreys. That is a whole big topic that I was hoping to leave for another day.

It seems to me that two things really matter here:

1. The supply of fish

2. The skill of the male in catching them.

Obviously both of these are very necessary. However it is obvious that some birds are better fishers than other.

Does anyone know where Dennis does his fishing?

Marie 06/06/04 04:25 pm from all accounts Dennis does his fishing in water... ;-) Haven't seen him arrive with fish in paper(no chips either) or plastic wrap yet!!!!
Just trying to find a sense of humour here.
Matt 06/06/04 05:11 pm I think he's pretty good. Its just that this past week has been really bad weather wise and the winds have been roughing up the waters good. We've had a few storms with hail already. I think he was pretty smart to raid the goldfish ponds in spite of the type of weather we've been having.
Shelley 06/06/04 05:27 pm You guys are keeping me in stitches! Tiger's comments nearly made me fall off my chair:

"Ollie's exploits included delivering 14 fish to the nest in one day. He also mated 49 times in one day (not the same day he caught the fish) :)"

Marie, I love your answer to the question about where Dennis does his fishing:

"from all accounts Dennis does his fishing in water... ;-) Haven't seen him arrive with fish in paper(no chips either) or plastic wrap yet!!"

And I have to agree with you, too, Matt about Dennis using his brain and going after whatever is available. I, too, think he's an excellent provider and father and the supply of fish is entirely out of his control, particularly if there is fierce competition and less than ideal weather conditions.

And this concludes the meeting of the osprey and osprey fan appreciation club for tonight.
Celeste 06/06/04 05:38 pm When I read Alan Poole's book one of the things it mentioned was that it was always better to have an "experienced" male than an "experienced female" in order to have a successful nest. And, yes, some male osprey are much better at fishing than others. The more experience they have the better they become. It was also mentioned that if the fish are abundant, the nest has more of a chance of being successful. There are so many variables. Overcast days with no wind is easier for an osprey to "see" fish, etc. Not too much different than the ups and downs that human beings face in their lifetimes!
Tiger 06/06/04 06:20 pm I am aware of a young female pairing off with a male that had a toe missing on either foot. Up to that point he had not been successful in raising young with other mates. However I do believe that they have raised young in the last two years.

I am also aware of an osprey nest near to a fish farm. Here the male has no problems with fishing but somebody has to pay fish farm on his behalf.

Matt 06/06/04 06:25 pm I'm surprised that the fish farm has not put nets up over the water area. In Connetquot State Park (Long Island), they have a fish hatchery where they raise trout. They have put nets over the water and its quite amusing to watch Egrets trying to get at them and failing.
Tiger 06/06/04 06:50 pm To be honest the overall position is not clear.

Let us say there is a well stocked pond that is used to attract ospreys and these are used as a visitor attraction.

The fish farm itself may well be protected from the atentions of ospreys.

Copyright © 2004 DPOF

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