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Thread subject: Feedings
Name Date Message
New here and have a question 06/28/04 05:04 pm I observed the dad (I suppose) bring a very tiny fish at 4:49pm. Mom fed two of the babies and the third one got nothing. Does this happen often? I feel so badly for the chick that went hungry. He or she was looking at mom and then began to try and find leftover tidbits.
Tiger 06/28/04 06:17 pm It really depends on the supply of fish.

The oldest chick demands to be fed first and if the other two dispute this they get a good pecking particularly the youngest.

It is only when the eldest chick is full can the other two get their share.

I have seen the youngest go to bed hungry but not often.

Judy 06/29/04 11:53 am Thank you for the information. When the youngest isn't fed regularly, is there a chance that it might not survive? My heart really went out to the little guy when he had to go to bed without dinner.
Celeste 06/29/04 01:33 pm Last year we had 3 chicks and the youngest of the three who was also much smaller than his older siblings, missed meals, became weak and died, however, it was much early on. There was a lot of aggression in last year's nest and the youngest chick was always forced to be submissive by its siblings. We did lose a 4th chick this year, his very small size compared to his siblings at birth was an indication to all of us early on he would not survive, and of course his size kept him from getting enough food, whether it was held back by the mother or the siblings. It is very special to have 3 chicks survive in an osprey nest, and we who have experienced last years nest, see different dynamics this year in comparison to last year; better weather, plus most importantly, the first two chicks were born on the same day, and the third was born a day or two later, which helps that they are all good size chicks. We have also noticed that there is less aggression and that can be due to enough fish being brought by the male. If osprey parents can supply the fish, the better the outcome of the nest. Also experience on the part of the parents is a plus. I think I can speak for all that we have extremely high hopes that all three will fledge successfully from this year's nest. There is going to a bit of "hold back of fish" so that the chicks are "encouraged" to fledge. Young osprey after they have fledged, have been known to appear in other osprey nests for a meal. The osprey in those other nests don't seem to notice that the osprey is an intruder. This is all part of the process of teaching these chicks to be independent so that they are ready to migrate by late August or early September. The female will migrate first, by late August. The male will stay behind to "teach" the chicks to fish. Though there are theories that the osprey can learn by instinct, however, most books/websites indicate that the father stays behind to "teach". The male finally leaves, and soon after the chicks instinct to migrate kicks in and they also leave, generally by mid September. So many things for these chicks to learn in so short a time! Hope this is helpful. If you check back on the message board in April, a few of us wrote osprey facts that we picked up from books or reading other websites.
Tiger 06/29/04 03:54 pm The idea that young ospreys can learn to fish by themselves is just not a theory it is well proven fact.

During the period 1996-2001 a total of 64 young ospreys were tranlocated from Scotland to England. These young birds had no parents to teach them and yet they seemed to learn to fish ok.

Nancy L 06/29/04 04:09 pm Sorry I'm a stickler, but: Chick #1 hatched on 5/13; #2 hatched on 5/15; #3 hatched on 5/17; and #4 on 5/20.
Cecilia 06/29/04 04:30 pm I think Celeste meant to say that last year chicks 1 & 2 hatched on the smae day so they were almost identical in size and strength. Chick #3 didn't hatch for 3 more days so he was really the brunt of his two older siblings from almost day one. This year #3 is a day older than last year's #3 (if I'm remembering it straight) and she has fared better every step of the way.
Celeste 06/29/04 06:21 pm Thanks always I am competing sometimes with "life" around the house when all our home and it does interfere with my "posting"!
Grace 06/29/04 10:49 pm This is my first year here.....did last year's #3 survive?
Cecilia 06/29/04 11:01 pm Sorry to say, # 3 didn't survive last year. But don't start worrying about this year's #3...she's much bigger, stronger and smarter :-) And, better fed!

Copyright © 2004 DPOF

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