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Thread subject: Is Spirit Now Top of The Pecking Order?
Name Date Message
Tiger 07/20/04 03:53 pm Maybe I am wrong in this but is Spirit now top of the pecking order? Ever since he fledged he seems to be getting a much better deal.

Is the reason why, after a tug of war, the loser no longer resists is that they afraid that the winning chick will "go nuclear" and fly away with the fish! I guess that at the moment Spirit is most likely to be able to carry a fish away!

I think that Mickey observed Spirit carry at least part of a fish away!

Mickey 07/20/04 04:02 pm Im not sure there is a pecking order any more.I have observed many tug of wars with all 3 chicks "winning".My ob yesterday (along with Shelley) was a awesome tugofwar. Spirit did indeed fly away with the tail end (after stuffing himself) some time later. All the fish lately (like the one there now) seem to be nice sized bait fish. This would make sense because the local waters are warming up and the Blue fish are being caught everywhere along Long Island.
Marie 07/20/04 06:35 pm It is all a question of TIMING...( as some scientist/researchers say)The chicks hatch at the proper time so that when it is fledging time there will be an abundance of new fish based on what Mickey has just said. This is of course the NORM or most desired circumstance if all things being eaqual. But, as we all know there are many situations that may SQUEW the results! IE, wars between osprey females that manage to 'scramble the eggs' as well as nasty weather, or even predation that all affect outcomes of egg hatching. Nature is one incredible complex system. I learnt all about TIMING when I was studying the great Blue Heron here and how the sudden bloom of eel grass in warmer waters around Victoria invite the fish to come into the protected waters to spawn. This abundance of fish/eggs etc ultimately triggers the need for the female Herons to lay eggs at precisely the right time. The male incubates the eggs too so while she is stocking up with nutrients in the eel grass meadows he sits patiently for HOURS on her eggs! She then can fly home and lay another egg or two. Once again,it is all a question of timing and FISH.
Marie 07/20/04 07:16 pm In answer to your question TIGER, I am not sure if there is a new pecking order in the nest either, for, it still seems that CZ is ALWAYS EATING when I check in even when the other two are present. I would like to believe there is a new order established in that nest for SPIRIT is our HERO after all.
Dave S 07/20/04 07:46 pm I have some thoughts on Tiger’s thread that I would like to throw in. I believe that the birds, even though in the same nest, all have different “personalities”. The young male is very aggressive, even if not the first to hatch. The female chicks seem to accept his aggression and allow him some room. However, when they have had enough, they will “stand tall” and resist. This is different than the adults, the female seems to be dominant in the nest when it comes to conflict with the adult male. Last year the female had many struggles with the male and did not back down and the chicks seemed to be lined up by age of hatching (first was dominant, etc.). The adults this year behaved as they did last year, but the chicks are new and different! As we watch year by year and you wonderful people post your observations and thoughts, we will begin to find trends and answers to a very extensive group of questions. We at the DPOF are very pleased with the participation of all of our “Friends” and hope to continue.
Cecilia 07/20/04 08:06 pm We've had such a great year with this nest! (Except for the demise of #4) Having the third chick survive was a surprise, after what happened last year, and then seeing him fledge first and turn the pecking order upside down was so exciting! (We all love an under dog/chick)

I do think the pecking order changed a day or two after Spirit fledged...at least in his mind!!! CZ never seemed to understand it, she just went on eating and the subtleties of the nest were lost on her. But Peace seemed to see both of them as her superiors after that and certainly Spirit has not hesitated to try to grab fish from both of them.

Thank you, Dave, for coming to the rescue with answers and technical expertise! We really like it when you join us on the boards and it's been a treat that you have been posting and sharing comments with us lately!
Dave S 07/20/04 08:15 pm I should have added that I am trying to say that the birds are not clones of the previous generation, per se, because they do have their own personalities. You have all been very adept at describing their individual personalities. We at DPOF are fortunate to have just enough resources to be able to keep your obs and your message threads archived. I will be using them to create a year end summary like I did last year, but this year I have MUCH more to go through. I will set up an e-mail address that you can send your special obs that you would like included, but please remember that I am trying to summarize. Do not hold back, I will try to include all of your input, even though you have already posted it. I will post the e-mail address shortly.
Celeste 07/20/04 08:36 pm Well, I can't add anymore to what has been said above, except to say I more than thrilled that the DPOF feels we have contributed something with our thoughts and observations. We have learned so much from each other. I also think that we have all been fortunate that this site attracted such a wonderful community of people. Yes, it is really something to see the different personalities in these birds. So many new questions from last year, so many more answers than last year, and hopefully, we will continue asking questions and learning answers in the years to come. And yes Dave, it has been a real treat this year to have your input and your graciousness present on this board. Thank you and all of you from the DPOF for all your hard work. It is most appreciated. It is hard to believe that we waited with such anticipation for the 2nd season, and here we are talking about the year end summary!!!!
Shelley 07/20/04 08:38 pm This is as good a point as any to jump in and add my thanks to you all, again, for making this possible. As a first-year participant here, I have learned a tremendous amount, not just from the priviledge of being able to watch the osprey from such a unique vantage point but also from the input of such a diverse, intelligent and compassionate group of people. This site is in a class of its own and there is no doubt in my mind that the importance of what we are seeing and discovering here will prove itself in the years to come. I feel very priviledged to have been a small part of it.

Thanks again! I look forward to your year-end summary, Dave.
cathy 07/20/04 10:31 pm I kind of like Chickzilla. She seems very task oriented and focused on food. She doesn't notice the lovely sea air and swaying green grass and trees that the others have a chance to contemplate while she chows down. She may take longest to learn to fish because she now has a winning strategy of head and wings down over the prize, gripped firmly in the talons. She may notice that soon others will have fish they have learned to catch while she perseverates on the concept of delivered fish. One day she may notice the fishing idea, and throw herself into that as if she invented it. She will attempt to instruct her siblings on the finer points of fishing and if they are gracious, they will pretend that they don't already know. She may criticize Betty for not keeping her feathers oiled.
Marie 07/21/04 01:10 am I just wanted to add my sincere thanks, especially to you Dave for a wonderful experience here at DPOF. I would never have believed I could have got so engrossed in this wonderful Bird. I have learned much from all the intersting OBS and messages of OUR very observant TEAM of viewers. I do believe that the ever present AUDIO made the difference for me. Last year I spent a lot of time at the Kent eagle nest site but rarely posted. This set-up at DPOF is far superior and easier to view what is actually going on. The message board here is wonderfully easy and I love simplicity in this cluttered, complex world we live in. Thank you all again at DPOF...It allowed for me to Perch as often as I wanted.
cathy 07/21/04 11:50 am Yes - this site and care for ospreys is TOP QUALITY - a benchmark for raising awareness of how important these animals are and the complexity of their development. It also fosters a wonderful comunity with easy to use discussion and observations - open to all and seemingly managed by users. I'm sure alot of care, work and thought has gone into its creation.

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