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Thread subject: That 4th Egg !
Name Date Message
Mickey 04/16/04 07:24 pm I am just baffled by its size and its pure whiteness compared to the other 3. What do you think of it being a albino? Maybe theres something wrong with it? I know egg #4 doesnt stand a chance but Im still baffled. Its like someone went and planted a store bought chicken egg up there when we werent lookin !
Cecilia 04/16/04 07:34 pm Hi Mickey...
I keep wondering about that too. If it weren't for the fact that DPOF posted archived footage of Betty laying the 4th egg I would be worried that a cow bird had left it there :-) (They are famous for letting other species raise their babies). Maybe it just hasn't gotten dirty yet, as someone suggested? Personally, I'm worried that tomorrow Betty will produce egg #5, since she has been on a 72 hour cycle. I don't think I can stand it! :-(
Mickey 04/16/04 07:45 pm Hi Cecilia :) I hear you about #5 :(
As far as the egg becoming dirty, #4 has a long way to go. This is the first egg to come out solid white. We`ve seen 8 eggs in 2 years and 7 have come out speckled. Its amazing. I also think we`re observing something very unique egg wise.
Shelley 04/16/04 07:52 pm That was me who raised the question of the possibility that the 4th egg was a *gift* by someone else but even if it were possible, how and when could it have happened? That nest is hardly ever left unattended by one or the other of them. I did see it empty earlier today (I noted that on the observation page) but it was only for one minute, I watched the clock. And surely, even if none of us actually see it, the video is running and would have caught an intruder bird, wouldn't it
Mickey 04/16/04 07:54 pm Make no mistake about it, Betty laid that egg.
Shelley 04/16/04 07:59 pm I just had another thought. If there is indeed something *wrong* or odd about this egg, would Betty sense it and try to do something about it, like get rid of it? I know in nature, sometimes a parent won't feed a weak offspring, almost as if it knows that it won't survive anyhow and it must concentrate its energies on keeping the stronger ones alive. Do you think she *sees* that it's so very different? Could this be causing her some distress?

I really don't know, I'm just rambling here....wondering at this phenomenon. Any ideas, anyone?
Jack 04/16/04 08:08 pm Hello All....I concur with you Mickey. The normal osprey egg is noticebly smaller than a chicken egg. Its normal coloration is a creamy/beige background with dark brown blotches. The thought had crossed my mind of another bird depositing the egg....but as someone else stated ...the ospreys never leave the nest unattended. In any event it could be quite interesting if and when #4 hatches. By the way...I took a walk through the refuge today and there is a nest right along one of the trails that is also occupied. It is a good opportunity to get up close and personal with the ospreys. Although I do wonder how successful this pair will be with the public having such close access to their nest. Good observing to you all.
Shelley 04/16/04 08:16 pm Jack, are you referring to this Brookhaven site, as the *refuge* you mentioned? Is the nest you saw a natural one, in the treetops or is there a man-made platform there, as well? Are you part of the DPOF crew?

Sorry, I don't mean to be so nosy, but I'm still fairly new here and don't really know you *regular* posters yet! I'm still trying to get you all straight in my head, as I post and read posts and observations and try to catch up!
Jack 04/16/04 10:44 pm Hi Shelly. Yes the refuge I'm referring to is The Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge which is where the osprey cam nestsite is. It is not accessible to the fact when I was there today they kind of "clammed up" when I asked where it was....which is really a good thing. The nest that I observed today is on a man-made platform right along side a trail that is easily accessible. You are probably 50 feet from the pole as you stand on the trail. I don't know if you are local. But if you e-mail me or I/M me I would be more than happy to give you directions. Lastly, I am not involved with the DPOF.....other than the fact that I intend to send them a donation after getting so much enjoyment from their site. I am a retired guy who loves the outdoors...especially birds....especially raptors. Take care....Hope you are able to see the nest. You can reach me at
Matt 04/16/04 11:44 pm Hmm, I guess the cat is out of the bag. Darn, and I thought I could keep it a secret. I confess, it is me inside the 4th egg. I wanted to get a closer view of the Ospreys and chicks. I didn't think the paint would wash off the egg, but alas, it did. It sure is warm in here though.

Just being a bit wacky tonight :)
Shelley 04/17/04 06:49 am You guys are too funny! Jack, I'm in Toronto, Canada so directions to the refuge aren't really necessary at this time ;-). But if I ever make it down that way, I'll be sure to let you know, thanks! I'm also really enjoying this site. I especially love how it's live video and sound. This message board (and the observation board)is fun, too.
Marie 04/17/04 01:12 pm Hi Shelly I have looked up about OSPREYS and found that they lay generally only four eggs...most often 3. The colour ranges from white/pinkish-white/pinkish-cinnamon, marked with brown/ olive markings...rarely unmarked. So the experts do say the eggs can be all white and unmarked and clearly this Easter egg is definitely bigger...Doubtful she will lay a fifth but one never knows.Incubation time is any where from 32 days to 43 days. This is a very special pair of OSPREYS... they may surprise us. I saw the second baby Eaglet at the Nu eagle site this am. How exciting this all is...can't wait till Kent Eagle nest produces and then we have a nest that should produce here in Victoria along the water front four days later after KENT. Matt you are so funny and you too Shelly. Love all this dialogue
Fred W. 04/17/04 04:24 pm There is only one ugly explanation here:
An Extramarital Affair with a large White Goose. Immediate DNA testing is prescribed. (And I thought Ospreys paired for life, ...and uniquely paired for life.) You know what this means:
A Brookhaven "Goospray" will now be born!

But, alas, I really know True Love and Fidelity prevail with our Ospreys and certainly no adverse aspersions are cast on the integrity of our birds. So therefore, I wonder..., could it really indeed be, ...Matt?
Mickey 04/17/04 04:59 pm when will "Matt" hatch then Fred? hehehe
Matt 04/18/04 01:30 am Well i'll tell ya. If I get another week of rain like we had this past week, i'm coming out real fast. Let's hope we get some more nice days like today.

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