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Thread subject: More Amazing Adventures of Henry (Loch Garten)
Name Date Message
Tiger 04/29/05 02:36 pm As I suggested the other day, the newly returned Henry did indeed get rid of the eggs that he had not fertilized. It was a very deliberate act.

Also they have suggested that Henry may have been late because he encountered oil at some point. I guess that this is a hazard for ospreys.

Perhaps most remarkable is the fact the our Newbie probably features in the diary! I guess that Sarah will confirm it.

Anyway read it at:

http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/a/abernethyforest/diary/index.asp
Tiger 04/29/05 02:41 pm Here was the description of how he got rid of the eggs!

On Tuesday at dawn Henry arrived on the nest and EJ got up from her overnight incubation of the three eggs. Last season we saw EJ and Henry exchange places and Henry settle to incubate. On this occasion he looked into the cup, gently lowered his chest then suddenly flailed both legs.

One of the eggs disappeared over the side of the nest and a second hit the rim. He got up, looked down at the remaining egg in the cup, lowered himself again and the third egg took flight, clearing the rim by at least a metre. After looking down again Henry took flight and promptly disappeared - leaving our volunteers, staff and, many would say EJ, stupefied.

Sarah Brown 04/29/05 02:51 pm Lol. Yes... I e-mailed them last year and was priveleged to be part of a group e-mail that they sent out. This year when Henry arrived back we got a group e-mail before it went out on the diary...I replied asking about Henry's condition and the RSPB guy sent me a personal e-mail back just clarifying something which I thought was a very kind generous gesture, bless him. I saw earlier that some of the E-mails were referred to including mine...must admit I was slightly embarassed lol.
Henry proved to be a wonderful father last year...but you never know...there is always a small possibility they may lay eggs in a couple of weeks ago,but very small... Initially I felt sad but there again...that's nature.
Cecilia 04/29/05 02:53 pm Way to go Henry! I'll keep my fingers crossed that EJ can lay another clutch of eggs. Thanks for the update Tiger.
And Sarah..be proud, not embarassed...obviously your comments meant a lot to the the writers of the L.G. Diary.
Tiger 04/29/05 02:54 pm The fascinating thing is that Henry's behavior contrasts with that of S18 some years ago. When S18 was delayed like Henry he came back to find the wife sitting on eggs. He did drive off the young male but accepted the eggs as his.

Celeste 04/29/05 03:14 pm Oh my goodness.....what a story! It has all the makings of a terrific movie! Henry's behavior is unbelievable....once again, Cec.....does Poole ever address such an occurrence of a male deliberately ridding a nest of eggs he didn't fertilize? Thank you Tiger for introducing us to Henry!
Melanie 04/29/05 03:23 pm How does he know they aren't his eggs? Inquiring minds want to know!
Tiger 04/29/05 03:26 pm The diary mentions "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins. This is one of the best books I have ever read and is a MUST READ.

Oh Celeste this nest is quite something. It has a history going back to 1959.
Tiger 04/29/05 03:29 pm Well Melanie if a male comes back after having been away for six months and finds eggs he is likely to be a wee bit suspicious of the wife. I guess he should think about using a chastity belt in future.

After all raising chicks fathered by Orange VS would be a waste of time anyway!

RonS 04/29/05 03:31 pm Melanie, here's the opening scene in Act III:
Henry, sitting with his wings outspread so he can count on his flight feathers," So, let's see. It takes about 30 days for a fertilized eggs to be laid, and I've been gone about 6 months. That would make..... HEY! WAIT A MINUTE!......"
Melanie 04/29/05 03:33 pm And the next line would have been "Just who's been feathering my nest?
Cecilia 04/29/05 05:03 pm I'm voting for Melanie and Ron to write the screenplay!!!

Celeste, I took a quick look in Poole's book and I didn't see anything about males reacting to another osprey's eggs. I have read that the eggs have a pungent scent and that even eggs that have been stored for many years still retain an odor. Perhaps Dennis could smell that those eggs were not his. I say that reluctantly because I seem to remember that birds don't have a particularily strong sense of smell. So then it would come down to instinct... which in ospreys appears to be very advanced. All in all I'm not surprised by Henry's actions...it's what I would expect from a male that has been such an "alpha bird" in the past.

I did read somewhere (it may have been Poole's book) that often when eggs get damaged and females do lay more, that they may produce fewer, perhaps only 2. I'm hoping the EJ has read the same book :-)

Celeste 04/29/05 05:11 pm Thank you Cec....and yes, I have also read the same thing about a second nest being smaller, (just two eggs).....and successful by the way also.
Tiger 04/29/05 05:18 pm Of course Henry has been copulating with EJ again. I guess it would just have been fishing if he had accepted the eggs.

I do wonder how he would know about fertilization anyway. After all he does not have access to any osprey books or the Internet.

Marie 04/29/05 06:33 pm INSTINCT, my dear Watson, instinct.
Those eggs that EJ was incubating probably smelt foreign to Henry so they just has to be flushed over the edge of the nest. I think I might have mentioned earlier that Henry needed to have an egg smashing party. Guess this action was the best he could do. Hopefully one remained intact as it hit the ground so that the wardens at LG could preserve. I know that males of many species will kill the young if they aren't their own when they have won the right to mate with the female of choice. Nature is incredibly cruel in many ways but it is all about preserving the strongest genes and we sure seem to be seeing this first hand. What a story this this all is. Thank you for all the updates.
Tiger 04/29/05 06:38 pm Notice how Henry waited until EJ's back was turned before he acted on the eggs! Also there seemed a bit of an atmosphere between them for a while.

I had noticed that brown on Henry's breast and I was wondering what was up! Now we know.
Marie 04/29/05 06:52 pm Yes I just read all about the oil from the diary just a little while ago. What a bird our Henry is. Too late now for me to tell you about my encounter with a friend here this evening who was at Loch Garten two weeks ago. Will tell you tomorrow Off to bed now.....
cathy 04/29/05 10:58 pm Suspense.....
Tiger 04/30/05 06:57 pm EJ seems to have laid another egg. Now that is fast!

We will soon find out about second clutches.

Copyright © 2006 DPOF

Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006