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Thread subject: Dennis's Fishing Exams
Name Date Message
Tiger 05/15/05 06:05 pm Does Dennis realise that his fishing exams are about to start??

How do you think he is going to do?

I find it hard to make up my mind. Although both he and Betty do not seem to be starving all I have seen Betty receive is very small pieces of fish that she seems to consume in about 10 minutes.

This does not compare well with other osprey nests that I am aware of.

I have to think that unless he suddenly starts bringing in many more fish we are going to have a big problem.

Cecilia 05/15/05 06:14 pm I'm with you Tiger...I'm very worrried about the fate of the chicks that will arrive any day now. I hope, against what we've seen, that Dennis is compelled by some innate sense of survival drive (of his genes) to feed his family but I don't really trust that he will live up to the challenge. I sincerely would love to be wrong :-(
Marie 05/15/05 06:29 pm It seems to be we have seen a few 'FIRSTS' Betty goes off and gets her own fish when Dennis doesn't provide. Could this male do something other than follow the text book 'norm' . Perhaps he will chicky-sit and brood his young while the female gets some of the catch-of-the-day. So far,is it my impression that he seems to really like to share the egg incubating duties. Maybe this is yet another example of differences between ospreys and pairs. Like Cecelia and Tiger, I do have some major concerns for the new hatchlings if indeed Dennis does neither of the above with any responsibility.
Tiger 05/15/05 06:36 pm Have we any evidence that Betty ever went and got her own fish?? The female at Rutland did that a few weeks ago and it was felt to be a first!

Apparently the male is not as good at incubating the eggs as the female.

The thing which concerns me most about Dennis is that of the few fishes I have seen him deliver he has already eaten about 70 to 80%. I can imagine how popular that will be when Chickzilla wants to be fed and #4 also is feeling a bit peckish.

Marie 05/15/05 07:44 pm Tiger...I think it is an assumption on my part that Betty catches her own fish periodically. 1) she sure doesn't scream at him like 2004 Betty did to her Dennis. One would assume she isn't very hungry in this case. Didn't somebody report that Betty had gone awol for two hours one day.Meanwhile Dennis just incubated. She surely would have gone fishing, especially if Dennis hadn't been providing. Perhaps he drapes his catch over a favorite snag close by so that it doesn't soil the nest. Perhaps he is a 'neat-freak' and has obsessive compulsive tendancies where he just doesn't want a messy nest.After all we have read that it is the male that builds the nest and has the greatest interest in the nest.
I know I have read that a bird incubating doesn't need as much food as normally required. Maybe Betty has a poor appetite...
Wish we could have another camera positioned that gives us the view surrounding the nest. THat way we would see more of the action along the river etc...well I can only DREAM...from my own observations I see a whole lot of just standing around on favorite snags. Some occasionally soaring the thermals off the land and some engaged in fishing. It is the same for eagles. Just a whole lot of standing and watching and waiting for the right moment to kill. I watched the male beach eagle take down a gull today. It was awesome...sad for the gull but what a killing machine. THere are 1200 pairs of gulls nesting out on one of the breeding colony rocks. No shortage of food in this area. The two baby eaglets in the nest that are only two weeks old got a fresh meal. So far all the four nests in this area have two eaglets in each and are all growing well.
karen h 05/15/05 09:30 pm If Dennis is a relatively poor fisherman, maybe he'll do better as "stay-at-home" Dad and Betty will ensure that there are enough fish for the little ones. Seems like every time I see the second osprey at the Blackwater nest (and I've assumed that mostly it's the male), he's there with a fish. Of course, they seem to be very abundant there. The eaglets had (and have) frequent fresh fish.
It takes patience to observe the osprey habits at Blackwater with the 60 second refresh of still pictures (not complaining Lisa!). Would enjoy being independently wealthy to fund live video at sites with still pictures, but, alas....
Celeste 05/16/05 05:57 am I share concerns about the feeding when the chicks arrive also. Especially when I read that male osprey fish only 35% of their time to ensure "their" survival. But I am also hoping that something will "kick" in once the chicks arrive. Remember in the early days this couple really didn't seem to know what to do...I don't think we even expected Dennis to share nesting duties the way he has. I am thinking though that this nest will be more like the nest we witnessed the first year. I think it could be a "rocky" road this summer for observations. Weather conditions last Spring were better than they have been so far this Spring too....Maybe we will be pleasantly surprised.....but I keep trying to remind myself that this nest is one of many and one thing I have learned this year, we can never conclude that we have observed everything that there is to observe when it comes to this bird. One thing that the author Stephen Carpenteri wrote in his "Acknowledgements" was that "Even after a lifetime of wildlife study, observation and appreciation, no individual can honestly claim to know and to have seen it all, and so the most complete guidebook is one in which many have contributed their knowledge and experience."
So true, and as David Gessner said, "we" are contributing to the "rewriting"!
FOB Webmaster 05/16/05 07:17 am "It takes patience to observe the osprey habits at Blackwater with the 60 second refresh of still pictures (not complaining Lisa!)."

No problem -- I agree. When the eagles fledge for good, we'll go back to 30-second updates to get a better look at the osprey chicks.

We're also looking into a way to capture video from the Refuge monitor and put some of the clips on the website.
Tiger 05/16/05 04:45 pm This was an obs by Mickey last year. I do not think we have any fish like that this year!

After that huge headless fish was brought that Celeste observed Dennis sat on all 4 eggs. And it was a huge fish.Betty brought back what she couldnt finish and left it in the nest and pushed Dennis off the eggs.He left the nest and the fish. Shes now resting on the eggs with said fish almost under her chin lol
I hope he fishes like this when the chicks hatch !
Nancy L 05/16/05 09:01 pm You're right, Tiger. Remember all those fish Dennis brought in, still wiggling in the nest? I think we're all hoping for a miracle this year!

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006