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Thread subject: Hellgate cam, Montana
Name Date Message
Pam 06/22/11 11:57 am I just watched the eldest chick savaging the young one on this nest. Does anyone know what happened to Chick #3 ? Amazing to watch those birds carrying on with their lives and all the traffic and hustle and bustle around them. I don't suppose someone parking in the carpark thinks about somebody watching them in England.
Melanie 06/22/11 01:23 pm Died early June 14. See HD Cam with Sound thread
Pam 06/22/11 03:49 pm I know it died but I wondered how or why and what happened to its body?
Pam 06/22/11 05:12 pm Just watching a freight train pass the nest - they go on for ever !! this one mst be a mile long.
Celeste 06/22/11 05:19 pm The nest we sometimes mention on Sunrise Highway is even busier and it's much closer to the highway in between 6 lanes of traffic going East and West . It amazes me also that they tolerate all that noise, but who knows, maybe to them the sounds are other wildlife:-)!
Peter 06/23/11 06:59 pm The younger chick here does not look too healthy this evening IMO.
Peter 06/24/11 11:53 am There is some bad whoopin' going on this morning by the larger chick. Mom is not protecting the runt who may not make it through the day IMO.
Nancy L 06/24/11 12:47 pm Celeste, do you mean the nest near the RR overpass, or the one by the Gruman site? I rarely see any action at the Gruman one, but plenty at the other one. Also active nest by the Montauk Hwy RR overpass just east of the Arboretum entrance & west of the Arboretum near Hecksher Parkway.
Celeste 06/24/11 07:00 pm Yes the Grumman one is the nest, but you are right, there hasn't been any action there at all. I don't think there was osprey there last season either. However, when it was occupied it amazed me how that nest would never know any peace or quiet! I really miss the Arboretum chimney nest. It's 2 season isn't it that it hasn't been occupied?
Nancy L 06/25/11 12:46 pm Yes, I'm wondering if the Arboretum is discouraging it.
Peter 06/25/11 03:37 pm Looks as if both chicks at Hellgate are suffering from lack of food. The older one does not have the energy to whoop the younger one.

Hard to watch.
Pam 06/25/11 04:01 pm You can control this cam today. I zoomed in on the chicks. Earlier the young one was not moving and at one point I thought it was gone. Now it is moving about and really does not look too bad considering the beating it has received from Ch1. I have not seen any food delivered while I have been looking today. It is interesting to pan the cam to see the situation of the nest in relation to the river.
Pam 06/25/11 05:18 pm the Hellgate chicks
Shelley 06/25/11 07:14 pm So sad. Where are the parents? Shouldn't they be around more?
terryo 06/25/11 08:35 pm I was reading some fishing reports from the Clark Fork River, the consensus is fishing is not an viable option due to the large volume of water coming down the Clark Fork which is creating extremely fast moving and turbulent muddy water conditions. I don't know how long these conditions have existed but I have a feeling it's been several days (or even weeks) now. (Could review USGS river flow rates if anyone really needs to know). I'm surprised the female (or the male wherever he is) hasn't left the nest to look for roadkill, or other varmits that could have provided nutrition. I don't know history of this nest so can't tell if this is 1st time parents or not.
Pam 06/26/11 05:47 am Shelley, one parent was with the chicks all the time I was looking in except for a few seconds at once point. She? did not seem to be calling for food but was constantly scanning the sky as if looking for her partner and was shading the chicks from the sun. The river does look very fast flowing and is obviously running high. I would think catching fish woud be well nigh impossible there for the Osprey. I wonder if there are any lakes in the area which have fish.
Update: I have now just caught up with some posts on the Hancock website and see that chick #2 died after I had switched off yesterday.
I followed the Facebook link but only one or two folk are posting there. I could not find a way to post a message myself, maybe that is the reason why people are communicating about this nest through the Hancock website.
Pam 06/26/11 08:48 am Well I think I found the way of post on the Osprey Cam facebook page. You have to click on "Like" which then opens up a text panel for you to write a message.
Pam 06/26/11 05:38 pm I can only view this nest via the controllable cam link this evening (UK time) but am happy to report that fish has now been delivered and the remaining chick is being fed. What a pity this could not have happened yesterday because there also seems to be a spare fish lying on the nest which would have meant more than enough for both chicks. Too late I am afraid :-((
terryo 06/26/11 06:19 pm Tks for the update Pam, I haven't been able to log on today so your report was enlightening. Ditto on it's too bad that fish couldn't have arrived yesterday. Gotta give the male credit, the conditions are still horrible from what I can tell and he came through considering the conditions. Tks again.
Peter 06/26/11 06:26 pm Per Hancockwildlife blog, there are two new fish on the nest.
Marie 06/27/11 12:41 am Wow ..this is a real saga...how sad , two chicks gone already.
Thanks for all your hard work Pam looking for info.
I will try to look in early tomorrow before work.
martyc35 06/30/11 01:33 pm I could open this site last week, but it's gone now.
marty
Pam 06/30/11 04:09 pm Marty, I'm having trouble too but can get it here:
http://montanaosprey4.axiscam.net/view/viewer_index.shtml?id=14541

it is the controllable cam, although you cannot control it without a password, but at least you can see both adults with fish and remaining chick right now.
Pam 06/30/11 04:12 pm I cannot get sound by the way from Hellgate.
martyc35 06/30/11 04:33 pm Thanks, Pam. Good to know the survivors are still there.
marty
SamiS 07/08/11 06:09 pm Hope this will help (taken from the U of Montana site)

Why are we seeing so many osprey chicks die this year?

By Dr. Erick Greene
University of Montana Division of Biological Science and The Wildlife Biology Program

Many of you have been noticing that the larger Osprey chick attacked the smaller Osprey chick, and that the parent just stood by and did not break it up. This fighting can be quite brutal, and it led to the smaller chick dying. Some of you have asked why this was going on, and why we did not step in and ârescueâ the smaller chick and raise it in captivity.

Even though this behavior seems cruel and can be hard to watch, we want to explain that this is a completely natural, wide-spread and adaptive behavior. In many kinds of birds that have a fluctuating and unpredictable food supply, the female starts to incubate as soon as she lays the first egg. This means that the first egg gets a developmental head start on all the later eggs; the second egg gets a head start on all the later eggs, and so on. As a result the chicks hatch over a span of many days, and so there can be a large difference in size among the siblings in the same nest. This is called âhatching asynchrony.â Here is a picture of an Osprey nest with four chicks huddled together, and you can see the remarkable difference in size between the oldest and the smallest.

Description: Hatching asynchrony Ospreys.jpg
Photo by Anja Heister

In years of plenty, there is enough food to go around without any of the chicks being hungry. In years of low food supply, however, the largest chicks are hungry and start to behave aggressively towards their smaller siblings, usually starving or killing them. Biologists call this behavior âsiblicideâ and it occurs in MANY kinds of birds, including hawks, eagles, owls, herons and egrets, pelicans, boobies, albatrosses and many more. Although this behavior seems cruel, in a strange way it is an adaptation to unpredictable food supplies. It produces a self-regulating brood size that automatically maximizes the number of healthy and strong chick that can be raised on the amount of food that is available during any given year. When there is a lot of food, all the chicks survive; in lean years, rather than producing lots of feeble and weak offspring, fewer chicks survive but they tend to be stronger and have a better chance of surviving.

This year seems to be a particularly difficult for Ospreys. The very high and muddy rivers in Montana means that they have a very difficult time seeing and catching fish. As a result, the frequency of siblicide is higher than in other years. Another important thing to consider is that Ospreys can live for a long time, and year-to-year variations in reproductive success are normal for them. The important thing for a pair is that over the course of their reproductive lives they are able to produce enough strong and well-fed chicks, rather than more sickly ones who would survive poorly.

If we removed smaller chicks and raised them by hand, it would only doom them to perhaps a crueler, drawn-out demise. Ospreys are very hard to raise and keep in captivity, but more importantly, we could not teach them how to be Ospreys the way their parents do. Osprey parents continue to feed their chicks long after they leave the nest, they teach their chicks how to fish, and they often teach them how and where to migrate. We could not do any of this, and so when we released the chicks they would certainly be doomed since they would not have the continued support of their parents to teach them the very difficult path of Ospreydom.

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Last modified: Sun March 7, 2010