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Thread subject: Great Horned Owl Takes Osprey Chick at Terrapin Cove in NJ
Name Date Message
FOB Webmaster 07/11/11 06:32 pm And amazingly they got video of it. It's not gruesome, but the chick was taken. Here's the cam showing one chick.
Peter 07/11/11 06:43 pm Thanks for the link. It happened so quickly -- survival of the fittest.
Pam 07/11/11 07:09 pm Good grief !!!
Peter 07/11/11 07:23 pm No parents at the nest again at 7:23 PM EDT.

Remaining chick laying low.
FOB Webmaster 07/11/11 07:28 pm I wonder if they're newbie parents.
Peter 07/11/11 07:42 pm One parent back scouting the sky actively IMO.
Tiger 07/11/11 08:21 pm Wow. That tells you why great horned owls are so feared by ospreys!
DaisyG 07/11/11 08:28 pm The food chain strikes again!
Peter 07/11/11 08:52 pm chick alone.
FOB Webmaster 07/11/11 09:32 pm Just saw on their website that it says two chicks have been taken by the owl. It also said that the female adult hatched in 2002 and the male in 2006.
cathleen 07/12/11 01:42 am Yikes. :( Amazing that they got the video capture. So... the parents ARE somewhat inexperienced, though the female has had perhaps 5-6 breeding years already.
Peter 07/12/11 08:07 am Chick alone on nest again. Not good.
Melanie 07/12/11 09:38 am I don't think experience has anything to do with it. A GHO is the only real avian threat an osprey has and they are fully capable of taking out an adult osprey. If it wants the chick it will not matter if the adult is on the nest or not. I have seen the remains of an adult osprey who was killed and eaten on it's nest while the two chicks were left untouched.
Tiger 07/12/11 12:04 pm No wonder the lake Barkley osprey pair decided to move when they found a GHO in their nest earlier this year.

Question is. How do ospreys survive at all of GHOs are around? Surely all the GHO is to do is monitor the osprey nest to see how a future meal is getting on.
FOB Webmaster 07/12/11 01:40 pm I do think parents gain skills the longer they are parents.

At Blackwater, we had experienced eagle parents protect their eggs through a 2-foot snowstorm, but we also had newbie osprey parents give up on protecting their eggs through a three-day rainstorm, abandoning the eggs to crows. An experienced pair would not have given up so easily. And sadly the sun came out just an hour after the osprey parents gave up.

I think it's possible a new osprey father who has not defended a nest from a GHO before might not be skilled at the task right from the start.

But I know we have at least one GHO that likes to visit our Osprey Cam nest when the ospreys are not in residence (he disappears once the osprey couple is back), but we've never lost a chick to an owl. The parents make sure that the nest and chicks are defended. And I've been told we have quite a few GHOs on refuge property.
Peter 07/12/11 02:53 pm Both parents have been on the nest for a while, but if the chick is still there it is hard to see. Maybe in the shade under a parent?
Peter 07/12/11 03:25 pm Yes the chick is there.
Trishrg 07/12/11 08:45 pm Lisa- That was one sad video....

Your post about the osprey giving up in the rain brings back the saga of when Dennis went missing for days.
I know I had given up all hope that there would be a successful nest, and was almost wishing Betty to go leave, and feed herself.... yes, may be experience.
Tiger 07/13/11 04:35 am The one overriding lesson I have learned over the years is that "Ospreys know best"......well about osprey things anyway!
Celeste 07/13/11 06:44 am Ditto re Melanie's comment. Shocking to see that dead adult osprey on a banding trip as a result of an owl. Know these things happen, but hated "seeing" it.
Melanie 07/13/11 12:25 pm From

The Great Horned Owl will take large prey, even other raptorial birds. It regularly kills and eats other owls, and is an important predator on nestling Ospreys. The reintroduction of Peregrine Falcons has been hampered in some areas by owls killing both adult and nestling falcons.

The Great Horned Owl is a regular victim of harassment from flocks of American Crows. Crows congregate from long distances to mob owls, and may continue yelling at them for hours. The enmity of the crows is well earned, however, as the owl is probably the most important predator on adult crows and nestlings.
martyc35 07/13/11 02:26 pm And crows do not forget, as we learned from other sources.
Anne 07/13/11 04:01 pm Oooh that was awful. I saw your comment Tiger about being glad we dont have GHOs here. But we do have a growing Eagle owl population and last year one predated a Hen harrier nest in Bowland. Whats more it frightened the hen bird away.

These giant owls are all descendants of escaped birds and the RSPB are debating as to whether they should be culled. Meanwhile they are spreading in the NW, N Yorks and southern Scotland.
Pam 07/13/11 04:18 pm I always remember (years ago) taking our miniature daschund to Riber Castle in Derbys which used to have caged birds. The eagle owl there was eyeing him up and definitely thinking about having our dog with chips !!!
Mickey 07/14/11 08:29 pm wow !
Tiger 07/16/11 02:03 pm Apparently a third chick survived to be banded recently. One chick was found dead at the base of the tree presumably dropped by the owl.

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