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Thread subject: News on Marge's eggs
Name Date Message
Anne-UK1 07/18/11 06:29 pm From today's LotL blog page:-

Posted in Diary 2011 |
Osprey egg fertility update!!
Posted on July 18, 2011 by annaranger
7Share
Good news!!!

– the eggs we retrieved from the osprey nest were fertile. Initial results from tests on the eggs have shown that the eggs definitely had started to form. This means our resident female, although an elderly osprey is still fertile. Further tests on the eggs are being carried out and we will keep you informed of anything else that is discovered. This however may take a few weeks, and still further tests will be carried out after that which could take months to get results back from.

However for now at least, we know the problem is not the age of our osprey. Who knows she may yet raise her 50th chick from the nestâ€Â¦!

Anna

Perthshire Ranger

Posted in Diary 2011 |
Shelley 07/18/11 10:51 pm Did I miss something? Did they remove viable eggs from her nest just to see if they are viable?? Why would they do that? And what problem are they referring to?
Anne-UK1 07/19/11 03:11 am Shelley, they took the eggs a couple of weeks ago. They wanted to find out why they didn't hatch and the good news is that it was more likely due to the weather than Marge's age. So you never know, next year she could be back and raising a new family. She certainly looks well so I wouldn't put it past her :)
Tiger 07/19/11 04:32 am Shelly they were removed about 70 days after they were laid.
Shelley 07/19/11 07:35 am Thanks. I hadn't realized this
Anne-UK1 07/19/11 10:02 am Yes, sorry I should have said - the adults had started leaving the eggs for several hours at a time. They then covered them up, much as the pair at Woods Hole did last year. So the staff at LotL took the opportunity during one of the pair's absences to climb up to retrieve the eggs for examination.

I wonder how much more they will be able to find out. It's good to know the eggs were fertile but whether they can tell if it was chilling from the rainy weather that caused the problem or if there was some other issue with the chicks that stopped them developing is something I'm not sure about. I remember Phoebe hummingbird having a couple of unsuccessful broods when I first followed that nest - although she was still producing fertile eggs, they either didn't hatch at all or produced weakly chicks that didn't survive. I think the site was then taken over by a new younger female, so presumably the original one was past her best years. I'd hate to think that was the case with Marge, but if she really is as old as they say then it has to be possible I suppose.

Celeste 07/19/11 10:44 am We do learn so much each day with osprey and their eggs. A "senior" osprey, her eggs whether fertile or not..it's at these times that technology is a "good" thing:-)
Anne-UK1 07/19/11 12:32 pm It does seem that way Celeste. I will be interested to hear how far developed the embryos were. People on the discussion group were sure she was listening to her chicks just before they were due to hatch. Now the debate is whether she was actually hearing them inside the eggs or if listening is just automatic at a certain stage of incubation.
Trishrg 07/19/11 08:16 pm All very interesting. Thanks for posting. After such the drama last year, it's a miracle Marge is even here.
It will be interesting to know what else they find.

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