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Thread subject: Crisis At Dyfi
Name Date Message
Tiger 06/08/12 05:44 pm It has been raining heavily at Dyfi for the last 14 hours and will probably continue for the next 12.

The two chicks are 8 and 10 days old respectively.

Question is how long can they hold out without being fed?

Anne-UK1 06/08/12 05:47 pm I just read their facebook page Tiger. Not sounding good at all :(

Just hoping the morning brings better news. They've had such a tough time this year.
Trishrg 06/09/12 09:29 am Latest update-
13.35 - The chicks have barely moved since the last posting. Things are really hanging in the balance. When the camera came on there was a fish on the nest but the chicks were not responding to Nora's attempts to feed. We do not know if they fed before the cameras were on. At the moment, Nora is feeding herself and Monty is brooding the chicks. We can only hope he can give them enough warmth to keep them going.
Anne-UK1 06/09/12 10:18 am Not looking good. Latest says they think the younger one has died. The older one seems too weak to stand.

Sad times. What stupid weather we've had this year :(
Trishrg 06/09/12 10:21 am Nora is eating, and one chick you can tell is breathing, can't see the other though. Looks too weak for anything.
Yes, stupid weather indeed.
Trishrg 06/09/12 11:19 am It's over.
Anne-UK1 06/09/12 11:50 am Thanks Trish. That's so sad. I can't find a new update on the Dyfi pages, but the live cam seems to be showing scenery instead of the nest so I guess that confirms it.
Trishrg 06/09/12 12:11 pm Maybe I jumped the gun on it being over.

Adult on nest, on chicks. Saw chick still wiggling around, and more than before.
Facebook viewer posts say it got a feed, and someone saw a full crop.
Talons crossed.
Peter 06/09/12 12:35 pm The live feed is slow, and stops at times, due to increased interest I guess. A sad day indeed if the chicks are all gone.
Peter 06/09/12 01:00 pm One chick is alert enough to be preening herself, and an adult is at the top right eating a fish. The live feed keeps cutting out, but comes back in once in a while.

1 PM EDT USA: the chick is taking food from the adult.
Peter 06/09/12 01:25 pm Both Mom and chick appear to be satisfied with food. Mom is covering chick, and there is still fresh fish in the nest, just to the right of Mom. Crisis averted?
Trishrg 06/09/12 02:37 pm Well I'll be damned. They intervened!

Dyfi Osprey Project
â19:00 Folks, we had to do something today that we never thought we would have to do.

Those of you that watched the live streaming around 3pm saw that one chick had clearly died and the eldest chick was too weak to hold it's head up. Nora was on the nest and wouldn't feed her chick as she did not see the the food begging behaviour that she would expect. We have watched two chicks die in the nest during the last 9 days, we didn't want to see the last one go.

We took the difficult decision to go to the nest and remove both the dead chick and the one that was barely alive and try and feed it. After around 15 minutes we finally got him to take some fish. He/she was shaking and could not lift it's head. After around 30 minutes we had its crop around half full and he had stopped shaking - we immediately put him back in the nest and around 5 minutes later Nora was feeding him.

Intervention like this is not the norm and will, most likely, attract some criticism. At the moment, we feel we had no option but to intervene in this way.

All three ospreys now looking well on the nest in beautiful evening sunshine.
Anne-UK1 06/09/12 02:57 pm I just read that on their facebook page!

Absolutely wonderful. I know it's wrong to intervene, but sometimes you have to do the 'wrong' thing. Well done the team :)

I just hope the weather improves now. The forecast's not looking good for the next few days again, but if we can avoid the torrential, persistent downpours we've had over the last couple of days maybe the little one will make it. Fingers crossed double time.

Still can't believe what I just read - I'd avoided going back there because I was sure it was going to be bad news. Lost for words at the moment.
Peter 06/09/12 03:10 pm "Survival of the Fittest" just took a hit IMO.

What a tangled web we weave!
Shelley 06/09/12 03:39 pm There is a feeding going on right now, as I watch. Chick seems vigorous! Is this the same cam? I clicked the link in the first message in this thread. Weather looks fine, too, at the moment.

Fingers crossed!
Anne-UK1 06/09/12 04:29 pm It's amazing how quickly the little one has picked up. Maybe that's what "survival of the fittest" means - fit enough to accept that helping hand on the rare occasions it's offered.

This is the first osprey pair to nest in mid Wales in 400 years, they say. Three chicks last year was a great start, but to have none this year when one could be saved with just the tiniest bit of help would be so wrong imo.

Man has done enough damage to the planet. And in any case, isn't building artificial nest platforms intervention?
Shelley 06/09/12 04:56 pm Well-said, Anne!
Peter 06/09/12 05:13 pm Feeding, and perhaps saving, any animal which may have died without intervention, is usually, in my opinion, an act of saving HUMAN EMOTIONAL PAIN from witnessing a death which is part of the Natural Order of Things.

Building a house for them to inhabit is, yes, somewhat of an intrusion, but this act is worlds apart from what was done at Dyfi today.

Until human beings can detach themselves from THEIR emotional baggage at moments like this, there will continue to be further assaults on the genetic strength of species like ospreys.

How many chicks have died this year without intervention? Hundreds? Thousands? (including all species in nests witnessed AND not witnessed.)

Folks, the world is full of death! If this intervention was done because of HUMAN discomfort with death, it ensured that MORE more animal deaths, not fewer, will occur in the animal world in the future due to genetic weakening.

"Physician, heal thyself?"

PS - -I realize that this is not a politically correct position here. Sorry if I have ruffled anyone's feathers, but someone has to say it!
Anne-UK1 06/09/12 05:29 pm No, you're right in a totally logical way.

I almost added in my post that probably hundreds of other birds and mammals will have died in Wales this last couple of days. The weather has been truly horrendous and exceptional - unheard of in the lifetime of a 75 year old inhabitant of one village.

BBC's Springwatch programme is coming from this nature reserve this year. Their cabin/studio has been flooded. I imagine when I tune in on Monday evening I will hear a tale of mass loss of animal life.

The Dyfi ospreys would be just three more and if there was no cam on the nest we might find it easier to accept that this is nature's way. To be honest I'd resigned myself to it having happened, but that doesn't stop me being delighted that there was intervention for this last little chick.

Yes, it's human emotion. Sad as I would be for the chick I would have been even more anxious for the adults, wondering how they would react and what they would do for the rest of the summer. But then again, the Loch of the Lowes nest failed last year with no eggs hatching. The adults coped fine apparently - clearly they are better at dealing with adversity than we are. So which is the superior species?

Shelley 06/10/12 10:49 am No cam connection this morning? It goes round and round but so far, no connection, for me. Anyone else?
Trishrg 06/10/12 10:54 am Power is still out in the area.
You can read about the storm, yesterday, etc. here.
Shelley 06/10/12 11:27 am Thanks, Trish! Cam is back on now and chick is looking great! Wow, what a time, these last few days. And, for the record, I think what they did was remarkable and absolutely justified. How is this intervention different from bird feeding in our own yards? Either humans care for and interact, or not at all. I, for one, would not be able to stand by and watch a living thing die if I felt there was anything at all that could be done to prevent it. I have so much admiration for those folks at DYFI!

Edited to add that the weather looks fine now and mama looks content and alert as she broods. Looks like a happy ending to a nightmare.
Anne-UK1 06/10/12 12:42 pm Great blog from Dyfi. Exceptional circumstances call for exceptional behaviour.

This little osprey will face plenty more challenges in his life, to test whether he is fit enough to survive and add to the gene pool.
Shelley 06/10/12 12:46 pm Just watched him preen and toddle about, like mama. So sweet! He will have a few advantages, though, such as not having to compete for food, and not getting pecked at. Of course, the social interaction of siblings will be missing but barring another bad storm, he looks like he is a fighter and destined to survive.
Melanie 06/10/12 01:34 pm I'm confused - did they take the chick out of the nest and then put him back? Too many things to keep up with....
Anne-UK1 06/10/12 04:05 pm Yes Melanie. They did.

Because he hadn't the strength to raise his head and ask for food, Nora wasn't offering him any of the fish she had in her talons. So they took him out and did just enough to give him the strength to be looked after again by his mother. No more, no less. How can anyone say that's wrong.

"Myself and Al Davies, one of the three volunteers, headed for the nest and took both chicks out. Barely alive is an understatement - he was shivering intensely and in a hypothermic state. We put a towel around him and tried to get his head up but he was too weak to even remain upright - his head and neck were limp. We then forced his beak open gently with a thumb nail and placed tiny pieces of fish in his mouth. He was unresponsive at first, but after around 10 minutes he started to pick up. Another 10 minutes went by and he could stand on his feet erect and he started food calling, now able to hold his head upright and open his mouth.

We fed him for another 10 minutes until his crop was around half full and he had stopped shivering.

After 30 minutes of being out of the nest, we gently placed him back in the cup of the nest and quickly departed. The guys back at the visitor centre confirmed that as we were making our way back, Nora had returned and was now feeding her chick. Elation all around."
Pam 06/10/12 04:44 pm I for one am very glad humans intervened. Humans intervened in decimating the Ospreys in the first place so intervention to save a few I think is quite justified. I'm all for it and it's heartening to hear that they have saved that little bird. I believe that it is against the law to interfere with birds of prey nests, so they could do nothing in Nottingham during the storms when three Peregrine chicks perished and it was very sad to see. The good news is that the surviving chick fledged a few days ago and is doing well.
Melanie 06/10/12 05:45 pm I'm all for intervention. We humans have so much damage to make up for. And Anne, you are right - there will still be plenty of chances to sink or swim on it's own.
Celeste 06/11/12 06:02 am I am one of those "for" intervention. Humans do enough damage and it's no wonder we don't have more extinct species. Our wildlife has to endure many obstacles that we put in their way, and I always say, "they" were here first! In the long run, trying to protect our wildlife in the end will ultimately benefit us. After watching the Puleston nest and other nests, cam watchers are very much aware that death exists in many nests, and aware of what is going on unseen. The UK not to long ago had barely any population of osprey, so if it takes a helping hand I'm all for it.

Another example what "man" does; our newspaper had an article how we treat our farm animals, and what conditions our hens endure to provide us with eggs. Finally, (but it will take a while), some rules will be applied and eventually the grocery shopper will have a choice when it comes to buying eggs and what type of "environment" the eggs came from.
Pam 06/11/12 12:35 pm Oh you opened a whole can of worms with your farm animal comment Celeste. Only through watching Countryfile on BBC did I learn that nearly all male calfs that are born to dairy milk herds are shot at birth (because only females can make milk). I was horrified. Apparently some farmers are trying to raise them now for other words, they will be allowed to live for a while before they are killed. I have to confess I am not a vegetarian but I can understand why people are.
Celeste 06/11/12 05:12 pm I was very surprised at what I read also. But then I do say I'm amazed that I am amazed also when I read these things :-)
martyc35 06/11/12 10:33 pm As a species, we human beings are just a lot of hypocrites, anyway. Chances are that a birth defect will make a lot of us feel bad, and we will even go so far as to separate conjoined twins,
but interfere with a poor bird that is otherwise doomed? well, golly gee, we have to think twice.
Some of us, anyway.
I'm getting cranky in my old age and should probably just keep quiet.

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