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Thread subject: Hellgate
Name Date Message
Nancy L 06/21/14 05:00 pm One of the chicks somehow went over onto its back. I didn't see how it happened. For 20 minutes, while the female fed the other two, this poor one kept trying to right itself. Its little feet were kicking & it was so sad to watch. The male just stood nearby not paying any attention at all. The female DID go over and (I think) tried to feed it a couple of times. It was only after there was no fish left, that he thankfully righted himself.
Anne-UK 06/21/14 05:19 pm We saw that a few times on the dpof nest I think. They always seem to right themselves in the end, but it's nervewracking watching.
Shelley 06/21/14 07:14 pm I'm hoping it's not my overactive imagination but can someone look in at the Dunrovin nest and tell me if you see all 3 chicks. This morning I could swear there were only 2 there. And now, it's a bit difficult to tell because of the light but it looks like a dead chick in the centre of the nest.

Anne-UK 06/22/14 03:54 am Sadly it seems you're right Shelley. This from the Bird Cams around the World message board:-

Post subject: Re: Dunrovin (MT) ~ 2013-2014PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:25 pm

A very SAD day at the Dunrovin Ranch osprey nest. Ozzie finally brings a fish late in the morning - but too late for chick #3, Shadow. He died in the night. Wednesday's rain and cold made it very difficult for Ozzie to catch the usual 6 to 8 fish - yesterday he only brought in two fish and that was not enough to sustain all three chicks. The growth that these chicks do daily demands lots of calories and even one day without sufficient food makes a difference.
Shelley 06/22/14 07:22 am Thanks, Anne. How awful. But at least we didn't have to witness what we once (and thankfully, only once) saw at DPOF, that is, the dead chick being fed to the others. I remember the horror of that discussion. But I guess, in the wild, they do what they must do for survival. I would imagine that the dead chick just gets buried in the bowels of the nest cup (those unfortunate *downstairs* neighbours,!!)

I kept checking the discussion thread on the right sidebar but nothing there seems updated, so far. At least the other two chicks appear healthy and hopefully, with less competition, they will continue to thrive.
Anne-UK 06/22/14 02:46 pm I haven't been following this nest. How old are the chicks? I gather from the message I copied across they've been having bad weather out there. So yes, if the others stay fit and healthy then that's probably the consolation we have to take.

I think the episode from DPOF you mentioned was before my time. Can't say I'm sorry to have missed it. I remember at LG the year the little one died and he stayed in the nest, gradually getting buried under all the sticks and moss. It seemed strange that EJ didn't bother to remove him, but it was almost as if she didn't even realise he was there.
Shelley 06/22/14 05:20 pm Of the 3 nests I follow (Woods Hole, Hellgate and Dunrovin, this one - Dunrovin - had the first eggs, thus the first hatchings. Each of these nests had 3 eggs and, until now, 3 healthy chicks each. I don't think the weather has been particularly bad, just that one spell a few days ago but as mentioned, to feed 3 ravenous and growing chicks requires a steady and reliable stream of fish and if the conditions make that difficult for the male to provide, the chicks will suffer. Hellgate is part of this same University system and not far from Dunrovin but those 3 chicks are considerably younger and smaller and I suppose, don't need as much at this point. Also, the male at Hellgate is known to be a superman when it comes to providing. If you scroll down in that right sidebar, you can read about him and see photos.
Anne-UK 06/22/14 07:09 pm If those three nests have lost one chick out of nine, then that's not a bad result. Woods Hole is a real bonus after so many disappointing years :)

Hellgate makes me smile. Over here our nests are all out in the middle of nowhere, and yet there you've got a nest right in the middle of a busy car park. What a difference.

The UK nests I follow haven't fared half so well this year. Three chicks at LG, two at Dyfi (after a hugely disruptive start with the female arriving very late and having great difficulty winning her nest back from a new female). No chicks on the Rutland webcam due to the new male being driven off by a young upstart after eggs were laid. Lowes had three eggs, one of which was taken by a crow and the other two haven't hatched. So just five chicks where I'd normally expect nine.

But you have to assume other nests are doing better and overall the numbers are probably normal. Certainly the weather has been pretty good this year, which has to help.

Shelley 06/23/14 03:20 pm Good grief. I just peeked in and while the 2 remaining chicks appear to be doing well, it looks very much like the dead chick is still quite visible in the centre of the nest bowl. And mama just stepped over it without a second glance. Feathers still fluttering in the breeze and maybe it's my imagination, but I thought I could make out the shape of a beak, pointing up.

I wonder if any studies have ever been done to determine if parents even recognize dead offspring once they are no longer moving and clamouring for food. Sort of creepy, actually
Nancy L 06/23/14 04:30 pm Similar thoughts about the upside-down chick, where the father was standing right next to it the whole time and didn't seem to know or care.
Anne-UK 06/23/14 05:33 pm It's funny how they just don't notice things. Watching them they seem so attentive, but sometimes it seems the brain's not wired to notice anything except an open beak demanding food.

In a way I envy them - being able to switch off when the kids are squabbling and complaining would definitely make life less stressful.
cathleen 06/25/14 07:28 am The Milford, Connecticutt nest also has 3 healthy chicks - this is the nest that had the pair who have raised 4 chicks regularly in the past, and whose male feeds the female. I cannot be sure it is the same pair this year:

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