osprey family update

I’ve been checking the osprey nest each week, and finally got some cooperation from the nestlings, allowing me to photograph their development.

osprey nest

This is what the nest looks like on most days I visit. The chicks are old enough now that mom can leave them for several minutes while she goes fishing.  When their parents are gone, the chicks must be down in the bottom of the nest, where their mottled plumage helps camouflage them.

osprey chicks-

One or both chicks suddenly appeared at the edge of the nest and started making begging calls — loud chips that sound like one note of the adult’s call.  You can just barely see the head of the second chick on the left of the one sitting upright.

osprey chicks-

One of the adults returns shortly after the chicks start begging; I think it might be the female, but she has not brought any fish for the chicks.

osprey chicks-

A nice family portrait, with both chicks sitting upright next to the much larger adult. They are a little more than 1/2 an adult’s size at this stage — approximately 6 weeks of age.

osprey chicks-

Their feathers are largely grown in now, wing feathers are elongating, and body feathers completely cover their naked skin. They spend most of their time lying prostrate in the nest, but every now and then need a good stretch…

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