Monday, 18 June 2012

Protecting vulnerable chicks from rainstorms .

Recently the osprey family have had to put up with some torrential downpours and the chicks were very vulnerable to hypothermia during the extremes of weather. However, having such attentive parents has meant that the chicks have come through what has been the worst of it. The female shielded the youngsters under her, with wings stretched out and mantled around the chicks to protect them from the wind and the rain.

Volunteers on duty have noted on several occasions now that the smallest chick has been subjected to some pretty tough bashings from the largest chick in the nest and at one point the poor victim appeared to have its head stuck in amongst the sticks of the nest, as it crouched down to play dead, waiting for the attack to subside.
The smallest chick has not always been as keen to come forward to feed and  has quickly lost interest in eating during meal times. We are watching to see how things progress and we hope that this phase will soon pass without any harm done.
Waiting for a fish delivery

The young have grown considerably and are now appearing to be well feathered.  The weather settled down on Monday and Tuesday last week and a sign that all is now well in the nest is that the female has begun to leave the chicks on occasion and go off to feed herself. She must feel confident that the chicks have developed enough for their own downy feathers to keep them warm.

Dad has been seen bringing in some very good sized trout, they are still gleaming and wet having just been caught and delivered straight to the family.

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