Friday, 8 June 2012

Sibling rivalry in the osprey nest!

The chicks are growing big and strong, their bodies are looking well rounded and they are tumbling about the nest, gaining more strength in their legs and stubby wings. The largest of the chicks is a bit of a bully towards the smaller siblings and the volunteer on duty last Saturday was most concerned when the large chick began to attack the smallest chick in the nest, repeatedly pecking at the back of the head! Chick squabbles are nothing new but this seemed to be particularly vicious.

Fortunately however, the chick seems to be fine and not affected by the onslaught.

Osprey family at Tweed Valley
Our osprey family at the nest
On Monday late in the afternoon, the osprey family were seen together at the nest and the chicks began to get hungry. Their last meal had been at midday. The largest chick began to grab the smaller chicks and peck at them again, although the parents seemed to be quite unconcerned.

At about 3pm Dad finally took the hint and went off to catch a fish for his family. He returned about 45 minutes later with a huge fish, which was still very lively and flapping about. The female extracted the fish from his talons and began to tear strips from the head with her hooked beak to feed the chicks.

The ospreys are now developing into a proper family, although we will need to keep an eye on our troublesome chick!

You can see live high quality images of the ospreys in action at our two viewing centres in Tweed Valley at Glentress and Kailzie Gardens.

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