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The Osprey Nest
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Osprey Chick

Viewing Season
April - September


Featured Video Clips
Osprey Babies Debut
Family Roles
Born to Eat
Pecking Order
Daily Details
Birds of a Feather
Three Hungry Chicks
Flying Lessons
Pia Fledges
Poole Fledges

 

For the Classroom
Viewing Guide

 

Nesting Season 2014

August 19: Learning to Fish
The three fledglings are learning to catch their own fish and can be seen back at the nest between flights. Soon Pia, Pan, and Poole will fly more than 5,000 miles to their winter homes.

August 11: Migrating Soon...
Nesting season is winding down. For the next few weeks, you'll see the fledglings and Papa Steve coming and going from the nest before fall migration begins. Young Ospreys make their first migration alone, instinctively knowing where to go without instruction from parents. Ospreys often return to the same lake where they were hatched for their own breeding season.

August 7: Pia Finally Fledges!

Watch the youngest osprey chick take her first flight. The three fledglings will return to the nest throughout the month, eating prey brought by their father, Steve while honing their own fishing skills.

August 1: Second Chick has Fledged!
These first flights are just a transition to full self-reliance. Rachel will be the first parent to migrate, leaving Steve at the nest with the fledglings.

July 31: First Chick has Fledged!
The first of the Hog Island Osprey chicks fledged this morning at 6:07am PDT.

July 21: Preparing to Fly
The three osprey chicks, Poole, Pan, and Pia are about 7 weeks old. During August, watch them practice lifting and 'helicoptering' over the nest. In September, they will leave Maine on their first solo migration, instinctively knowing where to go without help from their parents.

July 15: Banding Day
Dr. Rob Bierregaard gently took Pan, Poole, and Pia down to the ground team for banding. The plain, silver bands will allow researchers to gather a variety of information about each bird over time such as: Where do these chicks go after they fledge? Will they establish a breeding territory of their own once they are adults?

July 9: Eating and Growing
A month after hatching, the three chicks are actively preening and exercising their wings. Wing-flapping gradually increases until they are able to lift and 'helicopter' over the nest for the first time, usually at about 7 or 8 weeks.

June 9: Third Chick Hatches
All three chicks have hatched!

June 6: Second Chick Hatches
Newly hatched osprey chicks weigh about 50–60 grams (1.8–2.1 oz).

June 5: First Chick Hatches
When osprey chicks hatch, they are covered in white down with brown streaks on the face, back, and wings.

June 4: First Egg Pips
The first "pip" or tiny star-shaped crack on the outer shell was spotted on one of the eggs. Pipping signals that the chick will emerge within 24 hours.

May: Three Eggs in the Nest
The eggs will hatch in the same order they were laid.

April 30: Second Egg!
Rachel laid this egg almost 72 hours after the first. Osprey often lay subsequent eggs in 1-2 days.

April 27: First Egg!
The egg arrived on Sunday April 27th at 14:50 PDT. Appearing cream in color, the larger end is wreathed and spotted with reddish brown.

April 11: Two Ospreys in the Nest
Two birds have now returned to the nest on Hog Island. But are they Rachel and Steve? Experts are working to confirm their identities.

April 6: Raptor season begins..
At 6:59 pm the first of the Hog Island Osprey quickly touched down in the nest before taking flight.


Recap of 2013 Season
  • April 5: Adults on nesting grounds
  • May 1: Egg-laying complete
  • June 2: First chick hatches
  • June 3: Second chicks hatches
  • July 1: Parents deliver 12 fish per day
  • July 25: Preparing to fly
  • August 1: Both chicks have fledged
  • August 28: First fall migration
Background
Osprey are birds of prey that rely almost entirely on fish, so they nest and raise their chicks near water. Rachel and Steve make their summer home atop a 30-foot tower located at the Maine Audubon Camp on Hog Island. The pair returns each year in early April after wintering in South America. Egg-laying takes place at the end of the month. Rachel does most of the incubation, while Steve often feeds her at the nest. After two months of rapid growth, the chicks begin to fly in early August. In early September, the young will begin fall migration traveling solo.

Presented by explore.org and Audubon

 

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