Exploring far and wide

If you have visited Manton Bay over the past few days, you’ll know that the Manton Bay youngsters are becoming more and more adventurous. Having been on the wing for more than two weeks they are now beginning to spend prolonged periods away from the nest. In fact for the first time this morning, we had an hour when there were no Ospreys at all in Manton Bay. This is a crucial time for the youngsters; these exploratory flights help them to imprint on Rutland and recognise it as home. 1J is proving to be particualarly bold and he was absent from the bay all morning. We’re not sure how far a field he flew but at 2pm this afternoon there was a juvenile Osprey perched on the artificial nest on Lagoon 1 on the Egleton Reserve: maybe it was 1J?

They may be spending increasing amount of time away from the nest, but all of the Manton Bay youngsters are still very much dependent on their parents for food. Whenever one of the juveniles returns to the nest you can guarantee that it is hungry; and the incessand food-begging calls back that up! All of the juveniles are able to feed themselves, but as this video shows, they still need a bit of practice; 2J doesn’t seem to have realised that she should be eating the fish from the head down, not the other way around…!

4 responses to “Exploring far and wide”

  1. Andy, London UK

    About 8 this morning, what looked like Mum and a youngster each with a fish on the nest were disturbed by something. Then 5R turned up and all 3 went into a crouched position with “elbows” out, looking about and quite defensive. Is this a threat response?

    1. Lizzie

      Hi Andy. Thank you for your post. When the birds behave as you have described we call it mantling, and yes you are right it is a threat response. There would have been an intruding Osprey around the nest site which caused them to react like this. It is most likely that the adult birds would have chased the intruder away from Manton Bay.

  2. Sharon

    Wonderful videos! But when do the juveniles begin to fish – and succeed! I saw one still being fed by mum this morning.

    1. Lizzie

      Hi Sharon. The juveniles are now able to feed themselves once a fish is delivered to the nest, but if Mum is happy to still feed them they will take the easy option and accept it. It is possible that the juveniles won’t catch a fish themsleves until they head off on their migration later in the summer, although they will begin practicing and we have seen the Manton Bay juveniles diving into the water.