He’s back… no, he’s gone again…

Maya has been without food since Thursday morning. She has spent her time either sitting on the eggs or chasing off 33(11), waiting for 28 to do his duty and bring her a fish. Today, she finally decided she wasn’t going to wait any longer, and she went and caught one for herself. This of course meant that she was off the eggs for a long time. She hasn’t given up on them, and is still incubating. However, it has been cold and wet today, and they have been exposed for far too long.

Surprisingly, 28 made an appearance on the nest today at about 10:30. He did not bring a fish, and he looked nervous. He made a move to incubate the eggs, and then 33 appeared above, and all hell broke loose. Both Maya and 28 were mantling like mad on the nest, then 28 flew up and faced 33 talon to talon, causing 33 to drop the piece of fish he was carrying onto the nest, much to our surprise!

A fight ensued, the result of which is yet to be known, as neither 28 nor 33 have returned to the Bay.

What will happen now? It seems that 28 is just not strong enough to fight off 33’s advances. 33 even landed on the nest a couple of times today. Although Maya has been incubating when she is on the nest, she has been off it a lot more, and, sadly, the eggs have probably already failed. The best we can hope for, as Tim said yesterday, is for Maya and 33 to form a pair-bond and return to breed together next year.

The situation at the Manton Bay nest is very unfortunate and, quite frankly, heartbreaking for the staff and volunteers at the Osprey Project. However, it is important to remember that, for the Project as a whole, the collective highs definitely outweigh the lows, and the population of Ospreys at Rutland Water is thriving.

28 returns to the nest

28 returns to the nest

28 looking like he wants to incubate

28 looking like he wants to incubate

4 responses to “He’s back… no, he’s gone again…”

  1. steve boulter

    I agree wholeheartedly with your summery Kayleigh, it is heartbreaking for me as a volunteer and an enthusiastic follower of the project, first the sad absence of 5R, then 28 being usurped by 33.
    However as you have so rightly pointed out the project as a whole is thriving and we must not allow these sad events to overshadow the successes that are happening elsewhere at the reserve.
    Sad as it is….time to look at the broader picture.

  2. Joyce Stockdale

    Yes, heartbreaking but I agree with Tim….if Maya and 33 do pair up for next year and successfully breed those babies will certainly will have some strong genes. 33 is one determined young bird! And the highs do outweigh the lows….I am so grateful to be able to watch and learn from all the staff and volunteers at Rutland! You guys are awesome!!!

  3. scylla

    I wonder if the seemingly slight injury to Blue28’s wing could have had a devastating effect on his ability to play his role – he manages the long haul to and from Africa, but when under the stress of competition and conflict his performance is below par. I feel so sorry for him and for Maya, who has had such a hard time this season… not to mention the staff and volunteers at Rutland Osprey Project.

  4. Keith Rogers

    Without any doubt the Rutland project has been a huge success and so has the Manton Bay nest over the past few years.
    I have watched ospreys now for 16 years and you will always at sometime get an unstable nest especially when one of the pairings fails to return especially a male of the caliber of 5R – However it is only a blip in the bigger picture.