Leap of faith

Since they hatched in late May, we have been privy to every moment in the life of the three Manton Bay Osprey chicks. We have seen them grow from tiny brown balls of down, into fully-grown, beautiful juvenile Ospreys. We’ve witnessed them maturing, and learning about the world around them. We saw the day they walked on their huge feet for the first time, the day they ate a fish by themselves for the first time, and the day they were adorned with their leg rings. More recently, we have seen them learning how to use their wings, flapping them madly and helicoptering above the nest.

Well, today saw another milestone in the lives of these chicks, and one in particular, as today S1 flew for the first time! We have watched as she has grown in confidence, and several times over the past few days we’ve thought she would fledge. Today, she did! It all happened very fast, and due to the delay on the camera recording system, I missed the moment she actually fledged. However, we did manage to record some of her later flights, as she completed several more after the first one!

S1 taking off

S1 taking off

 

In this video, you can see S1 flying around behind the nest with Maya, then she returns to the nest, and lands rather awkwardly!

S1 landing

S1 landing

 

She lands much better in this one!

S1 gained in confidence and became more adventurous throughout the day, undertaking more flights and for longer periods of time. She managed to perfect landing somewhat, and landed next to Maya on the French perch a couple of times, and also spent quite a bit of time sitting next to 33 on the T-perch.

S1 and 33 on T-perch

S1 and 33 on T-perch

 

Now, I keep referring to S1 as a female, however we are not entirely sure that this is correct. When ringing and sexing the chicks, we knew for certain that there was one female – S3, and one male – S2, due to clear signs in their size, bulk and weight. S1 was a different story, as she was borderline. Initially we leaned on the side of female, but we’ve changed our minds a few times, and we’re still not 100% certain. When she sat next to 33 on the T-perch, she looked the same size as him. However, when she sat by Maya she also looked similar in size to her. Therefore, until we know for sure I am going to continue to refer to S1 as a she, as I’m used to it now!

S2 has also done some helicoptering today, and we got very excited as we thought perhaps he would fledge today too! However, he hasn’t as yet.

S2 helicoptering

S2 helicoptering

 

S3 also did a bit of wing exercising, although she is a little further off fledging than S2 is. She hasn’t done quite so much helicoptering, and has looked less confident than her siblings. It may take her a few days longer, but she will get there in her own time.

S3 jumping

S3 jumping

 

There is going to be a lot of action in the bay over the next few days, whilst S1 gets used to being able to fly! It won’t be long now until S2 joins her!

S2 looking up

S2 looking up

All three juveniles together

All three juveniles together

 

 

7 responses to “Leap of faith”

  1. Helen Hall

    Absolutely brilliant.
    Well done to the team and of course to mum, dad and S1. Good luck S2 & S3

  2. Keith G

    What a thrill and a privilege it has been to follow the family daily on our travels around Europe and Canada. And next month we will be overnighting in Rutland in the hope of seeing the family airborne ‘in the flesh’ before they head for Africa.

  3. David

    Great blogs, especially with the pix and video clips. While S1 may have landed “awkwardly,” I have been impressed with some landings of the adults, given that they come up from below and therefore have a very brief look at the nest situation before actually landing. I suspect many gymnasts would like to be able to “stick” their landings that well!

  4. Angie Humphreys

    What a privilege to watch these once tiny Ospreys develop and now fledge in their own good time..They must feel fantastic when they get their wings for the first time!

  5. Liz frost

    I will be so sad sad to see them fledge having. Watched every day from the day they hatched. What a joy it has been thank you also for the wonderful daily blog which I have so enjoyed. Good look to the three of them and I look forward to hopefully see them return safely next year.

  6. Debby Currie

    Lovely birds and really appreciate the camera work. I’m in Nova Scotia and we have ospreys here but no camera as far as I know. This site is wonderful!

  7. Debby Currie

    I should also say the info you have on your site is very much appreciated and easy to find and read. Great work!
    Thank you
    Debby 🙂