Ring of changes

The astute amongst the webcam-watchers out there may have noticed that the three Manton Bay chicks now sport leg rings! The chicks were ringed this morning, and what a beautiful morning it was! The sun was just beginning to rise over the horizon, and there was not a breath of wind as we launched the boat from the shore behind the Osprey nest. The surface of the crystal-clear water was marred only by the ripples from our boat’s wake, as we sailed serenely to the nest.

5am this morning

5am this morning

 

Maya protested a bit, but she was not overly concerned. She flew around above the bay and intermittently alarm-called, until the deed was done and her chicks were returned to her, safe and sound. The whole process took less than an hour to complete. The equipment was prepared, the boat launched, and a ladder was extended up to the nest, which Tim climbed and brought the chicks down to the boat.

Left to right - S1, S2, S3

Left to right – S1, S2, S3

 

The chicks are absolutely gorgeous! To be so close to them was an indisputable privilege. They have such beautiful feathers, and enchanting deep amber eyes. All three chicks are in perfect health and look fantastic. They were placed in a comfortable tray for a minute or two to settle, then were ringed and weighed one by one. Their ring numbers are S1, S2 and S3. Based on weight and bill size, it has been determined that S1 and S3 are female, and S2 is male.

S1

S1

S2

S2

S2

S2

S3

S3

 

Whilst we were there, Tim took the opportunity to clean the smudge from the wide angle camera! It turned out to be spider-webs. In the picture you can see Maya high above.

Tim cleaning the camera

Tim cleaning the camera

 

Once the chicks had been returned to the nest and we had left, Maya and 33 returned to their respective positions and life went on as normal. A fish came in at around 9 o’clock – a great big roach. 33 took it to the T-perch first, and in the video below you can see him fly past the nest, before alighting on the perch with the still-kicking roach!

33 with roach on T-perch

33 with roach on T-perch

 

About fifteen minutes later, 33 delivered the fish to the nest, and Maya fed the enormous chicks.

33 brings roach

33 brings roach

Feeding on roach

Feeding on roach

 

A couple of Osprey intrusions occurred today, but nothing substantial in terms of disruption. A bit of mantling, that was all!

There is a certain stick that has been bothering Maya for a while now. It sticks up a bit, but is wedged tightly by others, and Maya keeps trying but cannot move it!

Maya attempts to move the stick

Maya attempts to move the stick

 

Due to the hot temperature, the chicks have been lying in the nest panting a lot today. Maya cannot shade them with her body anymore, as they are too big, but there is no need for her to do so now. The chicks are of an age where they can regulate their own temperature, so they do not require Maya to brood them or shade them. Soon they will no longer need her to feed them. Her job is almost done, and she can relax, knowing her chicks are healthy and she and 33 have done an unquestionably excellent job of raising them!

Panting in the sun

Panting in the sun

 

The chicks stood up long enough for us to get some shots of their new rings! And S1 did get a bit energetic and did a bit of flapping!

S2 and S1 rings showing

S2 and S1 rings showing

Hello S2

S2

Wing flapping

Wing flapping

 

Another fish was delivered at around 15:30, which Maya grabbed and fed to the chicks. Well, the two that were interested!

Another fish, 3:30pm

Another fish, 3:30pm

 

And it didn’t end there! An hour later 33 landed on the T-perch with another one! And it was a monster! It took him almost an hour to eventually bring it to the nest, after having his fill.

Yet another fish

Yet another fish

 

Here are a couple of adorable close ups from yesterday evening, as the chicks were all tucked up together for the night!

Snuggled up together

Snuggled up together

Close up

Close up

 

And here’s a middle of the night shot!

Twenty past three in the morning

Chicks on infra-red

 

The next big milestone in the chicks’ lives will be fledging. It won’t be long now, only a couple of weeks! In the interim, they will be doing a lot more wing flapping and will start helicoptering above the nest, getting those wing muscles ready for the day they take to the air… but for now, they can sleep, and enjoy nest-bound life whilst they can!

Sprawled

Sprawled

 

9 responses to “Ring of changes”

  1. Jennifer Rhodes.

    The chicks seam to grow over night,I have put S1S2 S3 down in my 2015 diary .will it be two years before they come back to bread? I hope they all make it to Africa and back .good luck little ones

  2. Patricia Selman

    An excellant blog once again and with more stunning pictures and videos. The chicks are stunning and Maya and 33 are remarkable parents. Is it possible to tell us the order the chicks were ringed in please e.g. is S1 the eldest? Thank you

  3. Bill Hunt

    OK…who stole the chicks and replaced them with the monster birds? 33 and Maya have done an amazing job with their babies. Quite scary to see S1 flapping so strongly…she must have almost lifted off!! Every time I log in to the camera their appearance becomes ever more grown up…what beautiful birds!! Can they STILL be called chicks?? I love every part of the project. Reading the blogs is brilliant, well done Kayleigh; you capture it all so beautifully…your enthusiasm is infectious. These coming few weeks will be so exciting as the “chicks” find their wings

  4. BecOwl

    Stunning images and enjoyable clips thank you. The chicks look fantastic. 33 is doing an excellent job as is Maya, as usual. 🙂

  5. Sunny Kate

    Thank you all for such wonderful care and dedication.
    Tim I hope you had that ladder anchored well,seeing you stretch out to clean the lens for us, if I was watching you in real life time, I would am sure have had a heart attack.
    Kayleigh lovely information, just wonder if you will have their weights and wing span measurements?

    Just am so happy and thank you all once again.

  6. Sheila FE

    A wonderful blog, Kayleigh, and stunning photos too. Thank you.
    I am so delighted that Blue 33 has become such a wonderful provider for Maya and the chicks, he deserves his success. Long may this nest continue 🙂