What excitement over the weekend, with the first two chicks hatching on the same day. This week began incredibly well, as the third chick hatched this morning! It was 08:23, and it was perfect timing, as the tiny chick was just in the process of hatching at the very moment I turned on the big screen – it was pushing its way out of the egg, shrugging off the top half of the shell with a little help from Maya. What a fantastic start to the day and a wonderful thing to witness!
The bottom half of the shell remained stuck to the chick for a while, before eventually coming off altogether.
Maya has brooded the chicks a lot throughout the day, keeping them warm in the cool north westerly breeze. It can’t be comfortable sitting on three chicks, and she got up frequently to stretch, move sticks around and preen. 33 is doing a superb job of fishing, recently he has been using the River Gwash Trout Farm, and he’s not the only one – there has been a lot of osprey activity at Horn Mill recently! Bookings for the photography hides are being taken – click here to see their website.
Here are some fabulous photographs of 33, taken at Horn Mill by Gary Jones. Many thanks to Gary for these. Click here to see Gary’s website.
All three chicks have been fed several times today, little and often. Some of the fish ended up being left on the side of the nest for later as there was too much! At this very young age the chicks can feed but they don’t eat that much, and they can’t hold their wobbly heads up for long before they grow tired. Consequently, the tiny ospreys spend a lot of time curled up together, resting. They’re so cute at this stage, tiny and fluffy with stubby little wings!
Maya is very delicate and gentle with the chicks when she feeds them, as are all ospreys. That huge beak and sharp talons are rendered harmless when she’s near her young. I just love the assiduous gentleness she demonstrates when putting food in the chicks’ mouths. Here are a couple of feeding videos!