White stripes

The chicks are looking enormous! It’s amazing how much they change day to day. When they were a couple of days old, they were so little, brown and fluffy, now they are large, gangly and darkly-coloured. You can even see the beginnings of feather pins pushing through the down. Their stubby little wings have grown larger and longer, and their feet and talons are getting bigger!

It’s brilliant how camouflaged the chicks always are in the nest, at every stage of their rapid development. Their colouring matches the nest lining perfectly! The white stripe you can see running down their backs is present from hatching up until the juvenile plumage comes through at about five weeks old. This white stripe helps to make the chicks looks like sticks in the nest, to fool any potential passing predators. Their juvenile plumage is also designed to camouflage them – each brown feather has a white tip to the end, making them look spotty. I only wish they didn’t grow up so fast!

White stripes

White stripes

 

This morning, at about 8 o’clock, 33 brought in a huge trout, which he took to the T-perch. Recently he has been bringing the fish straight to the nest with their heads intact, but today he must have been hungry, and wanted a bit first. This is fair enough, as he needs his energy to catch the fish, and we all know that these chicks are being extremely well fed!

33 with the trout

33 with the trout

 

33 was struggling to fish yesterday afternoon due to the high winds, and the wind has been quite strong today. That, coupled with the fact that this was a large trout, makes me think he may have gone to the River Gwash Trout Farm this morning to get it! He ate a bit of it, but soon brought the rest to the nest…

33 delivers the trout

33 delivers the trout

 

…where Maya grabbed it and fed the chicks.

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Female feeding the chicks

Female feeding the chicks

 

33 has brought in several sticks today, and both he and Maya have been rearranging them to their liking. Here they are moving one together.

33 moving the stick

33 moving the stick

All on the nest together

Another stick

 

Later on, when the chicks were sleeping off several helpings of trout, 33 came to the nest and flew off with the remains of it.

33 flies off with the trout

33 flies off with the trout

 

All in all it has been a peaceful, quiet day today. The easterly wind has carried with it quite a chill, but occasionally the sun would show its face!

Maya and the chicks

Maya and the chicks

Who's a pretty boy then

33 is quite a pretty boy

 

2 responses to “White stripes”

  1. Jana

    this facility is new to me , thank you SOmuch for it they are a wonderful pair, new this year I believe , hey grow too fast , we are double minded , wanting them to, but wishing they could stay . It’s their next move I always have to see them off . God bless

  2. Andy

    This is a fabulous journey and I’m thoroughly hooked – again – having watched the “J” chicks two years ago. Super exciting to see 3J then 1J returning, btw (lovely wings markings they have, too). It makes my morning to see the latest from the nest; thanks everyone in the Osprey Team for the cameras, streams and the fine daily updates to the story.