33’s tale

33(11) has always been a strong character, ever since he hatched on 25th May 2011. He was born at Site B – his parents are the legendary 03(97) and the unringed female with whom 03 has been breeding since 2009.

03(97) and female watching 33 hatch. Photo by John Wright.

03(97) and female watching 33 hatch. Photo by John Wright.


33 was the only chick at Site B that year, as the nest suffered intensive intrusions early in the season from a non-breeding male. The female was forced to leave the eggs uncovered for long periods to chase the intruder away, and, as such, it was feared the entire clutch would fail. Therefore it was a huge relief that one chick survived. As he was the only chick in the nest, 33 did not have to compete for food or share it with siblings, and was consequently very well fed. He grew quickly into a strong, healthy juvenile.

33 with his new blue ring

33 on ringing day. Photo by John Wright.


33 fledged on 15th July 2011 (exactly the same date his son, S1, fledged this year!) Not long after he fledged, 33 became very adventurous. He was often seen tussling with newly-fledged Buzzards near his nest site. He also began venturing further and further away from the nest. Just two weeks after fledging, 33 disappeared for 26 hours! No-one knows where he went, but fortunately he returned safely. One day, (31st July) he even spent an afternoon on the Manton Bay nest, where he was treated as one of their brood!

33 (front middle) with the three Manton Bay juveniles

33 (front middle) with the three 2011 Manton Bay juveniles


33 returned to Rutland for the first time as a two-year-old on 11th May 2013. He was first spotted in Manton Bay, by Project Officer Paul Stammers and volunteer Mick Lewin, then later was seen back at his natal nest, Site B. In 2014, we all know what 33 did! He returned on 13th April and immediately began pestering Maya and 28(10) in Manton Bay. He did not give up until he chased 28 away and claimed the nest.

This year was a much happier story, with 33 and Maya raising three beautiful chicks together. 33 proved himself to be a very sweet and attentive Osprey. He appeared to enjoy spending time on the nest, more so than other males I have monitored. He was very into his incubating, even to the extent that if Maya didn’t move, he’d just join her!

Incubating together

Incubating together


He even sometimes plonked himself down in the nest when there was no incubating to be done!

33 having a sit down!

33 having a sit down – chicks 4 weeks old


33 was a brilliant partner to Maya and incredibly good at providing fish for his growing family! He has provided us with much entertainment and delight over the season. We are all incredibly happy that Maya and 33 returned to Manton Bay and bred successfully, and we hope they continue to breed here together in future years.

33 being sweet

Maya grabs its face

33 with the fish


14 responses to “33’s tale”

  1. Ashley Beolens

    Another fascinating story, brilliant stuff.

  2. Roos Tamerus

    I do like so much a happy story 🙂
    Just wonderful and I hope we will be able to follow them again next year.

  3. Pauline Fisher

    Oh, how we miss logging on and seeing Maya, 33 and family. Can`t wait until next year when, hopefully, we`ll do it all again!! Brilliant article.

  4. Sylvia Erskine

    Love 33!

  5. KateSK2

    Thank you Kayleigh,
    He truly came into his own this year, hope both he and Maya come back early before the Geese lay again.

  6. Starling

    Thank you a lovely blog on 33. Maya and 33 are brilliant together I hope they both return next season.

  7. Tracy Shaw

    Thank you for a lovely story. They bring me so much joy, Maya and 33. Looking forward to their return in 2016. Hope you both safe and well in your wintering grounds and feeding well. See ya both in the Spring.

  8. Wendy

    Wonderful report, Kayleigh. 33 has certainly been a superstar this summer! Hope there will be more stories over the winter period of the other Rutland ospreys, about whom we don’t hear so much. Thank you so much for giving us these welcome osprey stories, to ease our winter withdrawal symptoms!

  9. Archie Still

    Brilliant story! Can’t wait to hear more from ’33 and Maya!

  10. Yonder Dave

    Was 28(10) seen in 2015?

    1. Kayleigh Brookes

      Yes he was, 28(10) came back in late March and was seen in Manton Bay. Later in the season he paired up with a young Rutland female.

      1. Yonder Dave

        Thanks Kayleigh. Did they find a nest and have any offspring?

        1. Kayleigh Brookes

          Yes they raised a single chick.

          1. Yonder Dave

            Thanks again Kayleigh, I must have missed that news. I assume this was “young” Rutland female’s first chick, and i’m pleased 28(10) found a mate.
            P.S. Thanks for all the brilliant updates during the season and this one on 33 – he is a star!