Branching out

Yesterday evening, volunteer Mick informed us that he had witnessed some aggression between the chicks just after 18:00. Thanks to this information we were able to back-track to find the occurrence. It was 18:11 and the bigger chick, seemingly for no reason, suddenly began to attack the smaller chick! We don’t see aggression between the chicks very often, and this season we have only witnessed one other occurrence of the chicks fighting. Occasionally though, it does happen that one chick, usually the largest, decides to attack another, generally when they are hungry. During this episode, as if to both prove a point and break up the fight, 33 came soaring in with a great big roach! It worked!

33 with fishBiig fish

This morning’s first fish was delivered nice and early, at 04:55. It was another lovely large roach. However, 33 seemed a bit bemused as Maya wasn’t there to receive the fish when he landed!

She must have been sitting on the camera pole or T-perch, as she soon flew in. However, even when she did she wasn’t interested in the fish at all, and the chicks didn’t move either. They must have still been full after last night’s large one! 33 hung around for a little while just in case, but then took the fish off to eat some himself, as it clearly wasn’t wanted!

As they are so good at sharing, and 33 knows he must feed his family first and foremost, he brought the fish back to the nest at 05:35.

What an amazing shot of 33 and the fish silhouetted against the rising sun!

Dawn fish

This time, Maya took it from him and fed the chicks.

Sticks still keep being added to the nest, and will continue to be throughout the season. 33 came swooping in with one today – as it landed it looked as though he was going to pole-vault over the side of the nest! He almost dropped it onto a chick, then had trouble moving it to a suitable place, and Maya had to help.

Yesterday 33 had some trouble with another stick. When he tried to move it he somehow managed to get it stuck in his left wing! Maya helped move this one too, and they managed to get it to the side of the nest.


Here’s another stick delivery from 33 today – this time he gets his foot stuck in the stick!

33 with stick

There was a hilarious moment the other day that we managed to capture on camera. Maya was sitting on the nest shading the chicks, and just below the nest was a group of four geese bobbing around in the water, two of which were seemingly having a fight. Maya watched them for a while, then decided that she did not want them there, so she flew off the nest and dive-bombed them! They didn’t take the hint particularly quickly, but after a few more swoops from Maya they eventually disappeared.

Don't mess with me!

Don’t mess with me!



One response to “Branching out”

  1. Christine Haines

    Family life, hotting up, well done Maya, and 33, for keeping, on top.