Countdown to hatching

Today marks 35 days of incubation for our osprey pair! Typically, we expect 35 – 40 days of incubation to pass before the first egg begins to hatch, so we will be keeping a keen eye out from this point on. As the eggs near hatching, Maya and 33 will be able to hear the chicks move inside the eggs. The first sign we will see of hatching is a small hole or crack in the egg, as the chick breaks the shell from the inside – then we wait! Hatching can happen quite quickly or over a period of several hours. Our chicks should hatch in the order in which they were laid, although there have been occasions where 2 eggs have hatched on the same day before. It is always so exciting when osprey eggs begin to hatch, but it feels extra special in Manton Bay this year as our pair have 4 eggs for the first time. We can’t wait!
33 seems to be practicing providing for his new arrivals, and over a 24 hour period this weekend, he caught not 1, not 2, but 3 fish! A good sized trout on Saturday evening, a small roach on Sunday evening which he gave straight to Maya, and another large fish later that night which he caught within the hour! He spent some time eating the head of the final fish on the T-perch, before bringing it to Maya, who didn’t seem to be full yet from the smaller fish earlier in the evening and gladly took it from him. What an excellent provider he is.

He bought in another beautiful roach in yesterday evening, which he obligingly dangled right in front of the camera for us to see!

Maya and 33 have continued to bring sticks to the nests and chase off intruding ospreys, of which there have been a few – this morning our volunteers in Waderscrape reported 2 intruders overhead, unfortunately not close enough to identify. This intrusion lasted around 4 minutes all together – here is a small snippet below, where 33 gets very agitated.

As we get closer to hatching our pair haven’t only been concerned with intruding ospreys – over the past 2 days Maya and 33 have chased away a variety of wildlife that has dared to get too close to the nest, including Canada geese, coots, mallards and grey herons! They seem to take it in turns, and have swapped incubating duties many times today. Here are some stills of 33 leaving the nest to chase away some local wildlife.
It has been a chilly couple of days at Rutland Water, but the weather looks to improve slightly as the week goes on, hopefully to coincide with the hatching of our chicks. Whatever the weather though, we know Maya and 33 will do a great job of looking after them. Keep your eyes on the webcam for any signs of movement from the eggs over the coming days!

3 responses to “Countdown to hatching”

  1. Mike Simmonds

    Thank you Holly for a comprehensive update. That intrusion early in the morning certainly got 33 cross! I bet the watchers were galvanised as well!

  2. Eric Nye

    Holly, took some photos yesterday(Weds) and I am sure S1 was seen from Shallow Water Hide. Have sent Kayleigh some photos but see she is away until next week. Drop me a line and I will send them to you

  3. Ann

    33 is a great provider but it definitely helps to live over the restaurant!