The chicks are now almost five weeks old, and don’t they look it! They are now almost fully feathered, although you can still see some of the keratin sheaths on the new feathers on their wings. They are stretching and flapping their wings a lot more now, and can walk around the nest a bit better too. Today, one of the chicks had a go at standing up, then decided it was too much trouble and lay down again, after first nibbling its sibling!
As the chicks mature and become more interested in their surroundings, they also show more interest in the fish left in the nest, as the instinct to eat kicks in. Instead of waiting for Maya to feed them, they have begun to pick at the remains of fish on their own! Soon, she won’t need to feed them at all. The instinct to do so is still in her though, so she will if the chicks sit and look at her. However, soon they may not be quite so patient, and will start taking fish as it is brought in.
Needless to say, 33 is still providing plentiful fish for his youngsters, and of course he’s still delivering offerings of sticks and plonking them on the backs of the chicks!
When you look at the size of these chicks and think about their rapid development, the rest of the season seems such a short period of time. In just over two weeks they will be flying, and after that it won’t be long before they migrate! Before the end of the season, though, we have a special event to celebrate the migration of our ospreys. Local choir Global Harmony are putting on a charity concert in aid of the Rutland Osprey Project, where they will be performing songs representative of the countries through which ospreys fly on their migration! This event will take place on Friday 1st July at Brooke Priory School, beginning at 7:30pm. Tickets are just £8. There are only a limited number, so book yours now! Call 01572 737378 for more details.
In addition to the cuckoo of recent days, another brilliant species has been spotted at Waderscrape – barn owls! They appear to be breeding in the owl box near the hide, and have been seen hunting close by and taking food into the box. The photos below were taken by volunteer Jeff Davies, thank you Jeff for allowing us to share these.