The chicks are just over five and a half weeks old, they are definitely looking like ospreys now with their true feathers almost fully grown, however, they still have their amber eyes and buff feather tips to distinguish them from the adults.
Now that they are older the chicks are becoming more active and starting to learn about the world around them and in just a couple of weeks the young osprey will be fledging from the nest. Lucky they are getting in plenty of practice, not quite helicoptering yet, but definitely flapping their wings to exercise those flight muscles. It’s amazing to think that in a couple of months those wings could be carrying these young birds 3000 miles to wintering grounds in West Africa.
Today’s lesson for the chicks was live prey, although 33(11) the male will continue to feed the juvenile birds, as soon as they leave for migration they will have to fish for themselves. First thing this morning 33(11) brought in a relatively small fish, both Maya and 33(11) were having a few issues getting a hold of the fish, which led to one of the chicks getting a rather abrupt wake up!
Maya and 33 then left the nest, also leaving the chicks alone with the fish, the chick plucked up the courage to investigate the fish, however, it did still have a bit of life left in it. It’s a good job Maya is still on hand to feed the chicks.
At about 12:00 33(11) brought in a very interesting fish; it was identified as a Tench by Lloyd Park Reserve Officer. This is unusual as Tench are a bottom feeder, which makes them almost impossible for osprey to catch. However, it is most likely that these fish are spawning at the moment, meaning they will enter shallower water. It is very likely that 33(11) managed to pluck this poor Tench from the shallows of Manton Bay.