Some sad news…

It has been an upsetting day at Lyndon today, as we arrived this morning to see no movement from one of our chicks. Our volunteers in Waderscrape called first thing to let us know there had been no sign of life from the chick all morning, despite the other chick being fed – not a good sign.

Only 1 chick was feeding this morning

Only 1 chick was feeding this morning

We went back over the footage from last night to see when the last sign of activity had been. The last sighting of both chicks looking healthy and well was at around half 8 last night, when Maya moves off the chicks for a short while to move a stick on the nest. Then, when Maya next moves off the chicks at 22.34, only one chick is moving – this remains to be the case every time she gets off the nest for the rest of the night.

Looking back over the footage, we did notice that when the chicks are exposed at 8.30pm, Maya seems to accidentally stand on one of the chicks as she settles back down on the nest – the chick seems to bounce back from this, and Maya has her talons carefully tucked under, but this may have done more damage than it first seemed.

We can’t know for sure if this is the reason the chick died, as we don’t know how much weight Maya placed on it – at this stage the chicks are still very fragile and unfortunately there are a number of things that can happen to end a young chicks life. We are of course devastated by the loss of this chick, but for now we take comfort in the fact that the remaining chick seems healthy and strong. Here are some clips of it eating first thing this morning, before the rain started, once at 5.10am and again at around 8.30am.

33 bought another fish in this afternoon – roach seems to be plentiful at the moment and he is catching plenty for his new family, despite the poor weather. We can only see one chick in the nest in these videos, but we’ve not seen a chick be removed from the nest yet so assume the deceased chick must have been pushed down into the nest cup, below the line of sticks blocking the eggs from view.

For now, we feel lucky that we still have one healthy chick remaining, and additionally that we haven’t seen anything like this happen before on our nest. We’ve been very fortunate so far, Maya and 33 have a high rate of breeding success compared to some nests and we are hopeful that the rest of the year will go well for them. Our remaining 2 eggs should hatch over the next couple of days, and we remain optimistic that this will still be a productive year for our wonderful ospreys!

Our remaining chick is feeding and looking strong!

Our remaining chick is feeding and looking strong!

15 responses to “Some sad news…”

  1. Luc Soonius

    How very sad. What happened to the 3rd and 4th eggs?

    1. Holly Hucknall

      They are still there, just slightly out of view with the addition of some new sticks to the front of the nest – we hope they will hatch over the next few days!

  2. Cathy

    Very sorry to hear this sad news, but wish them well for the other chick and eggs.

  3. Lin

    So sad to read that one of our hatchlings has somehow lost its life Holly. Do you know if it was the first or second to hatch and would that be relevant anyway?
    PS Thank you for your sensitive reporting – it must be difficult at such times

    1. Holly Hucknall

      Hi Lin
      We are not sure to be honest – at first we assumed it was the 2nd chick, but there was such a small window between them hatching that we don’t know for certain. Either way, they were both still so little and fragile we think it probably isn’t too relevant, no.
      Thank you.

  4. Suzie

    That’s really sad for all of us … nature can be so cruel.

  5. Cas Stait

    I’m so sorry for the team.. We feel very protective of ‘our’ Ospreys and every loss is keenly felt … not just in terms of increasing the population. We can’t know how the Ospreys respond … do they know that one has died? Does Maya know what has happened. One thing for sure is that this is nature, there IS no guarantee that what we will see on camera will be good. and happy, but it just makes those who are left even more precious. I hope that we will see 3 of the 4 successfully fledge. Fly high little one.

  6. Christine Haines

    So sorry about the second little chick, very sad, hope the first one continues to feed, and grow.

  7. Dee Brigstock

    Fingers crossed for this nest.

  8. Steve Boulter

    Always sad to hear of the loss of a chick, hard to understand why these things happen sometimes.
    Having watched Maya in the past I know she is a dutiful and caring parent. Maybe the chicks death whilst sudden, was due o naturel causes?
    In nature these things seem harsh but, often, result in better chances of survival for the remaining chicks and eggs.
    Lets hope that this is the case now,
    Either way, to have a potential two more eggs hatching is good news and we hope that all will be well with the remaining chicks.
    As a nest recorder for the BTO one thing I do know is that it is not unusual for some , if not all chicks to die at this stage.
    So best of luck to the remaining chicks, I know that with Maya they are in good talons!!

  9. Lorely Nash

    So sad for you all. I was there a few days ago before the first hatching. Yes nature is cruel but wonderful.

  10. Elaine and Geoff

    We share everyone’s sadness about the missing chick. We have been looking closely at the webcam in the last few hours and think that we may have spotted it. At the front of the nest, low down on the right hand side there has been something moving amongst the sticks that appears to be the chick begging for food. Difficult to tell for sure. The parent sitting on the nest does not seem to have noticed. Holly – can you have a look and see what you think?

  11. Andy, London

    Oh I didn’t know this, though I saw Maya settled on the eggs this afternoon with her head right down, as if unwell. Grieving maybe, if ospreys experience such emotions. Sad to see; let’s hope for the best for the future.

  12. maggie mchenry

    so sad to hear this news-vie kind of dreaded something like this happening and know its always a possibility, albeit a sad one. very sensitively reported

  13. Chocoholix

    Thank you so much for this blog and for looking through all that footage in search of explanations, then sharing with us, none of which could have been easy. My thought to all the Lyndon team, and fingers crossed for remaining eggs and the healthy chick too. Such good news from S1 returning too – hopefully this can still be another successful season for Maya and 33(11).