The chance of romance

So what are the chances that Maya and 33(11) will produce a clutch of eggs together this season? We can only speculate. For the past two days he has seemed to ignore her, however today he has been attempting to mate with her, and he finally brought her a fish last night, which is a step in the right direction. Also, this morning, the third and final egg that remained in the nest cup has been kicked out, therefore there will be no more futile incubation.

The latest we have seen eggs laid at Rutland Water was 22 May. This was back in 2003, at one of the nests on private land. The female, 06(01), a translocated bird, was a youngster breeding at two-years-old, which is very unusual in itself. She paired up with male 03(98), also translocated, and they produced eggs very late on in the season. The eggs hatched at the end of June, the chicks fledged at the end of August and by late September they had set off on migration. Along with examples of late laying from nests elsewhere in the UK e.g. Dyfi last year, this proves that there is time for chicks to fledge successfully from eggs laid late.

However, in the above example, the late clutch of eggs was the first clutch. Maya has already laid a full clutch of eggs. So a second brood would rely not only on there being ample time for the chicks to develop before they need to migrate, but on Maya’s ability to produce healthy eggs. She has already put a lot of energy into producing three eggs. Ospreys are only meant to lay one clutch, therefore they put their all into it. She may not have the reserves left in her to lay another clutch of viable eggs. There have been cases of second clutches in Ospreys, for example, Loch Garten in 2007, but in this case the chicks were not strong enough to survive. Other factors may have played a part of course.

If 33 continues to bring in fish, if Maya is able to return to breeding condition, and if their mating attempts become more frequent and more successful, then we could potentially see more eggs this year. We cannot state anything for certain, but we are not ruling anything out.

The carnage

The carnage

Maya sitting on the pile of sticks 33 has brought

Maya sitting on the pile of sticks 33 brought

Maya looking into the nest cup

Maya looking into the nest cup

One response to “The chance of romance”

  1. Archie

    Thanks for keeping us all posted on what is happening with these Ospreys. I have been following Maya since she was mentioned in a column in the Express when she was on her way up from Africa. Its all very interesting and I hope to visit Manton Bay sometime this summer.