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Growing Up Fast

Posted: Friday 1st July 2016 by foulshaw-moss-osprey-viewpoint

Image of an osprey chick in nest at Foulshaw Moss Nature ReserveImage of an osprey chick in nest at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve

Our next blog about #FoulshawOspreys is brought to you by Grace who is on a student placement with Cumbria Wildlife Trust and helping out Reserve Officer Simon Thomas to bring you the latest story from the nest.

It has been a relatively calm few weeks on the osprey nest with both chicks feeding and growing well. One osprey chick, nicknamed the ‘monster chick’ by some of our #FoulshawOsprey followers, is visibly bigger than the other which has led to much speculation over the sex and health of the siblings.

Both chicks are being fed well with a good supply of fish (mainly trout and flat fish) caught by male White YW. Blue 35 spends her day on or close to the nest keeping an eye on the youngsters and waiting for White YW to deliver the food. Until they have learnt to fly the chicks are completely reliant on their parents for survival.

There is some sibling rivalry going on in the nest with the larger chick displaying dominance taking more than its fair share of the fish, whilst the smaller chick has to wait its turn.

The chicks are beginning to get their flight feathers through and starting to stretch out their wings. When stood on the osprey viewpoint with binoculars or having a look through the telescope (both available on site free to use, 11am-5pm most days!) you should be able to get a good glimpse of the chick’s heads bobbing about.

As the chicks get closer to fledging they will regularly exercise their wings to build up their flight muscles. Before they fledge the ospreys will reshaped the nest to form a flatter platform to make take off easier for the chicks on their first flight usually when they reach around 53 days old. 

The chicks were ID colour ringed on the 30th June. The larger of the chicks was ringed with a blue colour ring V8 and probably female and the smaller one with Blue V9 and thought to be male because of his size. There wasn't much weight difference between the chicks but V9 was visibly smaller and noted as being 34 days old, V8 noted as being 38 days old. A blog about the ringing will follow shortly.

Keep updated with the latest action on the nest on Twitter using #FoulshawOsprey and keep your comments and observation coming in, they're really helpful. And if you haven't already, why not come and visit Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve - it's open 7 days a week, free entry however any donations are greatly received!

Grace

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