Second Osprey chick dies at Cowlitz

It took me a moment, shaking my head. The Cowlitz camera was not focusing. The temperature is 44 degrees in the area and it has to be much hotter on the nest.

There is the poor little tyke with its full crop looking for its mama. Getting hotter by the minute. The best I can figure is that the chick died around 6pm nest time. One minute he is looking for Electra walking around the rim of the nest and then he collapses.

Electra returns with a big headless fish. It appears that she is confused and doesn’t understand that her little one is dead. The poor thing could not regulate its temperature in that kind of heat and despite having some fish, it did not have enough to hydrate it. Even then it might not have made it on the nest in the blazing sun all alone.

Wattsworth, of course, came to try and get the fish but Electra did not give it to him.

Electra has been standing for hours holding on to the fish.

It is always sad when chicks die. These two wee little ones never had a chance. Born onto a nest that repeatedly does not have enough food and now with these temperatures, it would have been next to impossible for these babies to survive. Electra knew that her and the baby needed food. She went to get fish for them not realizing that the heat could kill the little one, too.

Fly high baby!

It is always difficult to post stories like this one. These two poor little babies, undernourished, both dead. One of siblicide and starvation and the second by dehydration/sun stroke.

Thank you to the Cowlitz PUD for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for your commentary on the Cowlitz nest. It was so tragic to witness the second chick frantically calling for Electra. I didn’t see it as unusual and continued to observe the chick as it moved at the nest. I felt a sense of dread seeing it suddenly collapsed…breathing hard and panting heavily. The chick was gasping for air and it was gone 😦 I was horrified. We all posted comments on the Achieva chat room and the feelings were the same…sadness and horror. Then Watts flew onto the nest at716pm(PST) without a fish, looked around and left thereafter. We were all worried for Electra who left at 6pm (PST). She showed up at the nest at around 923pm(PST), landing at the 12 o clock edge of the nest with a huge headless fish. She looked confused and looked about the surrounding area and not even noticing the deceased chick in front of her. Dad returns and tried to take the fish.. Electra gives him a threatening nip! Proud of you. …and dad leaves and Electra continues to stand at the 12 o clock edge (facing outward). Not a sound from her 😦 As of this post which is 2:25am(PST) Electra has not moved from that spot for at least 7 hours. Fly high little one…your sibling is waiting for your at the end of the Rainbow Bridge…where you will suffer no more, no bullying needed…just sunshine and joy await you.:-( Mary Steggles, if that is the way Ospreys mourn the loss of its chicks, it is heartbreaking. May Electra build her strength back throughout the rest of the summer so she will be able to return and find a more responsible mate that will help her raise their babies. I am so heartbroken for Electra and her chicks.

    1. Dear Salliane,
      Thank all of you for caring. You picked up on Electra’s mourning – and oh, the birds mourn. Sometimes we don’t see it as they have other little ones to care for immediately but you did, yesterday. I felt very sorry for Electra. She either had to feed her and the baby because Wattsworth wasn’t, or risk losing the little one from dehydration and heat. She was really caught. If she hadn’t have gone fishing, both her and the baby could have died in the extreme heat. Of course, if Wattsworth had been doing his job in this relationship this nest might have turned out very different. We will never know. I feel for Electra. She was definitely mourning. Like all of you I hope she gets her strength back but sadly, she is tied to this nest and Wattsworth until one of them doesn’t return from migration. Fly high little babies! ——- Seeing Tiny thrive I would love it if this nest had turned around, like all of you. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Thank you so much for writing, Salliane.

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