Oh, Ervie

So many are the greatest defenders of the ‘under dog’. You have watched and would have held talons, if you could, or delivered fish or chicken breasts! Oh, how you love the birds. I know that many of you could not watch the Port Lincoln Osprey nest this year because of Little Tapps last year. I promise you that I felt that pain. So, it was only right that we all worried about the third hatch this year – Little Bob. The history of the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest tells us that the third hatch has never survived. Never!

Born 51 hours after Big Bob, Little Bob proved us all to be wrong. We never had to worry but we sure did cheer him on and I know for a fact that I was not the only person watching him get in line to eat. As it happened, the few times that one of his siblings tried to claim nest dominance – and pick on Ervie – he turned it back on them. I stand to be corrected but I did not see him once back down. In fact, the aggression by Big Bob (again it really was only tussles), just made Little Bob more determined to be first in line.

You can really see the 51 hours difference in the image below taken when Ervie was 10 days old. He is in the middle. Big Bob is on the right. Middle Bob on the left.

Last year the sat-pak was placed on Solly. I don’t know if it was because she was the largest of the two surviving chicks or if she was judged to be the one that had the best chance of survival by her actions on the nest. This year PLO wanted a male – to compare the dispersal with a female. They had their choice of the three.

Little Bob was chosen because he was actually the ‘biggest’ of the Bobs. Over the course of the past 59 days of his life, Ervie has proven that he will try as he might to be the first up at the dinner table. As a result, he weighed more than the other two Bobs on the selection date. Is that single fact an indicator of his chances for survival in the wild?

Today, in 42 kph wind gusts – it was truly terrible in Port Lincoln – Dad proved that he was up to bringing in a fish to the nest. Mum normally still feeds the lads but she did not do that this morning. Was it because of the wind gusts? or was it so that they would begin to learn to fight for the fish in the wild? The fish came in at 07:04:55.

Look at the spread of Dad’s wings as he lands on the nest. Incredible. In fact, I really have to give Dad a lot of gold stars. He has come through the worst weather to deliver fish to this nest. I am truly impressed with his fishing capabilities. Not once was there food insecurity – and there was not a single stress line in the feathers of any of the three boys on this nest.

So Mum is not doing the feeding. She is down on the lower deck perch. I wonder if her and Dad discussed this?

Three hungry lads on that Osprey nest. All of them fit but only one is going to get that fish. Turns out it was a nice flounder.

There is your answer – Ervie! Nice mantling job. I wonder if Dad reports to Mum??

Ervie does a great job mantling that fish!

What was interesting to me was that neither Bazzy (Big Bob) or Falky (Middle Bob) did anything. Nothing. They were completely passive. they looked at the fish and ‘sniffed’ around but there was not a single second of any aggression.

Ervie was not going to share. He was still eating at 07:46:08. His brothers are watching and terribly interested but they are the same civil brothers that have lined up for their Mum to feed them.

Ervie was still eating ten minutes later.

In the end, Ervie ate all of the fish but the tail and he let Falky have it for breakfast. Hopefully the others will get some fish later but for now, this nest remains the most civil Osprey nest I have ever seen. My hope is that Bazza and Falky will be more aggressive out in the wild, if they need to. Perhaps with the low number of Ospreys in South Australia, they will not need to be aggressive.

Indeed, this nest ‘won’ this year because of the civility of the three brothers. Big Bob and Middle Bob are both 61 days old and Ervie is, said it twice, 59 days old. Solly fledged on day 65. So the count down is on. We wish them all well. History will be made with three fledges – a first for these parents and this nest.

It is rather bittersweet because I know that we are all still feeling the sadness from the death of Solly. I hope that the powers at be work hard to make South Australia a safe place for these beautiful sea birds. Our condolences go out to Port Lincoln and also to those at 367 Collins Street on the loss of Baby Bob.

The snow and blowing snow continue. The forecast is for much of the same – snow, blowing snow, and rain for the next week. Hunkered down it is. Tomorrow it will be shaking the conifers to get the heavy snow off. The garden birds and animals seem to have found the food inside the wood boxes and Dyson is on his belly eating seed out of the hanging tray. What a character. No sign of Mr Blue Jay and his family.

Thank you so much for joining me. Please do take care. See you soon.

Thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

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