I have only witnessed once, in many years, the level of aggression and violence that DH14 has shown to DH16 at the Dale Hollow nest. It is Friday at 12:31 and Little Bit has not had food in 72 hours. That it was still breathing and moving this morning gave me some kind of hope that a miracle would happen. Two fish came on the Dale Hollow nest. One in the early morning with River and the second a smaller one brought in by Obey at 12:09. Big ate both of them. No other chick was fed.
In both instances, the older sibling could hardly eat for beaking the other two siblings. She was particularly ferocious – pulling off fur down to the skin and placing DH16s head in its mouth and whipping it around. The level of violence was unbelievable. I have seen older ospreys intimidate younger ones from eating. I have seen many nests with three chicks thrive. The West End Bald eagle nest is doing really well. The fact that DH16, the small one on the Dale Hollow Nest fondly called Little Bit or Tater Tot was ONLY three days younger than the other two speaks volumes about what happened on this nest. I know that there will be many who wanted Little Bit to get up and fight another day but the immense suffering and pain that this little babe has had to endure for three days has finally stopped.
We need to use the right words. Little Bit was killed by its older sibling, DH14 at around 12:27-28. Siblicide.
I have not included any images. They were simply horrible. It is a very sad occasion. Sadly, Big will now turn its complete attention to the Middle chick who hatched on the same day as it.