13 June 2022
The male osprey disappeared last week. The female got food – five fish for the chicks last Wednesday. On Friday, she was attacked twice in the intruders. The second time the female did not return. This is an image from that second attack. There is no confirmation on what has happened to the 20 year old father or the mother of the chicks. The three chicks died of starvation. The intruders would not feed them and, indeed, while the chicks begged food from them it is not natural for a couple to feed and raise another couple’s offspring. Sadly.
We do not know if the parents are dead, injured, or alive and not returning. I have asked and been told that it is highly unlikely that the female would abandon her chicks so that she must be injured or dead.
In the image below the chicks look on as their mother battles with the intruder.
There has been activity at the Cape Henlopen Osprey nest since I posted my blog this morning – Monday 13 June.
Early on Monday there was no one perching on the nest and the bodies of the three osplets were there.
Then two Ospreys arrive on the nest. One is the intruder female at the right. Who is the other adult? Is this her mate? She appears to be the one coming and going from the nest the most but it is highly possible that the male is close by.
I received word from ‘EJ’ that at around 08:15, the body of the chick in the middle was removed from the nest. Did it get caught on the talon and was removed from the nest but not on purpose?
I ask about the accidental removal as it appears that the tip of the wing is caught on the talon and that the body is being pulled along rather than a committed grip on the corpse.
The adult osprey that removed the body of the chick in the middle returned very quickly to the nest and began looking at the body of the youngest chick that had died on Saturday.
A little later the bodies of the two chicks are on the nest when this osprey looks at us. Note that there is not a big necklace.
This is the image of the intruder female who would not feed the chicks on Sunday. I believe this to be the adult osprey that removed the body of the chick.
This is a photography of the two parents of the three dead chicks.
The intruder adult continues to fly on and off the Henlopen Osprey nest. As I write both bodies of the other two chicks remain in the nest. It is 10:11 CDT.
Will the other bodies be removed? Who is that second osprey? is it the male partner of the intruding female? We wait.
Thank you for joining me in what has become a tragic mystery at Cape Henlopen.
Thank you to the Cape Henlopen State Park for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.