And then there were 3 Bobs at Port Lincoln!

22 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

The sun is shining bright, the skies are clear bright blue and it is 9 degrees C. It dropped down last night to 4 degrees C and thankfully no lower. The garden escaped the frost. In anticipation of the conservatory I bought some non-local tropical plants including a Hibiscus. Goodness those huge terracotta pots are heavy. Two came inside but required their bath of light dish detergent to get the outdoor bugs off so there was no room at the inn for the third. It will get its shower today. I have a friend who brings his in and out every year and has done so for at least a decade so we will see if there is any green in this thumb!

The big news is, of course, the hatch at Port Lincoln of the third chick. That came at 19:31:40 with the lid having come off at 18:45. Here is a view of all three a few hours later.

This nest has always caused a certain amount of worry because of its history of siblicide which extends back to many memories of Solly, DEW, and little Tapps who died after not being allowed to eat by Solly on its 18th day. The difference in hatch times in 2020 was huge and not anything like this clutch. That said, Big and Middle Bobs really know how to eat. I have images from the 12:26 feeding yesterday when they took in huge pieces of fish. And it does seem that Big Bob always has its mouth open regardless of the time of day or circumstance. You will need to be a toughie little one but you can do it.

While we waited and worried, Little Bob was working hard to get out of its beautiful shell. And just look at that soft light grey down covering the older siblings. Isn’t it beautiful?

You can see Little Bob’s left wing out of the shell.

There you are sweet baby. Relief.

We know that Dad was followed to the barge by a Pacific Gull yesterday intent on that fish. I had seen gulls being ruthless to one another down by the river but never to an osprey til I saw what the one did to Sloop at Hog Island to get that fish. While we cannot see off camera, I wonder how much hassle Dad gets from gulls?

Dad came in with the breakfast fish at 07:51, another fish arrives at 12:26 and again at 15:23 with a feeding at 16:05. Mum pushed the half eggshell out of 3 at 17:04:33 with, again, the hatch at 19:31:40. There is another fish delivery at 21:36.

Here are some images from that 12:26 feeding before the arrival of Little Bob. Big and Middle are keen eaters. They can only eat so many big bites until their crop is full and they fall into a food coma but they need to be fed frequently, for now.

And the 16:08 feeding.

Big Bob has a really nice crop! And there will be another feeding in about three hours. Mum and Dad you are doing fantastic.

I will be back later today with a review of all the nests in Australia but, for now, savour the moment. Three healthy Bobs at Port Lincoln, grey and fuzzy with their distinctive black eye stripe to keep the glare out of their eyes when they are older and fishing. Adorable. 65 million years of evolution to get to this point. Incredible.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. It is so exciting to have a clutch of osplets to watch again. We are also now within 4 days of hatch at Melbourne and so far Mum has kept the second male from harming the eggs. Fingers crossed. Take care of yourselves. See you soon!

Thank you to Port Lincoln Osprey for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures — and congratulations Port Lincoln! We are all cheering you on for a successful fledge of three strong chicks.


  1. B says:

    We’re rooting for you, Little Bob. Keep that fish coming, Dad!

    1. We certainly are!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was a nice fish. I just cannot believe those two bigger ones. They came out of the shell screaming for fish and even Little Bob was holding that head up pretty good. These are strong osplets. Fingers crossed, B!

  2. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks for the new update Mary Ann!
    Oh how I hope and pray Little Bob is another Ervie. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•
    Congratulations to them and I hope Dad can get the fish and bring without any issues with them gulls!
    Have a good day Mary Ann!

    1. Hi Linda, You are so very welcome. Me, too. Gulls can be much like the Crows or the Ravens. Once they find a good source they seem to stalk it. Let us hope they find another one. This little guy is not nearly the difference in age and size as dear little Tapps. We hope for the best!

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        Yes and now I am afraid to watch in case but I am keeping positive by not watching until I know that they are all ok. I will read your newsletters and find out. Thanks Mary Ann!
        Prayers and positive thoughts of little Bob being another Ervie!๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™

      2. I will let you know. The third hatch had its mouth wide open! That is promising!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      3. Linda Kontol says:

        I saw baby Bob get one bite this afternoon and then itโ€™s head went down. I didnโ€™t watch it all but Mom was still feeding the big and middle Bobs .
        Thanks Mary Ann!
        Have a great evening and take care!

  3. Alison says:

    I noted your observation about males kicking other males’ eggs out of the nest but do we know whether the new male will harm the eyases once they are hatched?

    1. Alison, I have seen it happen if the parents cannot defend the nest. Fingers crossed.

Leave a Reply