11 October 2022
I had not planned another blog today but events at Port Lincoln changed that.
The last fish delivery at Port Lincoln until today was at 12:48:22 yesterday, the 11th of October in Australia. Anyone observing this nest has noticed that it has become increasingly unstable since the day an only fish was delivered at 1500. Big Bob sensed that there was not enough food to feed all of the chicks and Mum and has been on a tear that has become brutal since that day. Much of the fury has been directed against Middle Bob and, indeed, today, Middle Bob got the majority of the wrath.
There was approximately 20 hours between the last delivery yesterday and the first one this morning. That was approximately 09:05. The camera was zoomed it and it was difficult to see the size of the fish nor how much fish each of the chicks received (I noted small crops on all of varying sizes later).
Big goes on a tear. Little Bob and Middle have been eating. He is the last up to the table and in the eldest sibling’s mind, no one is to eat before him. He starts beaking Little Bob at 09:06:50.
Once Little Bob is tightly tucked, protecting its head, in the submissive post, Big starts beaking Middle Bob. You just have to look at Big’s wings towering over Middle to understand how large Big is. Middle goes into submission. Big goes back to check on the fish. Of course, while all of this is going on, it appears that Mum is eating the breakfish fish.
At 09:08:38, Middle raises up and moves to try and get to the feeding by going around Little who is not moving. Big notices.
At 09:09:08, Big goes after Middle Bob. The attack was brutal and at one point it appeared that Big could push Middle off the rim of the nest. I was simply holding my breath. Big stops and moves up to eat.
At 09:13:44, Little Bob gets up and moves to the right of Big Bob to get some fish. (It is still impossible to see if any fish is being fed). Then Big goes back after Little.
At 09:17:32, Mum is picking up pieces of fish off the nest. Big continues to attack the siblings if they dare move.
It is going to take a lot of fish in quick succession to get any resemblance of stability at this nest. Even then, the brutal beakings may not stop. What was once about dominance is now about a fear for survival.
Thank you to Port Lincoln Ospreys for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.