13 October 2022
Good evening, Everyone.
I couldn’t end the day without checking on Little Bob. When I closed my earlier blog, the Port Lincoln trio and Mum were waiting for Dad to bring in the first fish of the day. The osplets were already antsy and had been beaking one another. Each started the morning with a crop left from the late feeding last night but, by 0900 they had all dropped that crop and were hungry.
The first fish delivery arrived at 10:41:36. It was assumed, and rightly so, that Big Bob would eat the majority of any fish that arrived if not all of it. As it happened, Little Bob was getting some nice bites for several minutes even having a tug-o-war over a piece at 10:47:24. At that point, Little Bob had a small crop.
At 10:48:19, Big moves Middle out of the way so that he can brutally attack Little Bob. —The one saving grace this morning was that Little Bob did get up opposite Big and ate with his siblings. That is a big step from cowering yesterday and not even making a motion to eat. At 10:50:49, Big attacks Middle.
The long-awaited fish arrives. Even the osplets are fish crying to Dad.
Big is to the far left with Middle in the middle and Little Bob to the right.
At one-point Little Bob stands up to Middle and looks him in the eye. I just held my breath.
Little Bob has gotten some nice bites. Of course, not nearly as many as Big but, he is eating and he is up at the table and there is a small crop coming.
All is good and then it isn’t. Was the tug-o-war with Big and Big decided she had had enough of Little? I say ‘she’. Big is enormous. Not just from all the food she is consuming compared to the others but also because she has to be a female. It is also well known that the females are much more aggressive siblings especially if they are the first hatch. Their bodies will be at least 1/3 larger than the males and they have all those feathers to produce. They are often the last to fledge because of the time it takes them to fully develop compared to the smaller males.
Big is viscious. Just mean. She has had a lot of fish and yet, she is determined to terrorize the other two.
Then Big takes exception to Middle. Perhaps Big thought Middle had some food while it was dealing with Little. I want you to look at the size of Big’s wings and then look over at Little. Big is huge.
I have included this image. Big had a ps over the back of Little. I just want you to look again at the size. Little might have a peck at Big – which it shouldn’t – but Big is simply too big and could kill Little if she set her mind to it.
The fish is finished and both Middle and Little are fish calling at Mum. Let us all hope that much fish – great big fish – arrive on this nest today. Still, Little has eaten up at the table and that is a big step. Let’s watch and see what it does next time.
I wish I knew what it is that causes certain osprey nests to be more prone to siblicide and food competition. Is it toxins in the water? is it genetics? Is it just the psychological makeup of the osplets? is it gender? is it a mixture of all of these factors?
Thank you for joining me as I checked on Little Bob at Port Lincoln. Take care all. See you tomorrow.
Thank you Port Lincoln Ospreys for your streaming cam where I took my screen captures.