Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring winds and Nest happenings!

April is usually Idaho’s windiest month, and this April is no exception. With sustained winds of 15 to 20mph and gusts of 35mph our ospreys are hanging tight to the nest.

The wind also affects our camera feed and the steadiness of the camera. The best times to check are from 10:00am to 3:00pm MST. Even if there is cloud cover, there is generally enough juice to run the camera. We hope to add another solar panel and a timer sometime in the next 10 days. The additional solar panel will catch the morning sun and the timer will turn off the system at night and save energy.

As for the nest: the female continues to sit tight to the nest. If she laid the first egg on 4/22, I would predict she has 3 eggs by now. According to the Birds of North America, osprey lay 1 egg every 1 to 3 days depending on food availability and the condition of the female. Established osprey pairs lay between 3 and 4 eggs total.

Food for Thought: A female osprey weighs 1,850 grams or just over 4 pounds. Each egg is about 3.6% of her body mass. In less than 2 weeks a female osprey loses 14.4% of her body weight. That’s like a 150lbs human dropping to 128lbs to 2 weeks!! The female continues to lose weight through the incubation and nestling periods. Male osprey weigh about 1,460 grams. Like most raptors, females outweigh the males by up to a third.