Friday, July 30, 2010

Empty Nest

All of the young have fledged, left the nest, today. Of course, they will be back and forth for awhile as explained in the earlier blog. Next week we will work on adjusting the camera so we can get a wider field of view of the movements of the young and adult ospreys.

We want to thank Katie for keeping up the Blog and for all her hard work on getting the webcam project up and running along with our other sponsors. Today is Katie's last day at Deer Flat NWR. She is headed for Bear River NWR on the north shores of Great Salt Lake. We wish her luck and God's speed in her future endeavors. rcc

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

First Flights

It looks like the first of the babies has flown the coop! I Monday July 26th I noticed only two babies in the nest. The third was on a short pole just below the nest.

Since the young osprey are adult size now, its much harder to tell them apart. The young have much more white/tan mottling on their backs. Adults have a solid dark brown across their backs. And, even though they are almost ready to fly and start fishing, the young rarely feed themselves. If you see one bird feeding another, you are seeing one adult and one young.

This is an exciting time to watch the nest. All the young birds will begin to take short flights soon. The adults will leave in about 4 to 6 weeks to fly to their wintering grounds in Centeral and South America. The young will hang out till the end of September before they start their migration.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Almost Time to Fly!

The time is fast approaching when the young will begin to take their first flights. They are about 50 days old and should begin to fly between 55 and 60 days.

I was just watching the cam and saw one of the young revving up his wing muscles by flapping. Birds have two very large breast muscles (think chicken breasts) that power flight. Instead of a flat sternum or breast bone like humans have, birds have a protruding ridge called a keel. (Like the keel of a boat.) Muscles anchor to this keel and the wing bones. Young birds do not have developed breast muscles and spend time flapping to help them get in shape. All of the young birds will begin to flap a lot.

Its also getting hard to tell adults from young in the nest. Sometimes the young still lay down: the adults almost never lay down.

One clue to watch for: the adults are still feeding the young and will continue to do so for another month or so. As soon as the young birds start flying, they will also begin learning how to fish. No doubt they already scan the water from their nest.

I hope you are enjoying the cam. Please email if you have any questions or comments. We are looking for people to help write more blog updates. I will be ending my position in two weeks and will no longer be able to update the blog....

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hummingbird WebCam!

Check out this great black-chinned hummingbird camera!

We have black-chinned hummingbirds in Idaho too, but this cam is amazing.

Have a great day and a safe 4th!