The past two months have absolutely flown by! One moment, Maya and 33(11) have only just arrived with the nest looking in need of some attention, and the next we have four chicks – which is fantastic news. The fourth chick hatched last Wednesday evening (13th May) at around 20:45. There is a clear size difference between the first chick and the fourth - the former having become a little more adventurous over the last couple of days! 33 has been kept on his toes this past week and will be for the foreseeable future with lots of fish to be caught and the nest needing to be built up with more sticks.
The Fantastic Four
Osprey chicks go through two down plumage stages - the first is short, thick and light brown-yellow in colour, which is replaced by a second down at around 10 days old. The secondary down is denser and woollier than the first and results in the chick looking a bit like a small reptile! Over the next few days and weeks, the chicks’ downy plumage will start to change and at approximately two weeks old the first feathers start emerging, firstly on the head and neck where rusty-golden pinfeathers come through, followed later by darker body feathers.
Though there is about a week’s age difference between the first and last chick, Maya and 33(11) are fantastic, experienced parents and know what they are doing having already raised 15 chicks, including a brood of four last year. 057 - the fourth chick in the brood last year – was in the same position as this year’s fourth chick, and she soon caught up with the others and fledged successfully, thanks to 33 being a highly skilled fisher.
Osprey Home School
The Osprey Education Team are continuing to add lots of new materials and fun activities each week to the Osprey Home School page. From learning all about migration to moths, there is something for everyone to enjoy.