This morning just after 7 a.m. the four gosling jumped down from the nest. Multiple watchers recorded the event from the cam feed; check this outstanding 2-minute YouTube clip of the goslings making the jump. Observers on the ground say all four survived the 100-foot drop, and once on the field made their way to the lake — where observers say the family was attacked by another goose and one of the goslings was killed.
After all that action, what else could happen at our osprey nest? Well this: A new pair of geese arrived at the nest and the female laid an egg within a few minutes. Now the questions are, will the ospreys contest for the nest? If they don’t, will ospreys use the nest after this second brood of geese depart?
The geese that laid their first egg on March 19 saw their entire clutch of four eggs hatch yesterday, April 22. As of today the four goslings appear to be thriving, and both mom and dad geese have spent much of the day in the nest. The next daunting feat, likely to occur in the next day or two, will be for the goslings to jump down from the 100-foot-high nest. Park personnel have witnessed the goslings making this jump from the nest in past years – but from when the nest was on the old light poles at much lower heights. At this time, the questions are: How will these goslings fare in their long jump from the nest? And, with the nest again open, will the ospreys return to reclaim it?
In response to comments about geese activities at the nest, biologist Jane Fink writes:
We see this all the time on the CDA Lake basin. The goose occupies a nesting platform, hatches her brood and is often gone by the time the osprey need to move in. Nesting spots are at a premium for many bird species. Cool temperatures are no problem for adult birds. Feathers are fully insulating. Both species have been evolving together for a very long time!
We are beginning to observe our first returning ospreys to north Idaho in the last few days. Already several have made the long journey from the south to return to their nesting areas. Keep your eyes skyward!
Yesterday a goose arrived at the nest, laid an egg and appeared to begin incubating it (see photo in yesterday’s blog). Though the goose was not at the nest as of this morning, she or others are sure to be back, according to City Parks Director Kim Woodruff, whose crews maintain Memorial Field and have observed interactions at the nest for many years. Woodruff gives this account:
This battle happens every year. According to my guys this is what happens every year:
Goose takes nest and lays eggs. Eggs hatch pretty quickly and little guys grow fast. Mom tosses little guys out of nest (literally) and they bounce 5 feet but survive. When last guy is hucked from nest Mom and Dad gather together and my guys open a gate on the field so that they can head for the river. After goose vacate, the osprey will occupy. Sounds like a possible two-fer on eggs … let’s see!
Cause for anxiety: Goose usurping nest!
We’re happy to now have the osprey cam back online for the 2013 season … and are (somewhat anxiously of course!) awaiting arrival of our osprey couple from their long journey back to Sandpoint. As last year, which was our inaugural season with the web cam, we are again partnering with the City of Sandpoint, Avista,Northland Communications and biologist Jane Fink of Birds of Prey Northwest to provide this live streaming webcast. We’re also grateful to Westside Fire District for use of their ladder truck to help maintenance of the cam. Important additional support is provided by the advertisers on this page… so if you appreciate this web cam, when opportunity allows please do give all these sponsors a hello and thanks.
We use this blog to provide updates on the nest and interpretive remarks from biologist Jane Fink. Preparatory to the arrival of the ospreys, biologist Jane Fink writes the following:
The nesting osprey pair we observed last year in north Idaho are no doubt being called by changing conditions and following on the wings of migration. Ospreys in North America overwinter in Mexico, Central and South America. They begin their northerly movements, returning to previous nest sites annually each spring. These birds are monogamous and mate for life. Ospreys feed almost exclusively on fish.
Providing the osprey pair both survived the perils of a modern world, they will return to their Sandpoint nest site. Upon return, the ospreys will reaffirm their pair bond, add materials to the nest, and begin the duties of raising the next generation. Once eggs are laid incubation takes about 38 days, during which time the pair will defend and protect the nest. The female does the majority of the incubation, while the male fishes for her and keeps a watchful eye out.
Last year, the osprey pair returned the first few days of April. We all eagerly await the return of the “fish hawks” and hope for their safe return!
Westside Fire District Assistant Fire Chief Dale Hopkins went 100 feet up in the department’s amazing ladder truck on Monday, to provide some needed maintenance at the web cam. His tasks included resolving a pair of potential hazards for the osprey and cleaning the camera lens housing. See a photo album of the operation at our Sandpoint Online Facebook page.
Here’s a huge THANKS to Chief Hopkins, fireman Jared Addison and the Westside Fire District. See more about the district at WestsideFire.org.
In answer to questions about the chick’s development, biologist Jane Fink writes: Flying and mastering the art of making it back to the nest come first, then after several weeks of successful flights, hunting attempts will occur. Until then the little osprey will return to the nest for feedings. The sex of the osprey is unknown. Only about 80 percent of females sport a necklace and in the end size matters. The females are often larger than the males and the determinant factor is weight. Best guess is to note whether the youngster is closer in size to the respective parent bird. At six weeks of age the youngster is mostly full grown and will sport its youthful orange eye for two years to come.
After a few days of wing stretching and flapping, then progressively more daring hovers above the nest, on August 9 the baby osprey fledged — flew away from the nest for several minutes, then back. S/he has since been leaving the nest for extended periods, but always returning for feeding with the parents. Next up for Baby O: Learning to hunt.
Jane Fink and osprey from the Birds of Prey Northwest raptor rehabilitation center will be at Festival’s Family Day.
Announcing osprey happenings at the Festival at Sandpoint: The Festival, of course, is Sandpoint’s superb two-week concert series — and is held on Memorial Field, right below the osprey nest at cam. These resident ospreys have delighted Festival-goers for decades, but this year they’re getting extra attention. In coordination with the Festival, there will be a monitor with the osprey cam streaming live on the field at each of the eight concerts, for a chance for Festival goers to see into the nest while they can look up to see the birds in person. Plus, at the Family Concert this Sunday, Aug. 5, our consulting biologist, Jane Fink of Birds of Prey Northwest, will be giving a program on ospreys and other Idaho raptors. She’s bringing live birds that her center is rehabilitating after injury — including an owl, eagle, falcon, hawk and osprey — for kids and adults to see up close. The Family Concert activities begin at 4:30 p.m. and admission is only $6. See more about all the upcoming concerts at FestivalAtSandpoint.com — and do come by to see these magnificent birds.
Regarding recent chat about what happens if the osprey chick falls, biologist Jane Fink writes: A grounded young osprey of this age will quickly succumb to heat stroke and/or predation once grounded by cat, raccoon, raven, horned owl or the like. Young raptors can also have resulting broken bones from the fall that require an x-ray. Without feathers and defenseless against predators, lacking parental protection spells trouble for the grounded youngster.
I instruct people to gather up young raptors carefully placing into a box and call Idaho Fish & Game (208) 769 1414 or Birds of Prey NW (208) 582 0797. Given time to grow their feathers in captivity or rehabilitation, the young osprey can be returned to the wild in just a few weeks. Leaving the young raptor on the ground, without human intervention, often puts the youngster in peril.
Caring for young raptors requires special provisions such as a surrogate parent and fish as a food source. Special facilities and federal permits from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are required to care for these special avian patients. Getting grounded raptors help quickly into skilled hands is always best!