Mama Rachel and Papa Steve are preparing for their chicks, Sky, Ollie and Sibley to take their first flights!
The three chicks are entering their final phase as nesting youths, having been born on June 7, 8 and 11. In only two months’ time, the chicks have hatched, remained healthy, and are now growing the feathers and wing muscles necessary to fly in a process called “fledging.”
Osprey chicks normally fledge within 48 to 59 days of hatching. So what happens when the young fledge?
Generally they hang around the nest, but will fly off to perch elsewhere. Sometimes they’ll go to another nest. Feeding happens at the nest; Steve will bring food and drop it off there. There is a long transition period (around a month to a month and a half) in learning to fish on their own — food delivery by the male is critical to ensuring that the young don’t starve while learning to fish. They fish on their own — no one teaches them anything!
Normally, the female osprey migrates early (probably in the next 2 weeks or so) — it’s the male that does most of the feeding from now on. Then when it’s off to South America, the migration will be solo: first Rachel, and then Steve and the chicks individually. For more information on the osprey migration process, click here.
Keep a close eye on the nest over the next few days as we prepare to see our three babies take flight for the first time!