Thursday, August 19, 2010

Holding back

I'd like to tell you the whole story of the osprey, up above the shipyard. The female giving me glaring looks. But I have to withhold while I seek a market for the tale.

I can share some photos. I've had two sessions now and anticipate a third.

And I can tell you this. This osprey pair had three chicks in spring – small, medium and large. Fledging three chicks is rare in raptors. Siblicide is common and it seems quite likely that medium and large kicked their weaker nest mate out some time in July. At the very least their greater size allowed them to keep the fish away from small, so the bird may have simply faded away.

That's life. In this case it's a two-for-one deal. And before you cast human judgements at the adult birds who turn a beak to this. Reproductive investment for a bird that lives a long time and has few offspring comes close some years to costing them their lives. In terms of survival of the fittest and passing on their genes, their best bet is to back the winners.

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