This post was initially compiled as a progress report on nest tending – not only by the mother osprey but also by the chicks learning to use their beaks for more than pecking, but tragically both younger chicks have since passed away.

On July 5th, 2023 the youngest chick passed away – one month after it had hatched. Despite the perseverance of the littlest osprey, it could not overcome the advantage the bigger chicks had with the 2+ days of eating fish before it got its first bite.

Once the little one began to feed and grow, there was not enough fish to go around and the big chicks usually got full before they allowed it to feed. In its final week, the little one rarely got full – and did not get to eat at all during some feedings. It did not always back down though and found ways to sneak around the others and grab bites when it could – even crawling between mom’s legs at times.

Eventually, the middle chick did not seem to get full either during some of the feedings and pecking attacks became more frequent and brutal against the little one. There were even times when the middle chick declined fish – but would subsequently attack the little one for trying to get some leftovers.

After a severe neck wringing by the middle chick on the morning of July 5th, the little one may have suffered damage which prevented it from eating or it had just become too weak, because despite multiple attempts by mom to feed a final meal, it declined and eventually collapsed and passed away.

The littlest osprey chick watches mom tend nest on July 1st, 2023.

Later that day the middle chick started into decline and began to refuse food. Over the next three days, the decline intensified. On the afternoon of July 8, 2023 the middle chick succumbed. The death was likely caused by not getting enough food for an extended period.

The following clips capture moments from the final week for the littlest osprey chick – and moments when all three chicks were getting along and beginning to learn new skills. With a final goodbye to the little one and the middle chick, we hope the remaining osprey chick will continue to develop skills necessary to survive and someday tend it’s own nest.

JUNE 30, 2023: In this clip, the biggest osprey chick tends nest with seaweed while mom rests. The middle chick gets up to preen and the little one remains sleeping. NOTE: bunny hopping along road in the background halfway through.

JUNE 30, 2023: Osprey chicks preening.

JUNE 30, 2023: Osprey chicks hanging out and looking beyond nest.

JULY 1, 2023: Mom brings a piece of bark to the nest and the biggest chick tries to help tend, then they get shuffled up and the middle chick moves to the front of the nest near mom.

JULY 1, 2023: Dad brings a fish to the nest, but then decides he is first in the pecking order. He will be back later!

JULY 1, 2023: The biggest osprey chick works at moving a thick piece of stick around the nest and then moves to tend another area.

JULY 1, 2023: Here comes mom! Time for shade!

JULY 1, 2023: The littlest osprey helps mom tend the nest, while the biggest chick watches.

JULY 1, 2023: The little one lays down on the job.

JULY 3, 2023: The chicks sit this one out – while mom tends the nest.


JULY 4, 2023: Early morning preening session with chicks and some nest tending by mom.

JULY 4, 2023: The biggest chick tends the nest while the little one watches and tries to help.

JULY 4, 2023: The biggest osprey chick works on a stick and some bark – then gets cocky.

JULY 4, 2023: The little one helps mom tend, then gets pecked by the middle chick.

JULY 5, 2023: The biggest osprey chick struggles to move a big stick – and eventually succeeds.

JULY 5, 2023: The biggest osprey chick practices tearing a stick the way mom tears fish.

JULY 5, 2023: The little one and the middle chick huddle together and with mom.

JULY 5, 2023: Rest in peace little one. You too middle chick.

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