On July 29th, approximately 58 days after hatching from the egg, the osprey chick fully fledged and took its first flight away from the nest at Middle Farms.
In the days leading up to its first flight, the fledgling continued to develop stronger skills for flying, along with skills for eating and nest tending. As we watched it flap its wings more and hop around the nest, we increasingly saw it mimic mom by squawking like her when it was hungry and competing with her more for the fish during feeding times. The juvenile osprey also continued to watch the parents and begin to do things like standing during sleeping and defending the nest.
The osprey chick took its first flight on July 29th, 2023.
The video clips below capture some of the nest activities from before, during and after the first flight from July 24th through July 31, 2023.
JULY 24, 2023: In this clip, the chick flaps its wings and hops to practice for flight, while mom can be heard watching from the camera above.
JULY 24, 2023: The osprey chick does a bit of nest tending and also tears some bark to practice for feeding itself while mom watches from the camera.
JULY 24, 2023: Mom brings seaweed to the nest and her chick pecks at it as she tries to tend the nest. She carefully moves near the right perch and seems distracted by a dragonfly for a while.
JULY 24, 2023: Mom leaves to make way for the chick to do more exercise.
JULY 25, 2023: About two minutes into this morning feeding, the chick steps away to tear at a fin, then moves back to get more from mom.
JULY 25, 2023: Mom brings a stick and tends the nest, while the chick squawks and inspects her work.
JULY 25, 2023: Dad brings a large stick to the nest – but it gets caught on his wing and ends up tipping vertical.
JULY 25, 2023: Mom tries to fix the vertical stick while the chick watches.
JULY 25, 2023: After a mid-day feeding, the chick exercises its wings while mom continues to eat.
JULY 25, 2023: More drama as dad brings another large stick that gets caught up on mom this time.
JULY 25, 2023: During this exercise session, the chick catches air and briefly hovers above moms head.
JULY 25, 2023: For the third feeding of the day, the chick gets a fresh fish from dad but seems uncertain about starting it. After some initial struggles, it eventually manages to eat some, then about seven minutes into the clip it starts flapping its wings and struggles to stay on the nest. It eventually settles down and gets back to eating.
JULY 26, 2023: Dad brings a fish to the nest – but after drama ensues, he drops it behind his back and flies away, leaving mom and chick confused.
JULY 26, 2023: Time lapse video reveals the fish dad dropped being devoured by bugs over the next half hour.
JULY 26, 2023: The osprey chick nervously tries to hang onto the nest as it catches air during exercise.
JULY 27, 2023: The osprey chick wins the battle for the fish during this morning feeding.
JULY 27, 2023: Mom comes back for leftovers after the chick is done eating the fish.
JULY 27, 2023: Moms meal gets interrupted to defend the nest and dad lands to help out. Before leaving, dad checks out the fish remains but mom lets him know that she is not finished.
JULY 27, 2023: The chick comes back for seconds before mom finishes the fish.
JULY 27, 2023: At a subsequent feeding, mom gives the chick the tail to finish on its own while she cleans her beak.
JULY 28, 2023: The osprey chick begins to sleep standing up more often than down – sometimes with its head hung forward and sometimes tucked under its wing.
JULY 29, 2023: During this feeding, mom wins the battle for the fish after a brief tug-of-war with the chick.
JULY 29, 2023: FIRST FLIGHT! After a few test hops around the nest, the chick flies off and mom squawks from the camera above. She then appears to leave and join the chick on its first flight. Their shadows can be seen flying around the area for a while, then mom lands back on the camera and the chick does one more lap around the nest and lands on a nearby telephone pole.
JULY 29, 2023: After more than four hours away, the chick returns to the nest at Middle Farms.
JULY 29, 2023: SECOND FLIGHT! After resting on the nest for about an hour, the chick exercises again and seems uncertain about another flight, but then hovers out of view and takes flight again.
JULY 29, 2023: Mom lowers from the camera just before the chicks second return to the nest.
JULY 30, 2023: Mom and chick coming and going from the nest during the chicks second day of flying.
JULY 31, 2023: The chick helps mom defend the nest during the beginning of this clip.
JULY 31, 2023: Mom brings leftovers to the chick then leaves and watches from the camera.
JULY 31, 2023: Dad visits the nest before the chick is finished eating and the chick defends its meal. After a tense standoff ensues, mom lowers down to the nest but the chick continues to defend its meal against both parents. Dad eventually gives up and leaves and mom remains nearby.
View our live ospreycam for a look into the world of osprey on Fishers Island.