Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hatching begins!

I apologize for my lack of any blog posts! I find myself to be posting updates, photos, and links to the NJ Osprey Project page on Facebook more often. I am also considering switching this blog to a WordPress site instead of Blogger. 

Back to ospreys...Late May is typically when many osprey eggs begin to hatch. Incubation takes 32-43 days. With warm weather on tap for this weekend I'm sure that there will be many hungry mouths to feed in the coming days throughout New Jersey! Osprey chicks are born semi-altricial or downy and blind. They require very close parental care. They will be brooded closely by the adults and the eggs will hatch in the order that they were laid. Ospreys start incubating with the first egg so there is often some age difference in young. This trait gives the oldest young the best chance at surviving if food becomes scarce.

The adult male does all the foraging for the female and young from courtship through incubation and until the young fledge after 7-8 weeks or in late July. As much a 6 lbs. of fish is required to feed the hungry mouths of 3 young. Last year we saw an average of 2 young produced/active nest and this year is on tap to be another great year for ospreys with a warm spring with calm weather (little rain).

Tune into the Osprey Cam on Island Beach State Park by visiting the Friends of Island Beach State Park's website. They should be hatching any day now!!

The pair nesting on the road nest at Island Beach State Park started incubating on April 17th.
Image courtesy Friends of Island Beach State Park osprey cam.

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