Arboretum News

Osprey Chicks Hatched

The two eggs that were laid on May 15 and 18 hatched on June 23.

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Adult osprey feeding two chicks (in center of the nest) a few hours after they hatched on June 23.

By Liz Potasek

The two eggs in the Osprey Cam nest hatched yesterday just a few hours a part. The eggs were laid May 15 and 18. While eggs typically hatch sequentially, but it’s not uncommon for them to hatch closer together, says Vanessa Greene, who coordinates the Twin Cities Metro Osprey Watch.

Watch recorded video of the eggs hatching.

After 40 days of incubating the eggs, the osprey parents next task is keeping the chicks cool, hydrated and fed. “Heat is a concern for all the little chicks in the metro,” Greene says. “They can’t thermoregulate at first, so the adults need to keep them hydrated and shaded. But we had extremely hot temps when some other chicks had just hatched, and they all seem to be doing fine. It’s supposed to be a bit cooler over the weekend. They will probably be fine.”

The chicks are being raised by osprey parents that are new to the nest this year. The parents were observed feeding the babies bits of fish yesterday, and they’ll continue to feed them as they grow and gain the strength they need to learn to fly and hunt.

If all goes well, the chicks will fledge the nest in about two months. They’ll make a solo journey to their winter nesting grounds in Central and South America. Chicks who survive typically return to the same area where they hatched.

Learn more about Osprey from The Cornell Lab.

JUNE 26, 2021 UPDATE: We received the sad news that one of the osprey chicks has passed away. “It was reported earlier today that one chick kept falling over and missed a feeding,” says Vanessa Greene of Twin Cities Metro Osprey Watch. “It has been raining this afternoon so Mom was just brooding them, and they could not be seen. She finally stood up, and it is clear that one chick is motionless… The other is moving around, his head bobbing and looking for food. Its a very sad situation. Think good thoughts for the remaining chick.”

5 comments on “Osprey Chicks Hatched

  1. This is so exciting to watch. Do the adults have names? Just watched Dad bring a fish and the whole family feasting on it. Mom did a great job feeding both chicks.

    • The male is banded, and was born three years ago in Carver County, according to Twin Cities Metro Osprey Watch. The female is unbanded. To my knowledge, they don’t have names.

      • Did one of the two chicks die? I don’t see one of them moving. Normally, both chicks were active when Dad would come back with food.

  2. Pingback: Arb Links, vol. 48 | News from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

  3. Glad to see chick #2 is still alive. Watched the dad bring a fish this morning and mom feeding the chick again. Dad was doing some interior decorating in the meantime. Morsels of fish that were too big for the chick to eat were immediately eaten by mom or dad. Shocked to see over the weekend that mom ate dead chick #1. I guess they do that to keep out parasites and not to waste anything but it was still shocking to see.

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