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The Last Chick Standing

Posted: Saturday 26th August 2017 by Karis MWT

MWT - MenaiMWT - Menai

2017 has been a year of 'firsts’ for the Dyfi ospreys!

Who is left?

We last saw Menai on Thursday (August 24th) morning, leaving the nest for the final time at 9.26am. Here is a short video captured just before she headed south, with her sister, Eitha, watching on from the larch perch.

Menai was 93 days old when she left. Here is a bar chart of all the previous Dyfi offspring with male/female averages (horizontal lines).

Having left the Dyfi 12 days ago Glesni is likely to be in Africa now, spending the winter in relative solitude with only herself to look after. She provided us with a Dyfi first prior to her departure, bringing a plaice to the nest for her three chicks to squabble over. This fish was one of 68 fish caught by Glesni this year - a personal best! 

Another first came from young Aeron, defying all of our ‘rules’ and leaving over a day earlier than his mum. There is a chance that he too has already made it to Africa, with data from Ceulan’s tracker in 2012 telling us he completed the journey in only 11 days! 

It is thought that juveniles may take slightly longer to reach Africa when compared to the adults as they must master the art of fishing en route. This, however, is unlikely to be the case for our youngest chick, Eitha, who is now the only chick remaining. The photo below shows behaviour seen only once before in the history of the project, with Dulas setting the bar and fishing for himself back in 2011.

Eitha is only the second Dyfi juvenile osprey (we know) to have caught their own fish. She is certainly the only youngster we know to have caught two!
MWT - Eitha

We joke, saying the ospreys haven’t read the textbooks, and to some extent the juveniles seen fishing in the UK are bucking the trend. We must remember, however, that these birds do only what comes naturally to them, and they will do whatever is necessary to get food. If the easiest way to get fed is by sitting on the nest and begging, then this is what they'll do. We have seen that this doesn’t always work, however, in which case it becomes easier, and less energetically expensive, to go out and catch a fish yourself.

Things that go bump in the night

Eitha is now spending very little time around the nest, and is seldom seen roosting on the nest itself overnight. Monty is also still with us, and we have seen him around on various perches after dark. When checking through recordings one morning, we had a little surprise, as did Monty...

Monty ambushed by a barn owl!


We've hinted at the possibility of an increased number of intruders to the Dyfi nest as the autumn migration has started. On Thursday 17th, only three days after Glesni started her migration, we were reacquainted with Glesni’s cousin, Blue 3J.

With no birds at the nest site upon her arrival, it gave 3J the chance to land and have a good look around. She landed initially on the camera pole, hopped down to the nest, before finally being escorted off the premises by Monty.

3J had been seen earlier on in the season, accompanied by a Scottish male with ring number HR7.

We think that HR7 has staked a claim to a nest located north of the Dyfi, bonding with another of Glesni’s cousins, Blue 24. She’ll be eight years old if she returns to the UK next year – will it finally be her year?


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