Fort Myers Beach Hotel, Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina’s Live HD View of Fort Myers Beach Osprey Family: Hatchlings Progress Report
March 21, 2014
Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina teamed up with Lee County Parks & Recreation in 2013 to improve the quality of life for long-term resident ospreys while also providing the public a “birds eye” view with a new, state-of-the-art “Ospreycam.” In February, the excitement began with Pink Shell’s first, live Osprey ‘clutch,’ the term used for a batch of eggs.
Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina’s Marketing Director said, “We have had the pleasure of observing the ospreys and the birth of the hatchlings. With over 20,000 views, many have enjoyed seeing the miracle of nature up close and in high definition. On March 1st and 3rd two of the three eggs hatched. Sadly, the third egg never hatched and the parents, then named Ricky and Lucy, decided to remove it from the nest.” The remaining two fledglings are now trying to bulk-up with the fish that Ricky brings into the nest for them. Making up about 99% of their diet, Ricky searches for fish by hovering over the water near Bowditch Point. Once the prey is in sight, he dives into the water with wings swept back, thrusting his talons forward at the last minute to grab the fish from below the surface. These hunting attempts are successful about once every four dives. Some of the most exciting footage is of the Pink Shell’s osprey families’ next meal being flown in, gripped in his talons as the he carries it back to the nest.
Pink Shell Ospreycam followers continue to worry about the two fledglings as they hash it out for meals. This behavior is very common, as the first-born chick will not allow the younger sibling to eat until it has had enough to eat. The parents will not be seen protecting the bullied chick; they are solely focused on putting food in whatever mouth is open and waiting.
Viewers can look forward to a whole lot more excitement in the upcoming weeks. On or around April 20th, about fifty days after hatching, these young chicks will start exercising their wings in the nest in order to be able to take their first practice flights, called ‘helicoptering.’ Then deemed ‘juveniles,’ the young Ospreys will return to their nest for food brought in by their parents for about the next two weeks. Usually the young stay in the area, close to the nest site, as they improve their skill in the air, before they then begin to make attempts to catch a fish for themselves. Pink Shell has enjoyed watching our new chicks over the past couple of weeks and are heartened by the fact that we had our first “clutch,” on live feed for our viewers and guest to enjoy. The Pink Shell team and Ospreycam’s dedicated followers will continue to monitor the chicks as they mature into ‘juveniles.’