Osprey chicks have joined the family at this Griffin osprey nest – to the delight of their parents and visitors to Osprey House Environment Centre.
Volunteers like Pip Grant-Taylor are also thrilled, after being on ‘egg watch’ for 24-hours before two of the chicks hatched on Wednesday, July 29 at about 7.30am and 11.30am. The third chick hatched shortly after 1pm today, July 31.
“We were on egg watch from Tuesday. I’d worked out the 28th was the earliest possible date they’d hatch, based on previous years,” Pip says.
When she went into Osprey House Environment Centre on Wednesday morning, she discovered the chick was there about 8.30am.
Pip says the success rate for chicks to make it to fledged stage, is 50-60 per cent.
“It’s not a 100 per cent success rate. But those (first two) chicks are very strong and healthy looking, so that’s a distinctive plus,” she says.
Volunteers will keep a close eye on the late-hatching chick in the coming days.
“George and Hope are being very attentive parents. George brought the first fish at the first possible moment, about an hour after the second chick hatched.
“They have enough food inside the egg to take them through the first 12 hours. But he is an extremely attentive parent. He eats the top end of the fish, past the gills, almost as if he’s filleting it.”
That allows Hope to access to the best meat, which she feeds to the chicks.
George has also been busy collecting sticks to bolster the nest and shield the chicks from predators such as crows.
“They have to be vigilant at all times. There’s one parent on the chicks at all times,” Pip explains.
In 2018, two chicks successfully hatched and he was bringing six fish per day to the nest, there were a few days when this increased to eight and even 10 fish.
“He had to work hard to keep those hungry mouths full,” she says.
Visitors and volunteers will be able to see George in action, fishing just near the boardwalk and collecting sticks.
He and Hope are also constantly on the move in the nest to ensure their chicks are warm and protected.
Pip says the chicks will fledge between 65 and 75 days, so she expects to see them in the air by the beginning of November.
A female chick from 2018, named Pippin because she looked like a hobbit when she hatched, hasn’t been back to the nest since the eggs appeared but is believed to still be in the area.
Pip says there are osprey roosts at Lake Kurwongbah, Clontarf, Woody Point, Beachmere and Bribie.
“They’re relatively common in this part of the world, in southeast Queensland.”
They’re threatened or endangered in other parts of Australia, but have good access to habitat and food here, and the climate suits them.
Want to know more? Visit to the Osprey House Facebook page.
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