7/21/16 – I have been meaning to post some videos of the Chesapeake Conservancy osprey chick, named Chessie, to entice some more viewers with his antics before the chick fledged, but I am too late! Yesterday the chick, possibly a male, was quite enthusiastic in his flight preparations! Hovering high, and fleaping about is hungry work. Also, final preparations include being sure your landing and stick handling skills are developed. Chessie will spend the next 5-6 weeks or so learning how to fish from Tom before migrating all the way to South America in the fall. Thank you Chesapeake Conservancy for providing the cam and images.
By the way, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology lists the average number of days to fledging for an osprey as 50-55 days, since we don’t know which chick survived the owl attack early in the season, this chick was either 53 or 55 days old today.
Evening Update: Chesapeake Conservancy posted footage of the fledging, and later in the afternoon Audrey returned to the nest, first alone, then later with a live fish! I think Audrey used the fish to lure Chessie back to the nest, and he was rewarded with a large meal! Tom arrived to see if there were any nestovers, bringing some leafy thing to the nest. After a post-fledge meal Chessie is ready for a nap. Later, Chessie shows of his flying skills, demonstrating high fleaps and hovering. Finally Tom returns to tuck in the family for the night, and Audrey and Chessie settle in for the night after a big day of excitement!