And just like that, Rachel and Carson’s three hatchlings have been transforming into “teenage’’ chicks and fledging – getting bigger, adding feathers and learning how to fly. In fact, one of the chicks flew from the nest Wednesday and another flew yesterday! We’re awaiting more rain to help clear up the camera lens, but here are highlights of the first flight and second flight.
Folks at The Friends of Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge said the young birds’ increased flapping in the nest and eating on their own tell us a lot about their growing maturity. All three chicks should be able to fly on their own soon, soaring overhead and returning with snacks. Remember, ospreys stay together all season long, so there won’t be any “empty nesters’’ in this Falmouth family! Continue to watch as the nest becomes even more crowded with interesting activities.
June 22, 2022
Ah, nature! Any time you have a camera placed in the wild, it is susceptible to natural elements, which can impact the video feed. In this case, we are currently awaiting rain to help clear up the blurred screen and get us back to our normal view of Rachel and Carson and their busy family of five.
Carson continues to be the family fisherman as this clip shows from his Father’s Day fishing delivery (stick around to see Dad deliver at the end). And, the three siblings continue to grow and prepare to fledge (take their first flight) – which should happen in the next few weeks!
June 15, 2022
Now that they’re a party of five, there’s even more fishing for Carson to do while Rachel continues to protect and snuggle the hatchlings. We’ve been keeping an eye on that fourth egg, which does not seem likely to hatch. Rachel’s behavior and interaction with the egg will tell us a lot about its viability, officials at The Friends of Mashpee Wildlife Refuge said. Unfortunately, not all eggs hatch, but anything can happen so stay tuned! As a reminder, the osprey feed is available here so you won’t miss a moment!
And, for those wondering what’s next, The Friends of Mashpee Wildlife Refuge noted that the hatchlings will “fledge” in about 5-6 weeks – growing to full size, getting their feathers and ultimately leaving the nest in search of their own “forever mates” later in the season.
May 27, 2022
It’s been a busy week already for Rachel & Carson – they’ve welcomed three hatchlings to the nest. The first arrived Monday night, the second arrived Tuesday morning and third arrived on Thursday.
Here’s a glimpse of two of the siblings bonding earlier:
And, The Friends of Mashpee Wildlife Refuge covered nearly every moment on its highlights page! For example, this highlight reel of the first egg hatchling was spliced together from a few clips showing some brief glimpses of the chick, plus Rachel moving the shell to the side of the nest. Rachel spends most of the early hours sitting on the chick and other eggs to keep them all warm.
Be sure to follow along with us weekly on Twitter for our usual #HatchWatchWednesday updates and for any “breaking news” on the one remaining egg.
May 18, 2022
Here’s the latest:
- Home improvements are a constant. Rachel and Carson have been building up the walls to “fence in” the chicks when they emerge.
- This couple is on top of things (even when they’re off camera). While some viewers were concerned the eggs were left alone too often, The Friends of the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge assures us the eggs do not require constant sitting in warmer weather like we’ve recently been enjoying. At times when it appears the eggs are left unattended, it is almost certain that Rachel or Carson is keeping a constant watch on the nest.
- Hatchlings expected soon! The first egg could hatch sometime in the next week or so.
Be sure to follow along with us weekly on Twitter for our #HatchWatchWednesday updates and for any “breaking news” on hatchlings.
May 11, 2022
Rachel and Carson are continuing to live their ‘nest life’ with four eggs awaiting their hatch dates.
Here’s the latest:
- Rachel and Carson are hearty New Englanders. The pair has held the nest together and kept their eggs safe on some very windy nights!
- It’s time to reinforce the nest. They’re busy adding more sticks and even a piece of rope in preparation for the chicks.
- You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. In response to viewer requests, The Friends of Mashpee National Wildlife Reserve added a FAQ/Frequently Asked Questions page.
- And, some observers have let us know they continue to have company in the nest with more sparrows dropping by and even unexpected guests like a flying squirrel (as captured on our highlights page here)! Hint: watch the lower left corner.
Be sure to follow along with us weekly on Twitter for our #HatchWatchWednesday updates.
May 4, 2022
It has been a little over a month since we announced the live-streaming Osprey ‘nest cam’, and this Cape Cod couple has already given us some milestone moments. Here’s the latest:
- The birds have nicknames. Thanks to a vote organized by The Friends of the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge, the pair is now known as Rachel and Carson. This felt especially fitting, given environmentalist Rachel Carson’s efforts to ban the use of harmful pesticides like DDT, which had nearly eliminated the entire osprey population in the 1960s.
- Four eggs are in the nest. Love is in the air as these birds are ready to become parents! The first baby bird could hatch as soon as May 20, and the others should follow 1-3 days apart in the order they were laid. Be sure to follow along with us weekly on Twitter for our #HatchWatchWednesday updates.
- We Introduced a Highlights Feature. Between surprise guests to and around the nest, mealtime and more, we are regularly capturing and sharing the latest nest life moments. Be sure to check in often!
Check out this sneak peek of one of those moments:
We’re immensely grateful for our partnership with The Friends of the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge, which hosts the osprey feed, and for the work our local tech team did to install the Osprey cam! Here are some awesome observations and anecdotes we’ve gathered from our osprey-eyed watchers:
- The ospreys have visitors: We’ve learned that other smaller birds like sparrows “hang out” with the Ospreys to share food and benefit from protection from predators. And, we think at least one sparrow built a nest under our osprey nest platform.
- Dwayne A., one of our local construction managers quickly became a fan. Recently, the Osprey cam feed became part of his anniversary celebration with his wife – noting it was especially fitting as ospreys are mates for life!
- The Osprey livestream has made its way to various STEM enrichment resources in local schools, quickly becoming a popular resource for students and teachers. In fact, one third grade teacher happens to be the daughter of our teammate, Geno L., who helped install the cam. Her student emailed: “I love the Osprey live cam that is on the STEM links. I try to watch it as much as I can to see what is going on with it and what it is doing. Please tell your dad I say thank you.”
- Fans keep flocking to the cam! The Friends of the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge has recorded a 32x increase in website traffic since the cam debut last month and there’s also been a feathering of their financial nest: donations to the organization have increased significantly!
Keep on streaming, learning, oohing and ahhing and stay tuned for the next #HatchWatchWednesday update!