Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Osprey part 2

Wow - these chicks look pretty tough, don't they? Young osprey have orange-red eyes, which get lighter as they age. The adults have yellow eyes. The chicks are banded at around 5-6 weeks old, though there is a much broader range for this species to safely band in. The chicks cannot be banded too young, as the bands will just slip off. If they are too old, they might try to fly when they hear the folks come up to the nest platform to collect them, and we do not want them to be injured in an unsuccessful flight attempt.

This photo shows both the color band (which is green over black) and the federal band (silver). The bands are placed on the opposite legs of the peregrines.

This chick is younger than the one with the bands above. You can see how there are less feathers and more downy covering. Mark Martell is putting a band on the leg.

This is an egg that did not hatch, with a hand shown for size comparison.

This chicks are placed safely back in the nest platforms by an experienced tree climber, who is also a volunteer for The Raptor Center.

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