Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Attempted Fratricide

Even though I stand close enough to hear and despite what it looks like, no audible conversation is occuring between the two Osprey siblings. And yet, somehow, they appear to be communicating. Is it simply through body language? I have my doubts. It would not surprise me if experts learn at some future time that there is a mechanism for communication that was only just discovered. After all, it has only been in recent times that scientists found elephants can communicate across miles at a frequency that the human ear cannot detect. The bird on the left is a female. I believe the one on the right to be a male. You can see the two of them seemed to understand each other even if I did not.

The male suddenly got right in the female's face. You can see in her eyes that she did not expect the aggressive behavior.

It was fight or flight and she chose to fly in a split second decision that no doubt saved her being injured at minimum.

The way in which the male's talons are extended is the same posture as when they are about to grab onto a fish in the water. Some birds, such as the not particularly admired crow, live in extended families with inherent advantages. That is not true of Osprey and this type of aggression may help to encourage the birds to disperse.

The dispute continued for quite a while after they flew from the nestbox. Once airborne, it is much easier for the female to avoid the other bird.

The legs extended downward and the talons extended outward demonstrate that he would do bodily harm if he could.

The female managed to evade the sibling until he finally tired of the chase. The female did end up leaving soon after and I never saw three birds (the total number of nestlings) at the same time after that.

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