I was back out there yesterday, looking for the chick we released last week. After many hours of searching, I did find him. Maybe he has a daily routine because I found him in the same place and the same time as Barb saw him the day before. Earlier in the day, he was not there. Anyway, he looked better than he did when I saw him briefly last Saturday. His crop was not as sunken and hollow, he had no salt around his nares. He did not have a full crop by any means.....but it appeared that he probably had something to eat that day. He was near a nest, food begging, but he did not go to the nest where another chick was food begging. I then saw him swoop down towards a small creek. I did not see him come up with a fish, but it appears that he is trying to feed himself. Must be finding enough food to stay alive. And of course, as time goes on, he will get better at fishing as he practices those skills. He has been given a crash course in growing up. He is a pretty cute little fellow, fighting the odds. Another tough cookie! And we will continue to do our job of observing, taking good notes, so we can learn more about what happens when a young bird ends up in rehab and has no family to return to. It will make us better at what we do, so we can help these birds when necessary.
I also had a little thrill when I learned that cumulatively the papers I have coauthored about Ospreys have now been cited by other scientists over 100 times! Nice to know that my efforts have contributed something to the general knowledge about Ospreys! Don't mean to toot my own horn, but it kind of amazes me! Makes me feel like all the sacrifice, effort and hard work is worth it.