The final surviving osprey chick filmed via live webcam from a nest near Nelson earlier this year pounced on her first live trout today.
“We provided a live trout in her enclosure and Nel actually pounced on it and held it down,” said Mindy Dyck, a bird care staff member at O.W.L Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta. “But then she didn’t seem to know what to do after that. It’s a learning process. It was so adorable.”
Nel has been receiving her education from a fellow osprey from the Langley area who is acting as her foster mother.
“During the initial introduction the adult was like ‘what the heck?’ Nel has quite the voice as everyone remembers from her being on cam. But then she figured out if she provided food for Nel, she would be quiet,” Dyck said.
“We witnessed her flinging bits of trout to her. It was quite comical.”
Dyck said Nel is beloved amidst the O.W.L staff, but they take little credit for her encouraging development.
“She’s got great osprey instincts on her own and her foster mom has been a great help. We haven’t done much really other than provide food. Really it’s her foster mom doing all the work,” she said.
Though Nel is being referred to as a female, her sex cannot be known until she’s fully grown.
“Female is what pops into everyone’s mind, but we don’t know definitively. Markings on an older osprey can indicate their sex, but right now it could go either way.”
She said Nel is “extremely healthy” but “she’s still got a ways to go” before she’ll be ready to be re-released into the Nelson wild.
“She’s going to graduate to the flight cage in a couple weeks and we’ll test her in there and see how well she does,” she said.
The 180-foot long enclosure is stocked with live trout in a 60-foot fresh water pool. All staff are masked and cloaked so she won’t correlate human beings with food, and will rely instead on her instincts.
For more information about Nel’s progress you can visit owlcanada.org
June 12, 13 and 15 -Osprey chicks born
June 20 – A power outage is reported in Grohman Creek. The osprey cam loses service.
June 21 – Online fans speculate about the disappearance of Nelson, the osprey father.
June 23 – Nelson Hydro employees discuss options to help the mother and chicks.
June 24 – Nelson Hydro begins delivering fish to the osprey nest. The first chick dies.
June 25 – Employee discovers Nelson’s corpse under a power line during a ground inspection.
June 26 – Nelson Hydro commits to feed the osprey chicks until they’re fully grown.
July 3 – Second chick dies. Mother osprey stops feeding Nel.
July 4 – Nel is removed from the nest and transported to O.W.L Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta.
July 31 – Nel is moved to an outside enclosure with a foster mother.
August 11 – Nel pounces on her first live trout.