Edgewater, MD, July 1, 2012: We are now missing (and presumed dead) the third of the chicks. It either died in the “Derecho” windstorm (unlikely), was too small to compete with its siblings for food (likely) or was picked by its mother to starve because she wants to have two strong chicks and not struggle with three (likely).
We noticed she would feed it last and sometimes not at all with two other very aggressive and demanding birds in the nest. Disappointing loss of life, but the two survivors are strong, aggressive, and growing rapidly.
Himself continues to be the ideal mate bring in an endless string of fresh fish and sitting on the nest to give Herself a break. They have survived the heat by keeping the youngsters full time in their shadow and giving them as much air as possible while keeping the sun off.
With no or little feathers the young chicks probably would not survive 20 minutes without the shade. We will remain on alert watching the video screens on 4th of July night to see if they get into trouble with the aerial explosions.