Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

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In this case, Parveen Bawa has been following two osprey couples for some time, and put together a summary of that encounter.

After a month of lockdown in 2020, I was feeling closed in. Most parks around Metro Vancouver were closed, so at the end of April I decided to drive 45 km from Burnaby to Pitt Lake.

“One had to park on the side of the road about a kilometre away from the Lake. On my first visit on April 26, I saw osprey mating. I decided to follow their upcoming families. On April 30 I noticed one couple (call them Couple1) at their big nest, the mother sitting on her eggs. She sat on her eggs for at least 45 days; she had three chicks, 2 died. I followed the growth and behaviour of the surviving chick until September.

Osprey couples usually mate for life, When a pair of osprey get together, it is understood that the male will provide food and good nest for the family. He will keep an eye on the safety of his family even when he was perched on a distant tree.

Couple1 successfully brought up their little chick in 2020.

By the time the chick was about three weeks old, I was totally fascinated by him and did not mind making just over 90-km return trip to watch him. I was learning a lot about the behaviour of the family by observing them and reading about osprey.

By the age of 51 days, the chick could fly short distances, but was still being provided with food.

By the age of 78 days, he still could not catch fish by him/herself. The parents brought food, the chick grabbed it securely with his talons, flew with it to a nearby pole, ate it and then came back to his nest.

By September, I think, he/she was able to feed itself before migrating.

By the middle of September, I could not follow them because of smoke around the lake from fires in the south. They were migrating, by mid-September I could not see any more osprey around Pitt Lake.

This year in 2021, there have been two successful pairs of osprey who have nested in Pitt Lake; Couple1 from last year in their old big nest near the tower on Pitt Lake Dike and Couple2 in their new smaller nest, approximately half a kilometre east down the trail.

This year the female of Couple1 sat on her eggs just before April 22 and Couple 2 approximately 10 days later.

Last year, the mother of Couple1 sat on her eggs for at least 45 days, so I expected her chicks to hatch in the first week of June in 2021.

Couple1 delivered on the morning of June 7, while I was watching them.

I went to the tower at 8:45 a.m., there were no chicks, the mother was sitting on her eggs as usual.

Around 9:35 a.m., the mother felt some activity underneath her; she started to scream her head off, slowly chicks started to appear one after the other: 9:46 a.m. one chick, 9:55 a.m. 2 chicks, 10:02 a.m. 3 chicks and the family of 5 was complete.

I was delighted to watch the birth of three little chicks while the father brought food just before chick#3 came.

Like last year, this couple has 3 chicks again; the mother hurriedly fed three hungry mouths and flew away. At 10:07 a.m. the father was left with the responsibility to look after the newborns.

Viewing osprey nests at Pitt Lake: The poles in Pitt Lake, on which the nests are located are far, one needs a good pair of binoculars to see the details. My Canon camera with 65x zoom is barely good enough to take discernible photographs.

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Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)

Parveen Bawa shares pictures of a couple of osprey at Pitt Lake and their chicks. She’s been following two couples since late March, both sets of chicks hatching in recent weeks. (Special to The News)