Despite being pelted relentlessly by pea to marble-sized hail, this osprey mother never moves, proving a venerable shield for her vulnerable offspring.
The remarkable event was captured right before Mother’s Day 2023 on a stormy Tuesday night. In her Longmont, Colorado nest, a camera maintained by Boulder County Parks & Open Space films as the female osprey defies mother nature.
Her ordeal was captured by a livestream video camera focused on the nest that is maintained by Boulder County Parks & Open Space. And as the hail, wind, and lightning raged through the Boulder County Fairgrounds, she didn’t budge.
Boulder County Parks & Open Space’s web administrator, Nik Brockman, received word of her remarkable predicament by a nest monitor. After the organization posted the footage to Twitter, it’s been popping up across the internet. But per the The Denver Post, we have Brockman to thank for this unique and harrowing peak into the lives of the osprey:
The female osprey at the Fairgrounds was relentless in protecting her eggs through a hail storm. She was pounded by pea-sized hail and never left the nest. The eggs remain intact and we hope to see chicks in a few weeks.Boulder County Open Space
“I got an email from one of the monitors with a couple photos of this female osprey just covered in hail,” Brockman tells the trade. “I went back through the footage and pieced together the video. That video was a span of about two hours from when that storm came through.”
Osprey are devoted parents, and then some
As he watched the entirety of the event, “The female osprey at the Fairgrounds was relentless in protecting her eggs through last night’s hail storm,” he continues for the video post. “She was pounded by pea-sized hail and never left the nest. The eggs remain intact and we hope to see chicks in a few weeks.”
As Brockman and the video showcase, the osprey mother was indeed successful in protecting her eggs. Watching his edit to the end reveals a clutch of three resting perfectly intact.
Had she not been present, or even a tad later to the nest, her offspring would’ve been lost.
Ospreys typically lay between 2 to 4 eggs per breeding season. The number of eggs can vary, depending on the individual mother’s age, health, and environmental conditions. But the most common clutch size for ospreys is 3 eggs – as we see above.
Like bald eagles, both the male and female osprey are devoted parents. Each takes turns incubating the eggs, which hatch after an average of about 5 to 6 weeks. In kind, Brockman and his team are looking forward to this clutch hatching in a few weeks’ time.
Best of luck to this Mother of the Year and her little ones! For more on the species, see an Osprey defy gravity, pull pompano from ocean in wild footage next.