After bravely protecting her eggs from hail, a Boulder osprey hatches a new chick

Courtesy Boulder County Osprey Camera
A pair of ospreys share a meal, and give some to their chick, on Thursday afternoon. A recent hailstorm threatened the ospreys’ eggs, but the momma bird shielded her eggs from certain doom.

A momma osprey nesting at the Boulder County Fairgrounds that went kinda viral earlier this month when she withstood a withering hailstorm to protect her eggs, saw the fluffy little fruits of her labor Thursday morning.

The first of her three eggs hatched at 7 a.m., after a crack appeared in the egg overnight, according to the county fairgrounds’ “Osprey Camera.”

“If that female had left and left those eggs exposed to that hail … I don’t think those eggs would have survived that storm,” said Boulder County Parks and Open Space Web Administrator Nik Brockman. “Now, a few weeks later, for us to see that chick, that’s very exciting.”

Brockman has been keeping the osprey nest camera running at the fairgrounds in Longmont since the start of the project 12 years ago. He said the same female has been using that nest since 2013 and hasn’t had an egg successfully hatch since 2020. 

The hatchling was doted on not only by its mother, but its father flew in with the chick’s first meal of Colorado fish. 

“Dad shows a lot of the qualities of Super Dad,” said one commenter on the camera’s feed. It was a small bit of recognition after the national lauding Mom received for her “intrepid” and “relentless” efforts to save the eggs from another mother — Mother Nature. That’s a reference back to the hailstorm.

After Thursday’s hatch, fans of Osprey Camera are now watching for signs of life wiggling around in the other two eggs. Brockman said it was too soon to draw definitive conclusions on their fate. While admitting to being “not a wildlife biologist,” he’s seen a lot of osprey nest video over the last dozen years. 

He said if the other two eggs do not hatch within a week to 10 days, then they will likely remain dormant.