Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Just Excellent Part IV

It has been over a full week since the osprey returned.  I had seen three but now there are mostly two on a regular basis. I think one was a juvenile and has learned it is time for him to find his own way, or he got bored with his parents flying over the platform behaving like teenagers.  Late yesterday they landed in a nearby tree and watched the sunset with one eye kept on the platform.  (My photos are still blurry as I have to make sure I am far from them or shooting through my windows to not intimidate or discourage them...maybe by late spring they will be better and my photos will be better.)  I do know once they feel pressured to lay eggs, nothing can dissuade them.
One of them came in to check the flooring (again) this morning.   Guess she found it acceptable because after the extensive rain storm had passed both she and hubby landed on the platform and finally there were two sticks placed there. No more, just two. They stared at them and maybe moved one to the other side or turned it another way and then stared at the sticks for a while. This couple is into interior decorating big time or they are basically avoiding nest building as long as they can.  TWO STICKS and an hour later they are still just standing at the edge of the platform and staring around into space. Maybe they are looking for that crazy white haired lady to emerge that chased them off the boat every few minutes last year. We have not put the boat in the water for this very reason. We want their imprinting to be complete! 
The female, at least I think it is the female as they are hard to identify, sits with her white chest out full as if proud of her platform home(?).  Later in the afternoon as the sun came shining in at a low angle it caught something brown in the nest that I had thought was a leaf but it threw back a sparkle as it rolled back and forth in the breeze.  It appears to be a part of a beer bottle when I study it with the binoculars.  So maybe one of the osprey has a drinking problem?  It won't be the first marriage that had to weather that problem.  Maybe their nature is to move in and trash the neighborhood?  That also is not a new problem either with bird or man.  You can see it as a small red thing in the center of the platform.  I have read where naturalists visit nests in the fall and remove all types of debris, plastics, glass, etc. brought by the nesting parents, but dangerous to the young.
One has started to feed in the late afternoon at a tree in the backyard.  You can see the bloody fish in its claws above, but many days have passed and they are making no real progress on this nest.  I was wondering if they have a nest elsewhere and are just using this as a backup.  But then the other day they both landed on the nest and she kept making that partial open wing posture with a little flutter and a lowered back (that some naturalists call "presenting") and then kept looking over her shoulder at the male seductively.  He was gazing off into space...clearly was not interested, not ready, did not have a clue or it was just not the right time.  I began to wonder if this was the first time for him and if she had perhaps lost a prior mate.  I feel very privileged to watch this little life drama unfold.

This woodland of mine is a very full and competitive place for the osprey to live.  I saw two bald eagles fly overhead that I know nest regularly on another finger of my river that is very close.  They will intimidate the fledglings of the osprey and also compete for fish.  I watched the red-shouldered hawk pair dance high on the winds today and they might also be a threat to the osprey fledglings.  These hawks are nesting very close in our woods, although I have not seen their nest.  Our screech owl still calls each evening, perhaps competing with the hawks for rodent food.   I saw an owl pellet on the driveway yesterday, but it was much too big for a screech owl, so perhaps that great horned owl I saw three years ago is still living somewhere on this peninsula.  It is just one scavenger hunt after another out here!


  1. Your nature is a lot different from what I view here at the edge of the woods. Love your sharing.

  2. Well, one person's blurry is another person's beauty. Sublime!

  3. How exciting to be able to watch the Osprey!! Very cool!!
    Great pic

  4. This was a most delightful post. Your description left me picturing it all in my mind. I love the cautious decorating they are doing. My husband says 90% of any job is the planning. You are truly inspired by the wonders of nature.

  5. What a wonderful place where you live.... You are so fortunate to see all of those birds in your area. We have hawks here ---and there are some eagles around (although I don't see them)....

    I love it that you are putting a great story with the ospreys.... It's as if YOU can truly figure out what is in their minds!!!! LOVE it.

    Have a great weekend.

  6. This is so wonderful.

  7. I enjoyed your descriptive writing today Tabor. Here's hoping that pair eventually do mate - Dave

  8. How delightful! What fun you will have peeping on these gorgeous birds. I'm envious...Your first photo is magnificent. I look forward to seeing the ones to come.


Glad to hear from you once again. I really like these visits. Come sit on this log and tell me what you are thinking.