Friday, April 27, 2012

Backstory

It has been almost a month since the osprey returned to our creek. They mated about a week ago and they mated again today..April 21  (this was posted later as you can see).  If I was not so busy I would keep actual data on their lives, but unfortunately I also have a life, such a shallow little thing that it is.

We had a nasty cold front come through this week to remind us that spring is a thrower of hissy fits.  The rains lasted for over 24 hours, light and heavy.  This was accompanied by gusts of wind that tore spring leaves from trees.  Then on the second day the temperature dropped about 25 degrees.  Ethel (I have named the osprey couple Fred and Ethel since I am full of original ideas) sat on the eggs throughout the rain.  She didn't even tuck her head but shook drops off every twenty minutes or so and opened her eyes to check out the area.  She looked at the house to see if we were stalking her, she looked around the river for eagles and other predators, and she called to her mate now and again.  BUT she sat, and she sat, and she waited in that drenching and cold thunderstorm throughout the day and all of the night.  The photo below was taken through a window but outside was drenching cold rain.




The early morning found her still there and I saw Fred leave a nearby tree and head out over the river, I am hoping to catch and bring back breakfast.

Just two days before, I was carefully sneaking down to the dock using the excuse that I had to check on the trays of un-planted water grasses that had been set aside until the following Monday.  I was approaching very quietly and slowly and remained behind the shrubs for as long as I could.  When I raised the camera, she got nervous, although she tried to pretend she did not see me.  I moved slowly and took only three or four photos including the first photo above but she cried out and ....


...as you can see she departed fairly soon after my arrival and thus I headed back up to the house to allow her to return. I am most certain she is sitting on at least one egg, but cannot tell since my husband asked for the platform to be extra high!  He wanted to be sure they would favor it over the top of his boat. I took the image chip back to the computer and uploaded my files. As I was processing these pictures, I noticed something unusual in the one above. Do you see it?  Maybe there is an interesting backstory to this bird?



Clearly the sun's arrival did not improve her disposition.  She knows I am hiding somewhere in the tree line (collecting ticks) but is not too sure where or she would have flown the nest.

13 comments:

Brian Miller said...

haha fabulous pics...stalker...lol...its a fun adventure to watch them through your lens....

Kat said...

That Ethel is a good mama. Sitting in the rain. Awww. And beautiful too! Love that last pic! :)

Red said...

Accounts and pictures are awesome. Interesting how these birds take to man made structures for nesting. Ospreys have started nesting here.

Granny Annie said...

Would I be correct in guessing that you secretly open all your Christmas presents early?

Chris said...

"Backstory"?

Judy (kenju) said...

What is different? I don't see it.

Peruby said...

Is it the band on her leg?

Peruby said...

Is it the band on her leg?

Mage said...

OK, tell all, I am old and blind.

Robert Sobczak said...

That's exciting. Interesting how sensitive she is to you photographing it, too.

Hilary said...

I do see it.. she's been tagged. Sure makes you wonder. Looking forward to more of Fred and Ethel's adventures.

Anita said...

I am reminded of a mama and papa bird protecting their eggs from me and others as we had our horseback riding lesson. (I WISH I could remember what kind as I'm typing here.) We were so fascinated as we looked up her species on the smart phone and anticipated her ever move to protect her hatching eggs based on what we were reading. Of course we stopped riding, fearful that we would crush one of them.

Oh, the things I missed growing up in the city. :)

I would have loved to record this story just as you have done.

Dave King said...

What a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing all this with us.
Afraid I didn't spot it, though!
Hopeless case, that I am!