Sunday, June 03, 2012

Boring?

It seems that it might be time for a Fred and Ethel* update.  I must admit that they seem to have settled down as the hot and humid weather has arrived (intermittently) and there is no exciting news on the osprey home front.  At first they were easily startled and spent valuable nest sitting time panicking and chirping as they flew overhead trying to get us to leave our dock.  The original scraggly nest has grown in size and sloppiness and features bird droppings draped like extensive white holiday bunting all around the edges as you can see from the photo below.  The birds look like stick hoarders rather than nest builders as their nest lacks the neatness and symmetry of smaller birds.  Other than these changes, the couple is actually becoming a little boring with a very regular routine of sitting or fishing.  (Click on photos for close-ups---if blogger behaves.)




We, of course, were no longer going to be chased off our dock as summer arrived.  Just this spring before the installation of the osprey nest we spent big bucks on completing the re-planking of this 20-year-old luxury that came with the property.  We also got a permit to add a small extension platform to the side of the dock for some benches and afternoon eating and sitting.  (The sitting benches are another story for my other blog.)  Anyway, as Ellen DeGeneres says with a a sigh, we are now spending more time down on the river once again. 








The other evening, during the long Memorial Day weekend, our osprey (three of them) kept soaring and flying overhead while we sat enjoying the sigh that comes at the end of the day after attending a graduation BBQ.  We were sitting on old upended logs since...well, as I wrote, the benches are another story... and waiting for a late day breeze to pick up.  Up and down the river our neighbors were either taking boats in or out or just sitting on lawn chairs or docks enjoying the weekend.  It was busy but nicely quiet.




Fred and Ethel and one earlier progeny,  we think a young-in from last season, kept sailing back and forth high in the blue sky but without the sharp and annoying cries they have used before.  Ethel would glare at us as she swooped overhead and then dip over the nest and then fly off high over the trees without saying a word.  The osprey flew and soared and seemed to be on holiday.  We began to wonder if she had abandoned the eggs and if they were no longer viable.  When we finally returned to the house we noticed that she returned to her nest and there she continues to sit day after day.   Maybe she no longer fears we will fry her children for breakfast.  Maybe her hormones are calming.  But I am glad that she does not seem to be in that high state of panic she used to show when we sat on our expensive dock and waited for the sun to reach an angle that was cooling and calm.  I do wish she would remain calmly on the nest when we go down there to ease my guilt.


We hope the eggs are still viable and that she is not sitting in vain, but I have not checked the calendar and due dates.  In late consideration, I think I should have named this osprey pair George and Gracie*, because she sometimes seems a little light in the pin-feathers if you get my drift---not an intended pun.


Oh well, we eagerly await the little ones which we should able to see from our high deck if not from the low dock, and I will certainly post enough boring photos like the happy grandparents we might become.


*If you have no idea who these named couples are, they are only of historic significance in the comedy of American television.

13 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i know fred and ethel...smiles...glad she is calming down and i hope the eggs are ok as well...

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Your posts of the Osprey family will never be boring to me... I love them. What gorgeous birds...

Hope those eggs will hatch soon. Seems like I had to wait a long time for my Bluebird eggs to hatch --but once they did, I was a happy camper!!!!!

Five is typical for Bluebirds... Almost every batch we have had has been five...

Hugs,
Betsy

SueAnn Lommler said...

Great photos!!!n Glad you are enjoying the deck!!
Sounds heavenly!
Hugs

Joanne said...

The current seating does seem in need up an upgrade. Hope Fred and Ethel aren't putting you off it. My grandmother's name was Ethel and she was good at telling other mothers how to mind their children. Any simlarity?

Judy (kenju) said...

You have proven yourselves to be safe and trustworthy - too bad it took a whole year to do it! lol

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Oh yes
I know who Fred and Ethel are.
You have to be of a certain age:)
Envious of your dock and the benches.
I miss the water.
If I had water with benches
my woods retreat would be perfect.

Red said...

Ospreys put a great show on everyday just like Fred and Ethel.

Hilary said...

I'm glad she's somewhat calmer and I'm looking forward to hearing about the wee ones. I wonder.. if this mother becomes a grandmother, one day.. will she be The Grand Old Osprey? ;)

Dave King said...

Hot and humid weather? Still exists then, does it?

To me they seem like any other boring old married couple.

Brilliant writes these, keep 'em coming!

Chris said...

Lovely catch up! The ospreys near my mother's don't seem to mind people at all but they throw screaming fits every time a dog walks by and heaven forbid the dog should go swimming near them. (How is a dog supposed to get on their platform I ask?)

kerrdelune said...

Fred and Ethel are magnificent birds, Tabor, and by the time this year's kids have flown away, they will probably be unflappable. I see ospreys over the Clyde river now and again, but (alas) have not found their nesting places.

Our second brood of house finches have just hatched out in the wreath on the front door, and the parents are looking haggard.

Robert Sobczak said...

They are scragily nests ... hopefully the eggs produce, too. That is a beautiful dock. Sounds like a selling point on why you bought there in the first place.

Dave said...

I guess when you commune with nature you need to be considerate,as you are, of other creatures. Like you I feel that it is a pity that they don't just accept you, as you have not done them any harm - Dave