Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Change of Tenant
You did not ask but I will share. Perhaps some of my visitors remember the soap opera of Fred and Ethel, the osprey pair that built the nest shown in the photo above this summer. I watched Ethel, who for some reason seemed the more experienced, seduce Fred into the role of fatherhood. Her dance was persistent because he was somewhat dense for a while. Eventually he got the hang of things.
I never knew whether an egg or two had been laid because the nest is so high, but Ethel did sit patiently throughout the unusually hot summer while Fred brought her breakfast and dinner. He guarded the nest while she flew to a nearby tree to eat the raw fish he gave her. Summer came and went without a single hatching of a new osprey.
Eventually they just used the nest as a meet up place to watch the sun set. Then in early October she left for her vacation down south. He waited a week or so longer sitting in the snag above the nest in the late afternoons. I could see his solitary silhouette each evening while I made dinner. Finally, he also began his journey down south.
Today the blue heron, that sometimes argued with them, claims this nest as his perch most mornings and quite a few afternoons. He is more mellow when I walk down to the dock and allows me a few quick photos before taking off.
He may stay the winter and it will be interesting watching to see the osprey reclaim their home in spring from this big guy.