Monday, May 06, 2013

Honeymooners Re-run

A few of the readers to this blog have asked about Fred and Ethel.  Are they back?  How are they doing?  Any photos?  If you do not know about Fred and Ethel you can go here  and for more here.
Or if you are stuck in bed today you can also check out the whole series on these two fish hawks by typing "Just Excellent" in the Blogger search window and working your way forward for several additional posts.

Fred and Ethel are my seasonal residential osprey.  Hubby and I in our expensive project of putting in a living shoreline, both to protect our river's edge from further erosion and to improve the environment of the area, also included an osprey platform.

I think that this platform cost us $300, in supplies, labor and permit application.  We did this so that the pair of osprey that visit each year can safely nest somewhere.  For a couple of years they would nest on the high crane that is parked across the river.  This was neither large enough or safe enough in wind storms for them.  Then two years ago they decided to nest on the roof of the cabin to our motor boat and when I kept removing the sticks they moved to our neighbors canvas top to their boat.  That nest was destroyed and they lost their eggs.





Last year was the first year they returned to find the osprey platform and they claimed it without hesitation.  The female, Ethel, has been banded.  The male seemed to have some dyslexia in performing his manly duties that year and we surmised that perhaps she had lost her original mate and this fellow was new to the task? Was this Fred II?   At any rate, if she eventually laid eggs or  not, I never was able to determine.  Her nest sitting was uneven and no young osprey ever appeared.

This year they arrived within days of St. Patricks Day which is the time we look for them.  They carefully added sticks of all sizes to the nest and mated.  I was so busy this spring I did not have time to really study them and their courtship.  But each day this week she has sat with regularity on the nest, so there are eggs on that soft green algae from the river. 

She clearly remembers me as the person who destroyed her nest in the past and she angrily flies off and on the nest when I am at the dock sitting and enjoying the sunset on our new benches.  She cries and cries until she finally sits back on the nest and then just chirps with disgust until I eventually head back to the house.  As a result, I have not attempted much in the way of photos.

But, since Fred and Ethel have a fan club I will try to be more generous in sharing their drama in the coming weeks and make an attempt to get photos.

19 comments:

Pauline said...

Maybe Ethel will come to see you mean her no harm - can't wait to see the photos as things progress.

Granny Annie said...

If only she knew that you provided that platform for them. How great to know that they have returned.

Rachel Cotterill said...

It's great that you gave them somewhere to live... even if they don't realise you're on their side! :)

Brian Miller said...

it just may take time for her to realize you helped them in the long run...

Jenny Woolf said...

I am glad they got their relationship problem sorted out :)
Lovely photos, as usual.

c said...

Thanks for the update.

joeh said...

My folks lived on a creek in Eastern Shore Md. There were several Osprey nests we would pass when ever we ventured out to the bay. They flew and squeaked just as you discribed every time we passed them. Much fun to watch as they cared for the young. Fantastic to see them dive and pull up with a fish in their talons.

Celia said...

Birds can be very smart at times, glad Fred and Ethel are back. Kudos for building the stand. Years ago we camped on the Priest River in Idaho where a pair had nested atop a railroad bridge. We got to watch them "emancipate" their reluctant-to-leave young one.

ellen abbott said...

Hopefully she will soon forget about the destroyed nest since no further destruction comes from you. How cool that they come to nest at your dock every year. we hav a red shouldered hawk that lives in the area but I think they nest somewhere on the other side of the 13 acre field.

Bob Bushell said...

Great moment of nesting Osprey. I can't wait for your keeping eyes open.

Red said...

Fred and Ethel? Cool! They can teach us so much by just being there.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

I love your platform. We have an osprey in our backyard. I'm not sure where it nests.

Linda Reeder said...

I am pleased to meet Fred and Ethel. I look forward to updates.

Mage said...

Just a delightful update. Consider me a fan. Do you have a really long lens to catch visions of the little ones. How long does it take them to hatch? I need to go look up ospreys.

Murr Brewster said...

I suspect Ethel is going to be mad at you for a long time, and if they're as smart as crows, she'll teach the kids to be mad at you too. There are worse things. I sure would like a pair of nesting hostile ospreys at my house. I have to settle for the chickadees (Ricky and Lucy).

Hilary said...

Aww I suspect they get mad at anyone who appears near their nesting site. So very cool that they have returned. I'll look forward to seeing more of the Mertzes.

Linda said...

Fred and Ethel will recognize the kindred spirits in their midst, "Lucy". I'm glad you took the Ospreys under your wing and helped them out. Bravo.

Dave King said...

I count myself a Fred and Ethel fan, but I hadn't known the history of how you came to sponsor them. thanks for filling me in.

Dave King said...

I count myself a Fred and Ethel fan, but I didn't know the history of how you came to sponsor them. Thanks for filling me in.