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.