Monday, March 24, 2014

Fred and Ethel 2014

My neighbors have the luxury of vacationing as far south as French Guiana each and every winter.  There they stop and enjoy luxurious living in the rich and green rain forest with the warm sun on their backs. They are quite a modern couple and usually have separate vacations for those months.  Unlike me they go by wing and can log over 100,000 miles in their lifetime and many miles in one day!

But, like clockwork, this year one returned on the eve of St. Patrick's day.  Unfortunately this is what it looked like on my deck on that early morning while I was sipping my first cup of coffee. 

I looked out my kitchen window as the sun came up to the trees and was thrilled to see that either Fred or Ethel had returned.  Whichever of the two the hawk looked somewhat shell-shocked as it faced a very white and rather cold day.

Within just a few days the snows had melted and the osprey were being seen everywhere staking their claim from last year's nests as we drove on errands.

There are two in the photo above.  One on the nest platform and another on a piling eating a fish...if you look closely you may see them.

Within three or four days the partner to the Fred/Ethel couple arrived at the nest.  She still shrieks at me when I open the back door or when we use the grill.  She remembers my efforts to destroy the nest she was building on the boat roof years ago.

This whole week they have been sitting together on the nest except when one goes off for food.  Tedious and bored they seem at this time in the season, waiting.  They stare at each or look off into space for predators or are daydreaming.  I can imagine him arriving at her side and asking "Ovulating yet?"  Her response, "Nope."  He then stares at her a while longer wondering about the mysteries of the female of the species or hoping his sexy presence will speed the process before he finally goes off fishing like most males.  (I will keep you posted if I see them starting their family.)

Mankind is learning more about these fish hawks and their amazing migration and you can go to this link to learn about the data that has been collected from the backpacks that some of them now wear.


Hilary said...

I'm so glad that your globetrotting neighbours have returned. It's quite amusing that you know it's Ethel by the scolding you get. I look forward to their stories through the seasons.

Jenny Woolf said...

Fascinating - you are so in tune and in touch with these wild beings. How lucky you are to live somewhere you have the chance to do this. I hope your weather improves soon, though!

Celia said...

Those birdies are keeping you in their sights, or at least Ethel is, great pictures.

messymimi said...

They sound like fascinating neighbors, and i wonder if she will ever get over screaming at you. They are sharp birds, with great memories, apparently.

Brian Miller said...

are you ovulating yet?
does our male essence really help, or is that just our male ego talking?

Red said...

These fellows can put on a great show. If you have them all summer you are lucky.

Linda Reeder said...

I'm glad Fred and Ethel have been reunited.
I am wondering if our Whidbey Island ospreys migrate. I thought they stayed year round because the bay doesn't freeze.

Granny Annie said...

They are such favorites of mine.

ellen abbott said...

Ethyl is probably giving Fred the stink eye. You want to do what in this snow?


Thanks for the migratory link -- it was very interesting. They are certainly beautiful birds. You are so lucky to have them as your guests for the summer. -- barbara

Peruby said...

Making me laugh. Probably all day.

Ovulating, yet?

Get the @#&% away from me! Er.. I mean NO.

It made me think of a husband and wife having that conversation.

Mage said...

What a wonderful entry. Our birds are so prosaic in comparison. Fascination

Bob Bushell said...

It must be nice to have good friends like yours, and Ethel and Fred, their lives are for you fantastic, to watch them building the nest, lovely.

sandra hagan said...

found you over at One Woman's Journey.

the gathering of photos is pure nature watching, and thrilling at that.

wondering why it took me so long.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

"Ovulating yet?" Her response, "Nope."

Hahahahahahaha! The pelicans that winter on our lake have returned to the north. The seagulls have gone I don't know where. Haven't seen our osprey lately either. Must be spring.