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Observations & Images
11 November 2006
Pre-Nesting Wildlife Encounters

Although the Osprey nest is still empty of its namesakes, there is still a lot of activity around the nest. A pair of Red-Bellied Woodpeckers were out and about at dawn. Here the male Woodpecker takes an interest in the palm trunk while the female was just below him.
At least eight Ospreys could be seen fishing together off in the distance. Here five can be seen. Alan Poole writes in Ospreys: A Natural and Unnatural History, "Ospreys usually hunt alone, but small groups will form where food is especially plentiful....lead(ing) to speculation that social foraging boosts an Osprey's hunting efficiency."
If the last visit was dominated by American Kestrels, today's visit was memorable for the number of noisy Red-Shouldered Hawks around Pete's Impoundment. Three were visible playing a Hawk version of musical chairs. They would call out to each other and then at some unknown cue they would all take wing and circle around to new perches.
One of the Red-Shouldered Hawks seemed to not notice---or perhaps care---that I was there for it landed atop a low palm tree a short stone's throw away.
The Hawks began calling out to one another which went on for some time.
The point finally came after a long series of calls when the Hawks took wing and moved to new perches.
Out on Pete's Impoundment Trail an Osprey crosses overhead carrying the tail end of a fish. To quote Alan Poole again, "....an Osprey will sometimes clutch a carcass all day, feeding sporadically, reminding one of an old man unwilling to part with his cigar butt. Individuals sometimes settle in at dusk carrying fish that are subsequently consumed during the night."
Mangrove Buckeye butterflies brightened the hike around the trail.
The Ospreys were still hunting by the time I made it out to where they could be seen fishing in a group above. Here an Osprey intently watches the water below hoping to sight an unwary fish.
One of three Common Ground-Doves seen flying together in and out of the mangroves along the trail.
One of several Eastern Phoebes seen throughout the morning.
Chasing down an unusual bird call usually brings one face-to-face with a Northern Mockingbird rather than something more exotic.
A juvenile Bald Eagle soars over the Refuge. The bird of prey was part of a larger flock of birds that contained Vultures and White Pelicans all circling high overhead.
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
www.lunarcabin.com - - - - www.ospreywatch.org