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Observations & Images
14 March 2007
day 26 of incubation (approximate)

Today marks the anniversary of President Theodore Roosevelt's 1903 executive order setting aside Pelican Island as a refuge for wildlife which set the precedent for the National Wildlife Refuge System we know today.

Another languid, overcast day with the Ospreys as they spend a quiet afternoon around the nest. The male stretches his wing.

After an hour or so of loafing he took wing....
....to land in the nest.
The pair switched off with the female flying around to several perches to relax and preen.

The lack of activity and adherence to quiet routine are in direct contrast with the nest watched last season. First, this Osprey pair seem to know exactly what they are doing and perform each action efficiently and with a minimum of exertion in variance with last year's pair who made a great picturesque production of almost everything they did.

Another thing to note is that last year's pair probably made more noise in one day than this pair have made all season so far. They are almost monk-like in their silence.

Secondly, this season's nest is set inland in a wooded area which is only regularly visited by various Woodpeckers and the occasional soaring Vulture. Last year's nest was along the Indian River Lagoon set amidst a flyway for many species of birds moving up and down the shoreline everyday or to the marsh area around the nest itself which also attracted other wildlife like Raccoons and Otters.
Taken together, this season's nest is situated for peace and quiet which must be a boon to the Osprey pair. It was this nest, it must be remembered, which produced the only known Osprey fledgling on the Refuge last season. Though danger does lurk nearby---see The Neighbors below.
With the female back in the nest the male is off once again.


This is the second observation of the tagged American Kestrel---if indeed it is the same one which seems likely. The first occurred on 21 February 2007. The Kestrel was seen today in the same area as in February. There is always a Kestrel in this area but I usually pay it no mind but will now pay special attention to see whether it is the same tagged bird and to try and get a closer picture than this distant view.
The lurking threat to the Ospreys is a pair of Great Horned Owls which appear to be nesting in an abandoned Osprey nest near the incubating Ospreys. One of the Owls is encountered in the trees.
This Great Horned Owl in the tree is probably the mate of the Owl in the nearby nest.
The Owl quickly lost interest in my brief intrusion but I hastened out of the area anyway to allow the birds their privacy.
The dead branches of a fallen pine have become a favorite perch for this Anhinga which has been frequenting the same spot the past week or so.
The fallen tree is angled just right to catch the warmth of the afternoon sun to dry one's wings.
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
www.lunarcabin.com - - - - www.ospreywatch.org