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Observations & Images
17 February 2006

Once again the female Osprey is not on the nest when Bob Killick and I arrived but we quickly spotted her in a nearby pine tree. The male was not seen for some time but, interestingly, once the female Osprey spotted him as he flew back into the area she immediately flew to join him in the nest but not before passing close to us as seen in this photo.

(Photo note: It was very overcast this day so the pictures are a bit washed out.)

Once in the nest they immediately began mating.

Afterwards, they lethargically looked at each other for some time.

Then, surprisingly, the male jumped off his perch and tried to mate with her again but she was very unresponsive and he withdrew.
A short time later he tried again, seemingly successfully.

So as not to appear like it is all hedonism atop the pine tree, the male Osprey flew off and returned with moss-like material to line the nest. He spent much time out of sight down in the nest presumably arranging the material as a future cushion for the expected eggs. He repeated this flight, bringing more of the same type of material back to the nest.

Concerning the nest, the major change is that the big yellow rope visible on 15 February is nowhere to be seen. The wind probably blew it down sometime since the last visit. In the future it would be interesting to examine the ground around the nest tree to see what other things they have lost.

Taking a break from nest-building, and obviously still full of a lot of energy, he mated with the female once again.
Then he went back to gathering material for the nest. As he had done on 13 February, he returned with a ridiculously large branch that is too unwieldy for him to handle.
The results were about the same as on the 13th. He spent a lot of time ponderously moving the stick around the nest, driving the female out as he did, then lost the stick over the side. Somewhere on the nest itself he pulled up the big branch seen in his bill here and dragged that around for awhile.
The day's labors over, the Osprey couple watch the sunset over the Indian River Lagoon. The large stick the male Osprey is moving in the picture above is seen here in the foreground balanced precariously on the edge of the nest.


A friendlier neighbor than the potentially dangerous Great Horned Owls observed on 15 February is seen here. A male Red-Bellied Woodpecker returned to the same spot twice to watch what the Ospreys were up to.
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
www.lunarcabin.com - - - - www.ospreywatch.org