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Observations & Images
20 February 2006

Today was a confusing reversal of previous activity at the nest in that the female was very active and the male did not do much at all. Accompanied by Alice Rowe, I arrived to find the nest empty but in the pines a lone Osprey could be seen---even occasionally crying out in a voice similar to the female's call. Identification was not possible given its location, but my assumption, based on past experience,was that it was the female waiting, as usual, for the male to return. When an Osprey appeared flying in toward the nest from a distance, I was surprised to see it was the female, shown here about to land in the nest, who had been out and about.
Now it was the male's turn to fly off his perch and meet the female in the nest. He landed on her back and a half-hearted attempt at mating occurred but the female shrugged him off before he got too far.
Spurned by the female, the male, shown here on the left, sat on the edge of the nest with his back to his mate for some time.
Then both birds flew off in separate directions though the female landed nearby in a pine tree and spent some time there before she, too, disappeared. Eventually, the male returned with material to line the bottom of the nest. He spent considerable time arranging the material to his satisfaction.
Then he climbed onto the edge of the nest, occasionally calling out in a loud voice. As we packed up to leave, he flew off behind the pine trees leaving the empty nest behind. Disconcerted by their unexpected behavior, it was with relief that in the quickening dark of oncoming night, just as we were about to drive away, Alice and I spotted the dark shapes of two Ospreys side-by-side in a pine tree near the nest. The pair were together again!


The entire time we were observing the nest, a constant loud hooting could be heard coming from the south. A sure sign the Great Horned Owls seen on 15 February are still in the area. At the same time, the south nest Ospreys were visible going about their business.

Some less threatening visitors today included, as Herb Kale and David Maehr called it in Florida's Birds, the "small, cryptically colored" Green Heron.

This immature Little Blue Heron spends as much time in the area as the Ospreys and I do and often provides a little diversion for me in watching its own unique behavior when the Ospreys are not around. The feeling is probably mutual on the Little Blue's part.
Like the Little Blue above, this Tricolored Heron (or, as I prefer its old name, the Louisiana Heron) frequents the area everyday.
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
www.lunarcabin.com - - - - www.ospreywatch.org