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Observations & Images
21 May 2006
Age of nestling(s) in days: 40

This morning a new tragedy is possibly confirmed, there is great joy concerning the Pileated Woodpeckers, and an idiotic oversight on my part causes an important piece of equipment to be left at home which drastically reduces how the day's pictures can be taken.

Sunrise finds the female Osprey scanning the sky while making an occasional call to warn passing birds that she has seen them. In the distance, the calls of the other nearby nesting Ospreys can be heard.


The male brings a freshly caught fish into the pines near the nest.
After removing the head and eating his fill he carries what is left of the fish to the nest.
He comes in for a landing.
It is practically a touch and go landing which has him in the nest for only a few seconds while the female takes the fish then he is back in the air.
Continuous observation through a spotting scope during the feeding appears to confirm the awful truth suspected the past few days that there is now only one nestling left. The last time two nestlings were seen was on 18 May.
After the feeding was over the female Osprey set about working on the nest which, though this is not unusual for her to do, the repeated frequency of it the past few days is new. After flying a branch to the nest, her second flight, seen here, resulted in a small clump of grass being collected.
More grass was collected on the third flight. The thought occurs the dead body of the missing nestling could still be down at the bottom of the nest and this new behavior of repeatedly collecting new material could be a way to cover and bury the body if they were not successful in removing it from the nest.
She prepares to land. Three flights were all she made before the morning heated up and she took her usual watchful vigil at the side of the nest.
The lone observed Osprey nestling looks over the side of the nest. One can only wonder if it will survive to take its place with the other Ospreys of the Indian River Lagoon?


A tremendous flapping of wings overhead caused me to duck as this Great Blue Heron practically landed on top of me. The bird did not seem at all bothered that I was nearby.
The male Pileated Woodpecker heads toward his nest cavity. Strong and fast, the Woodpecker can go a great distance with its wings tucked in making it look like a bulky arrow. As it starts to lose momentum a few more powerful wingbeats gets it going fast enough to be able to glide along some more in this unique wing-closed fashion.
The male Pileated Woodpecker stops to take a look around before proceeding the final distance to his nest.
Cigars all around! The male is now a father confirmed by the sight of one of his nestlings looking out of the cavity at the big world beyond. Only one nestling could be seen before the male moved blocking the view. It appeared he might have been feeding the nestling there at the opening. Eventually, the new dad and the nestling disappeared into the cavity and nothing could be seen but the opening.
A small juvenile Cooter crosses Jungle Trail.
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
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