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Observations & Images
24 April 2007
Approximate age of nestling(s) in days: 27

The female Osprey leaves the nest to land upon the nearby perch favored by the male for eating. This is a move which is out of character for her for she rarely leaves the nest to perch elsewhere though at this spot she can not only see the nest plainly but could be back in it within seconds should she need to be. Her dignity must be a bit ruffled for her wing displays the white stains earned most likely by one of the nestlings trying to relieve itself over the side of the nest but hitting her instead. See below for an interesting description of the urogenital system of birds.
Today is a celebration of flight. Both the male and the female Osprey were in almost constant motion. Often both parents would be absent from the nest but would be so close nearby that any danger to the nestlings could be met with an immediate response. Here the male lifts a fish carcass out of the nest that the female has finished with.
On a different occasion the male hovers over the nest searching for any leftovers that he can snack on.
The male brings a freshly caught fish to the nest after beheading it on the eating perch.
The male's razor-sharp talons are deployed ready to grasp the branch as he comes in for a landing after depositing the fish in the nest.
With his eyes closed and his tongue hanging out the male looks like he is enjoying himself as he rubs against a branch to clean up after eating.
The nestlings popped in and out of view as they moved past openings in the high pile of branches making up the nest wall. The warm temperature saw them all panting in the heat though a fair wind and passing clouds provided some relief.
A nestling relieves itself over the side of the nest while the female looks on. Christopher Leahy in The Birdwatcher's Companion: An Encyclopedic Handbook of North American Birdlife describes a bird's excretory system: "In birds, urine and feces are voided together through a single anal opening or vent. Bird droppings therefore usually consist of solid, dark wastes (feces) in a white, chalky, semi-solid material (urine)....Urinary systems in general remove excess water, salts, and nitrogen wastes from the body. But birds reabsorb almost all of the water....leaving a white, nearly solid substance very different in appearance from human urine."
The male brings what looks like a wet clump of seagrass to the nest. He spent some time out of sight at the bottom of the nest cup packing the grass in place.
The female falls away from a dead tree near the nest after attempting to break off a branch.
She passes out of sight around a live stand of trees to reappear clutching a branch which she took to the nest.
Another flight to gather nesting material sees the female lining up on another dead tree near the nest.
Talons open wide as she sights a possible candidate branch.
Success! The branch breaks away and is carried directly to the nest.
Once again the mysterious four Ospreys that seem to be ever soaring together appear over the area. One of them is quite bold today and makes as if to land in the nest despite the aggressive, loud posture of the female. The male Osprey swooped up into the nest deterring the interloper leaving one to wonder what would have happened if he had not been there. Here the bold Osprey flies away while the female looks on.

THE NEIGHBORS

A Red-Shouldered Hawk made an early morning appearance near the Osprey nest.
The Hawk did not stay long but could be seen in the distance for a short while soaring around before moving out of sight beyond the trees.
A Crow examines the eating perch for any leftovers or insects. This is a common occurrence now though, luckily, unlike last season, not many Crows have come around the nest to disturb the Ospreys so far.
One of a pair of Great Crested Flycatchers flitting around the grapefruit trees.
 
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
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