< < < Previous Page - - - - Back to Observation Dates - - - - Next Page > > >

Observations & Images
6 June 2006
Post-Nesting: Are they going to try again soon?

North Nest

Both the male and the female Osprey were observed working on the nest today. Note the male carries what looks like some sort of strap along with the seaweed. Though only a short time was spent with these Ospreys to allow more time with their southern Osprey neighbors, the short visit raised the question of whether they may try and nest again this year.
The Ospreys were observed mating in the nest along with an attempt at mating on their nearby night perch. The male, also, seemed very solicitous of the female as he stayed close near her or flew short looping flights around her. Activities the female did not seem to mind at all. If this new courtship phase and mating persists it might lead to another nesting attempt in the near future.

South Nest

The short walk to the south nest was marked by an unidentified Osprey carrying a branch out of sight over the Indian River Lagoon leading to the assumption that it might be trying to nest on an island out in the waterway.
At the south nest it was not long before the male showed up carrying a fish.
The south male flew in and out of the nest four times before the south female took interest in the fish he was carrying. During all that time only the south female could be seen on the nest. I feared the worst, thinking that their nestling may have been lost in the intervening time since I first saw it on 3 June.
The Ospreys pose on the nest. The female is in the background. This time the female took the fish from the male. These Ospreys seem very practiced and the fish handoff went very smoothly without all the clumsy, frantic fumbling exhibited by the north nest Ospreys.
A happy observation was of the nestling which finally---and with much relief on my part---came into sight to be fed by the female. Unfortunately, the nestling stayed fairly well obscured amongst the branches during the visit which limited the views of it.
Another surprise, though of a decidedly negative sort, occurred when a passing Crow dived down onto the south male Osprey causing him to almost lose his balance on his perch over the nest.
In the blink of an eye the tree behind the male Osprey filled with Crows. More Crows are out of frame to the right. The Osprey nest is just out of view below the lower right hand corner of the frame. The male Osprey eyes the Crows with apprehension and rightly so.
The gang of Crows rush at the male Osprey without warning.
The male Osprey flew in ever widening circles around the nest with the Crows in hot pursuit. The male was making fierce warning cries the whole time which the Crows ignored.
Here the lead Crow has actually struck at the male Osprey but then drops behind him.
After watching the Mockingbirds relentlessly take on Crows on 23 April, it was disconcerting to see the Crows turnabout and go after an Osprey in the same fashion.
But the male Osprey could give as well as take. Here he has made an abrupt 180-degree turn to face his pursuers with his talons open causing confusion among the Crows one of which can be seen hastily retreating at lower right. I hoped he would catch and gut one of the Crows in midair for their insolence but, instead, the male Osprey shot through the Crow flock and the chase was on again.
With the Crows in tow and easily out-distancing them, the male Osprey flew out of sight beyond the trees and away from the nest which was probably his intention the whole time.
In just a minute or two the south male Osprey was perched back above the nest looking quite relaxed and not a Crow was seen during the rest of the visit. The dark thought persists of what might have happened had the male not been there? Would the Crows have picked on the nest or passed it by?
The best view of their nestling, at left, shows it to be quite large with its feathers and wings developing for flight. The female continues to feed on the fish though the nestling seems to have lost interest. The male's confrontation with the Crows took my attention away from the nest and I did now see how they reacted to the male's aerial struggle.


As darkness fell we lingered to watch the amazingly rapid opening of the Moon Morning Glories near the north Osprey nest which led to an unexpected introduction to new Osprey neighbors thanks to the keen eyesight of Becky Hendrix who spotted a group of approximately five Screech Owls as they came out of the trees and alighted on nearby branches.
Alice Rowe and I could barely discern the Owls in the dark but, luckily, the camera flash and an educated guess at the camera focus picked them out as really being there. The "eyeshine" caused by the reflected light of the camera flash in their eyes give them a supernatural appearance.
We guessed that they were all juveniles and that there must be a nest nearby. They all flew off right past us in ones and twos which provided for unique close views of them in flight albeit as silhouettes against a dark sky.
< < < Previous Page - - - - Back to Observation Dates - - - - Next Page > > >
OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
www.lunarcabin.com - - - - www.ospreywatch.org