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Observations & Images
7 January 2007
Nest Building

A happy discover occurs while watching a Red-Shouldered Hawk perched nearby when out of the corner of my eye I see what turns out to be a male Osprey bringing a stick to the nest tree.
It is obvious that the mysterious appearance of the sea weed observed yesterday atop the tree, which the Osprey can be seen standing on, was brought by him for later in the day he brought more to the same spot. Here he pants from his exertions in the warm, still morning air. The stick he had just brought can be seen protruding off to the right.
Unfortunately, with the nest gone, there appears to be little in the way to support the sticks he would bring throughout the morning. Many of them would fall to the ground but this first one, at least, seems to have staying power for now.
An interesting development is that he appears to be working on two possible nest sites at once.
Here he carries another branch to the new location.
The spot he is interested in is nearby the old nest site but partway down a tree amidst a thicket of pine needles which makes viewing his activities difficult. The positive side of this location, though, is the shade it might offer the nest through hot, sunny days should it be built here. Toward the end of the last nesting season the male Osprey was observed bringing material to this same spot.
After several flights bringing material to the new site he returns to bringing material to the old nest site. Here he stands upon a Y-shaped branch he has carried up to the top of the tree.
The branch, outlined in yellow, falls to the ground as the male Osprey prepares to fly off.
The male Osprey brings another branch to the old nest site.
He makes a difficult landing with the branch which can be seen hanging precariously from where he grasps it with his left foot.
But this branch is no help to his efforts. Unable to maneuver the branch around, the male shakes his foot to free the branch, again outlined in yellow, allowing it to fall to the ground.
Probably frustrated by the loss of the old nest and the daunting task of rebuilding a new one at this location in time to attract a mate, the male Osprey flies over to a nearby tree where he spends a good part of the morning sleeping.
Unlike the lonely Sisyphean efforts of the male Osprey, the morning resounded with the seemingly joyous calls of the Ospreys who have returned to the nest that fledged a young bird last season. An Osprey is seen perched atop a snag at left with the nest nearby at right. This snag was a favorite perch of last season's female Osprey at this nest.

THE NEIGHBORS

The surprise and happiness over seeing the Ospreys have returned was heightened by the appearance of a great number of Magnificent Frigatebirds soaring slowly around the Refuge skies throughout the morning. The reddish pouch under the throat can be filled with air to a large size to attract a mate during mating season.
The Frigatebird can soar great distances with barely a wing flap.
Several juvenile Frigatebirds were seen.
Two Ospreys were seen at a distance soaring together.
A nearby Red-Shouldered Hawk was frightened off by a soaring Red-Tailed Hawk whose only offense was to swing past the tree the Red-Shoulder was in. The Red-Tail showed no interest in the Red-Shoulder who, never-the-less, took wing while emitting loud warning cries.
The Red-Shoulder, its wing feathers backlit by the Sun, passes overhead on its swift escape flight. Note the Hawk is still calling out.
 
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
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