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Observations & Images
8 February 2007
Nest Building

The male Osprey continues to labor alone on his two nests. Here he carries a branch to the old nest tree.
He hovers unsure of where to put the branch. Alice Rowe who was with me today observed that he is acting as if the old nest is still there since he always carries material to the same spot of empty air that, till not long ago, used to hold the nest.
The male Osprey releases the branch and it, luckily, falls on the growing pile caught near the top of the tree. Alas, rather than take advantage of what could turn into a nest at this tree he returned to carrying material up to the new nest tree which continues to appear to be a waste of time with most of the material falling to the ground since the spot he has picked evidences little in the way of structural support to hold up a nest.
The story is much different at the nearby nest where, flush from their success fledging a young Osprey last season, the couple have returned to what appears to be an intact nest which can be seen at right. The male Osprey can be seen atop the snag at upper left, the female is at middle bottom. Both birds are gripping a fish in their talons.
The female flew from her perch and circled around us twice. Her appearance matches favorably with the female photographed at this nest last season which makes me think it is the same bird.

THE NEIGHBORS

A Red-Shouldered Hawk seemed immune to our presence and with barely a moments glance at us went back to watching something in the opposite direction down below on the ground which had captivated the bird of prey's attention.
A River Otter played hide-and-go-seek with Alice who never could get a view of it in the water as it searched for food.
In a delightful turn, the Otter came out of the water.
A long and involved grooming regimen occupied the Otter for quite some time.
The Otter was very fastidious in its efforts.
Ah, a nice day to relax in the Sun.
Eventually the Otter left and our attention turned to a distant American Kestrel which had caught a luckless Mouse.
Naturally, as long as our gaze was upon the Otter the Kestrel did not mind being near us but once the little raptor saw us watching it flew away with its prize. Note the Mouse tail trailing behind....
Interestingly, the Kestrel circled then proceeded to land right up in the tree at the location of the missing Osprey nest. Note the rope is visible which used to overhang the nest.
As the Kestrel feasted on the Mouse, a Pileated Woodpecker landed nearby. Each bird ignored the other.
The sudden appearance of a Sharp-Shinned Hawk overhead caused some alarm with the Kestrel which kept its place despite being harassed.
The Sharp-Shinned Hawk makes another pass at the Kestrel. The Hawk also went after the Pileated Woodpecker which responded by following the Kestrel's example of laying low rather than taking wing. Eventually, the Hawk retired to a distant perch allowing the Kestrel to eat the Mouse in peace.
Two Ospreys were observed atop a snag that held an Osprey nest last season but which has also fallen from its tree.
Alice and I debated whether we could see anything in the Owl nest with the answer coming as darkness fell and the head of a Great Horned Owl popped up to look around.
 
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
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