Thursday, July 19, 2012

Feeding the Addiction

In the world of osprey, you can never have enough nesting material. Most birds build a nest and their done.  Not so osprey.  Before, during and after raising the young, they are building the nest.  I thought it was surprising the first time I saw a male bring a large branched stick for the female to struggle to place while there were a couple of young in the nest.  But maybe even more surprising is the foresight (and faith) it takes to continue to build the nest knowing that it won't be used again until the following year. I have never seen one bring in fresh leaves like the female from the nest box.

Osprey don't land and pick up nesting material.  Whether sticks of grass or even mud, they pick the material up from flight (see yesterday's post).  I have never seen an osprey on the ground. I've read accounts of them nesting on the ground, but I have just never seen it. Many of their choice sticks are spotted from the nest floating in the river.

Here comes another stick.  Notice how the chick is ducking and shucking. It has learned to watch it's head when momma comes home carrying something.  Watching them bring sticks to the nest (over time), I have noticed that they can be a little clumsy.  There are always a lot of branches under the nest where they missed their mark, but they never seem to attempt to recover them.  I have also witnessed one of them make pass after pass trying to land with a stick so small I could hardly make it out in it's claws.

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