Friday, July 20, 2012

On a Sunday Morning

Since I have been on the subject of nest building, I thought I would show some of the photos I took on a Sunday morning when the same pair of osprey that now have the nest on the telephone pole attempted to build a nest in another questionable location.

The first indication that something was up was when the female went flying by my location with this rather large stick. Watching where she went led me to the boat of one of the neighbor's that had it's Bimini top deployed.  Over the next couple of hours, I was amazed to see how fast the pair assembled the beginnings of a good-sized nest.  This was on August 2, which is well past the window of opportunity in which to raise a family.

Osprey need almost the entire summer season to raise a generation of offspring.  They arrive back in this area about the middle of February.  By early May the female is brooding her eggs. By June, the chicks are developing by leaps and bounds and by mid-July to early August, they have begun to learn what they can do with their wings and how to find fish on their own. In September, the new brood will migrate south without their parents. So, you can see, the entire summer is devoted to raising the next generation.

The female successfully negotiated the stick from the last image into place on the Bimini top. Whew! That was tricky.  Then it is off for more sticks. From what I have observed - and, remember, I am no expert and could be mistaken - I think the female chooses the nest site. I say this because she chose this location and I also saw her evaluating a telephone pole just before they built the first nest on the telephone pole.  The one I saw her inspecting was not the one she ultimately chose.

Now that she had made her decision, she worked non-stop to find more nesting material and construct a good base.

So where was the male while she was doing all this work. He was somewhere nearby probably watching her efforts. But, he finally flew in to inspect her work and join her in further construction.

Now work could move along even faster with one bringing in sticks and the other placing them into the design.

After a while, marsh grasses were added to the list of supplies.

Alas, it was not to be. The owners spotted what they were up to and disassembled the nest before they could settle in.  With each poorly chosen site, however, they learned and finally they chose the site at the telephone pole.
The first photo was taken at 7:46am, the last nesting photo was taken at 8:50am and the nest was disassembled at 9:08am.

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