Thursday, July 26, 2012
The parents are sitting in a sycamore tree where the male usually stayed while the female was nesting and where he had a direct line of sight to the nest box. In this photo, you can see that the male (on the left) is slightly smaller than the female. I have seen him go after eagles, great blue herons, black vultures and more defending the area around the nest. In fact, I saw him chase osprey that were minding their own business, fishing way out over the river and was surprised at how large an area he considered part of the nesting "territory." When he went after the vultures, he hit one (they were flying) so hard, it sounded like two linemen in a football game colliding. I think he hit it with his breast and not his talons. Can you imagine what that might have been like if he sunk his talons into it's back and couldn't let go? I'm pretty sure he intentionally kept them unextended.