Saturday, May 2, 2015
The Homemakers 2
I don't know of any other bird with the ability to collect all the materials it needs to build it's nest without landing. I have seen Osprey snatch branches floating down the river and drop them in their nest. I have seen them repeatedly drop into the marsh, disappear, grab some reeds and reappear a few seconds later without having landed with a fist full of grass. That is what the Osprey in this photo is doing.
On this day, both the male and female made strafing runs into the marsh one right after the other.
Their talons are uniquely designed to catch fish, but the spicules (little spines) on their toes, which act similar to Velcro, also allow them to swoop down and snatch clots of wet mud from the edges of the marsh to line their nest. Again, this is without ever landing!
Osprey are opportunistic and seem to always have nest building near the top of their list of priorities as they are almost always adding new materials when they spot something they think they can use.
It is one of the reasons it is important for fisherman to take responsibility for policing their area to make sure they are not leaving discarded fishing line, hooks, sinkers and even plastic bags behind. All of this stuff can be attractive to them and have been found in their nests. And, all of it can kill chicks that become entangled in these types of items.
They are amazing birds, working together to build their nest and raise the next generation of fish hawks.