Sunday, August 2, 2015
When I first spotted this Osprey nest the other day, I had to ask myself how in the heck I missed something that now seems so obvious? The nest is actually on the edge of the second, smaller pond on the other side of the train tracks. The only reason I saw it is because of the two Ospreys on the nest. They had to have been there since March and I am only now discovering the nest?! I zoomed in a little on the right so you could see the nest more clearly. It is one of the few natural nests I have seen. In other words, it is not built on a platform that humans have encouraged them to nest upon. It looks like an excellent spot, however. The top of the main tree trunk has broken off and the nest is built between that and a large side branch.
It wasn't too long after spotting the nest, an Osprey flew over my head and landed on a tree limb favored by many of the birds because of the way it is situated overlooking the pond. After it landed, I realized it is a young bird from this year's class. The spots on the back as well as copper-colored eyes (as opposed to the golden-colored eyes of an adult) and a copper-colored patch of feathers on the nape of the neck mark a young bird.
He is still a little awkward and turned around with great care after he landed. It probably is a male. Females have what has been termed a necklace — a splash of brown feathers just below the neck.
There were other signs that he was a newbie. In this image, he shows great interest in a Green Heron that wanted to land on the same branch until it realized the Osprey was sitting there. The heron is visible if you follow along the lower branch where the two branches come together.
After a brief stay, the Osprey took off. They do not spring upward, but drop off the branch like a sky-diver would drop out of a plane. Once they start falling, they open their wings — again, like a sky diver opening his chute.
He didn't stay at the pond, but appeared to be headed in the direction of the Patuxent River, which is about a mile to the east of the pond. He did not return while I was there and may have gone over there to look for fish. The building in the background overlooking the pond is actually the Sheriff's offices. They have an ideal view of the pond.