Saturday, October 31, 2015
The Chesapeake Bay region is within the Rusty Blackbird's winter range. On the Eastern Seaboard it stays along the coast up through southern New England. As the summer progresses, the rusty feathers become worn and the bird turns darker.
The Wilson's Snipe is also a bird that can be seen in this area over winter. They breed throughout Canada and Alaska, so this area is like their Florida in winter.
This is one of the Osprey pair that nests on the platform on the edge of the marsh just outside of town in North Beach. This was just at the beginning of the nesting season, a time of final preparations on the nest.
I'm not sure if this is the male or female. It was early April and the bird looks in excellent health for having finished it's migration a week or two earlier. It is not a tagged bird.
Both the male and female gather material for the nest. That is what this Osprey is doing. They do not land to do this, but fly low over the marsh and snatch grasses and mud for the nest in their talons without stopping. This one gathered a clump of mud and took it to the nest. A little while later both flew, one right after the other, picking up mud like WWII fighter planes in a strafing run.