Just a few of the birds hanging out around the mill these days.
I took this picture in an area that burned in a wildfire in 2008. When it comes to wildfires, woodpeckers are the big winners!
The surviving ospreys have seemed to rally this week after the helicopter incident I blogged about last week, Wild Wednesday … A Death In The Family. For most of the week only one young osprey was in the nest. It occasionally left, but would return later. It sat in the nest calling for food.
After a few days, I saw the second young bird return. Then both called.
Eventually, I saw the parent osprey. She came in with a fish for the young birds, but didn’t give it to them. She flew to the edge of the tower and started calling the fledglings. When the youngster moved toward her, she lifted off and flew up river. She was training her young fish hawks.
After examining the photos I took of the dead osprey, I’m pretty sure it was the male bird that was struck by the helicopter blade. Now, mother osprey soldiers on. No news yet on the Fish and Wildlife warden’s investigation.
I was pretty sure it was our male osprey on the snag behind the mill last week. Then right on schedule our boy was back at the nest on Friday morning. Last year he arrived on February 26th. This year he showed February 28th. Now he begins his vigil, as he waits for his mate to arrive.
When the osprey arrive, I know that Spring is knocking on our door. A few early flowers are blooming and the frogs are singing at night. The little birds chase each other around the trees and buds are swelling. We are finally getting some significant rain. We may have a normal Spring after all.
You can see all about the nesting season 2013.
They began rebuilding their nest the day she arrived and the two osprey were back together. This is what they typically do after the winter storms take there toll on the nest. This particular nest is only one year old and must have weathered the winter fairly well. They spiffed it up the first day and that was that. They moved in.
The picture below is how the nest looking in 2011. Usually, they add a new layer to the nest every year. Not so much this year. In 2011 the nest had been built up much more and was on the opposite side of the tower. Normally, the nest gets taller and taller until a severe Winter storm blows the top of it off. I’ve seen the nest over 6 feet tall. Last year the nest survived some very bad storms. Late in the season the nest was gone after a moderate storm. I checked under the nest for debris, but found very little. I found out later that the local power company employees climbed the tower and removed the nest.
When they osprey returned and found no nest they immediately started rebuilding. Although, as often happens with men and women they had a bit of a disagreement. They each began building nest on opposite sides of the tower. As typically happens when there is a disagreement, she got her way and the nest ended up in it’s current location.
On Friday our lovelorn male osprey was still waiting alone when I left work.
This morning when I arrived there was only one bird in the nest. When I went back outside about mid-morning and she had arrived. The two of them sat close together for quite some time and every now and then, one would call out. I took some pictures then put my camera away into my truck.
I let the girls out of the truck for a short break. The girls ran to the far side of the parking lot to a field they like, and I walked after them. By the time I had almost reached them, I looked back at the osprey. They were now locked in mating embrace. Immediately, I turned and ran for my camera in the truck, but their interlude only lasted about ten seconds. I didn’t make it. A missed opportunity for sure over a rookie mistake. The male immediately flew away and didn’t return until the afternoon.