Saturday, May 16, 2015

Another egg at the Arb!

Right on schedule, as I predicted, another egg, number 3, arrived on the Arboretum nest ...2.5 days apart! Yeah! Hoping for the best here! This egg looks lighter than the first and less spotted than most osprey eggs are. Time will tell if one or both hatch! The normal incubation period in this area is about 39 days, so I usually start watching on day 37- 38. (There can be some slight variation in this period.) We will have to wait to see if they are fertile or not. Hoping for at least one chick! Both adults are being attentive to the eggs so keep your fingers crossed! I wonder if there will be another egg? If so, I believe it would come Monday afternoon- evening.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Another egg

A second egg was laid in the Arboretum cam nest at about 7:15 p.m. on May 13. We held our breath to see what would happen. Would she incubate it? Would he male destroy this one too? We were relieved when she finally settled down on the egg. The male came briefly and landed on the nest perch but did not seem to notice that she was rolling an egg around. He finally arrived on the nest and did not harm the egg. Darkness came as she remained on the egg, "sitting tight". In the morning the male brought her a fish and when she flew off with it, he took over the incubation duties. Since then the egg has remained uncovered for several stretches, on a cold, rainy day,  as the male is sometimes slow to sit when the female is eating. It remains to be seen if the egg is fertile or if it will survive. We still could get another egg also. The trials and tribulations of a new, young pair of Ospreys.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Watching them fishing...

In spite of all the drama on the Arb Cam nest today, I went out to read some bands and was treated to some Ospreys fishing right in front of my face on this cool, cloudy, misty day. So delightful to watch, up close, plunging into the water, huge splash, no fish...but lovely to see anyways. This pair of Ospreys is still bringing sticks, working on where they should nest this year. Watching them for nearly 3 hours (to get the males band read) was good for my soul...as I pondered the events of the day and an email I recieved asking about similar behaviors on a nest in Scotland. Behaviors are changing as populations increase. It's such an important time to continue the research.

Arboretum nest cam...first egg

There was an egg visible on the Arb Cam nest this morning but I just watched the male standing on it, covering it, kicking it, digging around it. (The egg has been covered, uncovered and has now found its way back into the center of the nest.) This is behavior that has been seen on several other nests on other parts of the world also. He must think it's not his egg. The female was not incubating it. We will just have to keep watching and see what happens next. There may be more eggs that he will accept. It's been a stressful spring for these Ospreys and I think that is being reflected in these behaviors.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bath time...

Another long day in the field...175 miles. I spent a lot of time sitting and waiting for those males to show up and show me their bands. Some never did. I have to say tho, if you wait patiently, if you search around for the birds...don't just sit and stare at the nest, but drive around, walk around, scan the trees, listen...you will be rewarded with some interesting behavior. Today as I searched for one male, I noticed an osprey wading in the shallow water of a lake...then it turned into a wild bath. Dunking his head under the water, shaking his wings, splashing violently, turning around, repeatedly shaking his wings...it was so much fun to watch. Made me laugh out loud. He was a very clean osprey when he was done!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Musical nests...

It's been quite a week. Another major car repair, AHHHHH. And I have to say I have never seen such a widespread and amazing game of musical nests as I have this year. I am having to return to nests repeatedly to see who is there and figure out where the birds are that were there two weeks ago! One male has been seen, and his bands read, on four different nests, in four different parts of the metro! So I keep returning to where I saw him last, to see who is there now! Some birds have moved to new nests for reasons I don't fully understand. There have been a lot of new, young birds who arrived early and were identified...and then were displaced by the regular residential osprey of past years. Where did they go? And sadly, it seems like a lot of Ospreys who I have been watching for years, many of them middle aged, have not returned to their nests. It takes a lot of time to read and re read bands at all these sites. I am being stretched pretty thin these days. Many nests have begun incubating eggs, and yet, some nests have new residents that are still very much engaged in the courtship process. I watched a spectacular sky dance today...singing the courtship song, doing the dipsy doodle up and down dance with a fish in the air...and then zooming down to the nest, only to mantle over the fish and refuse to share! Ha Ha...won't get the girl that way! She seemed the forgiving type tho.
I love this time of year!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Arboretum Cam nest...

Have been watching the Arb cam this morning...looks like some of the chaos has settled down and it is Z3 and an unbanded female who have successfully claimed the territory. However, I am not seeing successful copulation. The male has mounted her back but she did not lift her tail enough so the attempt failed. Sometimes a female who is too young to breed will behave this way. But sometimes a hungry female will also behave this way! Part of the courtship! We will see if eggs are laid or not. Many nests are incubating now.