Wednesday, April 9, 2014

First full day in the field...

My first full day in the field checking nests...some interesting observations. Overall, I visited 22 nests and found five nests with ospreys. There were a pair of birds on three nests and one bird on two nests. I saw extra ospreys flying around at two of those sites. I read three bands. Most lakes near the nests were still frozen. Many of you remember the saga last year of one male who was attending two nests, with three chicks in each. Today one of those nests had a new male. He was copulating with the female there tho I was unable to determine conclusively if she was the same female as last year. It remains to be seen what happens if the territorial male returns.  He may chase off this new male. I believe they sort of instinctively defend territories where they successfully reproduced. The female may have a say in the matter also as she might jump into the fray and help chase off the very male she has been copulating with, or she may stay out of it and let the males duke it out. Usually a territorial male can easily displace any other males who might try to take over. His  other nest was empty. Perhaps one of the females won't return. Perhaps that will solve the dilemma. Perhaps he won't return! There are many scenarios possible. I have seen males defend two nest sites even if they were only breeding at one...defending the other one against any other ospreys, only to use it as a perch. Ah the drama goes on. Still so much to learn!

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