Sunday, April 22, 2018

Fun in the field!

Finally a warm day and some free time to check nests. I visited 13 nests and 7 of them had at least one bird, 6 nests were still empty. I saw 12 Ospreys and read two bands. At two different nests I observed three Ospreys flying, and interacting. None were aggressive. At one nest I watched TWO males sky dancing at the same time for a female that was standing on the nest, seemingly unimpressed. One male landed without a fish and he turned his back, hung his head, and shook his wings. This is a defensive behavior. I often see it with a new pair of Ospreys, but I suspected this was her long time mate as he had a band, tho I was not able to read it in the short time he was on the nest. The female eventually lunged at him, and he flew off. The other male was sky dancing with a fish and he finally delivered it to her. He was unbanded. She took the fish to a nearby perch to eat as the male moved sticks on the nest. He tried to copulate with the fema,e but she said, NO! Then the banded male returned, without a fish. I watched for nearly two hours as the behaviors were interesting, unsettled, and I am always captivated by the way these birds interact, they way they renew old bonds, the way new birds try to find a way to win a territory and a female.
So our Osprey season is picking up the pace, new birds finally arriving on these warm southerly winds. I wish I had more time to spend in the field...there are so many nests to check, new volunteers to meet, and bands to read. Thanks to the monitors who are visiting so many nests and band reading as possible. We have our work cut out for us! It was nice to be out there, listening to the courtship songs, watching these beautiful birds and remembering why we love them so much!

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