Sunday, September 23, 2018

Close to the end?

We all hate this time of year huh? Not all Ospreys are gone yet tho....I saw a chick eating a fish near  it’s nest yesterday and just got a few reports of others seen in the metro this weekend.  Many nests are empty tho, and there is a silence at many nest sites that makes me feel lonely.  The strong and dramatic change in our weather here in Minnesota last Monday seems to have carried a lot of our friends off in a southerly direction. Those north winds were what they were waiting for to make the journey easy. This is the time of year that some of us search for a brief sighting of an osprey just to savor their beauty, their loud food begging, their devotion to their offspring....just to gaze at those bright yellow eyes, those spectacular talons grasping a fish, their dramatic wingspan one last time.  We still have work to do repairing some nests and my big task of writing the annual report will fill many hours this winter. I send good thoughts to all my winged friends, and to all those precious , irreplaceable volunteers who help me watch over all these nests.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

New nests!

Believe it or not, we are STILL finding new nests! I recieved an email last night from a volunteer who is monitoring another nest, that she kept hearing faint food begging near her home. It was too far away from the nest she watches to be hearing those birds. So she and her husband went exploring, and she found a nest on a cell tower nearby. I went out there at 6:30 this morning to check it out. Easily found the nest, with no birds. I waited. Eventually I heard a juvenile food begging and he came to the nest, whining. It didn’t take too long for the male to bring a fish and drop it. I could see that he was banded, but he took off quickly so I could not read it. As the chick was eating, I still heard some food begging and eventually the adult female arrived. She is unbanded. Although most females have begun their migration at this time, she was still here and based upon the chicks behavior and eye color, it looks like this nest was a late one. I watched the chick and Mom and finally the male returned and perched where I could read his band. No other chicks were seen or heard. How lucky that we found this nest and I was able to get all the required data to add to our annual report! Thanks to Jean and Rod for listening and following their ears! This is often how we find new nests. Pay attention to flying birds, vocalizations, and searching for cell towers, ballfield lights, and other man made structures. We hope that the birding public will share such observations with us, as we are making a noble effort to monitor all nests in the eight county metro area, and I find many, but not all of them. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at We really need the public’s help with this effort. I have found so many new nests in recent weeks, that it makes me wonder how many I don’t know about!