Friday, April 12, 2024

April 12

 Well today there has been an unbanded male on the Arb cam nest….things seem very unsettled there. PZ does not seem committed. MS has not been seen.  I do think the female is the same one from last year. 

We had a high mortality rate and high failure rate last year and I am seeing the results of that with some unsettled nests, birds that are moving around, seeking new mates and new territories. It’s like musical nests….when the music stops, where will they be? It’s keeping me busy trying to read bands over and over, revisiting nests to see what’s changed, trying to figure out what’s happening. We have some VIBs ( very important birds) still missing. And I am not getting very far each day.  I have a lot of puzzles to figure out! 

Oy vey!

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Arboretum Update

 We are seeing more activity on the Arb cam nest today. I wanted to update some info. In spite of what has been erroneously reported elsewhere, the male we are seeing today is PZ. He is a five year old from a nest in Carver Park. He has nested at another Arboretum nest, south of the cam nest, for the last two years. His nest failed last year which may be why he is trying to move. I am uncertain if this female is the one from this nest last year, or his former mate at the other nest. I am trying to compare markings and I see some similarities and some differences. I will keep working on that. Time will tell if the male from last year, MS, shows up. We still are seeing many ospreys arriving, some nests are still empty or missing one bird. We are observing lots of competition for nest sites so many territories are still unsettled. I will try to keep accurate info posted here regarding this nest…..don’t hesitate to ask questions. As many of you may recall, I helped put this pole up way back in 2001 and have monitored it every year since. I also monitor all known nests so I am able to track movements of birds like PZ. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024


 For those who are interested in whats happening on the Arboretum cam nest….we are seeing a banded male, PZ, visiting occasionally. He is NOT the male from the past few years however! He is a male who has nested nearby in recent years but his nest failed last year so he may be looking to make a change. Time will tell if the territorial male returns or not. I got out there in person today and checked the nest where PZ has been in the past, but he wasnt there! There was an unbanded male! And I stopped at the Cam nest repeatedly and didn’t see him there either. Hmmmm This time of year we often have a game of musical nests and I was unable to locate him in person.  I will solve the mystery! 

I did see our oldest male back on his nest….21 years old this year! Also saw a 19 year old male back on his nest! Those old ones are so amazing to see again.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024


 Assholes. Steal the ospreys fish, steal the ospreys nest. Opportunists.

I will add a few thoughts here….its interesting that raptors adapt as populations increase. Eagles are typically thought of as “sub canopy” nesters, meaning below the very top of a tree. I am sure many of you have seen their large nests in cottonwood trees, protected by the tree canopy. Ospreys are considered to be “super canopy” nesters, meaning above the tree canopy. They like to be out in the open, in the highest spot. But as populations of both of these birds increase we are seeing some changes as they adapt to living in more populated areas. Tho it’s not that common for an eagle to take over an ospreys nest, it does happen. Osprey nests are also smaller than a typical eagle nest. The nest in this photo is not very big. We also see Great Horned Owls take over Osprey nests, but that is normal for that species. GHOs don’t build their own nests….but eagles usually do. And now, even geese will take an osprey or eagle nest! We have often seen Eagles build a nest NEAR  an osprey nest, and use the osprey nest as a feeding platform, but they haven’t actually laid eggs on the osprey nest. Both species are attracted to the same habitat, where fish are easily available. So these are interesting changes….and we are seeing increased conflicts between these two species as the populations grow. Time will tell if this is a successful strategy for eagles. Ospreys will not be able to dislodge these incubating eagles….as eagles can and do kill ospreys. I will be searching for a new osprey nest to pop up in the area. 

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Woo Hoo!

 I have had the pleasure of reading bands on some of my favorite, older male Ospreys in recent days. You all have heard the story of the male who had a fractured keel and spent a month in rehab before I released him back at his nesting site, only to be attacked by his mate! And yet he persevered in bringing fish to his offspring in spite of her aggression. Well, He is back! WOO HOO! Love that bird. This morning, in the pouring rain, I also saw another older banded male sitting side by side in a tree with his mate, while she ate a fish. Sweet! At yet another nest unfortunately I found a new unbanded male instead of the older banded male who should be there. It’s early, so there is still time for him to return…..fingers crossed. Many more nests to check….we’ve only just begun!

Monday, April 1, 2024

Old friends….

 One of older banded males was identified today! Woo hoo! Waiting for his mate and chasing eagles. He was one of the very first birds back last year too. So reliable.  What a great start to the 2024 osprey season! 

Sunday, March 31, 2024

They’re back!

 Our first ospreys have returned to the metro area this Easter weekend! Right on schedule!