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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Winter "Residents" Slowly Returning

Every winter since our first in 2003, we have watched a pair of Osprey.  In February of 2003 they built their first nest (as far as we could tell).  They both spent days and days bringing large twigs and pieces of plant life weaving a huge nest VERY high on the cell tower across the bay from us.

In 2004 they raised their second family in the same nest while we watched through binoculars.

In January 2005, after the hurricanes of September 2004, they rebuilt the nest and raised another family.

In 2006, a pair of Great Horned Owls grabbed the nest before the osprey could defend it and we watched a family of owls hatch, grow and fledge from the nest.  The owls never returned and in 2007 through 2012 the Osprey successfully raised two young each winter.

The Osprey have been here and nesting every year before we arrive (in January),  This year a family situation has us in Florida in October...a whole new ball game.  The first week we saw NO BIRDS!  None at all!!!  In the second week we started to see an occasional early migratory bird or three.  This included ONE Osprey.  The one Osprey flew once or twice near the nest but seemed busy fishing in our lake.

Osprey Pair at the Nest--can you see BOTH birds?

Finally, today, I saw both birds flying together and "screaming" (not as annoying as it sounds).  I took a few photos but it was hard to focus on them.  They went to the nest and flew around it.  Then I saw the female flip over and sort-of fly upside-down under the male and I knew they were mating.  I assume when we return in January there will be a nest of babies for us to watch again.


Greenfingers said...

Thanks for this interesting post LL- I showed it to DH. I can't actually see a nest in your photo. Do they refurbish each year?

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Gabby Faye
Michigan, United States
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