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Thread subject: RWBB and Betty....
Name Date Message
Shelley 06/18/05 10:53 am Honestly, if osprey can catch a fish swimming swiftly in its own element, would it be so difficult for them to catch and take out a much smaller bird at close range? A low-flying, annoying RWBB, for example?


I think it is only a matter of time before Betty stands up in the nest, stretches, yawns widely and intercepts this obnoxious neighbour, once and for all.... Doesn't it realize that there are now 3 birds (4, when Dennis shows up) in the nest which are at least double its size?????
Celeste 06/18/05 11:27 am I really think the RW thinks its an osprey, and it is securing "its" territory, which happens to be the "real" osprey's nest! On a more serious note, the RW must have it's own nest nearby and it is defending it's territory, in which the osprey nest seems to be in....perhaps the RW's nest is one of the condo's below......
Marie 06/18/05 11:35 am Yes Shelley, Osprey do eat small birds. Since this family haven't had any brkfst this morning that I am aware from the OBS the hunger scale is rising so this RWBB could be in danger if it keeps upo these dive bombing raids.
The rwbb mate must be incubatingbelow in the reeds close by because if he had a family himself he is suppose to help tend them with the female. Otherwise this RWBB hasn't found a mate which would be interesting. I like your idea Celeste. This RWBB thinks he is an osprey!
Shelley 06/18/05 11:39 am Agreed. But doesn't it realize the size difference between it and the osprey? Is it excessively brave and bold or just stupid? It's one thing to defend territory against a threat but since the osprey are so well established, and since they are fairly passive in their own nest and not dive bombing the RWBB, or bothering it in any aggressive manner, it amazes me that the RWBB continues to be the aggressor!
Marie 06/18/05 12:31 pm Not sure how I could answer that. I see the same sort of thing happening when an eagle has caught a gull . It then gets mobbed by crows which are so much smaller than an eagle, They even seem to attck the eagle on the back. Their bravado seems in excess of sence, Even the gull popualtion mob the eagle and get so very close to rthe eagles knowing full well the eagle has just killed one of them. One wonders about intelligence here in this situation. BIRD BRAIN might ring true in certain situations.
Matt 06/18/05 09:53 pm Today in Sunken Meadow, I watched a RWBB hit the back of the female Osprey. One thing that the RWBB has is no fear, regardless of the size or species, including humans. One had buzzed us while kayaking down the Peconic. It would have been so easy to grab it or hit it (of course we didn't, we got out of its way), but that didn't seem to deter him from defending his territory. However I never witnessed one attacking a falcon or an eagle, or even a redtail. All three plus the Osprey could just turn around and grab that little bird and teach it a lesson.

I think that they go after those who do not retaliate. And one thing I have seen Osprey do is not really fight much, unless two males are fighting over a female and/or a nesting place. They are able to defend themselves but rarely have I ever seen them aggressive. They appear to be a more peaceful bird, flying away rather than fighting (excluding mate/nest fights). I have gotten quite close to a few nests and never had an Osprey dive bomb me or anything in that manner. All they ever did was circle around and not land back on the nest until I got away from it.

Mind you this is all on Long Island that I have observed this. I'm not sure if in other areas that Osprey are the aggressors. Though if they are, I don't hear anything about it.
Celeste 06/19/05 06:54 am Osprey are know to be very tolerant bird towards humans and birds....which explains how they have adapted to changes in their enviornment by building their nests in some of the places they do...like on Sunrise Highway....Osprey will even defer to an Eagle, as Eagles love to steal osprey's fish after they have done all the work in catching it. I think that is what makes this raptor so interesting and special....for millions of years, they have tolerated and adapted to all kinds of conditions.
Tiger 06/19/05 07:41 am Oh Celeste talking of fish stealing we were treated to some marvellous examples of this on Springwatch last week on the BBC.

The puffins go out and do the hard work of catching the sand eels and then it gets mugged by gulls on the way home. Some gulls just hassle the puffin hoping it will let go but some of the bigger gulls literally throw the puffin over its shoulder and make it release the eels that way. Yes it seems that in the natural world robbery with violence does pay.

I also saw a sea eagle rob an osprey of its catch somewhere too.
Shelley 06/19/05 08:25 am I LOVE puffins! They are truly amazing creatures! So tiny but feisty! Off the coast of Nova Scotia, there is a place called Puffin Island. Many years ago, I went out on a boat tour to watch them. Now, you have to appreciate how much I love them and wanted to see them because I am a MAJOR water phobic and generally NEVER go on boats! Unfortunately, I don't have any photos but the pictures in my head are still vivid!

Copyright © 2006 DPOF

Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006