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Thread subject: OSPREY reality check
Name Date Message
Marie 07/03/05 12:00 am 1) Ospreys do defend their nest.
I watched the male take on three Ravens this afternoon out at the Rec center ball park. He fought with them and won. Returning to the nest to console the female who was calling anxiously from time to time he made some very interesting sounds. Perhaps he was winded from his efforts with the ravens but his voice was certainly different sounding. Unusual call .Can't say I had heard this sound before. The chicks here are very small stiil so I can't see then at all in the nest but when the fish comes in I hear her soft calls and she is feeding chicks.This male stays in this nest usually to ensure his offspring are being fed properly?? I guess some females could be greedy and not give enough to their chicks, depending on the age of the female, and breeding experience I suppose. Just a thought. I have no idea if this occurs.
2) The male osprey can arrive at the nest with a fish with its head still on.
I saw that today. The female rejected it so the male flew off to the trees with the fish where he devoured the head and returned to the nest in short order. At that point she was willing to take it from him and then started to feed the chicks.
3)Females do take breaks even when the male is not in sight.
I saw the female go off and stretch her wings today for five minutes but she was within sight of her nest at all times. Yesterday the female at the other ball park flew out of her nest and sat on another light pole for 45 mins. Her chicks are much bigger at this nest site and remained sleeping. I didn't see them until she flew back into the nest later. She actually watched four youths practicing base ball while she was away from the nest. Even the high balls didn't seem to spook her.
Interestingly a male osprey flew over her while she was on the pole carrying a large fish yesterday and she didn't utter a sound. It was as if she knew it wasn't her mate so she kept quiet. That osprey just flew on, to who knows where. Perhaps it is a nest site I haven't found yet. Or could it be an non breeding osprey who just happened to land a big fish. What was really interestig yesterday was that this female once back in the nest started a few begging calls. Nothing loud and abnoxious. An osprey answered her from the trees. It took me ages to discover where he was. He was well hidden in the firs. Finally he came out carrying some fish. He landed in the nest but she didn't seem to want to take it. She and he were looking around constantly as if this male osprey wasn't the MATE. Something suggested that it wasn't quite right. It took some time before she took the fish and started to feed the chicks. Maybe my vivid imagination is working here.......perhaps it was a lover from the early spring before her mate had arrived. I like to think so...... ;-)
I didn't stick around to see what went on later...but perhaps I should have.
Pair bonding isn't quite as simple as we think it is.
Tiger has given us plenty of info from Scotland/Rutland to suggest that infidelity does go on. It would appear that nothing is going on at the middle osprey nest. Everytime I go past this nest out on a pilon I don't see any osprey there. Too bad!
Pam 07/03/05 04:32 am I wonder if the female prefers a headless fish because it is easier to get straight in to the good bits inside without having to break through the skin etc. before feeding the chicks.
Celeste 07/03/05 05:06 am It is nice to know what we "think" might be happening around our nest, when we watch "our" nest site inside only
And, yes, I have read that when a female is begging for a meal, the bachelors in the area will offer her a fish. I particularly enjoyed hearing how the female "sent back" the fish to be "beheaded.
And yes, Pam, the head is removed so that the female can easily tear the fish for her chicks, particularly if they are very young. Only once this season I have observed a fish brought in with its head intact, if I recall correctly, I believe it was when we suspected Betty caught her own fish.
Nancy L 07/03/05 09:56 am It seems to me that we've had quite a few observatins of Dennis bringing complete fish to the nest this year.
Mickey 07/03/05 03:37 pm we have Nancy. quite a few.
Tiger 07/03/05 06:09 pm Yes Marie we seem to have built up quite a database of infedility in ospreys. The most spectacular case seems to involve 8(97) at Rutland Water. This bird is famous for never being able to find a stable mate. Yet this year it was determined that a female has turned up on each of the last four years to tease him for a few weeks before flying off presumably to rear chicks elsewhere with her normal partner.

Marie 07/03/05 07:19 pm LOL, I love YOUR stories TIGER.......
Must try to find some real infidelity activities among the ospreys I watch....
I could then write a soap opera.
Got a couple of PICS of the ospreys male bringing in fish with their HEADS still on.
Must figure how I can show them over the next few days. Perhaps send them to Pam again. She loves to do pic shows! ;-)) LOL

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006