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Thread subject: are we sure that first bird was betty?
Name Date Message
karen 03/20/05 01:31 pm I have been reviewing the clip from 05 and he archived still photos from 04 and the bird that landed on mar 18 has a mostly white head with a small black marking that is oval with a little poit up on the top side very tidy mark but betty markings on the back of the head appear more irregular. Meanwhile it is so sad to see dennis keep looking around while he fixes the nest.
Tiger 03/20/05 02:04 pm I have studied the evidence again and I am not sure that osprey was Betty. The black mark on the head seems smaller than that on Betty's head. But then the markings seem to vary a bit.

Unfortunately one cannot see the left wing otherwise that might show the two white patches on Betty's wing.

However Betty does have a a colourful feather in her tail as does our transient visitor!
karen 03/20/05 04:26 pm Thanks for checking ... I did not know to look at the wings or tailfeathers ...
RonS 03/20/05 05:03 pm I just posted this obs:
It looks like Betty on the nest; I saw shoulder stripes, a couple of white feathers in the tail and the irregular head marking. She fussed with a some twigs, looked around a bit and them left after about two minutes.
RonS 03/20/05 05:09 pm My follow up obs:
And now I'm not sure it was Betty. The bird returned, faced the camera and displayed a pure white breast. No necklace = no Betty.
As others have hinted at in their speculation, are ae faced with the Flying Fickle Female syndrom of birdom??? ;-o
Mickey 03/20/05 05:20 pm Ron.......the bird we`ve all been observing today is a male. Im beginning to have very sad feelings that maybe Betty didnt survive the last 6 months away from the DPOF nest. If she were up here she would be with Dennis.Watching him the past 2 days....watching him get things ready.....Looking up into the sky......for his mate.....its just so.........



:(
Tiger 03/20/05 05:24 pm Just because Betty is not here does not mean she is dead. There were very bad storms in the south a week ago. These could easily delay an osprey.

Better not write her off yet.

In the meantime any thoughts on the osprey that did put in an appearance on 18th March?

Tiger 03/20/05 05:31 pm Ron the feather that I was referring to in Betty's tail is the one whose spine is colourful. It sort of shimmers with colour in the way oil does on water (the name of the phenoma escapes me). I have never noticed it before so I have no way of judging whether it is common or not!

Marie 03/20/05 05:37 pm I am going to stick my neck out on this one and suggest that it could have been one of Betty and Dennis's off spring from previous yesars. IE Freedom or Liberty or even the 2002 young osprey. Did we establish that Liberty and Freedom were one male and one female? Since osprey are known to return to their natal nest areas, and it is usually males that stick around, could this have been a male dispite the ???minimal necklace seen by you Tiger and others. I have seen a pair of osprey together and the male did have a minimal necklace rather than an all white breast. There are exceptions to the rule re. males and females, although I think females generally have a much more pronounced necklace.
Tiger 03/20/05 05:41 pm Marie how about going and studying the video of it!

The reality is that I did not see any neclace as the bird never turned to face us. That as I first suggested was my imagination.
Mickey 03/20/05 05:54 pm The bottom line is after 2 days if it was Betty she would have been back at the nest with Dennis helping out.
RonS 03/20/05 05:58 pm Thanks, Tiger. The fact is that I have never really been able to observe good color on this cam. I've always been surprised at the archived stills, they are much more colorful that the streaming video I see. With that background, I'm not a good obvserver of shimmering hues. And right now, after being down a bit, the cam picture I getting appears quite fuzzy. :-(
Marie 03/20/05 06:13 pm Eye I Captain.........
I have just reviewed the video x 2 and looked at last years mating sequence and unwanted guest video and I would say that THE first BIRD on the video from 2005 is NOT Betty.She didn't fuss with the nest in any way if I recall. Might need to check that out again.....Her head markings are very different to Bettys of last year, however we know that most birds molt at least twice in a year so feather colours and markings could well be somewhat different as the new ones come in. The second bird on this video that flew into the nest was presumably Dennis, for he fussed with the nest as if it was his. He had a lot of white in his RT. wing feathers this year which I didn't notice last year. So the plot thickens......
Tiger 03/20/05 06:21 pm Marie you are right that the first osprey did not do anything to the nest. It sort of landed, stood a while and flew away again.

You would have imagined that if it was Betty she would have walked around a bit just to check if she was really home!
Marie 03/20/05 06:25 pm I have just checked the video again and you are right.....she doesn't attempt to touch the nest......she almost appears to be constantly on the watch out for the rightful owners.( like a child doing something naughty and waiting to be caught) and off she flew ......
It took Dennis 15-20 secs only before he started to move the furniture around....nope.......I would say this is NOT BETTY!
DaveS 03/21/05 08:15 am Another possibility is that the male we have been watching is not the same one from the past 2 seasons. I still think the first bird is the female returning, but alone. Since there was no mate, she didn’t stick around. I have been comparing the markings on the male with last years and they just aren’t lining up. Also, this bird has been acting very different than the prior one; it has been testing the nest bowl often and seems nervous at times. The male from the last 2 years tested the nest only once or twice. Also, there has been no female sighted since the male started fixing the nest. Well, I haven’t been to the site since we put the camera up, so I don’t know what is happening off camera. We shall see.
Tiger 03/21/05 08:26 am Dave it had occured to me, before you suggested it, that this bird might not be Dennis. He seems to have so much white on him.

karen 03/21/05 09:36 am so many choices !!! aghhh!! whoever these birds are I hope we get a mated pair this year .... the fact that the first bird did nothing to the nest does seem to be a good indicator that it was not one of last years birds ...
Marie 03/21/05 11:13 am Thanks Dave for your ideas on the subject. I guess the only thing we can do is be patient and wait. Perhaps our two 'STARS' aren't going to make it back at all for we have no idea of their age. Also there were so many bad hurricanes last fall on the east coast when these birds were headed out on their migration, that their survival wasn't an assured thing. It would be nieve to think that all species of bird got to their wintering grounds without some loss in these kind of storms. I think Tiger has posted info on migrating ospreys from Scotland/Rutland and Sweden that perish in storms on their way to Africa. A most unpleasant fact of bird watching. Still we can be ever hopeful that a pair will decide this nest is the perfect home for a new generation of osprey to spring forth.

Copyright © 2006 DPOF

Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006