Saturday, April 19, 2014
I am just getting around to posting about the Osprey this year. They typically fly in from the south during the second week of March. After arrival, it takes them about a week to settle in. Then the pair begin to tidy up and rebuild the nest. By late March the mating ritual has begun (I missed that this year as Donna and I were away). While both birds are active in the nest building (here the male is placing a stick under his mates watchful eye), my observation is that the male usually brings in the bigger sticks while the female tends to stay closer to the nest and bring smaller sticks and fluffy material (straw, etc.) for lining.
Forked sticks present a challenge to arrange. It may take a couple of days to place one to their satisfaction. Here the female is working on a forked stick. It is impressive how large of a stick they can carry. I have seen the male fly in sticks easily six feet long and 2 inches in diameter. I have seen both birds work together to place a particularly difficult stick. Within a couple of weeks they have built up their nest 8 to 10 inched higher.