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Bird Watching: Ospreys 2011. Chapter 2. Sitting on eggs.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 23, 2011
5:58 AM

Post #8772526

The 2011 season started early, with our resident Ospreys, Dad and Big Hook mating in June. Over the last couple of weeks, no mating has been observed and both birds have been taking turns in sitting within the nest cup. Pete and Madame X have both observed true brooding behaviour. I took my long lens with teleconverter to the nest this afternoon and shot quite blindly whenever the nest cup was uncovered. To my surprise and delight, I actually captured a photo of one egg. In this shot, Dad Osprey is on the left side of the photo and just by his left leg, there is a brown, speckled egg. Both birds are looking at it. It must have been moved after I took this shot, because I can't see it in any subsequent shots.

The link to the first thread for this season is here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1190091/
This message was edited Aug 23, 2011 7:59 PM

This message was edited Aug 23, 2011 8:02 PM

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 23, 2011
6:10 AM

Post #8772539

Dad had been sitting on the egg, but relinquished the spot to Big Hook when she flew in.

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BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

August 23, 2011
6:12 AM

Post #8772542

How exciting!!
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 23, 2011
6:13 AM

Post #8772545

Big Hook took over the sitting. Dad went and had a bath before returning to the low branch to preen.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 23, 2011
6:18 AM

Post #8772552

It sure is, BeaHive. The more I observe these birds, the more fascinating they become.

After Dad had finished his coif, he went up onto the branch above the nest and dozed and watch Big Hook sitting on the egg for a while. Eventually it became too much for him to bear and he flew down onto the nest and gently manoeuvred Big Hook off the egg and resumed sitting. She is not only much larger than him, she is also much darker. Big Hook is in front.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 23, 2011
6:23 AM

Post #8772558


Big Hook flew down onto the low branch and luxuriated in a pedicure.

I saw Whopper flying by a couple of times. She and Dad did a back and forwards "kik, kik, kik" before she landed on her favourite branch underneath the nest. No photos as the live part of the nest tree is in such heavy foliage. Neither Dad, nor Big Hook were perturbed by her presence. I'd really love to get some shots of her. Madame X sees her regularly in the tree below her place.

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gardenpom
Melbourne, FL

August 23, 2011
6:30 AM

Post #8772568

That's good news, Margaret.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 23, 2011
6:44 AM

Post #8772591

Fingers crossed, GP.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

August 23, 2011
12:07 PM

Post #8773144

YAY!!! We are officially under way for 2011!!!
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

August 23, 2011
12:37 PM

Post #8773192

Great news Margaret! Wonderful photos you have!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 23, 2011
12:38 PM

Post #8773195

Wow, Margaret, just look at the beaming expression of the proud couple on the header photo. Priceless!!!!
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

August 23, 2011
2:22 PM

Post #8773337

It's exciting, to see new action at the nest. what a super Dad he is.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

August 23, 2011
4:48 PM

Post #8773557

Great beginning Margaret!!

We are so fortunate to see through your eyes (and your lens).

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

August 23, 2011
5:42 PM

Post #8773672

I adore that picture of them both looking at the egg. "look what WE did!"
GrannyGrunt
Mount Pleasant Mills, PA
(Zone 5a)

August 24, 2011
4:34 AM

Post #8774171

Wonderful shots Margaret! Ditto what Mrs. Ed said about the proud couple admiring their accomplishment.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 24, 2011
6:28 AM

Post #8774298

Nanny, it's my 4th season watching the activities at this nest, although it's only 3 years. I started watching them on August 22, 2008.

Thanks, Pelle. They're good subjects - when they're on the nest, at least.

Kim, I love seeing them with their heads together, gazing at the egg.

Thanks, Burn. It really is exciting and you're right, Dad is the most gorgeous bird. He's so relaxed and gentle. I think the only time he's ever been seen to show a feisty side was when Pete grabbed photos of him coming in, talons extended, for a poor hapless Darter that had the temerity to land on a branch below the nest.

Hi Dave. Thanks. I never take the privilege for granted. I still marvel at being able to watch them as often as I like, at such close quarters. The timelessness of what I'm seeing sometimes becomes quite overwhelming.

LOL, Mrs Ed. They do look pretty satisfied, don't they? I wasn't able to see the egg/s today.

Thanks, Granny. Every time there's a changing of the guard, or even if the sitting bird changes position, they gaze down it the egg/s.

unsteady
Perth
Australia

August 25, 2011
2:45 AM

Post #8775667

Margaret,
What a great shot of the egg!! I can't beleive it's visible as I'd assumed the cup was too deep. Never seen an egg before and to be hones it's quite beautiful. Let's hope there's more in there. It augers well for the birth(s) if you can see the egg as even when hatched they should be visible. Which teleconverter did you use?
unsteady
Perth
Australia

August 25, 2011
2:54 AM

Post #8775671

Well I've been a bit lazy this year. Last WE I visited the nest a couple of times and wanted to post the following three shots but that evening I was travelling to Taiwan for a couple of days business. I've just got back and walked the dog so thought I'd upload these three before I forget or they're outdated.
It was clear that the birds are now incubating-my wife Sarah walks the dog close by and reported the week before that it looked like eggs might be present. I reckon they could be at least a week now.
Both birds take their turns although I sense Big Hook does the lions share. Here's Big Hook (I think) returning to relieve Pa.

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unsteady
Perth
Australia

August 25, 2011
2:58 AM

Post #8775673

Brakes on, incoming...

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unsteady
Perth
Australia

August 25, 2011
3:00 AM

Post #8775674

Changing of the guard!

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

August 25, 2011
3:01 AM

Post #8775675

Wonderful shots!
unsteady
Perth
Australia

August 25, 2011
3:03 AM

Post #8775676

Wow that was quick - thanks for the comment Pelle. I now have to surrender the computer to a persistent 'child' my son Harry so speak later!
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

August 25, 2011
3:41 AM

Post #8775692

Love all the great photos ,aww looking at the Future ...The Story Begins..YAY

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

August 25, 2011
11:58 AM

Post #8776346

Just love shots with their wings up like that!!
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

August 25, 2011
4:14 PM

Post #8776777

I was just going to say that Nanny, it's fascinating, how large they make the bird look. They look so powerful.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

August 25, 2011
4:23 PM

Post #8776794

Well, you know about great minds and all that...lol!
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

August 25, 2011
4:56 PM

Post #8776864

LOL
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:34 PM

Post #8776914

Hi Pete. I wondered where you'd got to. Great shots. The egg seemed to have been rolled up onto one of the larger branches on the perimeter of the nest cup, because minutes later, when I looked in the same area, it was no longer there. Madame X is sure they've been sitting on an egg or eggs for well over a week.

I used the 2x II teleconverter on the 500mm, but it won't autofocus - neither will the 1.4x. I've contacted Canon to see if they can explain why.

I'll try to get back there again this afternoon. Over the weekend, I might try the trek beyond Madame X's house to see if I can get some shots of Whopper. Did you see or hear her whilst you were there?

From Wednesday afternoon, quite few shots, so bear with me:

Dad arrives with a headless fish for Big Hook, who behaved as if she hadn't had a feed in a fortnight.



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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:35 PM

Post #8776917

Big Hook flies off with the fish and Dad eagerly starts moving towards the nest cup.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:37 PM

Post #8776919

She flew down onto a branch much lower than the "low" branch they both use as a dining platform.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:38 PM

Post #8776920

She stayed there for a couple of minutes, but it was as if she couldn't bear to be away from the nest for too long and flew back up to the nest - with the partially eaten fish.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:41 PM

Post #8776922

She lands, just behind Dad and, still clutching the fish, made gestures that indicated she wanted him to move. He, however, would have none of it and refused to budge.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:43 PM

Post #8776927

She must have left the fish on the nest, because she flew from there up onto the right hand branch, where she wiped her beak a few times before she sort of climbed up to the very top of the branch.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:44 PM

Post #8776931

And there she quietly contemplated her navel.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:47 PM

Post #8776936

From there she flew off, did a couple of tight circuits and flew back to the nest. I am lamenting that just before this shot, I missed what would possibly have been one of the best shots I've ever taken - however, it was irretrievably out of focus.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:48 PM

Post #8776940

She is even more keen to get Dad to move. Initially he held his ground.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:50 PM

Post #8776942

"Maybe if I sit on his head, he'll move"

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:52 PM

Post #8776946

But Dad remains resolute - in the face of a potentially dangerous opponent.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:53 PM

Post #8776950

"OK, then, I'll incubate your head"

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:56 PM

Post #8776959

Her persistence pays off and he eventually capitulates, but decides to rearrange some of the nest cup and tugs at that damned plastic bag. I was hoping the wind would catch it and send it away from the nest, but it didn't.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
5:58 PM

Post #8776966

Shortly after this, Dad flew off to the other side of the river. I followed him and eventually could see him way off in the distance flying around with at least two other Ospreys and a couple of Ravens. The shadow was completely over the nest when I left.

Thanks for looking. Stay tuned for more.

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BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

August 25, 2011
6:01 PM

Post #8776975

Wonderful pics as always!! I just love your story telling along with the fabulous photo's. You should write a book and use your wonderful pics.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 25, 2011
6:25 PM

Post #8777012

BeaHive, I'm first in line to obtain Margaret's book(s). Love, love these new activities. Thanks Margaret for sharing the story with us.
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

August 25, 2011
6:58 PM

Post #8777070

So comical, Love the way you interpret, every action on the nest. You make this very interesting.
GrannyGrunt
Mount Pleasant Mills, PA
(Zone 5a)

August 25, 2011
8:02 PM

Post #8777183

Fantastic shots Margaret. Love the commentaries as well. Big Hook sitting on Dad's head is just too funny. She really is a bossy thing. Sure hope that plastic bag flies away.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 25, 2011
9:43 PM

Post #8777305

Thanks, BeaHive. I'm glad you enjoy the commentary.

Kim, it'll be a short line for the book, I think. You won't need to camp out overnight. LOL

Burn, sometimes their actions just cry out for an anthropomorphic interpretation. I wish I could do talk bubbles.

Wha', thank you GG. I hope the bag makes it's way out of the nest as well. She really made me laugh when she sat on his head - she was so desperate to resume sitting, I don't think she cared what it was. Anyway, it was warm and round.
gardenpom
Melbourne, FL

August 26, 2011
5:11 AM

Post #8777574

Love how much Dad wants to sit on the eggs...too bad she spoiled his time on the nest. Your comment on the missed shot...how many times have we all thought that? So MANY missed shots. I also love the way you tell the story. Thanks, Margaret.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 26, 2011
5:43 AM

Post #8777623

GP, he is such a good mate - and Dad. He clearly relishes being able to sit. Mind you, saying that, he headed off over the other side of the river again this afternoon and I didn't see him return by the time I left, which was just on 5pm.

Really no action this afternoon. It was cloudy and the only reason I stayed on was that there was a troupe of adolescent lads mucking about along the low path and I maintained a warden's vigil to see that they weren't going to try to target the nest.

Once again I saw Whopper flying past way below the nest.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

August 26, 2011
1:09 PM

Post #8778310

I am so curious to if Dad wanting to sit on the eggs is rather usual in general for a male osprey. He truly seems so domestic!! I am so sorry you missed a shot but I love that one!! And I always love the navel inspection shots...makes me laugh...along with sitting on Dad's head!! lol
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

August 26, 2011
1:58 PM

Post #8778396

Margaret, it's always such a treat to see your beautiful photos and catch up on the story. Sorry about the missed shot, but there are so many beautiful ones here. I hated to see that plastic bag too and hope that it won't harm the little ones later on.

Thanks for keeping the vigil on those kids-this osprey pair is very lucky to have you guarding over them.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 26, 2011
4:01 PM

Post #8778565


Nanny, both Ospreys share incubation duties, although the female does the lions share. During the incubation period and when the chicks are being fed, the male catches all the fish and brings them to the female on the nest. So, by necessity, his spells at incubating need to be relatively brief.

Thanks, duc. It's good to have such a vantage point wherever there's possibly mischief or disturbance. Big Hook made a couple of small sounds when they first arrived, but then settled down. I don't think the kids were even aware of the nest - I suppose that's one good thing about the living part of the tree growing at a rate of knots - the birds are pretty well hidden from view.
unsteady
Perth
Australia

August 26, 2011
6:07 PM

Post #8778768

Awesome shots Margaret, even without autofocus you've got very clever with that combo. I'm afraid I'm down south this WE so look forward to follow the goings on. Take care,
Pete
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 26, 2011
6:26 PM

Post #8778792


Thanks, Pete. I envy you going down south. I went to Augusta and Cape Leeuwin for a couple of days recently. It was absolutely beautiful.
Burd_Fotos
Sandusky, OH

August 28, 2011
8:59 PM

Post #8782232

Great shots Margaret and Pete!! Love the thread!
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 29, 2011
4:55 AM

Post #8782522

Thanks, Burd. Good to see you.

We have THREE EGGS! I hadn't even considered this, but Pete has some concerns about the time between laying the first and last eggs. It would be dreadful to have a repeat of the problems we experienced last season. So, cautious optimism at this stage.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 29, 2011
4:56 AM

Post #8782524

And Whopper is still around. Here's Big Hook looking with mild interest as last year's juvenile soars high above.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 29, 2011
4:59 AM

Post #8782529

Dad landed on the nest and he and Big Hook had a discussion about how best to incubate the eggs. It probably won't show up on the downsized image, but I can actually see the white of Big Hook's eye (she's on the right). I've never seen that before. It looks quite odd.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 29, 2011
5:05 AM

Post #8782537

Wow, THREE! My emotion is one that's mixed. Excited with the number of 3 adorable offsprings, but concern too about the unforseen of littlest chick. Keeping fingers and toes crossed for the best. I couldn't help but feel all these mixed feeling Margaret.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 29, 2011
5:19 AM

Post #8782561


Yes, Kim, I know. I hadn't even thought of it until Pete mentioned it, but yes, who could forget last year's events. I still have two little sprigs of lavender taken from the site, in a little vase in memory of the chicks that sadly didn't make it.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

August 29, 2011
3:42 PM

Post #8783622

oh my...3 does cause one to have a mixed bag of emotions, doesn't it! I just try to keep the thought of 1 healthy chick growing up...and if there is more it is a bonus.
GrannyGrunt
Mount Pleasant Mills, PA
(Zone 5a)

August 29, 2011
7:02 PM

Post #8783991

We will all send good thoughts for three healthy chicks. Sure wish that darned plastic bag would blow away! Human clutter!!

As usual, wonderful pictures Margaret.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 29, 2011
8:03 PM

Post #8784147

Multiple chicks would be wonderful to see. This is my 4th season watching this nest and only one each year has survived beyond very early chickhood.

It's cloudy and we're expecting rain over the next few days, but if there are any fine periods during the late afternoon, I'll head down there.

Four dolphins passing below the nest a few days ago. There's a young one there. You can understand why it's no hardship to spend hours there.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

August 30, 2011
7:12 AM

Post #8784783

Love seeing the dolphins! Thanks Margaret!
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 30, 2011
7:16 AM

Post #8784790


Hi Pelle. They are a real treat. I often see them a little farther out, but this time, they were passing directly below the nest. the brown blurry thing in the photo is one of the branches supporting the nest.
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

August 30, 2011
12:23 PM

Post #8785237

Maybe if we all think positive thoughts we'll get lucky and all three chicks will survive. More wonderful photos. I don't know why you worry about that autofocus, you sure don't need it.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 30, 2011
1:09 PM

Post #8785316

Positive thoughts are being sent all the way yonder.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

August 30, 2011
2:08 PM

Post #8785403

Gosh, ospreys and dolphins...don't know if I would ever go home...lol!

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

August 30, 2011
4:44 PM

Post #8785653

Hope all will be well & the plastic bag disappears.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

August 31, 2011
7:19 AM

Post #8786651

Duc, you're far too kind. The manual focus is fine, providing the subject is relatively stationary. I wouldn't have a snowball's chance of getting a flight shot with manual focus and I have the greatest admiration for those who can.

Thanks for the positive thoughts, Kim. Here's hoping for the best possible outcome.

nanny, I really have to force myself to leave there every time I visit. It is a truly beautiful place.

Thanks, IrisMA. It looks like the plastic bag is making its way out of the centre of the nest.

Very little action this afternoon. This Rainbow Lorikeet had been crawling around right under the nest. It then started making its way up the side of the nest. Shortly after I took this shot, the Lorikeet obviously saw Big Hook sitting on the nest as it climbed close to the rim. It shrieked and flew off, its feathers standing on end.


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irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

August 31, 2011
7:20 AM

Post #8786654

What did the silly bird expect with a large nest?

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 31, 2011
7:56 AM

Post #8786718

The silly Lorikeet sure is funny. Likes a little kid curiosity got the best of its manner.
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

August 31, 2011
3:56 PM

Post #8787470

That Lorikeet sure makes a colorful addition to the nesting materials. I can imagine the surprise when it saw mom in the nest. I wish Big Hook would throw that plastic out though.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 4, 2011
5:12 AM

Post #8792361

I could have kicked myself for not being quick enough to get a shot of the lorikeet when it saw Big Hook.

When I arrived at the nest this afternoon, Dad was happily sitting on the eggs. Big Hook arrived and landed on the pole branch and quietly watched until Dad started making his gentle "kek kek" sounds. This was obviously a signal to Big Hook that it was her turn, and as he moved off the eggs, as she became instantly focussed on the nest.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 4, 2011
5:14 AM

Post #8792364

She readied herself for flight over to the nest.




This message was edited Sep 4, 2011 7:14 PM

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 4, 2011
5:15 AM

Post #8792366

..

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 4, 2011
5:18 AM

Post #8792367

She went over to the eggs and settled straight down on top of them. A few minutes later, she got up, rearranged some nesting material and then gently pulled the eggs towards her, before covering them with her "brood patch".

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 4, 2011
5:20 AM

Post #8792369

There was no other activity on the nest today. I did, however, see Whopper, who is now eleven months old. She never attempts to land on the nest or any of the branches leading out from it, although a couple of weeks ago she was on her favourite branch underneath the nest. Both adult birds communicate with her, but they are not the least bit concerned by her presence.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 4, 2011
6:00 AM

Post #8792408

Awesome pics. of Big Hook, Margaret. It's heart warming to follow your story and observe the interaction of the two adult birds. And the juvie Whopper, wow she's 11 months old already!
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 4, 2011
6:13 AM

Post #8792418


Yes, and still around and showing no signs of wanting to leave home.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 4, 2011
6:56 AM

Post #8792462

Perhaps, "Home is where the heart is." rings true in Whopper's case. Maybe she's wanted to attend college locally while hanging around ma and pa. lol
gardenpom
Melbourne, FL

September 4, 2011
7:26 AM

Post #8792495

Really terrific pics, Margaret. It amazes me how lovingly they take care of the eggs, and then the chicks when they hatch...but later, when bullying starts, never interfere.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 4, 2011
7:03 PM

Post #8793470


Thanks, GP. You're right about care of the eggs and chicks. Their lack of interest when the bullying was taking place was a little disconcerting. What really amazed me was that after she had sent that poor little chick flying to the edge of the nest, it was as if it had ceased to exist from that moment. Even when Dad returned to the nest minutes after it happened, although the chick was in full view, he didn't even glance at it. Watching these birds is such an education. I've come to the conclusion that ospreys have little sense of fun, unlike ravens, parrots and magpies, who are always up for a good time.
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

September 4, 2011
7:33 PM

Post #8793499

I'm glad to hear that Whopper is doing fine and is not being a threat to the nest. I'm anxiously waiting to see, if the three eggs will hatc
Wonderful photos, along with the story, always a joy to read.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 4, 2011
7:40 PM

Post #8793511


Burn, I'm really interested in seeing just how long Whopper is around. Aussie and Harmony were well and truly gone by the beginning of May. Madame X and Pete have observed similar departure dates in the years prior to Aussie and Harmony. This is Pete's 7th or 8th year observing and photographing this nest.
GrannyGrunt
Mount Pleasant Mills, PA
(Zone 5a)

September 6, 2011
4:03 PM

Post #8796527

Thanks for the wonderful pictures Margaret. These birds are so magnificent!
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 6, 2011
7:30 PM

Post #8796813


It's my pleasure, GG. I plan to go down there this afternoon to see what's happening.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 7, 2011
5:07 AM

Post #8797194

From the nest this afternoon. Three eggs still clearly visible. Big Hook was on the eggs the entire time. It was a windy day, which stimulates ospreys into flight. Dad came and went several times. He tried to move his mate off the eggs so he could sit for a while, but she gently resisted his efforts.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 7, 2011
5:13 AM

Post #8797203

At one stage he flew off to the other side of the river. I lost sight of him and thought I'd occupy myself by seeing if there was any activity at the other nest, about a kilometre away. I could see an osprey being harassed by a raven (see pic). The osprey landed towards the top of the Norfolk Island Pine where the other nest is and it then took off. I followed it and it turned out to be Dad, who returned to land on "our" nest. I've been to watch the other nest a few times (this is the nest where the male was rehabilitated and released several months ago). I often see an osprey there, but it's really hard to tell if it's male or female and I haven't seen two birds together there, so am not sure if the nest is active this season.

Oh, the nest is in the Norfolk Pine, the top of which is at the bottom centre of this photo.

This message was edited Sep 7, 2011 7:15 PM

This message was edited Sep 7, 2011 7:15 PM

Thumbnail by MargaretK
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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 7, 2011
5:16 AM

Post #8797206

Dad and Big Hook. What a beautiful pair they are.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 7, 2011
5:17 AM

Post #8797208

Dad coming back to the nest.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 7, 2011
5:18 AM

Post #8797210


Someone on the embankment below getting an intense stare.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

GrannyGrunt
Mount Pleasant Mills, PA
(Zone 5a)

September 7, 2011
5:22 AM

Post #8797299

Wow! Love the shot of the two of them together.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 7, 2011
5:43 AM

Post #8797336

Such beautiful pair! Thank you Margaret for the update. It takes some time for the rehab. male Osprey to re-establishing his nest, doesn't it? Hope all goes well with him.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

September 7, 2011
10:28 AM

Post #8797672

Beautiful shots Margaret!
They are both looking gorgeous!

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

September 7, 2011
2:12 PM

Post #8797936

Fantastic shot showing the 3 eggs and I love the "Intense Stare" shot!
gardenpom
Melbourne, FL

September 8, 2011
3:55 AM

Post #8798708

When can we expect the patter of little feet, Margaret?
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 8, 2011
5:07 AM

Post #8798760

They are a beautiful pair, GG and Pelle. If I upgrade my camera, which I'll need to reasonably soon, because this one is showing its age, I'll get one that takes video.

Nanny, each day I arrive at the site, I get a quick glance. It's wonderful to see their reactions to other people. The person on the embankment yesterday was there specifically to see the ospreys.

GP, I'm not sure exactly when the eggs were laid, but it must be three weeks by now. Ospreys lay eggs anywhere between 1 and 4 days apart, although it seems that there would be a greater chance of all hatchlings surviving if the eggs are laid 1-2 days apart. As we saw last season, 4 days gives the older chick a great advantage. The eggs hatch at approximately 40 days, so we have a way to go yet.

Dad was on the nest when I got there this afternoon. Big Hook was on the pole branch, preening, and had obviously had a bath. No pix as the pole branch was in full shadow. She flew off and came back and landed on the nest. She approached Dad and asked him to move, but he was having none of that. He was perfectly contented where he was.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 8, 2011
5:09 AM

Post #8798766


"Well, maybe if I just put this stick on top of you, you'll move"

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 8, 2011
5:10 AM

Post #8798769

"OK then, what if I just give you a slight nudge with it"

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 8, 2011
5:11 AM

Post #8798777


"Alrighty, then. Time to get out the big ammo"

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 8, 2011
5:12 AM

Post #8798779

Round one, Big Hook.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 8, 2011
5:19 AM

Post #8798794

She finally won? LOL that's too funny.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 8, 2011
5:38 AM

Post #8798816


It was so funny, Kim. Not a scrap of malice, she just wanted to sit on those eggs and that was the only way she could get him to move.
BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

September 8, 2011
5:45 AM

Post #8798825

Big Hook is great!! You go girl !! I do feel sorry for Dad..he is trying so hard this year. . Wonderful pictures Margaret. So glad you are there to capture all this for us. Thanks

This message was edited Sep 8, 2011 7:10 AM
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 8, 2011
6:19 AM

Post #8798874


Hi BeaHive. He is such a darling. He really relishes his role. How's the pond?
BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

September 8, 2011
7:13 AM

Post #8798933

The pond is great. The Koi are enjoying their summer swimming and I have lots of local birds enjoying their bath time splashing in the stream. Still waiting for some frogs to show up. Hope they do as I miss them.
gardenpom
Melbourne, FL

September 8, 2011
5:05 PM

Post #8799683

They each sure seem to enjoy laying on those eggs. If we are halfway through, babies could come the first week of October.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 8, 2011
5:23 PM

Post #8799723


GP, the first chick hatched on the 2nd October last year. Yesterday, I actually went through my photos from when one chick was sent flying to the edge of the nest last year, to see if I could tell which one had perished, but I'd deleted them all, so no way of telling if Whopper was the first or second hatchling.
GrannyGrunt
Mount Pleasant Mills, PA
(Zone 5a)

September 9, 2011
6:35 AM

Post #8800385

What great parents; dad sure wants to help! These pictures are wonderful and the commentary attached to each is just too funny.
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

September 11, 2011
7:48 AM

Post #8803362

These great photos of mom and dad sure show how loving this pair are. Great job Margaret!
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 11, 2011
11:44 PM

Post #8804500

Glad you enjoy the commentary, GG.

Thanks, duc. It's so lovely to see the two of them interacting.

Dad Osprey, always the gentleman, selected his own stick to give to Big Hook just a few seconds after she landed next to him yesterday afternoon.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 11, 2011
11:46 PM

Post #8804502


"Here you are, dear"

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 11, 2011
11:47 PM

Post #8804505

"Thanks, darling"

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 11, 2011
11:49 PM

Post #8804506

"There, that looks lovely."

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 11, 2011
11:51 PM

Post #8804508


It was, in fact, Big Hook's unique way of getting her mate to get off the eggs. I think he was happy enough to do so yesterday, as it was quite warm and he had been sitting there, beak open, panting. He flew down onto the low branch and watched the activity on the river and preened himself.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 11, 2011
11:52 PM

Post #8804509


Last one for now, just because he's so beautiful and the light was to die for.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pelletory
Marlton, NJ

September 12, 2011
6:26 AM

Post #8804779

Wow he is gorgeous!!! Wonderful pics Margaret!
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

September 12, 2011
7:10 AM

Post #8804857

Oh Margaret, that last shot of dad is absolutely perfect! He's such a sweet guy to be helping out mom.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2011
12:45 PM

Post #8805326

He is quite the looker!!
GrannyGrunt
Mount Pleasant Mills, PA
(Zone 5a)

September 12, 2011
2:59 PM

Post #8805521

Wow, he is a handsome fella!
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

September 12, 2011
8:16 PM

Post #8806056

Gorgeous shot of Dad!!! Your right about the lighting.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 13, 2011
12:12 AM

Post #8806240

He really is a beautiful bird.

Yesterday afternoon, Big Hook was sitting on the eggs when I arrived. Dad arrived with a headless fish for her, which she eagerly relieved him of and took it to their favoured branch outside Madame X's place. It normally takes them half an hour to 45 minutes to eat a fish, but only 10 minutes later she flew over the top of me, about 15 feet above my head. I have a vivid picture in my mind of a very large, dark shape flying over. I've never seen any of the ospreys leave via this route before. There had been no sound which would indicate that a raven had harassed her into dropping the fish, but clearly she had. She landed on the pole branch and looked in apparent bewilderment at her feet and I fancied her thinking: "Well, it was there a minute ago."


Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 13, 2011
12:14 AM

Post #8806241

She flew off, but returned to the nest a couple of minutes later.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 13, 2011
12:23 AM

Post #8806243


Dad vacated the spot and Big Hook quietly settled back onto the eggs. He flew off and was back after only a few minutes with another fish, which he then took to the same branch where Big Hook had accidentally let her meal slip out of her talons. What was a trifle odd about this was that he would not normally go and catch two fish within 20 minutes (or thereabouts). She hadn't pleaded with him for another one, but he knew that her appetite hadn't been satisfied and acted to remedy the situation. The nest was quickly swallowed by the shadow that you can see creeping up from the bottom right, so no more pix from yesterday.


Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

September 13, 2011
7:18 AM

Post #8806522

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we humans could be that thoughtful of our loved ones????
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

September 13, 2011
12:11 PM

Post #8806878

I agree Nanny. Humans sure could learn some things from the birds. What a great mate Big Hook has chosen. Margaret, you are lucky mom didn't drop that fish on your head-lol!
Burd_Fotos
Sandusky, OH

September 15, 2011
10:54 PM

Post #8810496

Wonderful shots Margaret! Dad and Big Hook look great! Your right Duc...humans could learn a lot from bird's.
GrannyGrunt
Mount Pleasant Mills, PA
(Zone 5a)

September 16, 2011
7:06 PM

Post #8811638

Great pictures Margaret. Good thing Big Hook did not deposit anything else on your head either!! LOL

If humans behaved more in the manner of birds and animals, what a wonderful world this would be!
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 17, 2011
4:26 AM

Post #8811930


You're all right about how humans treat each other - and animals. It really gets up my nose when there's a comment such as: "They were behaving like animals" to describe some aberrant human behaviour. Animals don't act that way. With rare exceptions, animals kill to eat, not to purposefully inflict terror and harm upon other creatures.

Duc, if she did drop the fish on my head, at least it would be fresh.

GG, it wouldn't have been the first time I've had a gift from a bird deposited on my head. Some cultures believe it's good luck. I must be the luckiest person on earth.

I went to the nest yesterday afternoon, but there was no action. Big Hook was on the nest and I wasn't in a position to see the eggs when she moved position. Dad was quietly standing on the low branch. We're expecting storms tomorrow and then showers all week. I'll head down there if there are breaks in the weather, but otherwise it may be another week before an update.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 17, 2011
7:04 AM

Post #8812039

I used to work in the loop in Chicago. One morning I had purchased my big cup of Iced Tea and was waiting to cross the street at an intersection under the "L". I felt this big plop. Yep. Pigeon poo in my hair. ewwwwww.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 17, 2011
7:21 AM

Post #8812050


And I'll bet you had a great day after that. See, good luck.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 17, 2011
7:32 AM

Post #8812061

LOL, you are having much too much fun. Those birds interaction are priceless, Margaret. How heart- warming to watch their activities. It's also heart-breaking to witness their losses. Positive thought for the 3 eggs this season. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have triplet?
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 17, 2011
7:45 AM

Post #8812078


Kim, it would be amazing. Pete has seen two chicks successfully reared on this nest. This will be Big Hook's third year and hopefully she won't be quite as clumsy and inexpert. I'm convinced she is still a young bird.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 17, 2011
9:02 AM

Post #8812178

THIRD year. wow. time flies

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

September 17, 2011
2:16 PM

Post #8812432

[quote="Mrs_Ed"]THIRD year. wow. time flies
[/quote]

My...it really does!!!
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

September 18, 2011
8:18 PM

Post #8814176

The date is getting closer for the hatching of the eggs, I can't wait to see them.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 18, 2011
11:54 PM

Post #8814325

I find it hard to believe this is her third year, too. For no real reason, Madam X, Pete and I have always thought that Big Hook is a young bird and I was never more convinced than the other day. A large yacht with a very tall mast went by just below the nest and Big Hook almost hunkered down. Dad was totally unmoved. Big Hook is on the left in this photo.

Burn, last year, the first egg was laid on August 22nd and the first chick hatched on October 2nd. This year, there was one egg visible on August 23rd - it may have been laid before then. Three eggs were seen on the 29th. So I reckon we've still another couple of weeks until hatching begins.

I can't get to the nest again this afternoon because of rain.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 18, 2011
11:56 PM

Post #8814327


"Did you see the size of that?"


Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 19, 2011
5:26 AM

Post #8814499

[quote="MargaretK"]
"Did you see the size of that?"

[/quote]

"Awww, it's nuthing hon. It's just a silly vessel". I can hear her mate reply. lol She's apparently showing signs of being inexperienced and young. Margaret.




burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

September 20, 2011
7:14 PM

Post #8816993

Wow, that was a tall one!!! It looks as though, it could have knock down that nest, from that view point.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 20, 2011
7:24 PM

Post #8817010

It really was a tall one, Burn.

Rain persists here. I took this screen capture of the radar picture a short time ago. I hope it clears a bit by this afternoon. I'm having withdrawals.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

GrannyGrunt
Mount Pleasant Mills, PA
(Zone 5a)

September 21, 2011
5:47 AM

Post #8817431

"Withdrawals" from what?
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 21, 2011
6:21 AM

Post #8817474


Ha ha. Ospreys, GG, Ospreys. I haven't been there for five days.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 21, 2011
6:59 AM

Post #8817506

I just love it. Margaret, what's a marvelous addiction!
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 21, 2011
7:13 AM

Post #8817526


There could be worse ones, eh, Kim? Like chocolate, or icecream, or ...

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 21, 2011
7:24 AM

Post #8817536

...or ...
GrannyGrunt
Mount Pleasant Mills, PA
(Zone 5a)

September 21, 2011
7:52 AM

Post #8817575

...or potato chips--
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 22, 2011
2:25 AM

Post #8818919


I'll finish this thread off, now. To read the latest on this family, come on over here. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1221447/

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