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Ospreys 2011. Chapter 2. Sitting on eggs.

PERTH, Australia

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

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

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

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Dallas, OR(Zone 8a)

How exciting!!

PERTH, Australia

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

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

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.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia


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.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Melbourne, FL

That's good news, Margaret.

PERTH, Australia

Fingers crossed, GP.

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

YAY!!! We are officially under way for 2011!!!

Marlton, NJ

Great news Margaret! Wonderful photos you have!

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Wow, Margaret, just look at the beaming expression of the proud couple on the header photo. Priceless!!!!

Grand-Falls, NB(Zone 4a)

It's exciting, to see new action at the nest. what a super Dad he is.

Stafford County, VA

Great beginning Margaret!!

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

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

I adore that picture of them both looking at the egg. "look what WE did!"

Mount Pleasant Mills, PA(Zone 5a)

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

PERTH, Australia

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.

Perth, Australia

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?

Perth, Australia

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.

Thumbnail by unsteady
Perth, Australia

Brakes on, incoming..............

Thumbnail by unsteady
Perth, Australia

Changing of the guard!

Thumbnail by unsteady
Marlton, NJ

Wonderful shots!

Perth, Australia

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!

Columbia City, IN(Zone 5b)

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

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

Just love shots with their wings up like that!!

Grand-Falls, NB(Zone 4a)

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

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

Well, you know about great minds and all that...lol!

Grand-Falls, NB(Zone 4a)

LOL

PERTH, Australia

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.



Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

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

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

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

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

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.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

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.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

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.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

And there she quietly contemplated her navel.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

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.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

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

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

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

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

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

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

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

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PERTH, Australia

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.

Thumbnail by MargaretK

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