Apr 11, 2018
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Come meet our osprey family!
A male osprey first made its appearance on April 9. Female osprey usually show up a little bit later. Hopefully this guy will start working on the nest!
A female osprey first made its appearance on April 15. However, shortly after there were THREE osprey in the nest! We noticed two different males hanging around over the last few days. Two's company, but three's a crowd!
Nest construction has begun in earnest as sticks are brought up to the platform and meticulously arranged. As the season progresses, the female will hang out at the nest and the male will go fishing.
Maybe you’ve been keeping tabs on the osprey, but you’ve noticed an empty nest at night.
The female osprey will stay at the platform when there are eggs or chicks in the nest, but both parents often sleep away from the platform when it's empty. Osprey seem to prefer to sleep or roost in nearby trees, much like eagles. When the female osprey is close to laying the first egg, she sometimes spends the night in the nest.
Osprey nest construction is in full-swing with changes to the arrangement and the addition of new materials daily. The male usually fetches most of the nesting material - sometimes breaking dead sticks off nearby trees as he flies past - and the female arranges it. This stick that he's delivering is about 5.5 feet long! You'll also notice several various mosses, which all seemed to de be delivered to the nest at about the same time. Nests on artificial platforms, especially in a pair’s first season, are relatively small- less than 2.5' in diameter and 3" - 6" deep. After generations of adding to the nest year after year, osprey can end up with massive nests weighing up to 200 lbs.!
As the male osprey work out just whose nesting spot this is, they take turns chasing each other off. They can get a little aggressive! Our view is limited to the perspective the camera is fixed at, so sometimes we only get to see half the battle!
Osprey migration patterns show that they usually arrive in Mason County in April and stay until late August or early September. They have high nesting site fidelity, meaning they will return to the same site year after year.