Just before I arrived at the Osprey nest, I saw the father finishing the head of a big fish that he had caught. He flew with the rest of it to the nest, handed it over to the mother, then perched up high, keeping watch.
Ospreys stay at the refuge from Spring to Fall, making their nests on platforms built for them. Last week I saw a pair at one of the nests which can easily be seen from Wildlife Drive. She was eating half of a fish that he had brought to her. He observed her for a while, then took off flying. He flew around the nest before circling back to her.
All of this love making lasted just a few seconds. In about two months I may be able to have pictures of Osprey chicks at this same nest. Note that the female was banded on one leg.
At another nest, a pair of Ospreys had already finished their breakfast and were just enjoying some down time.
Ospreys have been back at the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge for at least two weeks already. Yesterday, I saw four nests that had been built up by them with twigs and branches. At one of them, the male Osprey was eating a fish on a perch not far from the nest where the female was incubating. By the time I got set up with my camera and tripod, he had finished eating the head and took the rest of the fish to her.
Eight weeks ago at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, the Osprey chicks were still small.
This past Monday, all three chicks have grown up. They appeared to be waiting for their parents who were out looking for fish.
It was a hot day with lots of mosquitoes and flies attacking me constantly, so I didn’t stick around to wait for the parents to come back to their nest.
Yesterday I finally saw young chicks in some of the Osprey nests at the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. The one shown below had two, possibly three, chicks who were very hungry.
After a few minutes, the mother reminded her stoic mate that more fish was needed.
A pair of Ospreys that I have been observing every time I drive through the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge must have young chicks by now, although they remain unseen in their nest. Yesterday, the mother was not incubating but standing guard at one side of the nest.
About a minute later, her mate, who is quite a handyman (handybird?) returned with some twigs to build up the nest even higher.
He started rearranging things as she watched.
Suddenly, she jumped in.
She grabbed the remaining part of the fish which was her meal, after he had previously eaten the head.
Holding the fish with her feet, she circled the nest.
Then she landed back.
She proceeded to eat the fish while the handyman kept working on their nest.
The refuge has seven or more Osprey nests, but this couple has the best looking and well-built fortress.
Yesterday at the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge I stopped to check on an Osprey couple. At the same time, the male Osprey flew back to the nest with a sizable fish in his claws. He glided by the female who was sitting in the nest incubating.
Then he went to a perch and proceeded to eat the head of the fish.
After about 15 minutes, the male Osprey probably had its fill, stopped eating and defecated!
Then he took the fish to his patient mate. She saw him flying to her and rose up in their nest.
He gave her the fish.
She grabbed what remained of the fish and flew away to the same perch he had used.
At the perch, before she ate, she looked back one more time to make sure that he was going to sit on their eggs.
He of course sat down and took his turn incubating.
Only then did she start eating.
Yesterday, driving toward the end of Wildlife Drive at the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, I saw this Osprey perched on top of her nest.
A photographer who had been there since sunrise told me that the Osprey was part of a pair at the nest. They had breakfast earlier, and then he had flown away somewhere. The gentleman told me that he was due back “soon”, and as he said that I saw the male Osprey flying toward the nest. We both clicked away with our cameras, but I was not expecting to take the following kind of photos.
Total elapsed time: 12 seconds.
Today I saw this couple of Ospreys at the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge building a nest. At first, he was just watching her arranging their nest.
Then she told him what she needed, and he took off.
He soon flew back clutching a branch.
More odds and ends, photos that did not make it to this blog during the past year. I took all of the following photos at the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.
Finally, a flower I could not identify. If you know what it is please tell me in a comment.