Sunday, July 26, 2009

Osprey #1

I need to catch up on my blogs for this week. I have spent over six hours observing several osprey nests and their behavior. In the future I will write detailed article about ospreys, but for right now I will write about yesterdays observations of a nest I have been watching a photographing all year.
A week ago there were two chicks in the nest and now there is only one. It appears that three adults have joined forces to take care of this nest. A month ago I observed three adults building and maintaining the nest on the Henrys Fork of the Snake River near Ashton.
As I watched the nest, the female started calling and making a heck of a racket. Soon I saw two other osprey show up circling above the nest. They were beautiful to watch but then they too became very vocal.
Then I saw four cormorants flying up the river toward the nest. Even though cormorants are fish eaters, I have seen them eat ducklings and destroy nests of birds nesting near the water.
As the cormorants got closer, the two osprey circling the nest would take turns dive bombing them with one of the ospreys always staying between the cormorants and the nest. The female osprey stayed in the nest while the other two seemed to be protecting the nest from the cormorants.
The cormorants circled higher and higher with the osprey circling below them. Finally the four cormorants broke up with the osprey is hot pursuit of them.
What a show. I do not know if the cormorants posed any danger to the osprey nest, but it sure appeared to. After the cormorants left, the two osprey went back to searching for food on the Henrys Fork and I did not stay long enough to see if they brought food to the nest. I was late for work I had to get done.
There is just too much to observe and enjoy out there in the Wilds of Idaho and the rest of the world.


Janie said...

That was quite a show. Great photos!

Jann E. said...

Ah, the osprey photos you mentioned at my blog, I think you did pretty good. Esp. considering how hard it is to follow birds of prey. Nice!