Thursday, August 4, 2022

Osprey and young ones

Had the opportunity to observe an Osprey nest from far. In fact the nest was on a man made platform out in the sea. While watching and capturing them on camera, I observed a few things, like the head bobbing before they made a dive for the fish.
These head bobs are done to triangulate their prey. Very rarely do they miss the prey. After catching a fish they don't straight away take it to the nest. They fly around for some time to ensure that the fish is dead (or half dead) Most of the time, the adult eats a part of the fish before dropping them in the nest. (they too require nourishment)
After a fish is caught, it arranges its feet to turn the fish so it faces head first. This reduces aerodynamic drag making the fish easier to carry.
Once I noticed the male breaking off a branch from a nearby tree and placing it in the nest. Does this amount to "periodic maintenance of the house"?  
The rate of growth of the young one is pretty fast after a month as can be seen in this illustration. (courtesy) The body size is almost the same as an adult.
Here you can see an Adult and juvenile Osprey.
Before they fly out, the young ones try flapping the wings in the nest to get the hang of it.
Once they are sure about it, they fly off to nearby structures to practice perching, like this weather wane
Or to a nearby tree to sit next to the parent.
Often smaller bird species like starlings or house sparrows live in the underside of the nest (basement apartment can be seen at 5:40 in the video)
Eagles and Blue Herons are the enemies of the young ones. They try to snatch away the young ones when adults are not around. I saw a Blue Heron being chased away who tried to get too close to the nest.
I captured some of their movements over a period of eight days and compiled it to a five minute video.

The whole episode was captured at Chesapeake Bay near the boardwalk, (which was described in the previous blog.)  Lately blogspot does not allow replies to be sent to individual comments (or is it that something is wrong with my settings)