Oyster Cove Osprey Update
(So sorry for the long absence, it’s been a struggle to get my groove back since my Mom’s passing…..I promise I am trying.)
So what has been going on with the return of our area’s Osprey and our community’s nest platform this season? A lot!
Not having residents for three seasons past, our Oyster Cove community had a new platform and pole installed, ready and waiting to see if that would entice a new pair of Osprey.
Osprey quickly returned to our area after my last post. It was a pleasure to see the long-time residing pair on the Kent Narrows southend entrance channel marker arrive back safely, as well as others on their markers and locations I can see daily.
Including our platform! Mid-March immediately a male Osprey began visiting our platform, always with the look of watching and waiting. Days later a female joined alongside him. They didn’t seem to know what to do but look at each other and the surrounding waters.
Most times though, they each visited alone, either to perch or eat a fish.
A measly stick would appear on the platform and then disappear.
There seemed to be no motivation. Since they paired up so quickly upon return, that gave a good indication they were paired last year. If that be the case, why are they not at their previous home and instead at ours?
As the days & weeks passed, still no progress. I really felt something was amiss. By mid-April, I noticed I was now only seeing the male at the platform. The female had disappeared. My brain went into overdrive in thinking.
Then finally, the pieces of the puzzle began to fill in. Watching our male Osprey enjoy a fish, I witnessed him then leave with it headless and fly over to CBEC’s platform across the water where his gal was on their nest and eggs.
Guess what? What we thought were a new pair of Osprey on our platform is actually the pair that resided last year across the water on CBEC’s platform. And the Eagles and their nest that I discovered and posted over this past winter is in the same vicinity as that platform, which the Eagles used all winter as ‘their’ perch when away from their nest.
I immediately recalled seeing in the past month a lot of Opsrey vs. Eagle aerial interactions happening over this area as well. Hmmmmm……
Bingo! All that Osprey vs. Eagle interaction was territorial fighting over that platform and air space between “our” Osprey pair and the resident Eagles. Our platform was being used as a close base while they tried to regain their CBEC home.
The Osprey pair would not give up and succeeded in securing their CBEC platform back from the Eagle pair. (How about that?!) They were able to build a nest in time and the female lay eggs. Today, I watched the male Osprey take a fish to the nest and then leave; the female got up and appeared to be feeding! (Osprey chicks are hatching throughout our area now.) The male continues to perch on our platform to eat his fish and/or keep a watch on his family and their nest across the water.
As for the Eagles, they are of course still around but have now chosen to perch in the same tree line to the far right of their nest on the last tree that overlooks the water. And now everyone is happy. Unless one flies into the others airspace, lol. Which makes for great wildlife interaction watching for us locals!
The CBEC Osprey male also has his work cut out to maintain control of his second ‘home’, our platform. Other Osprey have tried to take the platform from him, to no avail.
So this season we do have a pair of Ospreys using our platform as a ‘second home/perch’ for now. Maybe their chicks will use it as a landing strip during their practice flights in a couple months, that would be cool!
UPDATE: After posting this, unfortunately I discovered it appears there is a problem with the Osprey CBEC’s nest/eggs. This morning I found the female Osprey alongside her mate on our OC’s platform. If there were alive chick(s), she would not have done this. They left our platform and went back to their home but both just sat on the edge. I could see them looking down and around, as if confused. I’m guessing they lost their eggs/chicks. 🙁 I’ll keep an eye on them to see if this is truly the case.