The ancient VW EuroVan and my trusty steed. Perfect for bird chasing on the Gulf Coast.
She left the nest for a little while and sat in this nearby Pine, as if she was just waiting for someone to capture her beauty … so I did.
As much as I love that young female I’ve been following so closely for the past two months, I think her new mate has got to be the most beautiful Osprey I’ve ever photographed.
Here he is doing his share of the nest building. He has not only become a good stick gatherer, he is now actually working to arrange the sticks just so – which is something only she was doing a few days ago.
I have to admit that sometimes I break off dead branches along the bike trail and leave them there on the ground in plain sight, hoping that my favorite couple might find them and use them as building material.
The female seemed to be having a hard time finding stuff for a while – before he joined in – and I just felt sorry for her.
As you can see here, he’s doing his best now that he’s part of the team.
Visited my favorite young couple Sunday, 4/17, and here they are.
He’s on top of the nest, she’s on the limb beside the nest. (You can tell which is which by the speckled feathers. Only females have them. Males’ chests are usually pure white.)
I followed them off and on for a couple of hours, and they were busy with nest construction. He was bringing in sticks and stuff and she was arranging things.
Occasionally, she would take off and come back with a huge stick. Then she worried with it for a long time because it was almost too big to handle.
I don’t think we’ll have eggs this season – they’re too young. But I’m going to keep a close watch. There are also several young, unattached males still in the area who zoom near the nest now and then. She tolerated all of them until this particular guy brought her the first stick. Then he was the man she’d been waiting for. And if one of the others gets too close, they team up and chase them away.
You can see the progress of the nest by checking earlier posts.
He had just flown in with this small fish and dropped it in the nest. She immediately snatched it up, accidentally grabbing a bit of Spanish moss in the process, and headed for a nearby tree to eat her lunch in peace.
(Right now, I’m considering this to be one of the sharpest Osprey images I have ever captured. And it may soon become a 25×40 canvas print)
As the sun was getting lower in the West the young male is working hard, making trip after trip to bring more nest materials. She sat quietly and watched.
Then he brought in this bunch of soft material, probably grass. Ospreys will line their nests with soft things just before it’s time for the eggs to be laid.
Since that is obviously not what’s happening here – they’re both too young – apparently he just wants to show her that he does know what to do … when the big event occurs.