[Tweeters] Local Ospreys on nests in the late summer and fall

Bud Anderson falconresearch at gmail.com
Tue Sep 24 13:05:10 PDT 2013


Ospreys are a totally unique species of raptor in so many ways, e.g.
physiology, diet, behavior, appearance, you name it.

One of these differences involves the extra strong attachment to their nest
sites by the young.

Most of our Ospreys fledge, or leave the nest, around mid-August in the
Seattle area.

And, like most birds of prey, they will hang around the nest site for
awhile before reaching independence and moving on.

But at this stage Ospreys are a bit different. With other species of
diurnal raptors, for example, peregrines, the young usually remain near the
eyrie (nest ledge) for about three weeks until they make their first kill
on their own. Then off they go "to feed at fortune".

And peregrines seldom return back to the eyrie after fledging. Once they
fly, they are no longer interested in returning there.

In contrast, fledged Ospreys return to their nests constantly and for a
much longer period.

For one reason, the adults return to their nests to feed them (as they have
done for several weeks) and the large stick nests provide excellent
"dinner tables" for slippery fish.

This "returning behavior" is what makes it so difficult to determine an
exact fledge date for young Ospreys.

So don't be surprised to see young on these nests so far into September.
They are fully functional and have likely been on the wing for several
weeks. Maybe they are still looking for a handout from the parents.

But no worries, they will be heading south very soon.
--
Bud Anderson
Falcon Research Group
Box 248
Bow, WA 98232
(360) 757-1911
falconresearch at gmail.com
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