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

Rolan Nelson rnbuffle at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 24 13:36:34 PDT 2013

Thanks, Bud for the feedback.  I'll continue to monitor the Steilacoom nest to see if I can note when our youngster there finally heads south.  -Rolan

Rolan Nelson
Fircrest, WA
rnbuffle at yahoo.com

From: Bud Anderson <falconresearch at gmail.com>
To: tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 1:05 PM
Subject: [Tweeters] Local Ospreys on nests in the late summer and fall

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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