Since my last post, roughly 20 days ago, there's been constant activity on and around the new nest. Every day I receive nest-cam photos of one or two Osprey perched on the platform. There have even been numerous sightings of 4 and even 5 birds circling the skies around the new platform. I even witnessed what looked like an attempt by another pair of Osprey to muscle out the resident pair. It's been terribly exciting for everyone - including the Osprey!
It's clear our relocation effort has been a success, even with all the industrial commotion occurring directly across the river - because the River Trail construction is in full effect. In fact, the staging ground for practically the entire operation is located right at the foot of the former nesting pole, just inside the gate. We suspect it took a little extra time for the birds to test out the security of the new nest and perhaps that's why they settled in at least a week later than the other Osprey in the Kalamazoo area. Keep in mind, that's all on top of some record setting returns for Osprey in SW Michigan given our crazy-warm weather.
John Brenneman thought we'd give the birds till around April 7th before we would write them off this year, but low and behold they arrived right around April 5th. Good timing.
The main reason I haven't posted sooner was because I've been working the situation more play-by-play on our Facebook page for the Osprey. To check it out click HERE - and please post any sightings or comments. It's a community hub for and about the birds.
Further confirming the success of our relocation effort are numerous sightings, eyewitness and photographic, of the birds mating. Literally a minute before I received the first nest-cam confirmation of a pair of Osprey (at first there was only one bird), John Brenneman called to tell me he witnessed two Osprey mating. Seems like everything is well in order.
The photo below was taken by Ky Gilbert. You can see more on our Facebook page.
With all the multiple attempts to breed, one would think eggs will follow. The absolute disrepair of the nest led me to think otherwise, but I suspect the birds have their priorities. As of yesterday, April 24th, the nest has suddenly and beautifully taken shape, as if the Osprey know something's coming. That little open spot in the middle, with some softer bedding, looks like it's ready to receive an egg or two. We should know any day now.
The dramatic glitch in this scenario is that my nest-camera is starting to malfunction. I only receive a couple photos per day now, compared to the programmed photo every half hour. I need to make a quick inspection of the platform this week to diagnose--and hopefully fix--the problem. Drama.
It's these kinds of technological problems that make me wish I was simply building a nest with nothing but sticks. How can that go wrong?
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Sent to my iPhone April 5th at 1:44pm.
This photo was the first visual confirmation of an Osprey on the new platform. It even brought along a fish!
Considering all the other known Osprey nests in the Kalamazoo area already had birds settling in, we weren't entirely sure our birds were returning this year. The Osprey in the old Eaton lot and the birds nesting in the old paper mill in Parchment returned as early as the second to last week of March. It very well could be our birds just needed some time to get comfortable with all the change going on around their traditional nest site.
Two days after the above male arrived and began hanging around the site, I received the photo below. Literally one minute after the photo came in on my iPhone, I received a phone call from John Brenneman of the Nature Center who witnessed the two birds mating on the platform!
Everyone involved with the relocation effort was absolutely thrilled by the news. We're all feeling like expecting parents. With eggs and a successful hatching we'll be even more thrilled. At that point we'll be passing out cigars.