And The Runt makes five!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Since my last Osprey report miserable weather, travel, and various other commitments have yielded precious little time for the important things in life. I was beginning to despair of ever discovering if Ospring I had any siblings or if more than three of My Osprey were still alive.

In between some fairly violent weather I'd seen a couple cases of hauling material back from Nest Depot, and I was marginally sure than I'd seen two heads in the nest and two in flight but I couldn't get confirmation through the glasses. When the nest is disheveled it can require glasses to be sure what one thinks one sees is what one sees. It just wasn't happening for me in the brief minutes available to snatch peeks.

But today was to be a Very Good Day!

Upon first glance there were clearly two heads in the nest. No flyers anywhere to be seen. Needless to say that wasn't helpful or reassuring. Time was running out and I'd be on my way once I passed the last best vantage points and went on about my business. And then, from seemingly nowhere, there were two flyers engaged in a clear flight demo and another lovely white head peeking over the edge of the nest.

It was then I decided to put aside other things and spend what I imagined would be about 20 minutes but turned into roughly 40. The rewards were enormous. The flight demos alone were worth it. The two circled high and low, around the nest, away from the nest. A hovering demo barely two feet above the nest. Gear up, gear down. Touch and Goes and two beautiful hi-speed dives toward the nest, wings tucked, faster... faster.

Through all this there was astonishingly little response in the nest. No forays to the edge, no flapping of wings. Even head bobbing became minimal. Eventually one flyer landed on the boom. The other headed, as they always seem to when they go off to fish, NNE toward the bay. I've been watching them long enough to know they return from due east so I kept vigil on that approach. Not ten minutes later the fish delivery service arrived, quickly dropped its cargo, and landed. In from the boom came the other flyer. And then... a third flyer arrived from nowhere, landed briefly but was apparently shooed away and went off to circle nearby.

Then Delivery Bird took wing again, joined Shooed Away, and the two circled for a while. This did not seem a demonstration - too high, too far from the nest. A holding pattern? Soon enough they ceased circling and headed NNE joined by the flyer who had remained at the nest.

And then joined by a fourth?!?! I'm sure. No, I'm not sure. Too far; never got four within the FOV of my glasses. Nearly certain though, very nearly certain. Nothing left to do but spend the last 10 minutes I could afford for the morning waiting.

Soon enough one flyer returned, from due east as always, and alighted on the next tower over. Probably the younger of the two yutes if there were, indeed, two; Ospring II. How long would the other three (were there three?) remain out on their fishing expedition? I'd have to go soon; the clock was ticking. The stupid clock is always ticking. One more minute... well, OK, three. And then one flyer circling, two, and then three. Ospring II - surely II - remained alight. Four flyers in sight and The Runt on the edge of the nest.

The Runt seems reluctant. Not nearly as vigorous as Ospring I was. She'll make The Leap. With Mom, Dad, I, II, and me egging her on she'll make The Leap. That is inevitable.

The turkey buzzards are nowhere to found today. They've been thick as skeeters lately, as many as a dozen within easy sight. Six in the Evil Tree (large and dead as a door nail), two on the light pole, four circling. But not yesterday or today. Nary a buzzard to be found.


Skookumchuk said...

No pix?

Knucklehead said...

No pix. All I have is a snapshot type camera and I neglected to carry even that this AM. I had the glasses though. I was sure glad I had the glasses.

Skookumchuk said...

Well, being one of the two people left in North America who don't own digital cameras, like I should talk . . .

We have so much avian activity in the greenbelt behind us that I need a decent pair of binoculars. And a digital camera. :-)

Knucklehead said...

Next time you pass your local Radio Shack drop in and pick up the Meade TravelView 8-17x25 Zoom. They'll probably be at least $10 less than the price listed at that site. The size and weight is excellent and the optics are more than serviceable. Best $39 I've spent lately. I love 'em.

Knucklehead said...

Oh, I didn't spend $39, I spent $29. Even better!

Syl said...

All I can say is thanks for your vigilance. I find myself soaring with your ospreys.