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Woolwich, Maine

July 30, 2010


We discovered that the web cam for this nest was offline the morning of July 24. Things had been quite tense the previous day, with the adults and chicks acting as if there were intruders in the area, so we were worried about the osprey family. I had to leave that morning for business, but when the cam was still down on July 27, Charlie arranged to stop by briefly to see what what was happening. He wasn't able to stay long enough to see everyone, but did see two osprey - probably Mom and one of the chicks - which did make us feel a lot better.

I got home at 2 am on July 30, and as I tumbled into bed, Charlie asked if I wanted to have lunch at the Taste of Maine once I woke up - and I happily agreed.

As we drove in, we saw one of the fledglings perched on the nest - which seemed to be a good start.
osprey nest

(As a reminder - all pictures can be clicked for a much larger version.)

We next strolled down to look at the area where we'd seen a lot of ducks - and an eagle or two - on our last visit.
looking out over the Sasanoa

but while the ducks were there
ducks on rocks
the eagles were not (which the ducks most likely considered a good thing!). The ducks weren't in a neat row like last time, but instead were sitting on the little islands, perhaps enjoying the sun.

We then headed into the restaurant for lunch, noticing that the cam was still streaming to the monitor in the lobby.
osprey cam

This is good news - the folks from the BioDiversity Research Institute can't go near the nest to check the cam itself while the osprey family is in the area - but this suggests that the problem is with the internet connection - which can be worked on when/if they have someone available to check it.

We did get a table with a view of the nest - and a view out over the surrounding area - and noticed two large birds soaring out over the tidal marsh. We immediately grabbed for binoculars (have I mentioned that the Taste of Maine thoughtfully puts binoculars on the tables by the windows?) - and determined that the birds appeared to be osprey. We did see them somewhat closer than they are in this picture, though this is where they were by the time I got the camera on them. I'm trying something different with this pic - the embedded thumbnail is a small version of the full picture I took, but when you click on it, you'll see a full-size version of the area where the osprey were.
osprey soaring

They were too far away to tell if they were adults or fledglings, but they looked very comfortable soaring, so I'm guessing this was Mom and Dad. The chick we'd seen on our arrival was still at the nest, which left only the other chick unaccounted for at this point.

Shortly after the two osprey disappeared from view, we saw another large bird flying in from the right. In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess I initially thought it was a seagull or possibly some sort of duck or other waterbird - it was flapping hard as if flew, not soaring the way eagles and osprey do. But Charlie said the shape was more like an osprey - and he was right! By the time we got the binoculars up to actually see it, it was to late to get the cam up to catch it in mid-flight. But I did get a picture of the second fledging as he landed.
osprey chick landing on nest
This is another picture where the embedded link shows the area, and when you click, you'll see a cropped view of just the nest - not sure if this works, but thought I'd try it. Fortunately the restaurant wasn't too busy, and the other diners didn't seem too distracted as we quietly shouted "look at that" to each other, and grabbed for binoculars and cameras.

Somehow I have the impression that the chick who was on the nest wasn't expecially interested in sharing (it's even more obvious in the larger version).
two osprey fledglings

Then a bit of a faceoff.
two osprey fledglings

Then, out the other window, we see someone flying across the marsh - Dad?
Dad osprey flying over marsh
I thought about trying to remove the reflections from the cropped close-up you'll see if you click the picture above, but decided to leave them. You can decide it it's to provide an authentic experience, or if it's because it's a bit time-consuming to do! LOL

Actually, I just looked at the time stamps on my pics - and there was a point at which both fledglings took off over the marsh, so that also might be one of them. I do know that one of the adults arrived shortly thereafter with a fish - and I think this tangle is one of the chicks removing the fish from Dad's talons while hopefully not knocking Dad over.
adult osprey and chick in nest

Dad left shortly thereafter (I think with all his toes), and the chick began to eat the fish he'd brought. About 10 minutes later, the second chick arrived, and carefully landed at the very end of the perch, possibly so that the chick on the nest wouldn't see him as a threat to her meal (guessing at genders).
osprey chicks

Then he moved a little closer
osprey chicks

And closer
osprey chicks

And closer
osprey chicks

If you look at the chick on the nest in the four pictures above, you can see that as the other chick is sneaking closer and closer, the chick in the nest is gradually spreading her wings out over her food, to hide it and make it harder to grab. By the time the second chick is in the nest, it looks as if she's actually mantling, with the fish fairly well covered by her wings. And just in case that's not enough of a hint that she doesn't plan to share, she give a couple of flaps.
two osprey chicks

We'd finished our lunch at that point, and stopped by the monitor in the lobby to see the action from the cam perspective.
osprey cam

It looks as if the chick with the fish has realized it's hard to mantle and eat at the same time, and decided to go with eating.

Here's another perspective on the same scene, from in front of the restaurant.
osprey chicks

And a few more pictures of them, just because it's been so long since we've seen them.

osprey chicks

osprey chicks

osprey chicks

If you'd like to see additional pictures from this nest, and from the osprey and eagle nests "around the corner" on the Sasanoa River, you can use the link for my Local Wildlife Home Page at the top of the page.