JudyBMaine home page

Local Wildlife home page


Woolwich, Maine

August 21, 2014


I stopped by the Taste of Maine this evening - and I'm not really sure what's happening with the osprey there. 

I arrived at TOM, and noticed that the nest appeared empty - and as I was approaching the building, I noticed an osprey flying overhead near the nest.  It was getting a bit dark (personal note - I don't think it should be getting dark at 7 o'clock!), but I watched the osprey for a few minutes as she/he circled, and soared, and flapped, and did a bit of helicoptering (flapping to stay in place) - and landed in the trees across the road (not quite gracefully, but successfully) - and took off to do it all again. The pictures click bigger - and I apologize for the overall quality, but it's not easy to catch moving objects in low light conditions, and they do show a story I want to tell. The second picture is the osprey approaching a tree, the third is perched briefly, and the fourth is leaving again. The power lines are on the restaurant side of the street, and she was never anywhere near them - it just looks that way from the perspective of my camera.

osprey at the Taste of Maine Restaurant osprey at the Taste of Maine Restaurant

osprey at the Taste of Maine Restaurant osprey at the Taste of Maine Restaurant

She would fly over the parking lot, and circle near the nest - but never actually landed on it or the perch beside it.

osprey at the Taste of Maine Restaurant osprey at the Taste of Maine Restaurant

osprey at the Taste of Maine Restaurant osprey at the Taste of Maine Restaurant

And seeing all that, I felt quite confident that I was watching the resident juvie, practicing her flying.

And then I took a last look at the lovely view, and went into the restaurant (there are a number of amazing cloth dolls on the shelf over the monitor - and it's hard to crop the picture to exclude their feet!).

view from the Taste of Maine Restaurant osprey nest cam at the Taste of Maine

I hadn't been planning to have dinner - but wanted to see the chick back on the nest, so decided to have a light dinner.  The greeter didn't let me say more than "do you suppose...." before leading me to my favorite table with a view of the nest.  And immediately a couple of the other staff people came over with questions and concerns.

Apparently the juvie was not on the nest at 10 pm when things were winding down the night before, and no one had seen her on the nest all day today.  That did seem unusual - she'd only been flying for a week, and chicks usually sleep on the nest for a while after fledging and use it as a base for their flying practice - but it really seemed to me that I'd been seeing a juvie practicing her flying skills near the nest, though she never landed there.  So I answered questions as best I could, and said we'd need to wait and see.

I did say that the female might leave fairly soon after the chick fledged, but the male would usually stay with her until she left - though he might be hard to see because he'd only stop by the nest for a few seconds now and then to drop off a fish. As you may remember, this chick hatched from the second clutch laid, so is a few weeks behind most other osprey in the area.

I sat down to enjoy my french onion soup and glass of wine - when I saw two osprey flying outside.  I dashed to the window for a better view, and was joined by a couple of the waitresses as they paused between customers.  And I really don't know what I was seeing.  Both osprey were demonstrating various flying techniques - but I don't know if it was our juvie and a neighbor - or our juvie and Dad, showing off how to hover and land.  Every time I wanted to say - "that's Dad and that's the juvie" - the other one would do something that looked a bit like a juvie being a bit clumsy, or the one I thought was the juvie would do something incredibly graceful, that looked like a Dad skill.

At one point I saw what looked like a mid-air confrontation - but I really couldn't tell if the two involved were the same two I had seen flying together, or if someone else had come too close, and Dad had come out to send her/him away. I don't have any pictures - almost impossible to focus through the window as it grew darker, so even the best ones are just blurs.

I'll try to get down again tomorrow to see what has been seen - and not for the first time, I wish there was a way to get a cam online, though I do know that's not as easy as it seems.

Please send good thoughts while we figure out what's happening here.  Thanks!




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