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Sasanoa River, Maine

July 5, 2014

It's been almost five weeks since I posted on June 1st about the eagles and osprey that nest within sight of the Woolwich-Arrowsic bridge. I have visted and taken pictures, so with luck I will be filling in some of the gaps - but for now I'll just note that things change.

For starters, the osprey nest, like many others, is out in the open - but this pair apparently thought a bit of shade would be good for their chicks - so they have grown a modest jungle on their platform. In fact, it's not all that easy to find the nest at all!
hidden osprey nest

Here comes an adult - but where are the chick(s)?
Sasanoa osprey flying to nest Sasanoa osprey

There actually is at least one chick in there - and I know we're seeing a chick in the first picture here because you can see Mom in the back in the second! (All pictures click bigger.)

What I don't know is if there's more than one. There were two initially, but they've been hard to see - first very small, and then the jungle started to grow. I also haven't been able to visit more than once or occasionally twice a week, and most visits were fairly short - the middle of a bridge isn't the sort of place where you bring a chair and sit a spell! Here are a few pictures of the chick I could see - and I can't tell if I'm seeing a second shyer chick or not.

You may also get a glimpse at the chick (or maybe chicks) in the next set of photos - but what I found interesting is that the pair are still finding time for some bonding, even as they raise their little family.

Sasanoa River osprey Sasanoa River osprey flying together

Sasanoa River osprey Sasanoa River osprey

As those who've been following this story know, there's also an eagle nest - and the chick there is older - and a lot less hidden! We don't know how old he (or probably she - it's hard to tell, but she looks quite large, and female eagles are larger than male eagles) - we don't know how old she is, but my guess is just a bit younger than the eagle on the Maine Bald Eagle Cam - who is now 10-1/2 weeks old. Eaglets generally fledge, or take their first flight, at 11-12 weeks old (in my experience, from watching a lot of eagle cams), but can fledge as early as 10 weeks - and some like their nest and don't leave until 14 or even 15 weeks. So, with no supporting evidence, I'm thinking this eaglet is about 10 weeks old, and is now very comfortable perching on the side of the nest - and is beginning to get some height when she flaps those very big wings.

Sasanoa River eaglet Sasanoa River eaglet

Sasanoa River eaglet Sasanoa River eaglet


If you'd like to see more pictures and commentary on this nest - or on the webcam nest at the Taste of Maine Restaurant - you can use the link at the top of the page to get to my Local Wildlife Home Page which has an index of the reports on our visits to the sites.