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Sasanoa River, Maine

July 10, 2014

July 10 was a beautiful day, and I stopped by after work to check on the osprey and the eaglet (all pictures click bigger).

Sasanoa River from the bridge Sasanoa River from the bridge

The primary goal for my visit was to determine how many osprey chicks there were. I knew there had been two originally, but had only been able to see one for sure recently - though the "jungle" that had grown up on the nest platform was quite capable of hiding something larger than an osprey! At first I thought I was in luck - I thought I saw one of the adults fly off as I was approaching the bridge, and I could see three osprey still on the nest!

Sasanoa osprey Sasanoa osprey

I could see there was an adult at the front of the nest, and while the image is a bit blurry, the one farthest back is clearly a chick - but I couldn't see enough of the one in the middle to be sure. I was shifting my attention between the osprey nest and the eagle nest, and at some point I only started seeing two osprey on the nest - the adult who continued to stand in the front - and there was very clearly one very large chick there somewhere!

Sasanoa osprey Sasanoa osprey chick shows big wings

Eventually, a chick (or the chick?) came out to join Mom and be fed. I zoomed in as far as I could - but didn't see a second chick waiting for a share of the meal.

Sasanoa osprey Sasanoa osprey

After a while, Dad arrived with another fish, and then he hopped down into the nest with it - the second picture in this pair shows the chick in front, and then both adults.

Sasanoa osprey Sasanoa osprey

He stayed there for a while (or at least I think he did - I couldn't actually see him once he'd moved further into the jungle, and he could have flown off while I was taking pictures of Mom and the chick, or checking on the eaglet.

Sasanoa osprey Sasanoa osprey

I took a lot of pictures of Mom and the chick - because I was hoping to see a second chick make an appearance after the first one had finished eating - but that didn't happen. After a few minutes, I noticed that Dad - and the fish - were back on the perch. I'm typing this report a couple of weeks after the events, so I don't actually remember if I saw him come in with it - but he was very definitely there within 5-6 minutes of his visit to the nest.

Sasanoa osprey Sasanoa osprey Dad with fish

I ended up staying another 20 minutes or so, and took more pictures that were mostly similar to the ones I've already posted, but by the time I left, about all that had changed was Dad had apparently eaten some of his fish, and the chick had disappeared into the jungle to take a nap after dinner. I should note that some of the pictures are from different perspectives because I usually walk quite a ways out onto the bridge, trying to find an angle that lets me see who is hiding in all the greenery.

Sasanoa osprey Sasanoa osprey

So that concludes today's update on the osprey family - but I suspect that those of you who have been following my posts are wondering about the eaglet. She (?) is looking great! I will note that the nest is about 3/10 of a mile from the bridge where I take my pictures, and the light in late afternoon is often challenging - so the pictures are a bit fuzzy. Here are six of my favorites from today.

Sasaona eaglet Sasaona eaglet

Sasaona eaglet Sasaona eaglet

Sasaona eaglet Sasaona eaglet

And, because I am actually writing this report on July 27, more than two weeks after I took the pictures, I can add that this was (so far) the last time I saw "Big Sass" - so I won't say that this is the best picture I got - but it's almost in focus - and it shows her looking towards the trees, where I suspect her parents are perching, and which I suspect she found a lovely alternative to a platform nest.

Sasaona eaglet

Fare well, young one!


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.