So with a little time to kill I set out to see an Osprey yesterday morning (24 April 2018). The Wastewater Treatment plant is located on N. Washington north of Pickard Rd. As I approached the plant from the east I could easily see one Osprey atop the tower from several hundred yards away. I did stop on one side street to look at the bird through binoculars.
Eventually I made my way to Washington St. and parked a short distance away from the tower - far enough away to be able to get photographs from a good angle. It is illegal to disturb nesting birds (as per the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918); I doubt my presence had any impact on this pair. The nest is located right next to the Waste Water Treatment plant, with people going in and out, and right next to a road with lots of traffic from the City's Street Department. When I got out of my truck and looked up this is what I saw...
|We claim this tower under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act!|
Not just one Osprey, but both birds of the pair were perched atop the tower preening their feathers. Their nest is clearly visible beneath them, supported by the system of braces that hold up the various cellular communications antennas.
|And we're preening...|
I hung around for a few minutes taking photos, but the drab sky and flat light discouraged me from hanging around too long. I planned to go back when the sky was blue and the sun was shining.
So back I went this morning (25 April 2018). Unlike yesterday, only one adult Osprey was visible. The other bird may have been sitting on the nest or it may have been off hunting. Like yesterday, this bird preened much of the time I was watching. It also kept scanning the sky - this made me think that its mate was indeed off hunting. I stuck around for about 15 minutes, waiting for the second Osprey to appear
|Scanning the sky|
|As so often the case, the Osprey was facing away from me most of the time I was trying to photograph it.|
|Shaking vigorously is part of preening|
|The nest can be seen on the upper platform with many sticks fallen to the platform below|
|A cropped image - note the brown stripe through the eye. This is one of the keys to identification.|
If the nest is successful, I expect the pair to be around for several more months a the young mature. Also if the nest is successful, it is likely that the pair will be back again next year to nest in the same location. I look forward to the opportunity to observe this pair more as the year progresses.