Friday, August 8, 2008

Osprey nest

Papa Carl, also known as "The Old Aeronaut," sent us these pics of a very impressive Osprey's Nest on a neighbor's waterfront property here in Annapolis. This is really one amazing bit of construction!

Since we know a bit about birds, friends and family are always asking us questions when they see a bird nest or interesting bird behavior. We don't always have the answers, but it keeps us on our toes and keeps us learning.

I decided to consult The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior to learn a little bit more about raptor nests.

Sibley says that raptors line their nests with softer material to provide insulation and cushioning for the eggs. "Bald Eagles and Ospreys sometimes use a lining of seaweed," it says. Didn't know that.

Pairs of raptors often have alternate nests within their territory, and they will switch nests occasionally, especially in a year after brood failure or a parasite infestation, Sibley says. Didn't know that either.

"Ospreys are quite versatile and will use a variety of tall structures, inclusing cacti, rock towers, and, increasingly, nest platforms built by humans." We knew that. Well, not the cacti part.

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