Monday, June 04, 2007

Hawk Walk

Driving home a day or so ago, I noticed an osprey flying over a nearby ball field. We'd seen osprey there many times, and had never thought much of it as there is a wetlands nearby. This time, however, the osprey caught my eye as it flew to the top of one of the light posts over the ball field. As I tracked it, I realized there was a nest there!This morning, my husband and I combined our walk to check on the red-shouldered hawk with a walk down to the ball field, about 1/4 mile farther down the road. (It was hot and sunny, so we were glad it wasn't any farther!) We got to see an amazing show just as we got there. Two osprey were on the nest, and two others were trying to land on it but were being fended off by the two on the nest. About the time I got the scope and camera set up, the air show ended. All I got was this one picture of three osprey on the nest.
Our questions--were two pair trying to claim the same nest? Or was this the age old drama of the parents kicking the kids out of the nest? It seems quite late for nest building, and as a follow up, we haven't seen osprey actually on the nest since then, not that we've been hanging around the ball field full time.

While we were sitting on the bleachers watching, a guy pulled in and asked what kind of birds they were; he said that the birds had had nests there for about five years (shows how observant we are) and the kids playing ball enjoyed watching them. He thought the young had already fledged, so perhaps they were indeed the youngsters that we saw.

As for the red-shouldered hawk, we didn't see much, just a little fuzzy crown of the head and a stubby wing flap. But at least the hatchling is still around.

4 comments:

PA-Birder said...

Betsy,
That is too cool! I'm glad that Osprey will nest in such a public place, it bolds well for their future. I have to agree with your thought that the adults were trying to chase away a young one that just didn't want to leave the nest. It happens with people too sometimes!
Vern

Betsy True said...

Vern-

The osprey in this area (northern VA) are quite bold. Perhaps they know they are protected. At a local marina, they had to build platforms to keep them from building nests on the boats (shows how often the boats go out!). We get to see lots of osprey, our largest hawk. It's great. Next year I'll be looking for them and hopefully get some pictures of the young before they get kicked out of the nest!

Larry said...

Interesting-We had Nesting on the light posts at a minor league ballfield in CT. as well.

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