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Center for Conservation Biology
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Nest Location Description:
On top of light pole overlooking soccer fields and small set of woods
Nest Cam URL:
Show reports, diaries, and photos from:
2018 Nest Activity Report by
First chick fledging
Chicks last observed
Reason for nest failure
2019 Nest Activity Report by
First chick fledging
Chicks last observed
Reason for nest failure
Photos of this nest
MArina and Morris are back. They arrived about 4 days earlier than last year. Morris has been extremely active repairing nest and have seen multiple "dances" in-between repairs. Marina has been perched on the rim of the nest most of the day. The pair have been soaring/flying together in the early to late afternoon above the fields in the back. Marina looks bulkier than last year.
Three other osprey flying around and disturbing nest today. Marina and Morris have been fighting them off for over an hour. At times it looks like a soaring party and then the next second one of the strangers lands on the nest and Morris will go after the intruder. This happens again and when both Morris and Marina are away from the nest the 5th osprey comes in and has either pulled a stick out or maybe one of the chicks.
Still have not witnessed any little ones poking their heads or mouths up. Marina and Morris are spending more time dancing around the nest and staring in...still. I will update journal as soon as I can confirm babies..
It is so hard to tell if the eggs have hatched. I see Marina and Morris switching more often and Morris perching closer to the nest in the morning. Morris also brought a new stick to the nest yesterday and Marina carefully placed it. At times, as I watch through the binoculars, I see both peering into the nest. No little heads poking up. The starlings that occupy the lower parts of the nest are very active as well. I have seen the starlings bringing food or nest materials to the nest.
Rain, wind, and cooler temperatures have been around for several days. Ospreys are laying low and not moving much. Still no sign of hatched chicks.
So...Morris is on his perch this afternoon. Have not seen him on it for a while. Look out with my glasses and see he has this super, bright orange fish wedged between his talon and branch. He is grubbing hard on this fish. What kind of fish is that bright orange? Best guess is two hands from pinky to pinky with fingers spread. Could it be a Koi from a residential pond nearby? Is Morris a...thief or an opportunist?
Marina has been gazing into the nest this afternoon while perched on the outer ring of nest. I am expecting little heads to pop up at any time. Wish we had a camera to take a look. Morris brought several items to nest today. Normally, I only see him at nest once with food or to guard while Marina takes a break. 83 clouds and sun.
80 plus degrees and sunny. Marina has been shifting a lot today. Sometimes I can see the tip of her head...sometimes just the tip of her tail feathers. She has been whistling a bunch. Morris has made a few runs from the perch and then disappears for a few hours at a time.
Students have been noticing the pair carrying more "stuff" to and from the nest. One of my students saw a round object being carried to the nest this morning. Round? We think it may have been a turtle. Do osprey eat turtles? They were going to research and get back to me. The blue string/rope that hangs from the perch in the wood, now has a pink string/rope attached to it. We are starting to think it is a bungy cord that is being picked at. This perch is a favorite for the pair to eat...so, I told the kids it was that it was fish guts hanging from the blue cord. Sunny and 80 today.
It has been pretty routine for the pair the last few days. Morris has brought food to Marina several times. Once, Marina took her fish to the perch in the woods and Morris sat with the eggs for a bit. Both have been very quiet. We had some heavy fog last night that stayed with us until 9 this morning. It is now 70 and clear. One of our Eastern Bluebirds came out of hiding and perched on the security camera. Must be they are temperature sensitive birds. Warm and Sunny. Marina and Morris are almost one month into incubating the eggs. Again...no firm confirmation that there are any eggs, but Marina has been laying low for three weeks. We may have chicks in the near future. One of our students researched the incubation period and compared it to his chickens. There is about fourteen day difference between Osprey and chickens.
Lots of chatter and flying today. The pair spent a good hour flying from the ground to skimming the trees tops. They repeated this over and over. I tried to see if there was a predator but none were seen through my field glasses. Marina eventually returned to her nest (eggs?) and continues to chatter. Morris on perch. Chinook helicopters out over the lake this afternoon. 58 and partly cloudy.
The day started with dense fog and 50's. Nothing from the nest all day. No sign of Morris or Marina. Could have been the mowers out all day cutting the lawn.
Rainy. 60 degrees. Morris in favorite tree. Marina still laying flat. They have been very quiet last couple of days. Peace.
Had a huge Tom, and a trailing Jake, walk out of the woods this morning. The Tom's beard was dragging on the ground. It fanned-out several times. We don't know what caused it to display its massive fan, but we guessed it may have been a couple of crows that were near. The turkeys strutted right under Morris while he was at his favorite perch. He just watched the two casually as if they were no big deal. My second period class couldn't get enough of watching the two. It is nice to have kids that hunt and can appreciated a trophy bird. Marina has been still all day. No sight of her...not even the top of her head. 54 and mostly cloudy.
Not much today. Marina sat up today and squawked for about five minutes straight. Then she turned around and sat. the white on her looked exceptionally bright today. 72 and mostly cloudy. I have to wonder if birds get a "glow" like human moms.
80 degrees and partly sunny. The pair have been switching a little more frequent today. Can the eggs get too hot? Either of the two do not sit very long in the nest. They both move a lot while in the nest. Are they rotating the eggs?
60 degrees and mostly sunny. Both osprey have been out of sight and quiet. I hear a bit of whistling once an hour. Short repetitions like panting. 8-10 repeated 3 to 4 times then nothing for the rest of the hour. I think Morris is spending more time perching near water. I have to ask the teachers on the other side of the building if they have seen the birds (the pond is on the opposite side of the school). The school has apple orchards all around. The orchards have been burning their pruning the last few days. The air reminds me of good, pipe tobacco.
I'm calling it. There must be eggs. Marina has been laying flat for over a week. Morris switches with her sometime in early afternoon but only for about 30 minutes, then Marina is back in. Morris was eating a fish on the perch today. Decent size. He was pinning it and ripping with his beak. And then he pooped. There are several logs directly below and they are becoming discolored or should I say white washed with poop. They must be eating well and often. 53 and cloudy. Clouds should break about noon.
Mixed weather. Rain this morning. Partly cloudy this afternoon. Both osprey were perched together on the edge of the wood during the rain. Rain stopped and Marina returned to nest. Morris has flown away several times. Had three deer under the perch. A mamma and her twins. The rain was heavy enough this morning that several other birds cam and sat under my window. Robins about broke through my screen. There was one White Crowned Sparrow that tried to stay dry as well. Other birds of interest include Barns Swallows and a pair of Eastern Bluebirds.
Lawn mowers out today. Marina was super still until the mowers were under the nest. She popped up and flew to the perch that Morris was on. She chewed his ear for about 10 seconds, then...Morris was flying around the mower (not too close) and then lighted on the nest. Marina went over to the perch and started preening herself. I noticed today that the other birds (starlings) that use the osprey nest as a home (underneath) are very quiet too. Not much movement by them makes me think there will be another set of eggs to come.
80 and windy today. Morris has been away for most of the day. He may have been perched on the opposite side of the soccer field. His usual perch looks a little wind swept. Marina is still in nest. Can hear her whistle a bit, but not moving much. There must be eggs. Contacted DEC myself. Will speak to them shortly and ask for help.
70 and sunny. LIght wind. Almost exact day as yesterday. Need to find a way to peek into nest. May try to borrow a drone and see if there are eggs. Marina and Morris flew away together around 1:30 in the afternoon. Marina had been sitting most of the day in nest. Morris preened himself for most of the morning.
Another very quiet day for Marina and Morris. Marina has been in nest all day. I can barely see the top of her head. Morris has been on perch for most of the day with his chest into the sun and face toward nest.. Very little flight. Made the grounds supervisor aware of nest. School district will be renovating the field including moving the light poles. Requested they contact NYS DEC to help move nest. Supervisor said he would start the process. Sunny and 64 today. Light wind.
Quiet day. Morris perched on the limb and on light pole for a little bit. He went fishing and came back with a small perch. Marina has been laying low. See her tail turn once in a while but no indication of eggs.
42 degrees. CLoudy with mist and drizzle. Nest is being spruced up and reinforced. Marina has been picking up sticks, twigs, and a good talon full of leaves. Noticed that the nest has some cloth or rope-like material weaved into it. It is green which is kind of cool considering one of our school colors is green. Without closer inspection it could be an old sweatshirt some kid left out on one of the fields or rope from a boat nearby. Morris has returned to the perch on the edge of the woods. Just sitting and watching. My second period class saw him drop to the ground and think he grabbed a squirrel or chipmunk and flew it to the nest. He definitely had a limp critter of some nature and it was not a fish. Not much sky-dancing today. Peace.
Morris has been exceptionally vigilant today. Instead of perching on their favorite limb on the edge of the woods, he has been on top of the nest or on the light pole directly adjacent to the nest. The intruders from yesterday must have sparked some knight instinct in him. He has been sitting taller..chest puffed...head on a swivel. Drizzle most of the day and cloudy. Neither Marina or Morris have left the nest for very long. Some nuthatches, robins, cardinals, and finches are close by. Canadian Geese stop in the school pond.
Drama at the Cougar nest today. A different pair of osprey arrived and were harassing Marina and Morris. One of the invaders was Gigantic. A half size larger than Marina. Might have been another female trying to steal the nest. The invader was chased off by Morris and the second intruder came in and tried to mate with or kick Marina out. Is that a trait of osprey? Morris has been gone for a few hours now. Is he injured? Do osprey fight to the death? Sending out positive vibes.
The warm weather makes a huge difference in copulation. Morris danced no less then a dozen times...and that was before noon. Witnessed him grab a branch from a tree.. It was swift, then time paused for a moment, then he was upon the nest in moments. Marina has been pretty still. Lots of nest prep/fluffing. I did get some binoculars over the weekend which instantly helped with this watch. Hoping for eggs.
Busy morning for the pair. Watched them for a good hour soaring and performing acrobatics. Amazing how well they actually fly and float. This is first time both have flown together. At one time it looked as if they were playing hide and seek using the small woods close by. Turns out a Red-tail hawk was in the woods. A little too close for Marina. I though Red-tails were pretty big, but Marina put the hawk to shame. Marina chased it away while Morris continued to play. They finally flew over the school. Perhaps they needed to get reacquainted with the school schedule. Grounds keeps were put working on the field and they didn't seem bothered. We are expecting a 20-30 degree rise in temperature this weekend. Hope the pair have some good fishing.
Marina and Morris have really settled into a routine. They wake, flap their wings, fly around a bit, perch... "Dance"... fly around a bit ... perch. Minor improvements to nest. I have seen some more fish, so both of them are pretty adept at hunting. They never fly South over the school-at least from my vantage point.
Rain finally stopped long enough for it to snow. Marina has spent most of the morning flying/sailing around the nest. Morris and Marina both landed at the same time today...BIG WINGS a few screeches..and then Morris climbed onto her back. They both perched on the same limb (Oak) afterward. They have done this multiple time. Lots of low flying, about 5 feet off the ground, back and forth with a quick swoosh up to the nest.
Marina and Morris have been busy today. Lots of sticks. A couple of fish. Marina flew the fish to the perch on the edge of the woods and ate. Morris was pile driving a stick through the bottom of the nest. Looked like he was setting a flagpole or footer for a deck. Cool to watch. There are a couple of smaller birds that are nesting in the bottom of their nest. Can't tell from my vantage point but will explore and identify when the cold and wet weather breaks. I will also find some good spotting glasses so I can keep my distance. I wish we could get a camera up close. I think the students would dig it.
Good news! Both Marina and Morris are well. Must have been a long scouting trip. Marina is large and stout. Morris reminds me of a Muppet. He is a bit scrawny and always look wet. They have been "dancing" a little in and around the nest. They take turns flying to a nearby tree and perch for little while after each dance.
I have a bad feeling. I have only seen one of the pair (Marina) in the nest. I have not seen Morris in a few hours. This may be common for pairs as they take turns in the nest. But...Yesterday, after I left school, I was driving home, on the highway... I passed a large bird with similar markings to osprey...dead...on the curb of Route 104. I anxiously watch the nest from my room...hoping it was not Morris. Marina was staring out this morning. She flew off not too long ago in the general direction of the carcass on 104.
The first several days at the light pole have been sporadic. The constant change in weather the last few days has been a factor in the osprey's behavior. On sunny days the male and female are quite active gathering sticks and establishing a perimeter of safety. We had a quick snow squall on Tuesday and the pair hunkered down with back to the wind. 1 hour later they took turns gathering more sticks and circling around the nest. The male became very protective and chattered an alarm as a bald eagle made several circles high above the field. The male osprey settled back onto nest once the eagle slid into the east on a full breeze. I am hesitant to give them names. Leaning toward Marina for the female and Morris for the male.