Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ospreys Have Young

I have been watching the webcam ientently the last couple of days for signs of hatching. Yesterday, 5/30, was the first time that the female showed a lot of aggitation/nervousness, switching postions, and looking into the bowl of the nest, so I suspected things were happening. Today, I saw her pick off small pieces of fish flesh & dip her head into the nest to feed at least one young bird.
Keep watching. In a week or so we should be able to see downy heads poking above the nest as the female feeds her young.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Question from viewer: Is there anyway to get the CAM to zoom in on the osprey without disturbing them? It would especially be nice when the chicks hatch.

Answer: Thanks for watching the ospreycam at Deer Flat NWR. The nesting platform is on a pole which is standing in the water of Lake Lowell. The camera is on a pole sitting on the shoreline about 50 yards from the nest. The camera can zoom in at 25X maximum and we have it at about that right now. We will do the best we can with zoom and focus when the young are visible. Stay tuned, the young should start hatching out in about 7 to 10 days. rcc

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Intruder at Osprey Nest

Yesterday, some of you may have seen our nesting pair of ospreys ward of another osprey from the nest. This was reported to me by Jim, one of our faithful watchers. There was a lot of interaction and flashing of talons. We don't know if this intruder was from the other nesting pair located about 2 miles to the east or possibly a young from last years nest. Young birds sometimes return to the nest where they were born.
Apparently, this type of interaction is not all that uncommon. The same type of intrusion happend last year and we have that on archived video. To see last years footage of another osprey trying to land at the nest click here: http://www2.fiberpipe.net/deerflat/vod.asp?Intruder_061310.wsx

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Busy Nesting Season at Deer Flat NWR

While we are watching and waiting for the osprey to complete their incubation cycle, I wanted to point out that we have other active nesters at the refuge. Another osprey pair is also sitting on eggs on their platform nest near the refuge maintenance shops. I also observed a great-horned owl nesting in a cavity of an old cottonwood tree in that area.
We have two bald eagle nesting territories on Lake Lowell. One is just west of the visitor center and that nest has at least one young eaglet in it, about one month old. The other bald eagle nest is on the east end of the lake and only accessible by boat. We have not yet determined the number of young in that nest.
There are many breeding pairs of red-tailed hawks nesting on the refuge, they also have young in the nest. One of the more visible nests is at Murphy's Neck off Orchard Ave...I saw a downy head peeking above the edge of that nest just this morning.
The great blue heron rookery on the south side of Lake Lowell is full of nesting birds, as is the double-crested cormorant rookery in the same general location. Meanwhile, hundred of western grebes (some Clark's grebes mixed in) have returned to the lake and are preparing for their nesting season. We saw several in courtship display during a recent boat trip around the lake.
And lastly, the refuge staff is just finishing their surveys of nesting Canada geese on the islands in the Snake River. The nest numbers are down from previous years and the high river flows this year have inundated some of the nesting islands. Most all of the goslings should have hatched by now from the viable nests. rcc