While hiking at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, we sighted a protected Osprey nest. In the visitor center we learned:
- Osprey are unique among North American raptors for their diet of live fish and ability to dive into water. No need for nose plugs, they have closable nostrils to keep out water during dives.
- Osprey and owls are the only raptors whose outer toe is reversible, allowing them to grasp their prey with two toes in front and two behind. Perhaps this accounts for their success rate of at least 1 fish in every 4 dives.
- Osprey nests are built of sticks and lined with bark, twigs, sod, grasses, vines, and algae. The male usually gathers the nesting material and the female arranges it.
- Pinnacle positioning, Osprey construct their nests as high above the ground as possible. In a pair’s first season, their aerie is relatively small—less than 2.5 feet in diameter and 3–6 inches deep. After adding to the nest year after year, Ospreys can end up with nests 10–13 feet deep and 3–6 feet in diameter!
- Female Ospreys begin to lay their eggs in late April and produce them at two-day intervals. Cream to pinkish cinnamon, the eggs are wreathed and spotted with reddish brown. First-time parents usually lay two eggs; experienced pairs lay three, and on rare occasion, four.
- The average incubation period for Ospreys is 36-42 days. Interestingly, the eggs don’t hatch all at once. Rather, the first chick emerges up to five days before the last one.
What are you in the process of hatching?
A version of this post was previously published on TuesdaysWithLaurie and is republished here with permission from the author.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: Laurie Buchanan