Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
I took advantage of crystal clear blue skies Friday morning to photography the nesting activity of a pair of Osprey on the campus of the Southern Maine Community College. The nest is on a man-made platform, just off a pier at the terminus of Fort Road, in Casco Bay. I had 3 hours before class and hoped to see both male and female Osprey on the nest.
When I arrived on the pier, the female Osprey was huddled low on the nest to offset the effects of the cold and wind. Several minutes later, two Osprey flew low over the nest and the female rose from her huddled position to give several scolding calls to the pair.
The bay was busy with waterfowl, including American Wigeon, Common Eider, Long-tailed Ducks, Common Loon and Horned Grebe. Gulls followed several lobster boats as lobstermen motored across the bay to check their traps. Ferries shuttled commuters from the islands of Casco Bay to the terminal in Portland Harbor. A near perfect morning, with the exception of the cold northwest winds.
After watching the female Osprey sit on the nest for nearly an hour, I heard another Osprey call overhead. It was hubby, and he had romantic intentions for the Misses. She was receptive, kneeling with her rear raised, but the male over-corrected and landed to far up on her back. It was somewhat comical watching the pair in this position for a full minute before the female shrugged her shoulders and the male hopped off. Maybe he will get it right the next time.
I will be watching this pair throughout the summer, hoping to see the young and their interaction with their parents. I may even get lucky and see the juveniles leave the nest for the first time. I will keep you up to date with photos and videos of this Osprey family over the course of the next several months.
The following photos were taken with a Canon 7D and a Canon 400mm f/4 L IS lens. Simply click a thumbnail below for a full-sized view. ©2011 John Briggs Photography