Yesterday for the first time we had Osprey at the nesting platform at the Audubon Nature Reserve. The platform is located next to the parking lot and was donated and erected by Salem Electric at the suggestion of Lee Slattum. Naysayers, myself included, questioned its feasibility; too close to busy Eola Drive, too close to the parking lot, too far from the river. But yesterday, Lee and Salem Electric were vindicated with an amazing amount of activity at the platform. In the course of my morning volunteer time I watched and took almost fifty photos trying to capture the experience. The following photos hopefully tell a story that based on my research seems to be quite plausible. The first photo shows a female descending to the nest site.
Female Osprey can be recognized by the line of dark feathers at the neck line resembling a “necklace”.
This is a male, void of the “necklace”. (All photos can be enlarged by clicking)
What we first assumed were a pair of Osprey became three Osprey, and my best guess is that this is one of the two males bringing a “gift” to the female in hopes of winning her approval.
This I believe to be the second male bringing a different “gift” in hopes of winning the contest. I think these are gifts because they are not the large sticks used in the construction of the nest.
This could be the happy couple. Osprey migrate to Oregon mid-March from as far away as South America. They are monogamous, pairing up for the summer to breed and raise their young.
Reference: Birds of Oregon by Burrows & Gilligan / The Birders Handbook by Ehrlich, Dobkin & Wheye / The Birds of Bidwell Park by Lederer & Burr