Osprey Taking Care of the Nest at Fort Pickens
Osprey were busy at their nests during a Saturday afternoon trip to Fort Pickens. Driving through the Gulf Island National Seashore near Pensacola Beach I saw several active osprey nests. There were two nests I focused on as each one seemed to be at a different stage of development.
The first nest looked like they may have eggs or chicks on the nest. The parents would take turns sitting deep inside the middle of the nest. In the first picture you will notice an osprey flying to the nest, and you can see the white head of the other osprey peeking out. After it landed, it took over duties sitting on the nest as the other one flew off. Apparently I was well hidden at my observation area as a mockingbird landed near me and I could see it had a praying mantis it had just caught.
Moving down the road I walked to a nest that had a pair busy with building their nest. One osprey stayed at the nest while the other kept bringing nesting material to the nest. I'm guessing this one doesn't have eggs as they would drop the material onto the nest. Of course I'm not an osprey expert but I would think they wouldn't be so careless with the material if they had eggs in the nest. In comparison, the second nest appears to be smaller than the first nest I observed so maybe this is a first year nest for these two. Like eagles, they stay paired for life and reuse the same nest year after year.
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