Hidden in plain sight. I stumbled upon a second Calumet area OSPREY nest by accident on Saturday morning, 8 July 2017 (the other Calumet Osprey nest is at the traditional Powderhorn Lake Forest Preserve location, active since about 2002). The nest I discovered on Saturday morning was on a cell tower along the Doty Avenue East frontage road just north of 130th Street and east of I-94 in Chicago. A pair of adult Ospreys was present – one (presumed male) was perched on a separate nearby cell tower, the other (presumed female) was on the cell tower nest. The female was actively & busily tending the contents of the nest. Although I didn’t see any young in the nest during my brief visit, I strongly believe they were there based on the female’s behavior.
Oddly, the male’s eyes were closed in the vast majority of photos I took, even though it seemed (pretended?) to be alert. I was finally able to get one photo of the male with its eyes open. On the other hand, the busy female’s eyes were always open. I wondered if there might be something wrong with the male, such as Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis – but I have never heard of that disease occurring in any birds other than Fringillid finches (certainly not in Ospreys). Finally, after doing an online search, I found that Ospreys have white eyelids (like the male in my photos), and that they close their eyelids from the bottom up (again, just like my photo bird). So it seems the male Osprey in my photo was not sick (just snoozing). And I actually learned two new things today!
But I do need to comment that every time I encounter a pair of raptors the female always seems to be busy doing something really important, but the male always seems to prefer the Dagwood Bumstead approach (that is, asleep on the sofa). Wired into the genes, I guess.