It has been an odd year at the Beaver Creek State Natural Area osprey nest as well. After watching last year's pair successfully fledge two young, I sort of expected this year's nest to go off without a hitch, just the same. Silly me. Instead, when the two chicks were a week or two from fledging, we witnessed a day with three intruder ospreys and our resident pair all active in the air around the nest with much screaming and aggressive behaviour between birds. This was the last day we saw the smaller chick. The new birds and the aggression continued for a few days at which point, we could see the bigger chick prone in the nest, not moving except for feathers ruffling in the wind. We did not see the chick get attacked but are presuming it was killed by one of the new osprey.
Though it is difficult to tell who is who, we assume the ospreys that are still "owning" the nest are the interlopers, hoping to claim it for next year. The new pair show an significant size dimorphism. The old pair did not, and sometimes this is obvious.They are not always there but at some point every day, one or both are present. They continue to work on the nest and to bring food to it. Sometimes a third bird (not sure of its age but it is not a juvie from this year) is also present with them, with no apparent aggression. Occasionally we see (and hear) a juvie screaming around as well, usually carrying a fish. Where does it come from? Who is the mystery third adult? Where are the original osprey pair? Are the dead young still in the nest?
So many questions!
Laura Paulson Beaver Creek State Natural Area volunteer
On Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 11:00 AM, Kevin Smith < <kevinsmithnaturephotos...> wrote:
> Question: I've been watching Osprey nests in central Oregon and am in a > quandary. I have one nest which has just fledged two chicks. Up the road > a bit there is a nest which has had only ONE chick and now has THREE, all > ready to go. Does anyone know of a swich-a-roo nest game in raptors?? > > Kevin Smith >