adventures in nature

2016 June Richmond Osprey Nest

A fellow raptor-lover / naturalist friend of mine lives on a boat by Point Richmond, and this winter she convinced the harbor master to install a platform on the breakwater in hopes that osprey would nest there. They did! Osprey have been continuing to be present in increasing numbers here in the Bay Area, and I was able to get to see the nest last week, just a week after the two babies hatched. It was difficult to see them because they are still so small, but I hope to return to see them in a couple of weeks when they are more visible.

Right when I got there, dad (named Lee) had just caught a nice sized striped bass and was looking for a place to start eating. The fish looks like it is saying “oooooooohhhhhhh shit.” Valid.

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My friend said that he typically has been the one hunting, and the female sits on the nest with the young since they hatched. Evidently he seems to always get this size and type of fish, and there were reports about a year ago of a surge in the density of striped bass in the Bay. He usually finds a spot to eat the head, before he delivers it to the nest. Today though, he left a nearby perch possibly due to the high winds and he went right over the nest. But not before the gulls harrassed him for his dinner.

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The gulls are always looking for an easy meal, and two great-blue herons that were on the breakwater were not pleased …

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A double-crested cormorant popped up right by us on the dock, beautiful creatures.

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Pops decided to re-locate after mom (Eileen) had fed herself and the tiny little hatchlings. He went on a perch just to the side of the nest to keep working on dinner, as the sky turned to pink and purple with the setting sun.

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Special thanks to Shirley for all the work she does and her love for these birds.






2 responses

  1. Mark Peery

    Fantastic Zach, yours is the best naturalist site I know of–keep on keepin on!!

    June 19, 2016 at 11:01 pm

  2. Zach:

    What a great posting! It works so well because of the story line. It got me to thinking what is missing in so many web sites and postings is a compelling story as much as great images. I dig that you really use the format. It works perfectly on the narrow format. What do you compose on?

    We had a great tracking day yesterday. Down in the cypress by the second pond we found a fresh killed possum, minutes dead, with buzzards already on it. It had been opened at the gut, probably by the birds, but not much eaten, yet. The tongue was still hanging out. The head had a lot of bite marks. My own intuitive hit was that a bobcat had taken it and perhaps heard us crossing over from the badger meadow and abandoned it…or maybe it just didn’t like the taste. We looked around and sure enough found fresh bobcat tracks going along the cypress, in on the North, out on the South.


    June 19, 2016 at 11:37 pm

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