The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) have been back for over a month. In addition to the nest I have been monitoring, Leonard and I see osprey sitting on their nests throughout the area. Nest building and repairing appear to be over and the osprey are now incubating their eggs.
Yesterday while hiking along Lower Hat Creek (Shasta County CA) I was surprised to see an osprey flying overhead carrying a big branch. It circled overhead about five times and then flew off over a hill. I have no idea where the osprey took the branch, as I know of no nearby osprey nests. I was amazed at the ease with which the osprey carried and maneuvered the awkward load.
The large size of the branch made me think that this osprey is constructing a nest rather than simply refurbishing a nest from last season – pure speculation, of course. Is the osprey late in building its nest? Does it have a mate – or is this a “spec house”? It is fun to imagine what the osprey was doing with the big branch.