Yesterday morning I returned to the osprey (Pandion haliaetus) nest which, for the third consecutive year, was co-opted by a pair of Canada geese (Branta canadensis). See: Sublet Osprey Nest 03-31-2017
There were two Canada geese inside the nest, not the usual single goose, and they were acting differently. Meanwhile two osprey were circling above the nest. One goose stood on the edge of the nest and honked continuously for at least ten minutes while I watched. Although I could not see any goslings, I KNEW today was the day the goslings were going to leave the nest. Unfortunately I had a commitment and could not stay to watch the goslings plunge the long distance to the ground.
Two hours later I returned to the nest. The geese were gone and the osprey were beginning to add sticks to the nest – “redecorating” before beginning their brood.
I searched beneath the snag on which the nest is built and found a still warm, but dead, gosling. When I checked Crystal Lake (Shasta County CA), the nearest water, I could not see the parents and their goslings, although there is much shoreline I was unable to get to today. I will look for the parents and their goslings again. Although one gosling did not survive, I assume three of four, at least, are swimming around Crystal Lake with their parents.
Now it is the ospreys’ turn to raise their young in the dual-purpose nest. Look closely at the photograph. A stick is visible in the osprey’s talons.