Talons & Twigs

While hiking at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, we sighted a protected Osprey nest. In the visitor center we learned:

  • Osprey are unique among North American raptors for their diet of live fish and ability to dive into water. No need for nose plugs, they have closable nostrils to keep out water during dives.
  • Osprey and owls are the only raptors whose outer toe is reversible, allowing them to grasp their prey with two toes in front and two behind. Perhaps this accounts for their success rate of at least 1 fish in every 4 dives.
  • Osprey nests are built of sticks and lined with bark, twigs, sod, grasses, vines, and algae. The male usually gathers the nesting material and the female arranges it.

Osprey Nest

  • Pinnacle positioning, Osprey construct their nests as high above the ground as possible. In a pair’s first season, their aerie is relatively small—less than 2.5 feet in diameter and 3–6 inches deep. After adding to the nest year after year, Ospreys can end up with nests 10–13 feet deep and 3–6 feet in diameter!
  • Female Ospreys begin to lay their eggs in late April and produce them at two-day intervals. Cream to pinkish cinnamon, the eggs are wreathed and spotted with reddish brown. First-time parents usually lay two eggs; experienced pairs lay three, and on rare occasion, four.
  • The average incubation period for Ospreys is 36-42 days. Interestingly, the eggs don’t hatch all at once. Rather, the first chick emerges up to five days before the last one.

What are you in the process of hatching?

© Laurie Buchanan

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63 thoughts on “Talons & Twigs

  1. We see ospreys a lot while in southern Florida. They seem such a close cousin to the eagles. I am surely hatching something but am just trying to keep the eggs warm on this rather cool June morning!

    • Kathy – I think you’re right that osprey and eagles share many similarities. I know it’s still pretty chilly up in your neck of the woods. Last night we took a walk at twilight (just after 9pm) at it was 89 beautiful, non-humid, degrees.

  2. I love ospreys. They are beautiful birds. I do envy them for having such a short incubation period. I’m still sitting on my memoir nest, and I can feel it moving beneath me. It is growing for sure. But it may be a while yet before it hatches.

  3. We have a large osprey nest on top of our radio tower on the old Sloptown Road here on Beaver Island. We love to keep an eye on their progress from one year to the next. I’m “hatching” a garden…and a gallery opening…and a conference call…two articles, one blog, four new paintings…what are you hatching, Laurie?

  4. Hi there Laurie we are just about to set off to our new nest in Wales (I bet you are fed up of hearing about my half house ) this week we are hatching flights of stairs . My husband has made them like a jigsaw and we’re now going to fit them ….no more ladders hurrah !!!!!
    Cherryx

    • Cherry – I always look forward to hearing about your “half house.” You’re going to have a blast fitting in the “puzzle piece stairs.” By the end of the week you’ll be ladder-free. Hooray! 🙂

  5. Hi, Laurie,
    I am hatching my Reiki Master Teacher certification in an internship with a lovely woman teacher and amazing group of students.

    I am so grateful to you for starting me on the Reiki path a few years ago.

  6. How interesting that your topic is ospreys today, Laurie. The osprey is the motif for my alma mater, the University of North Florida right here in Jacksonville, The campus is surrounded by woods, wetlands, and a lake. No fishing by humans allowed, so the ospreys and other wild-life have sole rights to the fishy feast available.

    Like Joan, I am keeping my writing chair warm, trying to hatch a memoir in due time. And like her, it is growing for sure, but it may be a while yet before it hatches.

  7. A baby shower for my daughter!

    We used to have an osprey nest on a pole near here, much like the one in your picture. It was fun checking to see who was sitting on the nest as we drove by…

  8. I’m hatching time for reading this week as I prepare to enter into a conversation about college students and vocation next week at Hope College. I also have many events to plan on the AnniversaryBookTourPalooza my husband and I will be taking along the Pacific Coast and across the continent from West to East in the month of July. Each of these events is a little hatchling as the nest gets wider. Thanks for another lovely metaphor and biology lesson, Laurie. You’re a model of how to live receptively and joyfully.

    • Shirley – I don’t know if it’s going to work out (keeping my fingers crossed), but when you’re AnniversaryBookTourPalooza reaches Portland, or possibly Seattle, I hope my schedule is such that I can go to one or the other 🙂

  9. I love the description of the beautiful eggs! What gorgeous colors. I would be so delighted to spy an Osprey OR its nest! 🙂 We are in the process of a lot fo downsizing, so I suppose I’m past the hatching a bit, but I’m definitely rearranging what I think I need for my nest. 🙂

  10. I saw my first occupied Osprey Nest last Spring on route up North to a Soroptimist Conference and he didn’t even flinch while we admired him. It was joyful! In one of my paintings of a friends cottage I posted on Happify, I painted an occupied Osprey nest in the reflection of the top window. Northern Ontario and Manitoulin Island, the Hydro crew build platforms on the top of poles and the community has flourished.
    I’m a part of a team hatching a new Soroptimist Club, very exciting.

  11. Laurie, I just seem to be hatching more and more books in my nest. I was going to cut back for July this year but am already at 14 reviews to go and several squeeze ins for June. So many more books are coming out e-books, it is hard to keep up. The big book people are now introducing new books before they are published even, which then cuts down on my work – so just enjoying this business while it lasts, then I will need to hatch something new?
    Got enough writing gigs recently that I am only $475 short for paying my co-pays on this oral surgery…that is exciting – I am truly working about 50 hours a week right now, I will need to figure out how to slow down for the next round in the dental chair.

    Who knew raking leaves out of drains could be so expensive and hazardous!

    • Patricia – Isn’t it grand when we get paid to do what we enjoy doing anyway? I’m glad that your reading/writing gigs have gone a long way toward paying for your dental procedures. Here’s to a continuation of that positive flow! 🙂

  12. Interesting nature study. Thank you, Laurie.
    Ah, I’m nurturing my latest submission. (This will be number 41 since January 6th). And after much tender care this submission will be ready to leave the nest on Thursday. Or at least that’s the plan. Please keep your fingers crossed. : )

  13. I am still trying to hatch a vegetable garden and here it is, almost the middle of June! I’d have to say we are late bloomers this year. I have an old Broody Hen settled on a nest of non-fertile eggs. I really feel sorry for her, she is so dedicated and has persevered thr ough all disruptions, me taking her off the nest, throwing away the eggs, everything I can think of. I know how she feels having tried and tried to hatch a plan that just wasn’t going to work, no matter what, and having to finally cut my losses and walk. It produces a valuable lesson though, Check your facts from the word Go.

    • Sandi – I have to laugh because I know that your perspective of an un-hatched garden is twice the production of the fully hatched gardens that many of the rest of us have! 🙂

      I do hope that Mrs. Broody Hen picks herself up, dusts off her feathery pantaloons, and starts all over again.

  14. Wow that nest looks so precarious! How can eggs and chicks be safe up there? I recently watched the crows nests (big community of crows in the churchyard opposite my house) being blown around like crazy in a storm. They seemed very secure… that’s good construction work! How they dont get seasick Ill never know… I felt green just watching!

  15. Hi Lauie,

    No Ospreys in NZ, we met our first one in Caloundra (just north of Brisbane Australia) last year.

    Been incubating the idea that people can live on indefinitely in good health for 40 years now. Right now, as I sit in a chair with my left arm in a sling and my left collarbone in 3 pieces it seems rather distant. For all our technology, all the medical people have done is send me home with arm in a sling and a few pain killers (I’ve been taking two each evening to help me get to sleep). Go back for a second xray today, and they’ll decided if they want to open me up and rebreak it. It looks bit lumpy and bumpy from the outside.

    Back to my incubating ideas, it is now clear to me that markets and money cannot be left alone. The idea that free markets promote real freedom is a logical nonsense, as it is clear in logic that markets overvalue scarcity and undervalue abundance. Thus free markets deliver abundance only to a very small group, while the rest of humanity is permanently consigned to experiencing scarcity and injustice.
    The finance sector and the rules around the creation of money have been allowed to grow into a cancer on the body polis.

    It is clear to me that we have the technical ability to deliver abundance and freedom to every human being, and more generally to all sentient life, and we need to change a few things to make that happen.
    One big change is to demand integrity from advertising.
    Another is to deliver education that teaches individuals to question everything and to be prepared to test everything.
    Another is to automate distributed trust networks, rather than be forced into accepting corporate or national networks.

    So much we could do, to deliver a better world for all.

    A big part of the change is acknowledging the role of cooperation in evolution.
    Rather than characterising evolution as being all about competition, we need to acknowledge the reality that all new levels of evolution are characterised by new levels of cooperation.

    We are a fundamentally cooperative species, and we need additional strategies to stop cheats from dominating.

    Our current political and economic systems have been designed by and for the cheats.
    Time for some change.

    • Ted – I got to see the x-ray of your busted-to-pieces collarbone on Facebook. Holy Toledo! My hope is that you can live with a lumpy shirt collar and they won’t have to re-break it 🙂

      I love the 40+ year eggs you’ve been sitting on. It’s my desire that they hatch in a BIG way, and then spread like PUCH (positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing) Wildfire!

      Heal fast. Be well. Live wisely. (I know, I’m preachin’ to the choir)…

    • Terrill – I can’t even begin to imagine what’s going to EXPLODE from your next once you get home and have an opportunity to “brood” for a while. It’s gonna be big. Really BIG!

  16. Laurie, my hatching is not a precarious as the nest in the picture. I amgreatful and comforted with the knowledge that my publisher and his staff always have an invisible safety net under and around me at all time. That knowledge of security and safety make the writing process for new Brian Color Health Care book much easier.

    • Sheila – I am so amazed and impressed with what you’ve done in the publishing world. You are my hero! If I can make one-tenth of the positive impression you’ve made, I’ll be over the moon! 🙂

    • Anne – WAY TO GO! If you need the name of a good literary agent for your book, please send me a private email (Laurie@HolEssence.com) and I will gladly provide you with my agent’s contact information 🙂

  17. Ospreys are attractive birds for sure, and your utterly fascinating look into the egg hatching process has me thinking hard about the metaphor you posed. School ends in two weeks, so I must again hatch a plan for the upcoming summer school session. In any event this is yet another fabulous post! 🙂

    • Sam – The fact that you teach — basically year-round — has my hat coming off to YOU, yet again! Thank you for your positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing contribution. Len and I oh-so-appreciate YOU!

  18. I just ‘gave birth’ to a brand new crocheted blanket for our motorhome. I incubated it for about 100 days and is the most beautiful offspring ever. It is now showing off nicely on the sofa of our home on wheels! I am a very proud mum!
    Nice post again! 🙂

    • Fatimasaysell — A proud mum, indeed! My hat is off to all of the people who know how to crochet and knit. I’ve always been mesmerized by the in/out action of crochet hooks, and the clickity-clack of knitting needles, as the artist whips along, full speed ahead 🙂

  19. Great shot of the osprey nest. Enjoyed your write up. We have some big birds with a similar skill set in Florida: Great Blue Heron. I have a video of one who caught a fish in the pond near our home. Amazing bird.

    As for what I’m hatching … I need to write about it more than talk about it. That’s my plan for this summer. Wish me luck, Laurie. 😉

    • Ntexas99 – You know what they say, “Better late than never.” Thank you for stopping by. And by the way, you’re always right on time at Tuesdays with Laurie — regardless of the day 🙂

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