Posts tagged: fish hawks
BIRD WATCHING — Tickets for Saturday's osprey viewing cruise on Lake Coeur d'Alene sold out the day after the notice was published, proving word is out that this is a bucket list wildlife opportunity in the Inland Northwest.
The photos came from Carlene Hardt, who wrote this note after taking the cruise:
Thank you for writing about the Osprey Cruise on your blog! I didn't know they did this every year. There was one Osprey family on their piling nest in Cougar Bay that we watched being banded. The chicks stay in the nest for 8 weeks. I was surprised by their camouflaged coloring and long wings. There were several guest speakers durning our 2 hour cruise.
It was a wonderful way to spend the morning.
While speakers told stories and offered information about these hawks that dive into lakes and river for their meals of fish, the people on the cruise boat could watch osprey expert Wayne Melquist band young osprey in nests along the lake.
Melquist would hold the birds up so people could see the osprey's sharp talons as he attached the band.
The banding day is scheduled before the chicks are old enough to be tempted to bail out of the nest at the approach of a human.
At least 100 osprey pairs nest each year in the Coeur d’Alene Lake region including the lower reaches of the St. Joe and Coeur d’Alene Rivers.
Adult osprey along with the young of the year birds begin their annual migration in mid-September. The bands have helped researchers document their travel all the way to Baja California, Central America, and many all the way to South America. The adults return in late winter/early spring to the area where they originally hatched.
BIRDWATCHING — Ospreys were late to arrive in the Inland Northwest this year, and some of the fish-eating hawks are hanging around longer this fall, possibly because they got a late start producing their young.
According to Coeur d'Alene Audubon Society Records, ospreys usually arrive to North Idaho in mid- to late-March. This year the first sighting was April 4, probably owing to the lingering wintery conditions.
Normally, the ospreys begin leaving in late September and are usually gone by late October, as they migrate to far-flung summering areas. (See below) But area birders have been reporting late-stayers this week:
See a revealing video, including slow-motion aerials and underwater footage, of the remarkable way ospreys fly and dive for their food.
(“WA data are probably biased toward the west side of the state,” says INW birder Charles Swift.)
WHERE DO OSPREYS GO?
Here's a blurb from Out & About on the S-R Outdoors page, Feb. 13, 2005:
COEUR D'ALENE OSPREY IN CUBA
An osprey hatched along the lower Coeur d'Alene River is basking in the tropical warmth of Cuba this winter.
The osprey is one of 20 hatchlings that were captured last summer in North Idaho so they could be introduced to South Dakota. Wayne Melquist, a North Idaho wildlife biologist and osprey expert, attached GPS devices to four of the 20 birds before they were put taken out of state as part of a migration research project.
The birds were put in man-made nests, called hack boxes, and fed until they fledged on their own.
“These birds didn't have any parents to tell them where to go for the winter, but that's true no matter what, since the parents naturally leave for the winter before their young do,” Melquist said.
Of the four chicks with transmitters, one is in the New Oreleans area and one got to the coast and then made a beeline for Cuba. Melquist is not sure at this point whether the other two are alive.