May 222013
 

Unfortunately the Boulder County Fairgrounds Osprey Camera suffered another outage, and it’s season is over. That said, it presents the opportunity for those in the surrounding area to go visit it, and share updates. Here is one…

Osprey at Cattail Pond, Longmont, Coloardo

Because in the real world these Osprey are easy to find, it was harder than expected to do so online. After finding reference to the Osprey being at Cattail Pond in some news articles, we found that on the Boulder County Fairground map. That said, when driving along Hover Road we easily spied the nesting structure and could park very close; just North/East of the Outdoor Arena.

After weeks (almost months) of watching these birds only from the perspective of the camera it was fun to see their pond, and the whole structure (including solar panels.) The first thing we learned was that while one bird is on the nest, the other is likely hanging out on the pole at the far end of the pond (see that pole/bird far right in the photo above?)

We were treated to a nest exchange and so got wonderfully close views of both the male and the female. They seem so much smaller off camera. Clearly they are incubating. I wonder how many eggs they are sitting atop now.

This is a small (and urban) setting, but was well worth a visit. Great Blue Heron, Geese (with Goslings), Huge Carp, Swallows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Robins, Butterflies and Dragonflies … and, of course, Osprey.

Male Osprey

Female Osprey

Female Osprey

Apr 222013
 

I’ve been having a lot of fun watching the Boulder County Fairground’s ospreys this season. The web cam is trained right on the nesting platform.

First it was waiting expectantly for the first bird to return, and then waiting (less patiently) the full week for the second, and now waiting for eggs (and hoping they time things well, given the deep snows we’ve been having.)

It finally dawned on me that it would be interesting to know which was the male, and which the female, and that this was a time where I could figure it out. Right now the birds are copulating regularly, with the male on top.

Here is what I’ve observed:

Female has a larger (wider) back-of-the-head marking…

From behind, you can see the female has a larger/wider marking on the back of her head; it is like a black diamond. The male’s marking is much smaller/thinner; it is closer to an inverted T. This makes identifying the birds relatively easy from the back.

Female Osprey on the left, Male on right

Female Left, Male Right

Female has speckled breast….

The female’s breast is heavily speckled with markings. The male’s breast is pretty much pure white.

Female osprey has a speckled breast, male is white.

Speckled Female

 

White-breasted Male

White-breasted Male

 

Additionally

The female is larger, but (to my eye via this camera) only barely, such that it would be hard to use this when they are together and next to impossible outside of that.

Right now the female is spending most of her time at the nest, with the male bringing her food.

See some #fgosprey tweets

These ‘Fairground Ospreys’ are discussed on Twitter with hashtag #fgosprey.


Dec 232011
 

Landscaped Nesting by ShowMeNature
Landscaped Nesting

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A Belted Kingfisher On A Foggy Day

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A Bluebird Trying To Figure Things Out

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American Avocet

Great Blue Heron On The Green Carpet by screek
Great Blue Heron On The Green Carpet

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Photo of the Day: Northern Flicker

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Photo of the Day: Common Grackle

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Dusky Wood Swallow

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Snowy Egret

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Baltimore Oriole

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A Pileated Woodpecker Feeding On Berries

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Black-capped Chickadee

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Sharp-shinned Hawk with fresh kill

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Hovering Hummingbird