Don’t Forget The Other Birds

Hello all, this is Osprey Girl. I am the new summer intern who will be working for the next two months at the Conservancy. My mission for this summer is to provide a wider view of the osprey’s world here on the Chesapeake Bay. I have been living on the Chesapeake Bay my entire life. I have been fortunate enough to witness the constant changing environment surrounding the bay which I hope to bring to you through my blogs.

The past few days were incredibly humid, even to the point where one could actually reach out and feel the air… you should not be able to feel air. Today the humidity was gone, the sun was shining, and there was a light breeze. Luckily, the humidity did not affect the behavior of the birds in the backyard. We have a myriad of birds living in our midst, including goldfinches (who are picky as to what birdseed they eat), mockingbirds (who try to be someone they’re not), hummingbirds (who entertain my cats from their feeder in the window), sparrows (who bully the blue birds), bald eagles (AMERICA!) and many others. I could write dozens of blogs on birds that live close to the ospreys, but it’s your lucky day and I will spare you all from that… this time.

feliz hummingb

Where is that humming bird?! He was here a minute ago!

This evening, a flock of undesirable resident geese swam by the osprey nest. I say undesirable because they should be in the north this time of year raising their goslings. Surprisingly enough, the ospreys and the geese are friendly neighbors and don’t pay much attention to each other. The ospreys and the Great Blue Herons, on the other hand, are not. Great Blue Herons are known to raid osprey nests and eat their eggs. When herons get near the osprey nest, ospreys aggressively protect their territory and are not afraid to attack the heron. I have witnessed an osprey dive bomb a heron and actually knock it out of the air and into the water. For those of you who have never heard a heron in distress, it is truly a blood curdling sound.

Fun Facts About Herons

  • Unlike the ospreys that mate for life, Great Blue Herons find a new mate each year
  • They can grow to be 3.2 – 4.5 feet
  • They are the largest heron in North America and can fly 20-30 miles an hour (faster than I feel comfortable driving)
  • Typically nest in colonies, but hunt alone
  • Their diet includes: fish, mice, and insects
  • They have been known to choke to death by attempting to swallow fish that are too large

    Until the next blog, adios amigos!

-Osprey Girl