Monday, August 14, 2006

Odd Bird Behavior

A few days ago I went to my favorite, Maxwellton Beach, when there was a large "minus tide" - meaning that the tide was WAY out and the beach was huge. While Zuma and I were walking, a huge bird flew right over my head, swooped down, and picked up something off the beach. As it flew up into the air, I could see that the "something" was long and stringy. I tried to photograph it, while wondering what on earth it could be - certainly not a snake, probably not an eel (never seen one on the beach). In this photo, you can see the bird flying head-on, with the long, wiggly thing dangling beneath its body.
This not very satisfying photo was a disappointment - but I continued to photograph the bird as it flew towards the trees at the back of the beach. This time I could clearly see that it was an osprey carrying a long green piece of kelp. If you click on the photo I hope you can see this against the trees. Now I'm wondering what osprey do with kelp? Do they eat it? Does anybody know?

6 comments:

Wendy said...

They line their nests with it!

Cyndy Goldman said...

i'm thinking they must line their nests too. we had a strange bird walking her family up the hill behind our yard last nite! a Pheasant and her babies! i'll have to keep my camera nearby to catch a photo of them next time.

TDharma said...

don't know about osprey and their habits, but I love the beach photo with your footprints in the sand, meandering up/down the beach. You sure live in a beautiful landscape.

robin andrea said...

Blogger is very weird. I've checked this site over the past few days and I never saw this post. I clicked here this morning, and here's a post with Monday's date. That's strange. I've noticed that on other sites as well. Even if I click refresh, it doesn't bring up a new post.

Anyway, I love these photos of the osprey and the beach. I would guess the osprey is lining the nest, but it seems late for nesting. I'm going to check around and see what info I can find for osprey nesting behavior.

karina said...

Hmmm. It's the kelp mystery. :-)

Sigrid Jardin said...

Well, I've done a little internet research (sorry I didn't do this before posting) and there are several confirmations that osprey use (among many other things) seaweed to line their nests. This has to do with softness, but also they are known to choose materials that have the ability to repel insects, so the big piece of seaweed may be playing that role as well. And I have seen an osprey sitting on a nest this week, so they are indeed still nesting here on the island.