While I was in Banff National Park this week, I stopped by an osprey nest along the Bow River. It is used every year and I always visit to see how the family is doing. On this day, the female was on the nest with only the top of her head visible. I walked down to the river and found the male sitting in a tree. Quite a handsome fellow!
The brown necklace on the breast is more frequently found on the female, but this bird was acting like a male, hanging around, not doing much of anything; I mean male ospreys, not all males! He spent a lot of time meticulously grooming.
After ninety minutes of waiting for something to happen, I headed back to the road, only to hear the female call. The bird flew to her, and of course, I missed a good shot. I walked below the nest and was able to see both birds. They were carrying on an animated conversation.
Nothing much happened for a few minutes, and then there was a great deal of flapping as one bird departed. The whole sequence lasted about three seconds, and I simply put the camera on burst. When I first looked at the photos on the camera’s view screen, I thought that I had captured a mating. Only later, as I tried to sort out body parts, did I decide that in fact, the two birds were simply changing places. I hope that someone with more expertise in osprey matters will settle the issue.