Ranger and I were cruising north of Rice Lake yesterday, marveling at the number of inhabited man-made osprey nests on county road 2 (and pretty much every other road anywhere in the area). As he was telling me about his nephew’s first sighting of an osprey, we spotted a trio of them (obviously nestlings) on one of those nests. It’s a tribute to “Puxley and Friends of the Osprey” who worked to have these nests built on poles surrounding the lake, and of course, the abolition of DDT. These and many others’ efforts assisted in returning the bird that once graced our $10.00 bill to grace our skies. Hydro One handles the more dangerous installations of nesting platforms on telephone poles. Every nest we saw had a family in it. Some poles are deliberately higher than the standard poles to facilitate the height desired by these birds. If a man-made nesting platform isn’t available, the osprey will choose another manmade site. Ranger and I were surprised to spot a nest in a tree just off county rd 2. The first natural nest site I’ve ever seen. That’s encouraging as it says the area is choice enough that they’ll build their own nests using natural locations. Osprey are known to be quite gregarious and have no quarrels with human voyeurs watching them, even from rather close quarters.
Ranger noticed the red object hanging down from the rear of the one in the picture above. We also spotted the other adult in flight with something hanging from its talons. When I showed the wife this picture and told her of the one in flight, she suggested they were lures, intended to entice the young to take flight to get it. Clever lady huh? That’s why I married her, God only knows why she married me. I’m still working that one out.
So anyway, I oughta mention that Ranger and I lucked out with these sightings because he wanted to re-visit Three Roads Farms Chicken Farm. A friend of his reminded him that they have great food at an excellent price, and I will say I had the juiciest chicken breast ever, with wedgie fries and a box of chocolate milk (I’m such a child) for under $8.00. Not a bad deal at all. The only thing I’ll warn you of, is the lovely picnic area they have set up outside. It’s a great spot but, if the wind changes and blows from the direction of the chicken barns … yeah, you know what I mean.