The ospreys in this photo are working on a nest beside Skimikin Lake on April 23, 2021. While just two ospreys can be seen, there is a third adult crouched deep inside the nest. (John Woods photo)

The ospreys in this photo are working on a nest beside Skimikin Lake on April 23, 2021. While just two ospreys can be seen, there is a third adult crouched deep inside the nest. (John Woods photo)

Osprey-watching provides Shuswap photographer with unexpected observation

Ospreys carrying branches a common sight in Salmon Arm skies

Ospreys are a common sight in the Salmon Arm area, thanks to an abundance of fish in the lakes and many snags and nesting platforms.

Avid birdwatcher and photographer John Woods notes that ospreys can often be seen flying over Salmon Arm, clasping branches firmly in their talons. Whether they’re renovating or building a new home, they need a supply of suitable sticks.

Woods took this photo of ospreys working on a nest beside Skimikin Lake, but after watching for several minutes, the unexpected occurred.

He explained.

“As one adult delivers a stick to the huge, previously used nest high in a dead ponderosa pine, another adult watches the approach with partially opened wings. What you can’t see is that there are actually three adults at the nest, the two in the picture and a third crouched deep inside. I only noticed the third bird once both of these birds flew away.

“After 10 minutes with no sign of any ospreys around the nest, the head of a hidden bird looked up and over the rim from inside the ‘vacant’ nest. Since male and female ospreys look alike, I’m not sure what is going on here with three adults at one nest.”

Woods said pondering these types of mysteries is what keeps observing nature a fascinating hobby.

Read more: Great Blue Herons can be seen carrying construction materials across Salmon Arm

Read more: Rebounding osprey population evident in Salmon Arm

Read more: Osprey nest in downtown Salmon Arm will remain until new year


martha.wickett@saobserver.net
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