Osprey Diaries: Coming Home

It was starting to warm up, and I knew that it was time to start heading north. My man and I had made a pact to meet up at this perfect little nest.

So I started flying. And I flew. And I flew. And I flew.

And I rested.

And I flew. And I flew. And I flew.

The landscape started to change to large square plots of farmland dotted with creeks and wetlands, with a few expanses of small towns. Then I saw them, those huge bodies of water that broke apart the terrestrial landscape, and I knew I was almost home.

My wings were tired, but I kept pushing just those few extra miles, and our cute little nest stuck out above a beautiful prairie. My man was sitting on the nest, just waiting for me to come home that beautiful early April day.

Photo of an osprey flying above its nestopens IMAGE file

We greeted each other and then set to work. As good as it was to see him, we had stuff to get done. So we both hopped up and went on scouting missions throughout the area, looking for items that could bolster our nest. Last year, it was decorated perfectly, but winter storms had blown out much of the soft cushiony material in the material and many of the sticks and reeds that made the edge.

Photo of an osprey sitting on an empty nestopens IMAGE file

I found some large sticks and swooped down, grabbing one in my long talons. It fit perfectly on the 5-foot square box that would soon hold our babies. It looked like my man had been back with some material too, a stick and some grass clumps were lying in the nesting box. He tried to put them in the right spot, but I knew that they would fit better in a little bit different area so I moved his pieces. Men. They just aren’t the best decorators.

The next few days flew by with much of the same, adding to our home and taking a few breaks to grab some fresh fish from Center Lake and West Lake Okoboji.

On Monday, I watched annoyed as my man sat atop a nearby birdhouse, eating a koi fish he had skewered. I was sitting on the nest just gazing at his feast, but did he offer me any? No. I had to do my own fishing that night.

But from now on, he will bring me fish. That’s because on Monday night I started to notice some odd sensations. Things were rumbling in my abdomen. A few tights movements, and then there it was — our first egg!

Photo of two osprey sitting on a nest with an eggopens IMAGE file


The beauty is white with speckled brown spots, and it sits like a little treasure right in the middle of the cushioned nest. Wanting to keep this baby warm, I nestled down into the soft material, right on my wonderful egg. What dreams I have for this child.

And hopefully more are on the way.

Photo of an osprey sitting on an eggopens IMAGE file