One of my favorite things about autumn is waking up to find Osprey having breakfast right outside my window. This doesn’t happen much in the summer. During the summer, the Osprey usually make a beeline from the ocean straight back to the bay where they can find quieter and more pleasant places to nom nom safely; even after their babies have fledged and they are the true definition empty nesters, free to dine out if they choose.
I’ve always attributed this to the fact that all of the people are gone in the fall. With the beaches empty, the houses dark, and the roads quiet, I just assumed the Osprey felt safer; comfortable enough to finally dine oceanfront.
But this fall, thanks to heavy quarantining, remote working, and home schooling, many neighborhoods are just as bustling and crowded as they are midsummer. And yet the Osprey are still happily perching around the island enjoying breakfast even as people come, and go, and noisily dump bottles into recycling bins right below them. It appears that maybe people don’t have too much to do with it after all.
Which leaves a simpler explanation about why we see more Osprey eating their fish among us in the fall: they are not from around here. The young Osprey you see above could be a migrant on her way south. She might not know about all of the little nooks and crannies around the bay where she could eat more peacefully. She might be too tired to care. Or maybe it’s just that our local, summer Osprey prefer to dine at their homes instead of at ours.
It is always good to have more data!