Freeway Osprey and Friend

In the last couple of weeks the Freeway Osprey have returned.

I delight each day to and from work to see what they are up to. Friday on my bad traffic back-way took me to their nesting platform’s dead-end street. My first picture was just the nest and cell tower. I had got too close.

Freeway Osprey next to Cell Tower and power lines along I405
Freeway Osprey next to Cell Tower and power lines along I405

Check out the power pole in this photo. That was the original site of the nest before PSE moved them to the safer platform.

After moving back and zooming in, I got the bird in my sights. To my delight another bird was sitting with the Osprey. This crow lover assumed it was a crow. Boy was I wrong.

Osprey with little friends
Osprey with little friends

Once reviewed on a bigger screen it was obvious this was not big enough to be a crow. Plus the tail and body was all wrong. My guess was a Robin or Starling. After reviewing the All about Birds site by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, (All about Birds – European Starling) I am leaning towards the Starling. See how the beak is pointy and the tail is shorter than a robin’s. Plus even in this light the bird looks a consistent color and lacks the robin red breast.

This is one brave starling when compared to the large Osprey  with a 50–71 in wing span to his 12.2–15.7 in wing span. He is being cheeky giving the bigger bird a raspberry.  (see his tongue)

Starling giving Osprey raspberry
Starling giving Osprey raspberry

Seriously, the little bird was just staying cool.  The Audubon Society site  has this tid-bit to share:

When it’s hot, some species will also resort to gular fluttering. The bird will open its mouth and “flutter” its neck muscles, promoting heat loss (think of it as the avian version of panting).

Stay tuned for more on the Freeway Osprey next to the busy I-405 in Renton, Washington. Not only will I share them with you but also the Mr. Racks Livestream link which should be running soon.  If you are interested here is the one from last year with some saved video for your viewing pleasure.

2015 Mr Racks Osprey Livestream

Want more on the Freeway Osprey family?  here is a link to get you started.

Freeway Osprey original post

Or by selecting my category Freeway Osprey below you can read the previous articles too.

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