As I drive to work on I-405 in Renton the Osprey Nest next to Mr Racks teased me all winter. The family we watch every day as we drive by and on the LiveStream courtesy Mr Rack is in winter migration to southern climates. They probably went to South America, California or Florida and as spring arrives they too will return to their home nest.
I have written a few posts about them over the years which are below for your viewing pleasure. One thing that amazed me from the first time I saw them is how they raise a family right next to a busy freeway, cell tower and power lines. Talk about fearless!
The other thing that intrigued me about them was how they originally built on top of the electric pole. The PSE moved them to a nesting platform in 2013.
Mr Rack’s who are right next to this nest have so kindly had a video of the nest for several years. They have even improved the camera and worked with the cell tower folks to get a better view. The old camera got pooped on. That is pretty common from my observations of Eagle Cams.
That brings me to Monday April 17, 2017. That morning there was one of the pair perched on the nest. I was also happy that Mr Racks has started working on the feed. Watch for more to come on this topic. Got to love our tenacious Freeway Osprey.
Here is a link to the 2017 Cam. It has not started but they are getting ready for the action. You can also go view prior seasons. The photo at the top is from their site. Check out the cars whizzing by below.
Another family of Osprey have returned home. Last Sunday I went to a new park on the Duwamish close to where the river becomes the Green River. There I found a pair staking out their nesting platform that was situated on the river behind the UPS freight terminal.
How about a close up of them preening and getting comfortable for the long sit.
This park has a wind chime feature that was near this Osprey nest. I wonder if they are enjoying the tinkle it provides. A nice lullaby for the baby birds to come.
I leave you with a few more links to past Osprey posts. Be sure to look for the Freeway Osprey on the south side of I-405 right before you get to the Valley Freeway.
This week I got a wonderful surprise when Mr. Racks sent a notice that they were testing a new camera on Freeway Osprey’s nest. It was just a sneak preview of what their new equipment will do but the best part was seeing a baby osprey.
That is right!! Our Freeway Osprey (or as Mr. Racks call them “Seahawks”) have a baby. Last year it was three but this time only one has made it. After reviewing the 12 minute test video on the link below I am pretty sure they only have one and no more will hatch. This baby is fairly large and the parent is sitting on the side of the nest versus sitting on another egg or two.
So, what did I do? I went by the nest on Thursday morning to see how the nest looked from below. This new video is obviously not from the old post on the side of the nest. The test showed the freeway below and zoomed out from the whole structure. The clincher is you can see the old camera on its post in the photo above. This was not some old stationary camera.
At first it was not obvious where it was. Then after using my camera as binoculars, I found it on the cell tower. What a great partnership Mr Racks has made with the owner of that tower. Steve at Mr. Racks told me that they still have to stabilize their power source so as of today we only have the sneak peek into the Freeway Osprey’s nest. Just enough to tease us and make us yearn for more.
For those that have just found the Freeway Osprey or if you want a refresher on prior posts here are a few links to check out:
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.
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.
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)
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.
Despite the odds of growing up next to a busy freeway, high voltage power lines, a cell phone tower and a large clutch, the three Osprey babies have flown out of the nest. In this picture below you can see two of the chicks on a pole, a parent or baby on the cell tower and if you look close another osprey on the very top of the tower.
Over the last couple of days each morning and evening drive home I would stop by and take a few pictures. Here is the parent flying over me to make sure I am not going to cause the babies harm.
One of the babies sat on the nest cam post not really sure what to do next.
Step back a little and the next picture shows how the camera got a direct poop shot. The picture we watched for the last couple of weeks was hazy but one could still tell what they were up to.
As the nest got full of big babies, the cell tower next door became a popular place to perch and watch the brood.
Parent is watching me
Mom called to babies from cell tower perch
Cell Tower makes great place to guard nest
I leave you with a picture and video of their world. The video is more about the sounds it brings than the picture. Listen to the roar of the freeway off to the left of the picture. Above that din the parent Osprey chirps to the children. It is high-pitched and not what you expect in a bird sound but that is the osprey way.
What an adventure & many thank yous to Mr. Racks for hosting the nest camera.
The Freeway Osprey I have been writing about hatched two chicks this week. Mr Racks has been so gracious to maintain the feed on Livestream. Their first event ran out of time and they have created a new event. Here is the new link to follow:
They have also had some technical issues lately, fixing the feed Friday after going down and then today it is down again. I am sure by tomorrow we will be able to watch the wonder of their raising again. I was hoping to do a snapshot of the babies for you but that will have to wait.
What I have found this week so fascinating is how both parents participate in their raising. Mom and Dad are both spending time feeding, sitting and hunting.
A Big Thank YOU to Mr. Racks for sharing their resident Osprey pair with us.
Remember the Osprey Nest next to I-405 I wrote about earlier? It is on my way to work, so twice a day I look to see if I can tell what is happening. I usually see a head poking up, that confirms they are raising their family. Here is a link to my prior post.
Weeks ago I sent an email to the PSE avian protection biologists asking them if there was an active video feed on this nest they moved. I got an answer that Mr. Racks, who is the next door neighbor to the next platform, has them hooked up via Livestream. Here is that link for your viewing pleasure. http://livestream.com/accounts/12941964
Friday morning I stopped under the nest and actually caught a parent shift change. Then I went online and found where I entered the picture. The Osprey on the nest was a clue to my presence since he/she was certainly watching in my direction. If you want to see that time on the video feed push it back to 31.10. Then at 31.14 you can see my car turning around and leaving. (that time will only last as long as their DVR can hold video – so check it out soon).
Here is what it looks like from below with all the wires and cellular tower around it. Look carefully at the first picture and you can see the osprey landing on the tower. The second photo is him/her sitting on it.
This slide show is a series of photos I took right when I got out of the car and saw the Osprey fly over. Look closely at the nest and you can see the take off. Hope you enjoyed the Freeway Ospreys.
Last year, 2014, every day I came to work I watched this Osprey family raise their baby. I was fascinated by their ability to nest so close to one of the region’s busiest freeways. Yes, right at the northbound Interstate 405 exit to Highway 167 in Renton, there they were perched above it all.
Friday, as I drove to work, I was delighted that they had returned. To add to my delight, when I reviewed the photos I took, I found that the nest has what I think is a video camera on it. That means the Crow Stalker will have to do some research to find if that is in use by anyone.
In the meantime, enjoy the view of the nesting platform next to a freeway.