April 5, 2012
Right now the osprey are going through their courtship cycle.
They returned just about a week ago from their annual migration to Mexico. Osprey have great fidelity to their nest sites and return year after year adding to the nest. They historically nest in large trees but have adapted to substitute manmade structures such as channel markers and utility poles.
This pair has been nesting at this site since 2007 (more on their history in our Osprey Blog. They will add to the nest year after year and nests can grow to weigh more than 100 pounds!
The female is slightly larger than the male and has mottling on her breast. During courtship the male will make undulating flights often beginning and ending at the nest. This has been described in Johnsguard's hawks, Eagles and Falcons of North America as the "sky-dance, song-flight."
The male will bring food to the female during courtship. Copulation typically occurs after the male brings in a fish or materials to add to the nest. There will be lots of high pitched calling during the courtship phase.
The Osprey spend lots of time at the nest during courtship so you are more than likely to catch them when you tune in during the next several days.
WATCH LIVE: KGW / Audubon Osprey Cam