Since April I have been photographing and writing emails about a pair of Ospreys that built a nest on a eleven story high onsite crane overlooking the Broadwater at Labrador Qld.
I first came across them when walking when one crossed the road between the cars in front of me ,struggling to gain height with a large branch in its talons, it made it over Ray Whites
office but the branch trailing behind hit the front of the building and fell to the concrete, the people walking behind me heard the crash and saw the branch on the concrete and accused
me of throwing the branch against the wall, and giving them a fright, I explained, but the didn’t know what an Osprey was and it was long gone.
Next day I returned in the car and sat opposite the almost dead Jacaranda tree and watched the pair crashing into the tree grasping branches and hoping they broke off, they hit the branches at speed and if they got one that was still green it was like a bow and would bend but not break and it would spring back sending them somersaulting backwards into the branches.
The crane is a few doors along from where I live on the eight floor which gave me great views from my balcony of their attempt to build their nest on the air-conditioner on the cabin roof.
Over the next two months I observed them carrying more branches from the tree until Magpies took over and protected the tree keeping them away for a week or two, they resorted to picking up palm branches, sticks from the park, and eventually I saw them diving under the water in the Broadwater to pull seaweed from the bottom to line the nest.
They mated and started bringing leaves to the nesting site and after about eight days the female was nowhere to be seen and I presumed she had laid.
The male kept bring branches to the site from daylight to dark except when he was fishing, some too big to fit on the cabin roof, and he for the first time started sharing his catch with her.
But there were problems, there is a large rectangular box frame around the roof of the cabin leaving a gap that most of the building material was slipping under as it slid off the A. C.
and was falling down onto the building site below, I had realized by now they were a young pair and nest building was not their forte, clumsily letting most of the building material fall.
I went and saw the site manager and he thought there wasn’t a great concern at that stage, but as time progressed they pooped all over the crane drivers windscreen and they started
dropping fish frames ( Four a day ) along with the branches, seaweed, leaves etc onto the workers from a great height.
Early in July the crane was turning and as it faced the road I could see something sticking up from the nest site and when I zoomed in a photo I could see it was a large plastic model Owl
and the nest had been removed and their was no Ospreys to be seen.
Surprised, disappointed , but not unexpected I presumed one of the workers might have got a dint in his safety helmet and action had to be taken.
Three weeks later one Sunday morning I noticed they were back, they hung around all day, caught a fish and shared it and just on dark one of them attacked the Owl knocking it over.
Next morning the Owls was standing back up and wired into place.
Later the next week as I walked past the site a young bloke was sitting on the kerb having his Smoko and I stopped and spoke to him, saying the Ospreys have gone !! he told me he was
the crane driver every second day and they had to remove the nest as they found lengths of steel weighing up 2-3 kg in the nest, he thought they had got them from another building site.
He also stated they removed two large bags of branches etc. and that the Owl moved and made a noise !!
Poop ,sticks, fish frames etc. they could tolerate but they drew the line at steel bars falling from eleven stories above, I don’t blame them.
If anyone wants to see the emails I have done over the last few months drop me a line on the email address above