Kayaking on the waterways of the Mendocino Coast always seems so quiet in the winter time without the presence of the osprey. We enjoy the variety and color of our migratory ducks but miss our summer resident raptors. We know that spring is here when they return to their nests in March and April and start their ritual mating behaviors.
We love kayaking and watching the osprey on their nests along the Noyo River. They dazzle us with their spectacular aerial dives from 30-100 into the water to snag a fish (sometimes 2).
Within a mile of our shop, there are 3 active nests (including one right above us on the ridge). Last year, we enjoyed watching the male osprey dive from the Eucalyptus tree by our deck. He is very accurate and seems to be a good provider for his family. One evening I watched him have 5 successful dives in less than 2 hours.
Last year, one of the osprey pairs built a new nest across from the Noyo Boat Basin. We were skeptical of its construction, but they successfully fledged 2 young from the nest.
While the osprey were enjoying their winter in South America, one of our winter storms blew down the nest.
When they returned this spring, they selected a new snag and diligently built a new nest. It was amazing how fast they constructed it.
I had been watching the construction without my camera and slipped out this week in my sea kayak to get some photos. I missed the diving mating ritual of this pair but as timing would have it - they decided to mate during my photo shoot of the new nest.
We are looking forward to another season of watching the osprey on the Noyo River from our kayaks.