Osprey Courtship Results in Season's First Egg at Dunedin Nest
Stirling and Pinella, the two osprey caught courting live on the DunedinOspreyCam.org feed along Pinellas Trail, produced their first egg of the 2013 birdwatching season Saturday.
With a hatchling on the way, the Dunedin bird courtship is unfolding on camera like a reality TV show.
First, the handsome Stirling appears to treat his lady Pinella to a fresh seafood dinner, probably mullet.
She accepts, and they're later caught getting close back at the nest, which has a nice panoramic view of Dunedin Stirling Links and Bayshore Boulevard. All the romance, of course, is captured via a live feed at DunedinOspreyCam, which fan TweetDreams1 later shared on Youtube.
It must have been true love for Stirling because from that point on he started treating Pinella to fresh crab dinners.
And now that Pinella has laid the osprey couple's first egg March 16, with one or two more eggs expected within the week the real birdwatching begins, Sparky Jones, founder of DunedinOspreyCam.org, announced Monday (although TweetDreams1 is credited with naming the birds in Youtube videos).
We were getting concerned because egg laying is normally January/February in this part of Florida. Also, the female seems quite young. In fact we don't even think she is the same female that was at the nest earlier in the season.
Jones says the normal incubation time for osprey eggs is 32 to 43 days. Birdwatchers will likely see Pinella spending lots of time sitting on the eggs, sometimes getting up to roll it around.
Stirling, the male, will likely share some of the egg-sitting responsibilities, but most of his time will be spent hunting and fishing, bringing his leftovers to Pinella back at the nest, Jones explains.
The Osprey Cam project is a privately-funded project that began in 2007 and came to fruition with the help of the Dunedin Parks and Recreation Department.
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