Quirky tales

Osprey lunch or sad ending for the Little Mermaid tail?
The strategies and quirks of individual birds add fascination to the study of the species. KL, unlike previous females, will eat and leave fish on the nest. Is this because she doesn’t like leaving the eggs or because she gets fed up of being mobbed by crows when she perches anywhere else? Surely this is not a good strategy as it must tempt any self respecting crow to try its chances for a free meal. Unring had a busy time yesterday trying to keep them away.
On a different front, building the nest has been a top priority for Unring this season. He has worked and worked at building it higher and higher and lately KL has joined him in bringing in yet more sticks and river flotsam. It must be getting on for 5feet tall from the base. The result of this is a pyramidal structure with the apex becoming smaller and smaller, with less and less room for the two birds to manoeuvre. With 3 growing offspring they might wish they had planned for a bigger bedroom! In contrast a recent picture of the Kielder Forest nest showed a wide platform, completely bereft of branches, and the birds sitting in a small scrape dug out of the peaty remnants of last year.
So, for wild creatures variety is not only the spice of life but (as with mermaids) the choices they make may be the tipping point between success or failure.

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