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Ospreys Courting & Copulating

Ospreys have returned to their breeding grounds in New England, where both courtship and copulation is taking place.  The males engage in an undulating courtship display flight high over the nest site, often with fish or nesting material clutched in their dangling legs while they repeatedly issue forth screaming calls.  This can go on for up to ten minutes or so before they descend to the nest.  In addition, “courtship feeding” often takes place with the male providing his mate with food, often just prior to breeding.

Although an osprey pair copulates frequently (an average of 160 times per clutch), nearly half the time there is no cloacal contact. Most of the breeding takes place at or near the nest site. (Note the protective positioning of the male’s toes and talons as he mounts his mate.)

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4 responses

  1. Alice

    What an attentive guy!

    April 9, 2021 at 7:55 am

  2. Oh my gosh! I still can’t quite visualize how it all happens, and it all seems quite unlikely and remarkable. But how sweet to see his claws so carefully held away from his mate. (I wish my cat had that impulse!)

    April 9, 2021 at 10:43 am

    • Alice

      She probably told him: “dig your talons into me JUST ONCE and it’s over!”

      April 10, 2021 at 1:54 pm

  3. I have never seen Birds Mating! Very Interesting! 🙂 ❤

    April 10, 2021 at 12:53 pm

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