It's spring and the big birds are nesting. We've kept an eye on four or five Osprey nests that we know of in our region on the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced Rivers. One by the Roberts Ferry Bridge didn't have any occupants last we looked, but another nest between Turlock Lake and the Tuolumne River was certainly occupied last week. Both mom and dad were hanging out nearby. I'm sure we'll check up on the chick's progress as the weeks roll on.
The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is one of the few success stories in the bird world in the sense that we just about wiped them out with DDT last century and finally came to our senses. They have expanded their range and their population has grown, especially when posts have been provided where they can build their humungous nests.
It was certainly a pretty day last week when we went hunting birds in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. The snowy high country contrasted strongly with the green slopes around the reservoir.