Last July, I blogged about nesting Ospreys in Nebraska and, specifically, about recent observations that a pair in Keith County appeared poised to fledge a single offspring. This was momentous news because, even though Ospreys had nested on multiple occasions in Nebraska since 2008, all known previous nesting attempts ended in failure. The news got even better in 2015 when Kathy DeLara reported three nests in Scotts Bluff County all appeared to fledge young. Another year has passed and I had the opportunity on Friday to check the nest in Keith County to see how it is doing this year. The nest is located just east of Lake McConaughy on a nesting platform erected by the Midwest Electric Cooperative on land owned by the Nebraska Public Power District (if you are wondering why an electric utility erected a nest platform, check out this post). Not only did I find that the nest was active, but I observed an adult with three young Ospreys which are possibly only a week or two from fledging. Check out the video below and see if you can see all three youngsters.
As mentioned above, Ospreys have only been nesting in Nebraska since 2008. Prior to that year, there was only a single sketchy nesting report from near the Washington-Douglas County line in the late 1800s or very early 1900s. Ospreys have been increasing throughout most of their range in recent decades. Recent range expansion into Nebraska has occurred from the west (Wyoming) along the North Platte River valley. Ospreys will likely only increase as a breeding species as time goes on – this is a good thing.
Again, thanks to Midwest Electric Cooperative and other state electrical utilities who have erected Osprey nest platforms.