In an act of selfless maternal instincts five days before Mother’s Day that was caught on video Tuesday night, a female osprey in a Longmont nest valiantly protected her three eggs from a severe storm that pelted her with pea-sized hail.
Her ordeal was captured by a livestream video camera focused on the nest that is maintained by Boulder County Parks & Open Space. The eggs emerged intact, but fans of the ospreys were worried they might be damaged by another round of storms Wednesday night. The nest is located at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.
Nik Brockman, web administrator for Boulder County Parks & Open Space, was notified about the intrepid osprey’s devotion Tuesday night by a nest monitor. Brockman produced the video which was posted on Twitter Wednesday morning.
“I got an email from one of the monitors with a couple photos of this female osprey just covered in hail,” Brockman said. “I went back through the footage and pieced together the video. That video was a span of about two hours from when that storm came through.”
The eggs were laid from April 15-21, Brockman said, adding that their incubation period should be 38 to 42 days.
“We hope to see chicks at the end of this month,” Brockman said. “We are a little worried, because there’s a call for more hail (Wednesday night) in the Front Range. We’ll be watching to see what happens.”
The osprey nest in Longmont has been covered by livestream cameras for more than 10 years. Ospreys are migratory raptors that make Colorado home in the spring during nesting season. After they rear their young, they head south in August or September, bound for Central and South America.
The female in the Longmont nest has used it annually for the past eight years or so, Brockman said. The male of the nest is in his second season there. Her previous mate didn’t return after migration two years ago. The reason for his apparent demise is unknown.
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