Tough Start To Breeding Season At Hellgate Osprey Nest

May 4, 2020
Watch Iris lay an egg.
Watch Iris lay her first egg of the 2020 breeding season on May 2.

Iris’s first egg of the 2020 breeding season did not last long. Over the past few weeks, Iris has been copulating with her previous mate, Louis, in the lead up to the breeding season, and on May 2, Iris laid her first egg. However, Louis has not been attending to the duties of a full-time mate, which makes it difficult to hope for a successful breeding season at the Hellgate nest in 2020.

In 2019, Louis split his efforts between two nests, and eventually abandoned Iris at the Hellgate nest to attempt a successful breeding season with a different mate. Up until now, this year seems to be following the same path, and without a full-time mate to provide food and help guard the nest during the breeding season, any of the eggs Iris lays at this site will be susceptible to predators. A case in point was this Common Raven, who made an easy meal out of Iris’s first egg after if was left unguarded at the nest on May 3.

Watch a Common Raven take the egg from the Hellgate nest.
A Common Raven removed the egg from the nest on May 3.

While this is certainly not the ending we had hoped for this egg, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the breeding season plays out between the Ospreys in Hellgate Canyon. Please continue to watch and learn along with us as the season unfolds.

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