Update on Hellgate Nest in Montana.
Iris arrived back at last year's Hellgate nest on April 3rd, and waited, and waited for Stan, her mate from last year. While waiting, an apparently no-good "Romeo" would occasionally show up and mate with her, and then leave for long periods of time. He never brought her any fish or contributed to the nest, but would STEAL her fish, including ones she had buried in the nest. There was suspicion that he had another mate and was bringing her the "goodies". Iris seemed to tolerate him, but there appeared to be no real bond, but just tolerance on her part (while still waiting for Stan).
Most commenters (on Facebook, not a really scientific venue) thought he was just an opportunist and there were a lot of derogatory comments posted about him throughout the period between his arrival and the first egg laid. I admit, I was one of them.
Early this morning Iris laid her first egg, and the "fish-stealer" showed up almost immediately, and requested his first turn at brooding the egg, and Iris let him have it. But he still had never brought her a fish, so everyone wondered if this Gigolo would or could ever prove himself as a real mate.
To the astonishment of nearly everyone, he brought Iris a really good sized fish this afternoon (USA time). After she first wrestled it from his reluctant talons, and flew off with it, he eagerly began brooding "his" egg again. He spent most of the day in or around the nest, and chased off potential intruders (while also taking turns with her brooding the egg).
It just shows that we humans, impatient as we are, still do not trust nature and her ways. We need instant results to our questions. Now it looks like he will actually make a fine mate for her (...unless, of course, Stan returns on May 6, which was his arrival date last year :)http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/27/Hellgate_Ospreys/https://www.facebook.com/pages/Osprey-Cams/165072613556909
Surely I must know you from the Hellgate forum.
There were at least 3 or possibly 4 different males with Iris as far as I remember. This last one, Midas (named for his golden feathers on the back of his head) is the one that brought the fish and in the middle of the night, I saw him brooding the egg which is a good sign he will stay. And I do miss Stan, very much, but he never arrived back home...