Alarm! Collaboration. And Love.

I have an alarm event to report. I witnessed it all yesterday on my walk in the nature reserve. My regular readers remember the resident osprey family, right?

park spring green ed

So after making my rounds in the park marveling at the clear signs of spring, like the tiny light green leaves on some of the trees, I wanted to end my walk by greeting the osprey family. I was curious to see if the nest would be ready and if the female bird would already sit on the eggs. From the distance the nest looked empty. I hoped that was good news. I also noticed that it was well-built. Nothing moved around and nothing fell down despite the strong winds that had already thrown a few palm branches on my path.

osprey alarm 1

After I walked around the marsh and stood up on a bench nicely camouflaged under a tree, I could see her sitting in the middle of the nest. Her head would pop up to check the surroundings every so often. She was there, happily sitting on her eggs! Her hubby had probably gone to fetch some fish for lunch. All was good. I was just about to leave my observation post when I heard her high-pitched alarm.

osprey alarm 2

You can see her here sounding the alarm while looking away from me towards the left side of the marsh where nobody usually walks. I looked down too and saw two people with two huge dogs approaching on the grassy strip. Her alarm sound intensified for a few seconds.

osprey alarm 3

Suddenly she flew off – towards the “intruders”. In that moment I saw her hubby approaching like a fighter jet from the bay-side of the reserve. He had heard her cries and was coming to support her!

osprey alarm 4

He flew straight into the nest. To check on the eggs, I assumed.

osprey alarm 5

He then checked around quickly to scan the situation. No danger from anywhere in the air.

osprey alarm 6

He waited there for a few seconds, until the mother-to-be returned to the nest.

osprey alarm 7b

He then flew off and patrolled around the nest platform in an aggressive manner. He came down towards the people and the dogs a few times. Like here when the dogs were just passing the spot where I stood under the tree.

osprey alarm 8

The “intruders” hurried away! The father-to-be circled the nest a few more times. He looked straight down at me and apparently decided I did not pose a danger.

osprey alarm 9

He then returned to her in the nest. I thought he was looking at her to ensure everything was alright, while she was looking down in the direction behind me where the dogs had gone.

osprey alarm 10

I remained silently under my tree observing the harmony return to the nest.

osprey alarm 12

The female was soon feeling safe and returned to sit on the eggs, but the male kept an eye on me from the edge of their home. He had decided to interrupt his fishing trip until everything was absolutely safe. So I said my goodbyes. I thought their collaboration in protecting the offspring was exemplary. And the speed with which the hubby came to her side was admirable. An alarm call responded to in less than a minute! True love.

I hope you enjoyed the reporting despite the fact that during this tense, less than ten minute intermezzo, I didn’t have the time to think of camera adjustments. I just kept shooting. These are the few pictures where you can actually see a bird 🙂

Have a wonderful week filled with collaboration and love.

36 thoughts on “Alarm! Collaboration. And Love.”

    1. Thanks Kat! It was truly inspiring, but a little tense too because the dogs had to pass very close to where I was hiding and the papa osprey was on a war path 🙂 I have never walked on the grass behind the nest pole because I’ve always thought they might feel threatened. I think it was the last time for these dog owners too.

        1. Thanks Kat! We just donated a big box of books today to the Humane Society shelter. They loved the book and will sell them in their on-site shop for 100% benefit. And every book bought through Amazon supports the shelter as well! Thanks again for the support Kat – Bumble hopes you like the book and tell friends about it 🙂

  1. Great shots — great love story!

    I was thinking the other day that people who claim man evolved from animals have some explaining to do as to where the natural parenting skills have gone. A mother hen/ cat/ tiger will die protecting their young.

    Perhaps we should start using the word ‘devolution’?

  2. Thank you for sharing this Wonderful experience. As has been said, it’s a shame that so many human parents fail to learn from the way animals care for their young.

  3. Oh, my!! These pictures are fantastic! What an experience that must have been being able to witness all of that and to get pictures…what a bonus. Bet we will be seeing baby pictures in the near future. Hugs

  4. That is an amazing story you captured in film. What an experience thanks for sharing it with us. Someone once wrote that animals and birds have no emotion…well tell that to pappa bird who flew to his mates cries…and how both protected those unborn osprey babies.

    1. Yes, that was amazing to see. The male bird was there so quickly! I had been scanning the air to see if he was flying somewhere around the reserve but I couldn’t see him. He must have been fairly far away on the bay side when she started calling him. And that he stayed after the incident to make sure there was no more threats was very caring too.

  5. Hi Tiny, I absolutely loved this post. I can imagine sitting on your bench watching, anxiously, to see the outcome of this call of alarm. You captured so much in these few photos and these few words. Congratulations. ~ Dennis

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