Cheereek! Papa osprey and the fat fish.

I grabbed the binoculars and checked the osprey nest while my coffee was brewing this morning. It’s become a part of my morning ritual this nesting season.

empty nest on 620
The empty nest this morning

Nobody was at home. I assumed that the youngster, who’s been living there solo since early last week, had gone to fetch some breakfast. Maybe she was fishing on the bay-side, just behind the Dunkin’ Donuts shop.

Around midday, I decided some exercise would be in place. A quick walk on the beach and in the nature reserve would do. I was hoping to say hello to the young osprey and maybe spot some other birds too.

osprey juvenile at the nest
Hi Tiny!

I was happy to find the juvenile at the nest. She was not alarmed when I approached and sat down on a bench under some trees nearby. She’s seen me since she was old enough to peek out of the nest. I thought she nodded a greeting.

osprey juveniles alarm call
Cheereek! Intruders!

It was hot and I was thirsty. I put my camera away and opened a water bottle. Relaxed for a bit.  Right then the youngster gave out a loud and very upset alarm call. Cheereek! From where I sat, I didn’t see anything unusual.   Next that I knew, I saw papa osprey zooming in from the bay-side and sweeping over the nest! Checking that everything was okay. I was scrambling with my camera … and only caught the tail-end of him at a distance.

papa osprey came to check juvenile 619
Papa osprey checked on the youngster…

In the meantime, the youngster was already in flight following her papa. Talk about paying a price for putting my gear down. I missed all the action.

Soon enough I got an explanation to why the youngster was so upset in the first place. Three men came walking from the grassy area behind the nest pole! Walking there is a no-no in the osprey book. Some of you may remember the big alarm by mama osprey when the dogs and their people walked that way back in March. This time I sat in a different place and didn’t see it coming.

So there I was, mulling over my bad luck with the camera. While waiting (and hoping)  that the juvenile would return to the nest, I discovered some movement in the water. I went to check it out and look what I saw: a blue crab swimming happily in the murky water!

a crab in the marsh
A blue crab in the salt marsh

I went back to my bench and was about to pack up and leave when I saw the youngster return. She was holding  a fat fish in the talons of her right foot! Correctly positioned head first to diminish air resistance!

young osprey caught a fish
Fish! I did it!

I guess papa osprey took her right where the fish was congregating. The whole trip took less than 10 minutes. Good for her! She started eating immediately.

young osprey lands back at the nest
Perfect landing on the left foot…
young osprey eating lunch
Lunch time!

I left her to enjoy her food. It was fun to see how papa osprey is still keeping an eye on the youngster and that they go fishing together.

tri-colored heron
A tri-colored heron

On my way back I saw a tri-colored heron and several ibis birds. Thanks for coming along. I hope you enjoyed the lesson on how to transport a fish in the air. It could prove useful one day.

Have a wonderful Midsummer – celebrated this weekend in the Nordic countries. Love always, Tiny

26 thoughts on “Cheereek! Papa osprey and the fat fish.”

  1. Thanks Jackie – I got lucky after I thought I had missed all the “action”. Spotting the blue crab was unexpected…I’ve only seen fish there earlier 🙂

          1. I’ve done it twice this week, and I’ve gotta say, I’m much happier!
            Yesterday I went for a long speed walk by the lake and snapped some cool photos. There is a happy medium for me, it seems: enjoy nature through hiking and speed walking, and get my ‘run’, hard-cardio workouts via a sprint interval on the treadmill. So far, so good.

  2. Very nice! I love those exotic birds in particular. It’s nice to see the young osprey grow up, too. As for summer, at 10 C, this is the coldest “first day of summer” in St. John’s for some time, but I, too, look forward to better times 🙂

    1. It’s been a privilege to follow her successful hatching and growth to adulthood! We have summer here (29C) but where I come from, they only had 10C as the highest temp today too. I think it was the coldest “midsummer” in about 30 years…

  3. Fantastic pictures sweet Tiny. Good to know the young one is doing well on her own and that papa is still watching over her. I have never seen a blue crab so the picture was most interesting to me. Hugs

    1. Thanks Maggie! I suspected that papa osprey was still somewhere close by, but it was so good to actually see him come and check out the situation. The marsh is all protected, and in some parts the water is fairly deep, who knows what kind of sea creatures might be hiding there 🙂 I’ve seen big fish, but no crabs previously.

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