The young osprey has now left the nest. She’s independent and fully capable to take care of herself. And with that, the 2014 nesting season is officially over for the osprey family I’ve been following since January.
I saw this magnificent young bird eating and resting in the nest for a few hours on Monday and then again (from my terrace) on Tuesday. She left that evening to explore her wider surroundings and has not returned.
I thought this might be a good time to look back on the nesting season’s most interesting events, and particularly on the day when the nestling became a fledgling.
Building the nest , or rather renovating last years home, started in mid January. Papa osprey went back and forth to the Home Depot store and brought home building materials. Mama osprey was the designer and put it all together.
The couple had a few interesting and fairly loud arguments during this DIY renovation project. Wouldn’t any couple? This happened particularly at times when papa osprey came home empty-handed.
Then mama osprey was sitting on the egg and papa osprey was feeding her.
And protecting the nest from intruders. A dramatic show of force was displayed by both mama and papa osprey when two dogs took their people for a walk on the wrong side of the nest on March 15. I assume the egg had hatched (or was about to) at that time.
Soon the nestling was big enough to peek out from the nest. That’s when I spotted her first.
Papa osprey went on frequent fishing trips and brought home the “beef” that mama osprey fed to the nestling.
Mama osprey kept feeding the nestling and took care of her until she started “wingersizing” and then finally fledged. I have put together a sequential gallery of photos I took over a two-hour period on May 13. You can see how determined the young one was to fly. Mama osprey had to be careful not to be hit in the head by a flying twig or by the youngster. I had to laugh when I looked at these photos again 🙂
Anyway, that’s the day the youngster learned to fly. Soon after that papa osprey took over her training. They went on fishing trips together and he then kept an eye on her until last week when I witnessed her coming back to the nest with a fish.
I hope all of them will have a great summer and fall wherever they are going. I’m already looking forward to the return of mama and papa osprey in December-January. The juvenile will probably return to breed in her birth environment only in her third year.
I hope you enjoyed this successful nesting season as much as I did.