Bye, bye. This is how I learned to fly.

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.

My last picture of the juvenile osprey on June 23
My last picture of the juvenile osprey on June 23

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.

Papa osprey brings in a twig - Jan 16
Papa osprey brings in a twig on Jan 16

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.

Landing empty-handed is not popular...on Jan 16
Landing empty-handed is not popular…on Jan 16

Then mama osprey was sitting on the egg and papa osprey was feeding her.

Mama osprey sitting on the egg on Feb 16
Mama osprey sits on the egg on Feb 16

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.

Osprey nestling peeks out on April 23
Osprey nestling peeks out on April 23

Papa osprey went on frequent fishing trips and brought home the “beef” that mama osprey fed to the nestling.

Mama osprey feeds the nestling on April 25
Mama osprey feeds the nestling on April 25
Papa osprey brings home a big fish on May 7
Papa osprey brings home a big fish on May 7

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.

The young osprey comes home after a fishing trip with her papa
The young osprey comes home after a fishing trip with her papa on June 19

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.

21 thoughts on “Bye, bye. This is how I learned to fly.”

    1. Thanks Cyndi. I’ll certainly have an empty nest feeling for a while. I want to be a bit better prepared next year as I’ve learned a lot about them and also from them this year 🙂

    1. Yes it feels like I discovered the family only a couple of.months ago and yet it’s been over five months. The baby grew up in a blink! I will miss them and already look forward to next year 🙂

    1. That’s what I’m thinking too. And I hope the “old folks” will return in late December-early January to the same nest. As long as both of them are ok, they usually do.

  1. what a super series of images thanks Tiny, I cannot watch our birds through their nesting time, but can imagine it all now you have shown us so beautifully … lets do it again next year!

  2. Thanks Christine! I hope to do it again next year, but will need to look into better equipment…maybe Santa can bring just in time for the next season 😉

  3. Sweet Tiny I am just in awe of all the fantastic pictures you have taken of the osprey family. I thank you for sharing them, I have really enjoyed them. Hugs

    1. Thank you Mag! I’m happy you enjoyed the story of the ospreys. I just spotted two ospreys yesterday, need to look at my pictures to see if they are from this family. Hugs

    1. Happy you liked it Matti! I just got a new Canon zoom (up to 1200) so I can get closer to the birds without disturbing them. Next nesting season I can take okay (it’s still far) pics of the nest from my terrace 🙂

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