Only One Minor Disagreement. With Mama Osprey.

Mama Osprey and I agree on most things. Like the importance of a safe and comfortable home, loving family, good diet that includes lots of fish, and regular exercise. But I’ve discovered we have one minor disagreement. On dogs. While I love the company of dogs, she doesn’t.

dogs walking their human in nature reserve 3
Two dogs running with their owner next to the salt marsh…

Maybe I should put it this way: Mama Osprey has a preference for a large personal space, and an even larger social space. And dogs are not invited. She allows me to enter her social space, but she allows dogs only in her public space. Defined her way, as the opposite sidewalk when she sits on a lamp-post, and as the other side of the salt marsh when she’s in the nest.

I got a first glimpse of her preferences last year in March when two people walked their dogs on “her side” of the marsh. My theory was confirmed last week.

papa osprey eating on lamp post
PO says hi…

I found Mama having lunch on a lamp-post at the edge of the park. I walked closer, we exchanged greetings and she continued to eat. I took a few pictures.

papa osprey eating on a lamp post
…and continues his lunch.

Suddenly she stopped eating in the middle of a bite. And stared intently at something behind me on the sidewalk.

Papa osprey eating discovering the dogs 1
PO discovers the dogs…

I turned around and saw two large dogs running with their owner. They were right behind me, approaching the lamp-post. I stepped aside to let them pass. And when I looked up again the lamp-post was empty. No Mama, no fish. But I saw a small prick far away. It looked like a lunch transport.

papa osprey flies away with the fish
…and flies away with his lunch.

It was clear to me the dogs had encroached on Mama Osprey’s social space, and she had decided to finish her meal elsewhere. I walked north to have a clear view of the old palm trunk favored by Mama and her friends. But it was already taken by Papa Stanley.

osprey  looks at another osprey flying

 Papa Stanley observes the drama from the safety of the palm trunk…

I was jus snapping a picture of him when I realized Mama was flying back towards us, in the direction of her nest.

papa osprey with fish and stanley looking on
…and sees Mama  flying with the fish.

So I turned around and jogged back to the salt marsh. And there she was. Finishing her lunch at the nest.

hi tiny I'm almost done papa osprey
PO finishes his lunch at the nest…see how many twigs he’s already collected.

Peace and quiet. No dogs in his social space. Just old Tiny. That was fine with her. We don’t agree on everything, and that’s just fine with both of us.

We hope your week is going well.

Ps. This post has been edited after publishing when I discovered that Papa Osprey (PO) actually was Mama Osprey.