Be My Valentine. And Other Breaking News from the Salt Marsh.

Phew! What a busy week it’s been. Haven’t been able to visit the salt marsh until today. But there is breaking news! Mama Osprey seems to be sitting on the first egg now. At least it looks like that to me. And if I’m correct, there could be a little hatchling in 5-6 weeks.

female osprey sitting on the eggs sand key clearwater
Mama Osprey sitting in the nest.

As you can see from the picture taken from my terrace today, the nest is in great shape. It is much higher now than it was just three weeks ago and has lots of soft materials (dry sea algae, dry palm flowers) and colorful “toys” for the babies.

female and male osprey share a fish clearwater fl
Mama had lunch, Papa takes the rest…

When I arrived to the nest Mama Sandy had just finished eating lunch. Papa Stanley took what was left of the fish and flew to finish it off in his “man cave”. Mama settled in the middle of the nest, only her head visible, so I jogged over to Papa Osprey’s hangout.

male osprey sand key clearwater fl
…to his “man cave”, but hears Mama’s alarm calls…

But soon his eating was interrupted by alarm calls from Mama Sandy. There was another osprey flying towards the salt marsh from the bay side. He took the rest of the fish and hurried back to the nest immediately. That’s love right there.

Papa is back in the nest with the rest of the food
…and flies back to the nest with the rest of the food in his right talons

He checked that Mama was okay and immediately took off for a patrol flight, several rounds over the salt marsh.

osprey leaves again to check the situation
Papa Osprey takes off again…
male osprey patrols the marsh in sand key park clearwater fl
…to patrol the salt marsh.

When the danger was over Stanley returned to his Valentine in the nest…to make more little ospreys.

mating ospeys
Mating…and hoping for more than one offspring

An Anhinga serenaded them in a tree towards the bay side. Every day is a Valentine’s Day in the salt marsh. Love is in the air.

anhinga sand key park clearwater fl
An Anhinga sings “Be My Valentine”.

Happy Heart Day to all of you from all of us in the salt marsh! ❤ Tiny