Spring Break. Man Cave Rentals and Guard Duty.

This week has been warm. Spring-like. Birds are courting and building nests. Wild flowers are blooming in the salt marsh. And spring-breakers are everywhere.

spring flowers in salt marsh
Spring flowers are blooming…

The Osprey Family is not taking a spring break.  Sandy and Stanley continue to incubate in shifts. Mama Sandy’s shifts seem to be little longer, and she always takes a bath whenever she gets some time off. Then dries herself in the sun, sits on the egg(s) again and asks Papa to go fishing.

female osprey dries herself Sand Key Park Clearwater Florida
Mama Sandy shakes off the water after a quick bath…

They seem to have established a regular routine to be interrupted only by Papa Stanley’s guard duty when a potential intruder approaches the nest.

male osprey on guard duty Sand Key Park Clearwater Florida
Papa Stanley warns Steve…

I’m happy to report that the Great Blue Heron has not repeated his attack on the nest. He’s still keeping an admirably low profile at the opposite end of the marsh.

great blue heron Sand Key Park Clearwater Florida
Mister Great Blue Heron keeps a low profile…

But Steve, the young Osprey, has been around again. Several times. The other day he flew very close to the nest. Papa Stanley’s loud warnings scared even a Mottled Duck who was swimming close by. She literally ran on water 🙂

mottled duck runs on water Sand Key Park Clearwater Florida
Mottled Duck runs on water…

But Steve didn’t give up. He kept circling around the nest. And finally Stanley had no choice but to chase him away in person.

another osprey flies above the nest Sand Key Park Clearwater Florida
Steve flies above the nest…
male osprey flies out of the nest Sand Key Park Clearwater Florida
…and Papa Stanley decides to chase him away.

Papa Stanley still enjoys his man cave, but spends more time in the nest now. And lets feathery spring-breakers rent his perch from time to time.

male osprey Sand Key Park Clearwater Florida
Papa Osprey in his man cave
nanday parakeet couple Sand Key Park Clearwater Florida
Two Nanday Parakeets visiting…

A Red-bellied Woodpecker has been working on his little apartment in the same old palm trunk for a few days now, and today he finally moved in. He appeared to be very pleased with his new home.

red-bellied woodpecker Sand Key Park Clearwater Florida
A Red-bellied Woodpecker builds a home…
Woodpecker builds his nest Sand Key Park Clearwater Florida
…and inspects the walls…
redbellied woodpecker in his nest Sand Key Park Clearwater Florida
Home sweet home…

I’m sure Stanley will be a good neighbor. And a good dad. Maybe already next week if my estimates are about right.

male osprey flies over the nest Sand Key Park Clearwater Florida
Papa Stanley flies over the nest to check on Mama.

And he definitely is a good hubby. Today, directly after the shift change at noon, he flew away. I’m guessing to take a bath. But he came back shortly and flew over the nest just to check on Mama before going to fetch some fish for lunch.

All is good. The salt marsh gang wishes you all a wonderful weekend.  ❤ Tiny




37 thoughts on “Spring Break. Man Cave Rentals and Guard Duty.”

  1. Ah, so nice to have all that so close to you tiny! I think Spring is early in my neck of Alberta! It got up to 20c today! The trees have buds on them and I notice the birds are busy. It’s so nice to go out without winter snow and ice and enjoy a spot of sun with Sam. He enjoys chasing the birds. 😉

    1. I’m so happy for your spring weather! After a harsh winter spring brings the nature to life – and that’s a wonderful time. I bet Sam loves to chase the birds…Bumble did too when his sight was still good, but such are dogs 😀 Have a great weekend, my friend, with walks outside!

  2. All sounding good there, Tiny. it’s always nice to get an update from you. Papa Stanley is doing a grand job. His kids will be proud of him. 🙂 Love the cute pic of the Woodpecker in his home, and that duck is too funny for words. 😀

    1. I expect to see the woodpecker more often now that he has his condo in the palm trunk all fixed up 🙂 And the duck was truly funny, she just ran on the water the whole way from the shore to a small islet!

    1. That’s what I also think…but Stanley is clearly on the top of everything. The woodpecker seems satisfied with his little home so I hope I’ll see him more now. And I’ve never before seen a duck run on water that fast and that long!

  3. The first I’ve seen of the woodpecker and parakeets.

    Is it typical for ospreys to harass others’ nests? It seems so. But to what end? The eggs? The babies? C

    1. It’s not typical at all, but I think this is a young osprey (2-3 y.o.) who is just curious, single…and stubborn. While he often flies around the nest, he has never made an attempt (that I know of) to attack the nest itself, but nesting ospreys are very particular about the immediate space around their nest. It’s like a “no fly zone”, so they warn the other osprey and if the warning is not heeded, they chase them away. That’s what happens with “Steve” repeatedly.

    1. I’m excited too…and hope to be able to capture the baby from my terrace. Any time now…It’ll not be a good picture, but the baby/babies will not look out of the nest until they are a few weeks old 🙂

  4. Tiny, your pictures are unbelievable!!! The one of the mottled duck made my mouth fly open in awe. You got a shot I wouldn’t even begin to know how to do! Just wowow! What a beautiful post, so full of Hope and New Birth. Just LOVED this, my friend. Your photos just keep getting better and better. I am totally in awe of what you are doing!!! Love, Amy

  5. Thank you, dear Amy, for your kind encouragement! The little duck did a long run on water and I was lucky to capture it towards the end. I’m trying to improve little by little, particularly to get better in anticipating their next move 🙂 I’m so happy you liked it, my friend! Love, Tiny

    1. Thanks, happy you like them. For my bird shots I usually use my “jogging camera” which is a lightweight, cheap bridge camera with a great zoom, Canon HS50. I can walk, jog and run with it, and got it just for that purpose because I never carried our heavy Canon, lenses and tripods. When I go out, I want to move …the zoom was challenging to get used to but now I love it.

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