osprey couple sand key park clearwater Florida

Papa Osprey Hauls in Fish. Mama Bakes. Two Chicks to Feed.

Oh chick! Just after last week’s update I thought I saw two tiny hatchlings in the Osprey nest, but couldn’t get a confirmation until this morning. I was having my second cup of coffee on the terrace when I saw Papa Stanley fly in with a fish. I ran in to get my camera.  And discovered Mama Sandy was feeding not one, but two chicks! They seemed to be about the same size and must have hatched a day or two apart about 12-14 days ago.

Papa and Mama osprey with two chicks Sand Key Park Clearwater Florida
Papa Stanley is checking the surroundings…
osprey chicks sand key park clearwater florida
…while Mama Sandy feeds the chicks.

Two little heads came up every time Sandy took a bite. I guess they can now eat tiny pieces of fish, and seem to be growing fast! That means a fishing trip after another for Stanley. From what I’ve observed, he brings in three to four fish a day, maybe more.

osprey flies low sand key park clearwater florida
Papa Osprey flies low coming back to the nest.

That’s tiring. The other day I caught him dozing off in a pine tree near his man cave – with what was left for him of the fish. It’s a full time job to feed a family of four, and he seems to be doing it pretty well. I thought he deserved a nap on his lunch break so I didn’t go too close.

osprey with fish taking a nap sand key park clearwater florida
Papa Osprey takes a lunch time nap.

And Mama Sandy is not brooding the chicks anymore as they are now older than 10 days. But because the little ones don’t have any way to cool themselves as yet, she is still protecting them from the sun with her wings most of the time.

Mama Osprey protects the chicks from sun.

One morning I discovered she had started baking. There was a fish hanging on the side right below the nest, baking in the midday sun. Maybe dried fish was on the menu at a later date 🙂 I have no idea how she did it.

mama ospey bakes a fish sand key park clearwater florida
A fish is baking in the sun below the nest.

Sometimes Sandy flies away briefly to fetch something small for the babies from nature’s huge supermarket, and leaves Stanley to look after them. One morning, she left the nest twice and came back with something green, both times. It looked like a small bunch of leaves. I gathered the babies must be ready for some salad with their fish. Or maybe they just needed additional vitamins.

mama osprey leaves the nest sand key park clearwater florida
Mama Osprey leaves the nest to get some greens for the chicks.

This week I’ve also checked on the residents in the condo building. They seem to be doing fine. The Parakeet couple has chosen a particular pine tree for their hugging sessions when not in their apartment. It’s much roomier outside, of course.

parakeets sand key park clearwater florida
The affectionate Nanday Parakeet couple on their perch.
palm trunk condo update
Parakeet and Starling on their balconies.
red-bellied woodpecker in his nest sand key park clearwater florida
The red-bellied Woodpecker in his apartment on the other side of the building.

The Starling and the Red-bellied Woodpecker still live there too. And I’ve not seen any evidence of neighborly disputes, even when Papa Stanley still occasionally uses his penthouse-level man cave.

I’ve come eye to eye with many other salt marsh residents as well, like this Mockingbird who was imitating osprey calls. Big dreams in falsetto for this little fellow.

a mockingbird sand key park clearwater florida
The Northern Mockingbird imitates osprey calls and is surprised to see Tiny.

And the Reddish Egret, who put on quite a show for me and then paused as in waiting for the applause. But that’s for another post.

reddish egret sand key park clearwater florida
The Reddish Egret waits for the applause after his show.

That’s all for this week. Salt marsh residents, from the biggest to the smallest, wish you all a wonderful weekend. ❤ Tiny

47 thoughts on “Papa Osprey Hauls in Fish. Mama Bakes. Two Chicks to Feed.”

    1. Thanks H.J. I started to get worried because I just could not spot one chick in almost a week, but they are all fine. I’m hoping both chicks survive…should be enough fish to go around 🙂

  1. It is official. Mama Osprey bakes more than me.

    Two cheeps! Very exciting!

    I love that last picture. It’s begging for a text balloon but I don’t know what to say. 🙂

    1. Hey, Mama bakes more than I do too. I was so excited to see they were two, just hoping both survive and grow strong. I agree the Reddish showman needs a text balloon…maybe you’ll come up with one after you see what he did…show coming up next week 🙂

  2. This Osprey family is amazing, a great example for us all 🙂 Also, saw one of my favorite birds I had when I was a kid “The red-bellied Woodpecker” ~ Cheers to a great weekend.

    1. The Ospreys are such a model family 🙂 The R-B Woodpecker is beautiful, and a good citizen too, always working diligently in nearby palm trees or pines. Have a wonderful weekend, Randall.

    1. I’m sure they are proud, and diligently working to feed both chicks. I truly hope both will survive and thrive. Have a good weekend, my friend ❤

    1. Oh yes, they already seem to be very busy…and the appetite of the little ones will just grow from here on. I’m thrilled to follow their story, happy you like it too!

  3. Oh, what good news this is, not ONE baby, but TWO! Love the other photos about the condo dwellers too, thanks for keeping us up to date on all the comings and goings in the salt marsh! 🙂

    1. The parents were so good in hiding the babies at the bottom of the nest “cup”, but finally they came up a little bit to feed. Happy to keep you up to date 🙂

  4. Two babies this time what fun it will be to watch them grow. Papa Stanley for sure will be busy as they grow. What excellent parents they are. Fabulous pictures sweet Tiny. I really enjoyed reading all about the new babies and seeing all the other beauties you photographed. Hugs

    1. The babies will grow fast. I hope both survive as Papa is shuttling from bay to ocean to bring in lots of fish. They’ll soon be peeking out, and in mid May or so they’ll learn to fly. That will be so much fun to watch 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs to you too, Maggie!

  5. this family of FOUR is pure gold ❤ it's good to learn early to enjoy good food, no fancy kitchen. armed with some basic techniques, the right tools, and the best products available, maman can turn out a delicious gourmet meal 😉 tiny, i wish you a lovely weekend

    1. Thank you Sirpa! I’m sure her cooking is delicious. I had to laugh when I saw the fish baking in the sun, and when she went twice to get some greens. I should’ve known there were two babies right then 🙂 I wish you a beautiful weekend too ❤

    1. It will be such a joy to watch them grow and learn to fly, sometime around mid May. We all send you warm wishes for a wonderful Sunday and a good week ahead.

    1. PO appeared to be exhausted, too tired to even eat, so I didn’t want to go close and disturb his power nap. He opened one eye to see who was there, but since I’m extended family, he nodded off again 🙂

  6. Love the Reddish Egret’s long beard. 🙂 Two little chicks! That’s absolutely wonderful, Tiny. An only child can get so lonely. Love the way the dried fish is hanging there as back-up provisions. Mama and Pap Osprey are such good parents. Your photos of the Woodpecker and the Parakeet courting couple, are so cute. Thanks for the update. Have a great weekend. 🙂

    1. The Reddish Egret is such a personality. He’s a hippie with long hair and long beard, and his hunting shows are quite spectacular. The Parakeets are so sweet, they always fly together and sit close to each other “hugging and kissing” 🙂 I too am happy the osprey family has two kids, just keeping my fingers crossed both survive this “early childhood” and grow up nicely. Have a wonderful weekend, Sylvia.

    1. Thank you Patrick! I’m happy you like to follow this little family. Their story has so many parallels to our stories, with a tad of imagination.

    1. I’m happy I could get a photo, ever so grainy due to the distance, to confirm they had two chicks! This little salt marsh is in a protected park (it’s too small to be an official nature preserve, but it’s managed as such) and I have spotted far over 50 species of birds in the last year just around the marsh and adjacent pine & palm forest. I need to get much better in identifying the smaller birds…working on it!

  7. Wow, the hatchlings look like they’ve grown a lot already! And yay for Mama’s baking — very clever! Good to know all is well in the condo, too. 🙂 The parakeets are gorgeous.

    1. The chicks will grow so fast. In a couple of weeks I’m sure they’ll be peeking out and can be seen from the ground…and they will learn to fly sometime in mid-end May. Mama’s baking still puzzles me 🙂 Thanks for your nice comment, Meg!

    1. The parents are doing a great job! And the three chicks are growing fast, the oldest is about a month now. It looks like they might all make it 🙂

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