Lunch time. Papa Osprey is approaching the nest with a big fish. It wriggles in the air. Excitement skyrockets at the nest. Mama Sandy and the oldest chick lead the refrain singers. Fish, fish, fish!
Shortly thereafter Papa Stanley lands with the fish. It’s still fighting for its freedom. The handover to Sandy is going to be tricky. If the fish falls onto the ground it’ll be uneatable. A teachable moment for the first born.
Sandy places her talons firmly on the fish. Stanley leaves immediately. Lunch delivery is complete.
Sandy moves the fish several times. And finally parks it right next to the smallest chick. Like she always does.
The smallest chick is going to be fed first. But the big brother (yes, I think the oldest is a boy) doesn’t like that at all. He jumps onto his little sister’s (yes, I think it’s probably a girl) back and ruffles it up.
That doesn’t go down well with Mama Sandy. She calmly cleans up the fish, but doesn’t allow the badly behaving chick to touch it. Instead, the little sister gets the finest piece of fish fillet I’ve seen around here. All for herself.
Then she feeds the middle chick (probably a boy, not quite sure yet). And takes a few bites herself. And finally, after about 40 minutes, the first born gets to eat whatever is left. Talk about teaching manners to your kids. And it looks like the timeout in “quiet corner” did the trick.
Today I managed to wake up early and went for a longish walk at around sunrise.
It was quiet and peaceful around the salt marsh. Only me and the birds.
And there was lots of beauty to go around. I spotted many birds in the midst of getting their breakfast. Or just doing their morning meditation.
I thought (so little I know) that the Osprey family had already eaten breakfast. They seemed relaxed, so maybe Sandy had gotten them an appetizer much earlier in the morning.
After saying hello to them I continued my walk. But suddenly sensed something was different. I looked back at the nest and saw Papa Stanley had arrived with a fish. Breakfast was in full swing in the Osprey household.
And for once Stanley had decided he’d stay for a while with his family. He talked to his kids, scanned the environment and then left after a few minutes.
He flew towards the ocean. Maybe finally getting his own breakfast. I took a short one minute video clip one morning while the chicks were eating, and added the Moorhen taking his bath this morning. Be warned though, it’s truly clumsy as I’m definitely not a videographer. But I thought some of you might still enjoy seeing them “live”. You’ll notice that the oldest chick is still last in the line. In the second take only his tail feathers are visible when the two others are fed by Sandy. But I have to say he took it with stride. Maybe he’s learned his lesson.
I also think we need to name the chicks soon. Looking forward to some creative suggestions! The winner(s) will receive a prize. Bumble suggested his book, and I agreed.
I walked home through the beach. It was still very quiet. And very cloudy, to Florida standards, of course.
That’s all for this week from the salt marsh. I wish you all a wonderful weekend and Happy Memorial Day to friends in the US. Be good now and travel safely.