Empty Nesters Are Enjoying Themselves. And the Mayor of the Marsh Is Back.

This week’s been hot, and I’ve been busy. Since my sunrise walk on Monday, I only went to see my feathered friends around the salt marsh today at lunch time. But wanted to say a quick hello before the end of the week. So you know I’m still alive and well, and looking forward to catching up on your blogs over the weekend.

Mama and Papa Osprey are empty nesters since ten days, as many of you know. But they are staying close to each other, which is a bit unusual for Osprey once the nesting season is over.  They’re perching on the bay side – featured image taken from my terrace on Wednesday night at sunset. Or flying together and chatting. Last night when it was too dark for a photo shoot, but not for my new binoculars, I spotted them perching at the Sailing Center. Each at the top of a sailing boat mast, next to each other. That was too cute.

female osprey at the nest with full crop Sand Key Clearwater Florida
Mama Sandy uses the nest as her feeding and resting perch. Today her crop was really full.

Mama Sandy has been at the nest several times since she came back to the area last weekend. Today she was perching there again. Her crop was really full. She must have eaten a huge fish for lunch. Finally she has time to take care of herself.

And I spotted Stanley too. He was still planning what to have for lunch. Scanning for fish high up on the roof of Marriott Resort on the bay side. That’s one of his favorite spots. Excellent visibility into the clear water below. The fish he craves for is likely to be his.

male osprey scans for fish on a hotel roof Sand Key Clearwater Florida
Papa Stanley checks his lunch options at the corner of Marriott’s roof.

At the salt marsh, the “Mayor” is back! Some of you may remember the older Great Blue Heron who keeps order among the moorhens, egrets, ducks, other herons, the many ibis families and all the smaller birds.

The “Mayor” surveys his community.

Not that he needs to work hard. This is usually a well-mannered crowd. There are plenty of nice spots at this resort, and the smorgasbord in the shallow waters has something for everyone.

mottled duck Sand Key Clearwater Florida
A female Mottled Duck enjoys a nice spot in the grass.
juvenile ibis Sand Key Clearwater Florida
The young ibis is still around, now foraging on his own.
moorhen family with four chicks Sand Key Clearwater Florida
All four Moorhen chicks are out and about.
great egret ibis and mottled ducks Sand Key Clearwater Florida
Great Egret, Ibis and two Mottled Ducks share a small islet.
A Blue Jay forages in the grass.

That’s all I have for this week. I’m still working on the recap of the nesting season. Mama Sandy’s calendar is full of scribbles about all kinds of drama and other happenings, so it’s a bit like detective work to get it all correctly 🙂

We all wish you a wonderful weekend. Peace.

46 thoughts on “Empty Nesters Are Enjoying Themselves. And the Mayor of the Marsh Is Back.”

    1. So nice to see them together. The other day I heard “osprey speak” when out with Bumble, and saw both of them flying together above our garden 🙂

  1. So nice to see everyone is enjoying themselves. What about the other osprey that were around earlier? Not the babies but the other male one? Have you seen it? Steve I think? 🙂 I’m terrible with names.

    1. Steve hasn’t been around for quite a while. I’m guessing he found a wife and they made a nest somewhere not too far from here 🙂

  2. I love this calm resettling taking place Tiny. Nature is cyclical … And we can learn so much from these guys! Letting go. Going with the flow. Paying attention and defending when needed … But for the most part just getting on with the ebb and flow of life.
    Thanks for the update. Always makes me smile 🙂

    1. It’s beautiful to watch these birds, so much intuition in play! And indeed lots to learn from them in the ways you describe. Right now I can feel they’re just happy with life and take one day at the time – the cycle continues 🙂 Thanks for your beautiful comment, Val.

  3. Great shots again Tiny, Mama and Papa may need some counselling ‘post empty nest syndrome ‘to know how to get on with their lives,, though they do have each other, and that is what really matters. Saddly in our world when two people live only for their children, there is nothing left og their relationship afterwards which often causes divorse post empty nest. Maybe they will go through the same routine again next year and raise some more, and love doing it. Bringing new life into the world is a highlight of life.

    1. Thanks for your nice comment! I think Mama and Papa are quite happy with what they achieved. And now they take care of themselves, together as it seems. They mate for life, and they don’t migrate, but ospreys tend to be solitary birds when not nesting. These two seem to have a strong bond. Come next January, Papa will propose again to Mama, they will repair the nest, and have chicks all over again 🙂

  4. Thank you for your update, and the wonderful photos. Do your Ospreys stay in your area all year long, and don’t migrate south when winter comes?

    1. Our Ospreys are non-migratory and stay here in the wider region all year long, but it’s quite unusual that they stay in the immediate nesting area together after the nesting season. Research on non-migratory osprey is quite scanty…so I’m learning as I observe them.

    1. Thanks Cindy! I have a soft spot for Jays…ever since I saw the two BJs (in the bird sanctuary) who didn’t know they were birds.

    1. Thanks Nancy! If you drive here, you might see Mama perching at the nest. And in the evening you might find both of them around the Sailing Center. But definitely worth stopping during the nesting season 🙂

    1. Thanks Julie. The Mayor is very distinguished. Last year he was always there looking after the residents, but he’s been away for quite a while. Only the bad-mannered youngster was there during the spring.

    1. No, they only have one brood per year. So now they can rest and take care of themselves for 5-6 months, gain back their normal weight and get in shape for the next season starting with Stanley’s proposal early January. I hope to see both of them around often in the meantime.

    1. I thought giving an overview of the places I’m talking about might be helpful. The little white rings actually marked where they were, and the inserted small pictures showed them sitting there. Happy you liked it, Susan. Have a good one.

    1. Yes, it’s nice to see that both parents have stayed in the area and spend time together. Just little while ago when I checked on them from my terrace, Mama was eating at the nest, and Papa was probably still on a fishing trip 🙂

  5. Great and entertaining report Tiny, terrific illustrations to go with too!
    Have a pleasant weekend my friend! 🙂

  6. I’m so very pleased to hear that the family is doing well! I’ve been to “my” swamp today, and it looks like “my” nesting families are empty nesters too. The birds in general, appear to be enjoying that empty nest respite.
    Another terrific post:)

    1. Thank you Elena! Happy you have a swamp nearby too where you can go see some birds. The bird parents can have some “summer vacation” now, while the juveniles have some time to get the hang of independent life before the fall 🙂

  7. How fun to see “The Mayor” of the marsh! And that young ibis is just too cute. I really loved the photo of the egret, ibis and ducks together. Humans could sure take a cue from the bird world in how to get along.

    Hope you are having a blessed weekend, Helen, and that it hasn’t been too scorching hot in the salt marsh.

    1. Happy you like the “Mayor”. He’s been there for a couple of years, but was gone for a few months, maybe nesting on a “bird island” in the bay. I can see it with my new binoculars, but its too far to get photos. The birds really get along so well…I’ve had a similar thought about us humans. It is hot here now, but I’m hoping to get up really early tomorrow to take a long walk again 🙂 Have a blessed Sunday, you too, Amy.

  8. Well I wish my sons would take a lesson from your osprey family and move back closer to home! 🙂 I love the community you live in and it certainly looks like the Mayor is doing a good job ruling the roost! Fantastic images, always.

    1. Thanks Susan. I know…my son moved back to the state last year, now that we’re here permanently. A bit of a drive, but so much better now. I hope you’ll see them do the same. We’re happy to live here on the island, tucked away but still close to everything. And the birds love it when they can find food in the marsh and in the sea waters on both sides of the park.

  9. I love the Blue Jay in the mix; we have a few that live next to some Cardinals in the tree by our apartment. They pruned the branches back quite a bit, which makes me a little sad because the birds were always right up on my window until then. (I am pretty sure the cats were sad too, now that I think about it LOL)

    1. I’ve an extra soft spot for BJs ever since I saw the two brought up by humans in the bird sanctuary… Cardinals are beautiful!! I’m sure the cats are sad too, less excitement 🙂

    1. Yes, you guessed correctly…just now recovering from 21 straight days of rain 🙂 I agreement the baby moorhens are too cute…saw a very small one yesterday.

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