Devoted Parents Hide the Baby. And Other News from the Salt Marsh.

I don’t even know where to begin the salt marsh news as I’ve been away far too long from here. Completely buried in work trying to get my project finished. But there’s been a couple of walks around the salt marsh, one around sunset more than a week ago and one yesterday morning. And there’s been looking for a small homeless dog to adopt. Bumble whispered to me from the rainbow bridge that it was okay to fall in love with another homeless poodle. So we’re in the process of applying for a job as adoptive dog parents. Again.

sunset at salt marsh 2 ud50It was late. Hardly any light reached beyond the beach where the sun was about to dive into the ocean. I spotted Papa Stanley on a lamp-post at the parking lot next to the marsh. As per his usual routine, he was eating the first part of the fish before bringing the rest to Mama Sandy, who was still sitting on the eggs in the nest. I heard her calling to him asking for dinner.

papa osprey eats dinner ud50While working on the fish he was constantly checking on Sandy. He knew she was hungry too. And that the hatching was imminent.

dinner delivery ud50He landed very close to Sandy who was not even visible from the ground, and sat on the egg(s) immediately.

papa osprey sits on the eggs ud50

So that Sandy could take the fish and have her late dinner. I was really taken by his loving look when Sandy took off with her half of the fish. She settled down to eat it on the same lamp-post close the nest.

mama osprey flies away with her dinner ud50I walked around the marsh and spotted a few birds that had not yet settled down for the night, like this tiny Snowy Egret who was still fishing in the shallow waters.

young snowy egret ud50And the White Ibis, who was patrolling the marsh, no doubt in search for some munchies before the night fall.

white ibis ud50Then I walked on to the beach just in time to see the sun dive into the ocean. And the darkness fell over the earth.

sunset 3 ud50I kept an eye on the nest from my office window during the whole last week. And discovered a change of pace. There was no quick shift change when Stanley came in with the fish. Instead both stood up and it looked like Sandy was feeding a tiny hatchling while the proud father looked on.

papa and mama osprey feeding the chick ud52So yesterday morning I went to see them again. Sandy was sitting in the nest, probably brooding the newly hatched chick(s). She will do that for about ten days, until the hatchling(s) are too large to fit under her. It was hot and humid, and she was cooling herself with her tongue hanging out. She acknowledged my presence, but Stanley was nowhere to be seen.

mama osprey ud52So I continued my walk and spotted the young Great Blue Heron. He was very close to the Mayor’s office, but didn’t dare to step on that little islet in his elder’s absence. That was good.

young blue heron ud52At the other end of the marsh I found a couple of Florida Mottled Ducks, but got a picture only of the female.

florida mottled duck female ud52That’s when I realized Stanley was back at the nest. I quickly walked back and found the Osprey parents attending to the hatchling(s), whom they were effectively shielding from all attention by the paparazzi.

papa and mama osprey 16x9 ud52Stanley was wet. He’d obviously been fishing. And Sandy was eating the fish and I assume, also feeding small pieces of fish to the chick(s). So I sat there, walked round the nest and climbed up on benches in the hope of capturing a small head or hearing a little peep. But nothing. Not yet.

papa osprey with his fish ud52Then Stanley flew off with the rest of the fish. I spotted him and his fish on a tree branch nearby when walking home. He looked at me as in saying “have patience lady”. So I walked home happy knowing that things seem to be fine with the Osprey family.

northern mockingbird ud52This Northern Mockingbird and I wish you all a great week. Keep well. Peace.


72 thoughts on “Devoted Parents Hide the Baby. And Other News from the Salt Marsh.”

  1. Thank you for such a lovely post! I returned from Florida on Thursday and I miss it already! We fell in love with the beautiful ospreys and even had a nesting pair close to where we were staying that we called our own. They had three beautiful babies that we spotted in their nest. Thank you for keeping us connect to Florida’s beauty:-)

    1. I saw your great pictures, Stephanie! Glad you had your “own” Osprey family! These birds are so easy to fall in love with. I will probably need to wait a week or two before I can spot the baby or babies, but I will keep you posted 🙂

  2. What awesome photos! I love Stanley on the tree branch with his fish! What gorgeous creatures!
    Today I have been playing oriole and grosbeack audios and attracted a bunch of both! The birdies are so awesome. Love, love, love your ospreys!

    1. Thanks Cindy! I am such a silly “osprey granny” that I completely forgot to check around for other birds 🙂 The audio is a great idea…I may need to try that to get some of the smaller birds out from the tall leafy trees. I can hear them but not see them.

    1. Happy you came to visit, Val! It is indeed exciting to see in a couple of weeks time if there’s one chick or more in the nest. Two years ago they only had one, but as you remember they had three last year 🙂

    1. Thanks Skip! I will continue to check on the nest from my terrace and take some walks to find out about the hatchling(s)…we should know something in a week or two.

  3. It’s always good to know you and the feathered friends are well. 😉
    I’m sure Bumble would be quite happy if/when you adopt another soul to love. ❤

    1. I was happy too when I found everything “in order” at the salt marsh 🙂 I will let you know when we have a new fur baby. Hugs ❤

    1. Thank you for visiting the salt marsh with me, Amy! I am so happy to be back home and do not forward to any more trips in the near future 🙂 The Osprey family has little ones, it remains to be seen how many this year. I hope to find out soon.

  4. Fantastic photos and story. I just adore to watch to the birds. Currently I am observing the swans sitting upon their best waiting. New life! It’s what spring is all about.

  5. What a wonderful record of a devoted relationship Tiny! You do it so well, and the photos so perfectly catch it all. Thanks so much, I love how you tell the story, have a wonderful restful week:-)

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Ashley. I am trying to make the time now for regular walks to keep an eye on the hatchling(s) 🙂 and to get my exercise & rest for my soul that only nature can provide. Have a wonderful week, my friend.

  6. I have been sporadic with my blog reading, and was so sad to read of Bumble’s passing — so glad you are finding room in your heart for another friend in need of a home. I always enjoy the marsh updates — what a stunning picture of Stanley on the tree branch.

    1. Bumble’s departure was really hard to accept, but he had a wonderful life and we had so much love. Providing another furry friend a forever home feels like the right thing to do now. Happy you visited the salt marsh gang, Kat!

    1. Thank you Susan. Everything seems to be fine with the Osprey family, I just hope to find out soon how many little ones they have this year.

    1. Thank you, my friend. I promised myself to make the time for regular outings even when finishing my project by end of next month. Then I will take a proper break 🙂

    1. Yes, exciting indeed – little ones at the salt marsh! After I finish this long and busy project at end of April, I think I deserve a long break to just walk around photographing nature 😀 Many hugs!

  7. I think there is nothing more beautiful than honoring the memory of an animal who brought us love than to extend that love to another worthy recipient. ❤ Good for Bumble for teaching you that lesson.

    Now, here's my first thought when I saw the pic of Sandy flying with the fish in grasp:

    1. Yes Bumble was an excellent teacher…love, love, love ❤ And I laughed at your cartoon…Stanley had second thoughts after dropping off the fish 😀 The special thing about Sandy flying off with this fish is that she did not carry it in her talons, but took it in her beak instead. They almost never do that 🙂

  8. So glad you were able to get outside for some Florida sunshine and air. You captured some beautiful moments! And I’m glad to hear Bumble is still whispering loving thoughts to you. ❤

    1. Yes, I’m glad too! And I am determined to make the time for my outings now despite the frenzy to finish my project. And after that, in May, I hope to get a long break 🙂 I’m also hoping Bumble will send another homeless poodle to find us soon.

    1. I think Stanley is a stately bird 🙂 It so much fun that both of them recognize me immediately and trust me to be around the nest.

    1. Stanley says thanks you, Hariod! Now that we have been approved as adoptive dog parents here in Florida, I am hoping the right homeless doggy finds us fairly soon.

    1. Thank you Susan! Stanley is so handsome, a caring parent and a good provider. It’s an honor to know him 🙂 I’m hoping the homeless doggy who is supposed to grow old with us, will find us fairly soon.

    1. Thanks Nancy! Since we are adopting- and there is a waiting list of approved adoptive parents – it’s the doggy who will pick us 🙂

  9. Isn’t it so comforting to come home and find the activity of our wild friends continues on? Your ongoing story of the osprey couple was a joy, and how very exciting that they have a new hatchling now. I, too, have found that when their patterns change, as you noted, the chicks have hatched. Congratulations, Tiny — and thanks so much for this lovely post.

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment, Jet. This is the 3rd season I am following the Osprey couple and I am learning so much more every year about the meaning of what I observe. Exciting to see how many hatchlings there are this year!

    1. Walking at the marsh, working on the photos and writing it all up is like vacation from work – much needed rest and recuperation. Thank you.

  10. Love a happy ever after 🙂 and that shot where he’s looking straight at you, in a sort of ‘know your place’ way. 🙂 Great story telling and photos.

  11. Congratulations to Papa and Mama Osprey. They look like the perfect parents and so protective of their little chicks. 🙂 It must be so great to be back home and to see all the happenings again. Love your photo of the Northern Mockingbird. He looks quite fluffy compared to my photo. Is he a juvenile?

    1. Thank you Sylvia. It is indeed wonderful to see all spring “works” at the salt marsh. I don’t think the MB is a juvenile, they have the ability to buff themselves up when it’s windy – and it was very windy 🙂 XX

    1. Oh, Stanley is wise beyond his age 😉 And I’m trying to have patience… everything in its right time. Last few days I’ve demonstrated considerable patience in waiting for a new dog to adopt, and finally tomorrow I’ll go to meet little Dylan…hoping he’ll agree to come home with me 🙂

      1. Delightful, Helen. What a gorgeous name, ‘Dylan’. He sounds as though he will have his own strengths to contend with. Perhaps a little stubborn! Sounds too cute.. Crossing fingers and toes… 🙂

  12. Well a big congrats to Stanley and Sandy! I can’t wait to see their new babies. Tiny, these images are just incredible and I always love your stories. What a beautiful relationship you have with all the wonderful wildlife around you.

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