First Pictures of the Baby!

Dylan and I have been following the Osprey family’s baby saga this past week. Every evening we’ve walked past the nest and seen Mama Sandy fussing with her chick(s) – without us spotting even a little head. Earlier this week she stopped brooding so I concluded the chic(s) have to be more than 10 days old.

boat-tailed blackbird ud55I’ve explained to Dylan that I love birds, and that Mama Sandy is having at least one baby in the nest. His hunting instinct is strong, of course, like for any poodle. He’ll follows the trace of a squirrel with his nose sweeping the ground. His ancestors were used as hunting dogs already in the 15th century, but may have come to Europe as early as the 8th century traveling with the Moors from North Africa.

17th century engraving of a poodle (Wikipedia)

Last night he actually sat down and listened attentively when I was talking to Mama Sandy. And later to Papa Stanley, who was eating the head of the fish on his perch before bringing the dinner to Sandy and the chick(s). I didn’t have my camera so you just have to take my word for it.

mama osprey UD55Today at lunch time I took a solo walk at the salt marsh with my camera. And saw Sandy shielding a chick (or chicks) from the sun with her wings. I stood on the benches again, and all but climbed the trees, hoping to capture a little head. But no luck. So I walked around the marsh and enjoyed the other birds. Particularly the antics of the Reddish Egret.

Reddisg egret says hi ud55He looked at me and said hi. Then he put up a show knowing he had a captive audience.

reddish egret hides ud55He was hiding, jumping, flexing, flying and finally he caught his lunch item. He was thoroughly entertaining as always. The little clown of the marsh.

Reddish egret flying ud55

reddish egret piks lunch ud55I also saw papa Mottled Duck swimming around guarding the nest, where I assume his mate was sitting on the eggs. He tried to look nonchalant, but checked several times on the place where their nest was hidden last year. Now I’m sure we’ll see little ducklings quite soon.

papa mottled duck ud55I also saw the Mayor, the Great Blue Heron. He flew in to get his lunch items from the marsh drive through.

great blue heron the mayor ud55Suddenly Sandy sounded a short warning. A male Osprey was flying low over the nest, as in wanting to land. First I thought it had to be Steve, the Osprey who often comes close to the nest. But looking at my pictures, I realized it was Stanley.

Papa Osprey flies over the marsh ud55He tried to come to the nest at lunch time without a fish! How dare he! Hence the brief warning from Sandy. Her call soon changed to a much friendlier, but equally important message. Bring us fish, husband! Fish! He landed at the top of a tree to make fishing plans, and after a while flew towards the ocean.

papa osprey lands on a branch ud55I couldn’t wait for him to return so I walked home. When on the road I looked back towards the nest. I thought I saw a little head. Yes! The picture is not good as I had to zoom all out without a tripod, and cars flying by. But here it is, this year’s first picture of a chick! I would say s/he is about two weeks old.

Mama Osprey and chick 4 ud55I waited for a while on the side walk and finally got another picture of a little head right under Sandy’s wing. It could be the same chick, or chick number two. We will soon know 🙂

mama osprey and chick 3 ud55And with that, we all wish you all a wonderful weekend!

81 thoughts on “First Pictures of the Baby!”

    1. I will tell Sandy you said congrats! I will try to get some pics from my terrace over the weekend to see if there are one or two chicks 🙂

    1. That was fun! I realized I could see the chick(s) only because I was far enough. Now I will need to hang out on my terrace to see how many they are 😀

  1. Hello Helen,
    Oh how exciting! And their little heads are so cute. As always, I enjoyed the latest update from you and the Salt Marsh. I hope you have a lovely weekend. I think my husband and I will visit our local park to see the “natural” residents there 🙂

    1. Hi Takami, nice to see you! Their little almost bald heads are cute but in two weeks time they will look really lovely, and it will be easier to take pictures of them when they start to become curious and look out of the nest! I hope you’ll have fun on your visit and meet many “residents” in the park 🙂

  2. Exciting times in the marsh… and in our ecosystem. How delightful their emergence and your being a (grounded) part of the experience. As for the other marsh inhabitants, it is amazing that, as if on cue, they know exactly when to primp and preen. 🙂

    1. They are lovely, the residents at this marsh, and they know that when I appear they can do all the funny things they ever dreamed of 🙂 It will be fun to observe the Osprey chick(s) as they grow…at the end of May they will be flying! Last year my heart was in my throat many times when I witnessed their daring acrobatics.

    1. Thank you Amy! I will tell your congrats to Sandy and Stanley tonight when Dylan and I will go greet them again. That egret is such a showman 🙂

  3. Really amazing photos of the Reddish Egret. He’s a comedy act all by himself. So great to see the first pics of Mama Sandy’s little ones. What a scoop! Dylan must find his walks really exciting. I love the Wiki image of his ancestor. Have a great weekend, Helen. Thanks for the update. 🙂

    1. Dylan loves to go to the park, but I think he’s more excited about the squirrels right now 🙂 But he sits down when I observe the Ospreys, which is great. I love it when I see the Reddish Egret – it’s almost like he performs for the camera 😀

    1. I’m still amused by Sandy’s reaction to Stanley trying to come to the nest empty handed. Happy you enjoyed the pics, Nancy! Have a great weekend, enjoy this gorgeous weather!

  4. I can’t believe it’s a year since you last kept us entertained with stories of the Osprey family – looking forward to more stories and photos, please keep up the good work! 🙂

    1. The year has gone fast, hasn’t it. The Osprey family’s life is so much like ours. Little squabbles between parents every now and then, hungry kids who will grow up fast and fly at the end of May 🙂

    1. Thanks Nathalie! I will try to get out there as often as I can with my camera, but next month when the chick(s) will learn to fly I will have more time to follow them more closely 🙂 ❤

    1. At least the Reddish Egret behaves as if knowing he will be caught on camera. He always looks at me, and then the show will start 🙂

  5. Another wonderful episode in the salt marsh Tiny! How lovely that you got a glimpse of the new chicks. It is such a blessing that the nesting frame has held up during the previous rough weather and that Sandy endured sitting on the nest, she looks a little warn though. Love the other captures of the birds also:-)

    1. I’ve been praying the nesting platform will hold until the chicks are out of the nest at end of June, or so. So far it seems to be holding up well as the two other brackets are still firmly in place. It was lovely to see the chick (or two) yesterday! Have a wonderful week ahead, my friend!

    1. Yes! The platform seems to be holding up despite several storms we’ve had. And the chick(s) will grow up fast. At the end of May they will be ready to take flight and by end of June they will be quite independent 🙂

    1. Dylan looked almost like the engraving when he was found on March 7th. Now he’s all cleaned up and a happy, loving dog. He has learned to walk well on a leash and seems to enjoy going to the park/salt marsh. I am so happy he came to us 🙂

    1. Happy you came along for the walk, Skip. I just love seeing the Reddish Egret. It’s almost like he’s putting on a show just for me to enjoy, capture and share.

    1. Happy you came along for the walk, Brad! I feel like a happy mama 😀
      And I wish the chick or the chicks will grow up safely and show us how to fly by end of May!

    1. I have to wait a couple of weeks before I enter the baby in a beauty contest. His/her chances of winning will increase dramatically 🙂 Happy you enjoyed the update, Susan.

  6. Your interesting post reminds me that I need to go back to the refuge and check on the Ospreys and see if any couple has baby chicks by now. The sun will come out tomorrow, so there is a chance…

    1. I’m guessing it will take some more time for chicks to hatch where you are. The incubation usually lasts 37-39 days. I hope you’ll get a chance to give us an update on how things are going for the Ospreys!

  7. I cannot believe a whole year has gone by and the Osprey family have another family. I laughed out loud at the Egret’s antics and held my breath hoping you wouldn’t be falling out of a tree. As for Dylan, I know you will teach him to respect these birds you Love so much, I just know it! And then I saw the head!!! OH wow, Tiny! How exciting to know there is Life once again! I’m curious to know how many chicks there are this year. And for Stanley’s deplorable behavior of not coming with a fish, he deserved that tongued lashing. Mothering is tough business. Great photographs, dear friend. You get a big WOW from me!! Thank you SO much for taking the time to put this post together. ❤

    1. I am so happy you came along for the walk, dear Amy! I was so happy to finally catch a picture of the baby – or maybe two! Soon it will be much easier to see them when they start looking out of the nest. Like last year, the parents are now building higher “fences” around the edges of the nest in preparation for the chick(s) to be more mobile 🙂
      Dylan and I will continue his “bird lessons” tonight on our evening walk. Hugs and much love ❤ Tiny

      1. For some odd reason, I have this strong feeling you will teach Dylan to have respect for these birds you so Love. He is so grateful to you for rescuing him, Tiny, that I believe that dog will do just about anything you tell him. Of course any training takes time. (smile) Hope your Sunday is going beautifully!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

  8. Wow, more babies. Sweet Tiny I am just in awe every time I come here and see the amazing pictures that you take. Those captures of the Reddish Egret’s antics and Papa Stanley taking off and in flight are just super amazing. I am so happy that you share your wonderful talent of photography. Hugs

    1. I am so happy you enjoyed the pictures, Mags! The Reddish Egret is one of my favorites, because it almost looks like that he puts up a show for the camera! And get’s his food at the same time, of course. It was so funny Mama Sandy warned Stanley not to land on the nest without a fish, and then started her “fish-fish song” to get him to go fishing. It will be fun to see the baby/babies grow. At the end of May there should be some flying lessons. Hugs to you too, my friend.

  9. Fantastic chick captures, Helen, so glad you saw them, they made me smile! Just adorable. Kudos for Mama Sandy on keeping her Stanley in check! 😉 Love the the first shot of the Reddish Egret, hilarious!

    1. Thank you, Donna! I still have to see how many chick there are, but they grow so fast from now on that next week they should be looking out of the nest more. I can’t wait! Sandy always keeps her hubby in check, I have seen it many times 🙂 The Reddish Egret always looks at me the same way (I have numerous similar shots) – then starts his performance. And I laugh out loud!

  10. Delightful.! So much to love here, Helen. From Dylan to Sandy and Stanley, to the reddish Egret and the Mottled Ducks, to (my favourite) the Mayor; and now ‘new life’… How adorable our little friends are.
    Enjoy the remainder of the weekend. Hugs and kisses all round. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Carolyn! I just saw the new life under Mama’s wing again tonight on my evening walk with Dylan. They were settling in for the night. So lovable! Have a wonderful week, my friend XOXO

  11. Love it! Thank you for the chuckle and some holding of breath in suspense! All worth it Helen. I love following the happenings right along with you, and Dylan 😎

    1. So happy you came along, Val! Tonight’s walk (with Dylan of course) took us past the nest and Mama was there settling the little one(s) for the night. They had obviously already had dinner 🙂 But the Reddish Egret was still hanging “at the bar” 🙂

  12. Later this week I’m hoping to get “proper” pictures of the baby or babies. They are going to start looking out more soon 🙂 Thanks Karen!

    1. Thank you Cecilia! Happy you enjoyed your visit with the Osprey family and other salt marsh friends. I’m sure the babies will grow up to beautiful young Ospreys in the next two months.

    1. Thank you dear Matti! I am hoping to get some better ones over the weekend. I hope your weekend will be nice and sunny with spring in the air!

  13. Love the story; the community seems to enjoy their wildlife 🙂 Great images too – I love especially the Reddish Egret, is he a new visitor?
    Have a lovely weekend, Tiny 🙂

    1. Thank you Indah! No, the Reddish Egret is a regular visitor, he comes for a few days and then leaves, comes again…I so enjoy watching his antics 🙂 Have a beautiful spring weekend, Indah!

  14. I jumped for joy seeing that baby! Yippee! The photo is perfect! Teehee. I can’t wait to see the ducklings! I am totally excited about the babies can you tell? I had my own clutch of babies I’ve been spying on. They nested in my riding lawn mower. I’m glad I checked the engine compartment. 5 eggs! Then they were pink, then pin prick feathers, then full feathers, and then …. off they went. I thought of you and your adventures. It was nice to have one of my own! Hahaha…Take care Helen. Koko:)

    1. Wow! I’m happy you’ve had your only bird family to observe!! Only you would check the engine compartment! Thank you for being you, Koko Our osprey Baby is growing and both parents take care of her/him. This morning on my walk with Dylan, I saw Stanly come from the bay with a fish to Sandy and the baby, but I can’t carry my camera as they have not yet invented a “dog stabilizer” for cameras 🙂 Take care & hugs ~ Helen

        1. I think the dog stabilizer is starting to work a little bit. This morning I got a few almost shake-free pictures…he sat and waited 🙂 Have a beautiful Sunday, Koko!

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