Time for Fishing Lessons. And Bracing for Colin.

On Saturday night the heat was oppressive, even close to 8 p.m. Dylan and I found the Osprey chick alone in the nest. Mama Sandy was no longer babysitting her. That means she has mastered flying and is ready for her fishing lessons. Now she was asking for fish, fish, fish! We continued to the doggy park so Dylan could run around with his pals.

When we walked back, the salt marsh looked completely deserted by birds. But Dylan spotted a Yellow-crowned Night Heron hiding in a tree next to the deep water. I’m sure he was hoping the night would bring some relief from the heat and he could go hunting.

yellow-crowned night heron UD 64The sun was about to dive into the ocean when we reached the Osprey nest. The chick was eating a big fish! Where did that come from?

osprey chick eats big fish 2 ud64The mystery was soon solved. Papa Stanley, still wet from his dive,  was perching on a lamp-post at the sailing center watching the chick. Just like he often did last year. Proud papa developing his parenting strategy. I’m sure he wants to make sure that the chick, to be named on Wednesday, will be ready for independence in the next few weeks weeks.

papa osprey watches chick ud64Late this morning, the thermometer read F92/C33 and the humidity was high. But I went out for a short walk to find out what was going on with the Osprey chick. You see, we’re under a tropical storm warning for tomorrow and Tuesday. And it will be impossible to go out. Although it’s unlikely that Colin will make landfall right here in the Tampa Bay area, all the rain will be on the east side of the center. Right over us. And we will certainly see tropical storm force winds too.

tropical storm colin 2 ud64

A juvenile Mourning Dove greeted me as soon as I got outside. She still had some of her baby feathers. I hoped she wouldn’t stay too long on the hot roof.

juvenile mourning dove ud64Approaching the salt marsh, I found the chick in the nest. It was almost 11 a.m. and she was asking for her brunch. None was forthcoming. You see, by no longer bringing in fish as frequently as they used to, Osprey parents want their chicks to get interested in an going to fishing school. And that’s what’s going on here too.

osprey chick asking for fish 2 ud64After a while, the chick flew out to check on her parents. And I walked around the marsh. I could hear many birds, but didn’t see them. They were all hiding from the heat in the bushes. Apart from the White Ibis. About eight of them were foraging in the grass.

white ibis ud64When I reached the nest again, I found the chick had not returned. I decided to go home. Right after crossing the street from the park to the bay side, I found Mama Sandy on a lamp-post next to the Sailing Center. She was wet from a cooling bath, and was looking towards the nest. Keeping an eye on the chick.

mama osprey keeps an eye on chick ud64That’s when I noticed the chick had returned – after flying around for about 20 minutes. I returned to see if she had a fish. She didn’t. Instead she continued to ask for her food. And checked on me too.

osprey chick waita for fish  2 ud64I waited with her. There was no delivery. I was feeling the heat and decided to walk home. While on the sidewalk, close to my home, I heard Osprey speak.

papa osprey calling for chick 2 16x9 ud64I raised my camera and zoomed out. I realized Papa Stanley was circling above the nest. He was asking the chick to come along for a fishing trip. The chick responded, but didn’t fly to her papa. So Stanley turned around and flew solo towards the ocean.

Papa Osprey waiting for chick 16x9 ud64I had to get inside to the comfort of our A/C.  Phew. Shortly afterwards it got windy, the sky darkened and it started raining. With my binoculars I could see the chick perching upright in the nest.

before the storm ud64At about 3 p.m. when there was a break in the rain, I looked outside and saw that Papa Stanley had finally brought a fish. He was perching at the edge of the nest and the chick was eating. I’m sure they had a chat about the necessity of fishing lessons sooner than later.

I am glad the chick can fly now. I hope she doesn’t stay in the nest, but hides from the storm somewhere safe with her parents. Who knows whether the platform will withstand Colin’s 50 m/h (80 km/h) winds. This ‘bird mama’ will certainly be looking out towards the nest many times in the next 48 hours. And will let you know how it all went down. Have a great week.

60 thoughts on “Time for Fishing Lessons. And Bracing for Colin.”

  1. Hi Tiny! Sending good thoughts for both you and the osprey family! I think we will just see rain…not to much in the wind department. Stay safe…and have a great week! ♡

    1. Thank you Lorrie! Just a while ago we just had rain and rain. The Osprey chick was perching alone on the edge of the nest. But now we have 25-30 mph sustained winds with 50-60mph gusts and the rain is moving in vertical sheets so I can’t even see the nest. But I’m sure she’ll make it ❤

  2. Bird Mama…. I often wonder if they are as intrigued with you as you are with them. 🙂 As always, great photos to accompany your narrative. Fishing school and Osprey speak… the prospect and sound of both brings me a smile. I, too, hope they weather Collin well. Holding safe thoughts and intentions for them from the NM High Desert.

    1. I wonder that too…and it’s clear that the Osprey parents trust me, but not the chick. She warned me yesterday when I came close to the nest where she is all alone being still fed by her parents. She seems to stay in the nest even now when we have strong winds with up to 50-60mph gusts. She is a ‘tough cookie’ 🙂

    1. I too hope the birds stay safe, particularly the Osprey chick who is alone in the nest, all the little ones who have just fledged. Thanks Amy!

    1. Hi Brad! I hope so too – just now we are in the middle of the storm with 50-60mph gusts and lots of water everywhere. But I’m sure the birds will pull through 🙂

  3. Hi there Tiny!We had exactly the same temps without humidity though and it was quite pleasant.Beautiful all your photos with the heroes and heroines of the Salt Marsh but alarming the visit of “Mr Colin”.Your last photo clearly shows the storm brewing and I am so worried about the little Lady of the family.Let’s hope that she’ll instinctively shelter somewhere safe until the nasty storm subsides.Keep safe,my friend.Looking forward to your news after the storm xxx

    1. Hi dear Doda, we are in Mr. Colin’s arms right now. Not too bad so far, a few intense storms up to 80 kmph winds and lots of water everywhere. The Little Lady is sitting in the nest all alone. Just 30 minutes ago I couldn’t see her at all because the rain was moving side ways in “white sheets”…this will pass tomorrow and I’m sure she and all the other fledglings will pull through. XXX

      1. Oh,my liitle one,sitting alone in the mercy of God … Scary weather conditions,there are several Hurricanes and Tropical Storms in certain USA regions that they are real killers.Waiting to read that all is back to normal and without any losses … 🙂 xxx

  4. It’s been very humid here in the east coast all day too, and we expect heavy rain tonight. Love these shots, and the long distance shot of the osprey perch is an awesome view!

    1. Now we are feeling Colin’s “arms” here, but all in all not too bad thus far. When the wind subsided a bit and I could see through the rain, the Osprey chick was still perching in the nest.

    1. We just had the so far strongest storm with high winds and rain coming down sideways. But I’m sure we’ll all get through it whether in Pinellas or Polk county. I am not driving anywhere today, just watching the wet birds from my windows 🙂

  5. That chick seems quite demanding, but will soon have to learn to go out and catch her own fish. (Reminds me a bit of my oldest granddaughter.) Great photos again, Helen. I hope the storm isn’t too severe.

    1. Thanks Sylvia! This young chick behaves exactly like the ones before her 🙂 Who wants to work when everything is given to them on a platter?! But she will get there. The storm has dumped tons of water here, but only a few periods of intense winds up to now…and it’s moving north fast. I think we will see the sun tomorrow afternoon.

    1. I think the adult birds definitely know about approaching storms, but I’m not so sure about the young fledglings. So far so good here, lots of rain, but the wind has not been very bad other than occasionally.

  6. It’s difficult to let the young roam on their own – it’s a tough world out there and whether your an osprey or a teenage boy – it’s tough to let go. Hopefully Colin will bring rain and move quickly. Looking forward to the post-Colin post and osprey check. Enjoy the week and stay safe.

    1. Colin is dumping lots of rain – minor beach flooding and the salt marsh now has plenty of fresh water. Winds not too bad most of the time. Saw the Osprey chick in the nest just a while ago – doing good so far.

    1. We are doing fine. Mostly inside apart from very short bathroom breaks for Dylan. He doesn’t mind small rain at all, but this rain made him hurry back inside 🙂 We had one really intense storm with high winds, but just now it’s only rain – and the Osprey chick is perching in the nest 🙂

  7. Keep cool Helen, Sounds like it mightl be a hot summer for you. Difficult for the birds who are exposed to every element, but the are stronger than we know. Have a good week.

    1. Thanks Karen. We are all doing fine, the rain has cooled us down and the winds so far have not been too bad. I’m hoping Colin is in a hurry to get out of here. I wish you a great week too 🙂

    1. So far not too bad, but I know there will be flooding in some low areas, we already see it on the beach. I’ll take some pics from my terrace as soon as my camera will not get wet.The little Osprey is perching in the nest and seems fine.

  8. “Got rain?” ~> We’ve had buckets.

    Osprey Motto:

    If you give an osprey a fish, it will eat for a day.
    If you teach an osprey to fish, it will soon fly away.

    1. Yes, we got rain! Plenty of it and a few furious storms, but overall still not bad flooding. You are so right about the osprey motto 🙂

    1. Oh, I would love you to have some! We have a small “lake” on the beach already and the salt marsh is brimming with fresh water. The winds not too bad so far.

  9. As always you render a great report about your avian family Tiny. I know about the approaching tropical storm Colin. Please be safe and indoors during the storm. Thanks for the post! 🙂

    1. Yes, indoors it is! Even Dylan, who loves rain hurried back indoors from his 30 second bathroom break 🙂 Buckets of rain, but luckily only short period of strong winds. So far so good here.

  10. Here’s hoping Colin becomes side-tracked, leaving before he really begins. Wishing you and all your beautiful creatures a safe harbour during this tropical storm!😌

    1. I think Colin heard what you said, Joanne! LOTS of rain, but much calmer in the wind department, only a few gusts up to 50 mph. And I hope those will not repeat 🙂 Everything fine so far where we are as our area only floods at the beach. The salt marsh has plenty of fresh water for the birds now!

  11. So good to read your latest replies, Helen; I was starting to get a little concerned for you all… Mother Nature at her best – powerful, and sometimes devastating!

    1. We are still in the storm area, the rain is falling hard but the winds are not too strong any more. I have been holding “watch” for the osprey chick and I’ve seen she is not yet very savvy about storms (will post about it on Wed). To my relief she is eating for the first time today, I guess Papa Stanley went fishing for her in the hard rain 🙂

  12. It’s amazing how the Ospreys keep going, taking care of the young, feeding themselves too, nature is the best example of endurance…
    I hope this storm passes by without too much disruption.

    1. Yes, these birds are so resilient. The fledgling has been enduring the storm alone in the nest today…and finally about 2 hours ago, Papa Osprey brought her a fish. I am sure she’s learned a lot during this storm, things that will benefit her later in her life. We are doing fine, lots of water everywhere and it’s still coming down, but the winds have calmed down quite a bit.

  13. I hope all is well with you as the storm bares down on the area. It is interesting how online connections are formed; I immediately thought about you and your bird family this morning as I learned about Colin. I pray that you all weather the storm well;-)

    1. Thank you Stephanie. We are doing quite well. We have flooding only on the beach, but elsewhere in the area it is quite bad in some places. Rain is still pouring down, but the wind is not too bad anymore, only about 25 mph. The little Osprey has been staying alone in the nest the whole day facing the wind – whenever I could see her for the rain. Finally tonight around 6:30 Papa brought her a fish 🙂

  14. What suspense… now I won’t be able to sleep until I know the Osprey family is safe and made it through the storm! Really enjoyed the storyline.

  15. On a good note, if the winds did destroy the next, baby osprey is old enough, she would make it! She is so big now. Fishing lessons and then she will know it all like all teens! Hahaha. I love a good storm. Makes everything clean and new again. Take care Helen. 🙂

  16. I am beginning to feel jealous… haha I see so many birds everyday and I wanna see yet more! Beautiful pictures once again. Love the different birds and the rain drenched landscape.

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