A Good Match. Definitely.

Mid-morning on Saturday, Mama Sandy was sitting on the egg(s) her eyes closed. I assumed she had her breakfast soon after sunrise, and was now taking a nap in the sunshine. While she was sleeping, I was observing several smaller birds busy looking for food in the grass near the nest. A beautiful Mourning Dove tried to decide whether or not to trust me.

mourning-dove-2-ud109And a Northern Mockingbird decided that a fat worm was worth the risk of staying close by.

northern-mockingbird-ud109 Then I saw several tiny birds, Pine Warblers I thought, playing around in a cypress tree. They were moving very fast and almost impossible to spot high up in a tree.

pine-warbler-male-ud109That’s when I sensed that something was up at the osprey nest. Papa Stanley was on incoming.

papa-osprey-flying-into-the-nest-ud109And he didn’t come empty-handed. He had been fishing and brought a whole fish to Sandy. A small mid-morning surprise, which Sandy gratefully accepted.

sandy-gets-the-fish-ud109The fish changed hands. Stanley inspected the egg(s) and started his incubation shift. Sandy flew up on the perch to enjoy her meal.


papa-osprey-incubates-ud109That was a smooth shift change, less than a minute. Not one word was said, both knew exactly how this was done. They are such a good match for each other, Sandy and Stanley.

I left them and took a walk around the marsh. It was fairly quiet. I am sure most residents were either at their nests in the middle of the marsh where nobody could see them or on the small ‘bird island’ in the bay. However, I spotted the ‘yoga bird’ again. She was in a secretive pose, hidden behind her wing for a while, but then I saw it was the Tri-colored Heron.


tricolored-heron-ud109And, as usual, the Little Blue Heron was present too. He was looking for food in the shallow part of the marsh.

little-blue-heron-2-ud109At the beach-end of the marsh I spotted a visitor. First I thought it was an American Bittern, but concluded it might have been a juvenile Green Heron. They tend to be very ‘streaky’ on their chest.

juvenile-green-heron-ud109There were several Ibis around and a few Night Herons were sleeping in the bushes.

yellow-crowned-night-heron-ud109Walking back towards the osprey nest, I saw the Mayor fly in. He settled next to the water management installation, but kept off of it. I think he knows how to read.

gbh-ud109I saw Sandy had eaten her fish, but was still on her break. Just then, almost exactly 30 minutes from the time she received the fish, she flew back to the nest to relieve Stanley.


mama-osprey-leaves-the-perch-3-ud109The second shift change was as efficient as the first one.  One up, side by side, one down. Done.

shift-change-at-osprey-nest-ud109Sandy was back incubating and Stanley flew away. Walking home by the bay side, I discovered he had parked himself on the wind device at the Sailing Center. Ready for the next fishing trip.

papa-osprey-at-sailing-center-ud109I also spotted a remarkable 12-person row-boat on the bay. First I thought there were several boats next to each other, but realized it was all one boat. A strange-looking ‘installation’. I have never seen anything like this before, have you?

row-boat-on-the-bay-ud109Last night Dylan wanted to go to the dog park and we passed by the osprey nest coming home in the dusk. From far I saw Stanley returning to the nest. He sat down on the perch, perhaps ready for a short night shift. It was cloudy and almost dark, but I shot one picture towards the osprey nest from the foot path we followed. As the night fell, papa was sitting right there with mama.

salt-marsh-at-dusk-4x6-ud109We all wish you a wonderful week. Stay positive.


76 thoughts on “A Good Match. Definitely.”

    1. Yes, Stanley is an excellent provider, and I was glad to see he brought the whole fish to Sandy. It was too small to share 🙂 Thank you Karen.

  1. Thanks Tiny for another lovely post, and so encouraging to see the commitment of those two, to the incubation task. Love thevarious Heron shots. Herons we don’t see here, but with all the classic Heron features. Thankfully weather is cooling for us finally, and rain coming as we approach autumn, and you approach Spring. Have a wonderful week my friend.

    1. It is great to see how the ospreys share in all the duties during the nesting season. Once they have nestlings, Stanley will go fishing non-stop, I once counted 6-7 trips per day depending on the size of the catch. Can’t wait to see the little one(s)! Happy your weather is finally cooling for you guys. Have a wonderful week, you too!

  2. As always, you have great shots Tiny! All your birds seem to be looking healthy and comfortable, Weather temperatures will be raising and bird’s hormones will be in vogue. Time for love! Thanks for the nice post. 🙂

    1. It is wonderful to be able to observe the birds’ love season, isn’t it 🙂 I am sure you will have many couples nesting in your backyard too. Thank you my friend!

    1. Yes, it was a good match too…I was quite worried for the first few days and weeks, but now they really seem to enjoy their new home. The perch is in frequent use 🙂

  3. It must be wonderful for you to witness Sandy and Stanley going about their domestic business in such harmony, Helen. Somehow, it seems all the more touching for it being a wordless communing. 🙂

    1. You are right, it is even more touching when nothing needs to be said. They “talk” sometimes and I have learned the meaning of a few calls, but there are more sophisticated communications that I wish I understood 🙂

    1. Dylan always wants to go for long walks 😀 and sometimes I will take along my smaller camera just in case I see something interesting…like that evening when we saw Stanley fly back to the nest when it was almost dark. Thank you, Sylvia! XX

  4. The photos are stunning, Helen! You sure do have a knack for capturing great shots. I have to say Stanley and Sandy are EFFICIENT!! Love that you can capture all their work! Hope all is good and that you are related from your whirlwind travel. ♡

    1. I am happy you enjoy following our osprey couple, my friend ❤ Their family life is fascinating. Most of the time everything is very smooth, but like for us humans, they have their moments when communications get loud 🙂 I am rested and already planning for another quick trip next month as a new project just dropped on my table. Much love ~

      1. I really do love following their story…and you articulate it through words and photos so perfectly!! I’m happy you are rested and ready for your next project 😉 I LOVE new projects ♡♡

        1. Thank you, Lorrie. Just looked out to the nest with my binoculars … Mama Sandy was having lunch on the perch and Papa Stanley was sitting on the eggs. So sweet 🙂

    2. Very efficient indeed — both the ospreys and the well-chosen photos! Always so fun to visit and see how well they are coming along. 🙂 As for the boat, I once saw a 24-person boat (made by Staempfli and quite an impressive sight).

  5. How wonderful, Helen, to be able to be a part of, not only Stanley and Sandy’s lives, but also to be privy, through your lens and words, to so many wonderful and diverse creatures whose lives would be foreign to me otherwise. It really is a joy!
    And no, I haven’t seen such a boat. That is certainly very strange. It reminds me of the two hulled catamaran; only this vessel seems to have three components…. Very, very odd, indeed… 🙂

    1. Thank you for being here and your kind comment, Carolyn. Everyone at the salt marsh seems to be doing fine despite the fact that I have not walked there since last time…hurt my toe a little bit so just taking Mr. D. on short walks has been enough. That boat was massive and one of the kind – a real oddball 🙂 XXOO

      1. Ouch! Amazing how such a little part of us can bring us to a halt. Hopefully you and Mr. D. will be back on track soon. 😉
        Sending warm wishes your way…
        Guess you’ll be using your zoom lens for now! 🙂

  6. It was pure pleasure strolling around the salt marsh with you, Helen. As always your photos are so wonderful, so clear and crisp. And what a joy to see the new nest platform dream is fully realized. Smiled at your scholarly mayor, and loved seeing the silhouetted platform in the last photo. Have never seen a boat cluster like that either. Many thanks.

    1. Thank you for your stroll and kind comment, Jet. I am so happy the new nest platform is serving them well. It has been very windy the last few days and it has been great to know they have a sturdy nest. That “cluster boat” was indeed an odd creation.

    1. Thank you Tom. That boat was a very strange creation, both long and wide – with ‘wing men’. I didn’t see them turn, but I bet you’re right.

    1. Thank you, Otto. Their story is indeed interesting. In the past few days it has been very windy and the Osprey couple has enjoyed the relative safety of their new nest.

  7. Stanley and Sandy are a great pair and great parents. Sweet Tiny all of these photos are amazing and breath-taking. I so enjoy all of your photos and wish I could capture such fabulous shots. Hugs

    1. Thank you for your visit and encouraging comment, dear Mags! In the last few days it has been very windy here, and I have been happy that the Osprey couple now has a safe nest. They have just been sitting tight on the egg(s) 🙂 Many hugs to you, Chancy and Pooh!

  8. Thanks Val! That night shot was a wild gamble, I thought nothing would come out of it as it was so dark already, but I was pleasantly surprised by the ‘mood’ it conveyed 🙂

  9. It is truly amazing to watch the Ospreys do a shift-change. I am always in awe of the male’s gentleness as he shifts to cover the eggs with his body to incubate. Great photos of Sandy & Stanley and the salt marsh clan, Helen! 🙂

    1. Thank you, dear Amy. Stanley usually gives a good break for Sandy, But as I saw on my first walk for a long time at the marsh this weekend, he doesn’t always quite live up to Sandy’s expectations 🙂

  10. These are just glorious photos and I’ve had such a wonderful time looking slowly through them…the birds seem so trusting I wonder are you on first name terms?! 😀 What a loving harmony between Sandy and Stanley and again fantastic photo sequence of their changeover duties. Thank you so much for sharing, Tiny!

    1. Thank you Annika. I am happy you enjoy the ongoing story of the Osprey family. Soon they should have a little one, or two, to feed and to take care of. Yes, I am on first name basis with many of the ‘permanent residents’ at the marsh. It’s funny, but research shows that many birds can remember and recognize human faces 🙂

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