Enough Drama Already!

This Memorial Day weekend was like one long suspense novel. And I’m afraid this post is also novel-length compared to my usual posts.

It all started on Friday evening when Dylan and I passed the nest on our way from the dog park. I could see the Osprey chick was flapping her wings vigorously and actually getting up, a foot or so,  in the air. Finally the survivor would fledge!

osprey chick pepares to fly ud126_edited-1So on Saturday morning I took my camera and went to the nest to observe her flying exercises. She flew from one side of the nest to the other. Repeatedly.

ospery chick lifts off ud126

osprey chick in flight ud126_edited-1

osprey chick lands ud126Mama Sandy was watching her from the perch. I’m sure she was proud and relieved. And when a juvenile Bald Eagle flew by, she was sounding a sharp alarm.

mama osprey alarm ud126_edited-1

juvenile bald eagle 3 ud126The chick watched curiously, but didn’t say a peep. Maybe she didn’t know why this was such an alarming situation, or maybe she has yet to learn the alarm call.

osprey chick looks at the big bird ud126_edited-2It was wonderful to see her up in the air, but she didn’t leave the nest while I was there. At times she was looking at me as if saying look I can fly.

mama osprey and chick at the nest ud126_edited-1So on Saturday night when Dylan and I went to the dog park, I took my camera along. The chick was still busy practicing.

mama osprey and the chick sat evening May 27 ud126On Sunday morning I was full of anticipation. I would see the chick fledge! I looked out from my bedroom window – and saw Mama Sandy alone in the nest. The chick had already fledged!

Mama osprey waiting for chick ud126So after breakfast I hurried out to the nest to see her return. Sandy had flown away, but Papa Stanley was waiting for the chick on the perch.

Papa osprey waits for the chick ud126He was looking keenly toward the tall trees in the park. I didn’t know why. I waited at the nest. No chick. Finally I decided to walk around the marsh to greet the other residents. First I spotted a beautiful, young Roseate Spoonbill. She had not yet developed the characteristic dark band around the base of her head, had a few feathers on the top of her head and was much smaller than Miss Rosa. Perhaps a relative, or even an offspring. I named her Rosanna.

young roseate spoonbill ud126Next I spotted another juvenile. This was not a Snowy Egret, but a young Little Blue Heron. She was still almost white, but I could see the first light blue spots developing on her back and wings. This was a day of juveniles and the fledging day for the osprey chick. But she was nowhere to be seen.

juvenile little blue heron 2 ud126I continued to wait…and walk. I spotted both Mama and Papa Moorhen…

Mama moorhen 2 ud126

Papa moorhen ud126…and the Mayor. He was walking past his office inspecting the surroundings.

great blue heron ud126Suddenly I heard the Osprey chick. She was asking for fish and her call came from the park north of the salt marsh. I walked towards her call, but couldn’t find her. It was very hot so maybe she was seeking shade in the forest. Or perhaps she was resting on the ground just like her brother Lofty, who fledged exactly on the same day two years ago. I had spotted him on the ground the day he fledged.

lofty on the ground under the tree UD9When I came back to the nest, Stanley was still there. He was talking to Sandy. She was flying from the bay towards the forest carrying a newly caught fish. I assumed she was going to feed the chick.

female osprey with a fish 2 ud126_edited-1Finally I had to leave without seeing the newly fledged chick. Papa Stanley was still waiting for her at the nest.

Mama oprey is an empty nester ud126 on May 28In the afternoon I checked on the nest several times. Nobody at home. I checked again just before going out with Dylan in evening. Still an empty nest. I started to get really worried. Usually the newly fledged chicks fly short rounds over the park and return to the nest in minutes, or at latest by dinner time, just like Lofty had done. But not this chick.

We didn’t go to the dog park in the evening, but instead walked on the bay side. I was hoping I would spot the chick. But no. Until we were almost at home. I saw three Osprey flying together above the Marriott’s roof, a place favored by both Sandy and Stanley in summer time. I didn’t have my camera so there was no way to see who was who. But then I heard the familiar gimme fish. The chick was alive! And probably in the company of her parents.

osprey chick 2 at Marriott ud126Then on Monday I kept an eye on the nest throughout the day. The parents visited a few times, but not the chick. It is highly unusual, almost unheard of, that an Osprey chick would follow her parents from the day they fledge. But this girl was an exception to the rule. I would not spot her until Dylan and I went to the dog park at sunset time on Monday evening. I heard her right away. She was sitting on Marriott’s roof asking for fish and looking towards the bay.

osprey chick calls for mama ud126_edited-2A few seconds later, Sandy appeared next to her. But she had no fish.

osprey chick hangs out with Mama Osprey ud126_edited-4So there she was hanging out with Sandy. I was very happy she was alive and well. Soon Sandy flew away, probably on a fishing trip, and from far away I saw the chick flapping her wings.

osprey chick on Marriott's roof ud126_edited-1Soon we spotted Stanley too. He was perching at the sailing center about 150 yards away. I snapped a picture of him from the side-walk. Dylan was in a hurry to see his friends.

Papa osprey waits ud126_edited-1This was a unique scenario. Either this girl was truly exceptional and had started her fishing lessons right away, or she simply felt the nest was too small a landing strip for her at this time. When I looked towards the Marriott from the dog park, she was gone. Maybe she followed Sandy out to the ocean. Coming back much later, we found Stanley at the Marriott. On the ledge, one level below where the chick had been.

papa osprey watches the chick ud126And just when I was ‘shooting’ Stanley, I saw movement in the corner of my eye. I looked up and saw a tail of the chick. She was landing on the upper level. Soon she looked down, both on us and her papa.

Almost the same scenario was repeated last night. Stanley was at the sailing center, while Sandy and the chick were perching on the roof. This time she didn’t ask for fish so I assumed she had already eaten her supper.

osprey chick looks at papa ud126This adventurous girl deserves a great name! So today we did the ‘same procedure as last year’. Dylan picked a name from the hat – one among 16 names proposed by you, our friends. So how did we do it? I hope the pictures talk for themselves.

lottery hat ud126

Dylan and lottery hat ud126

Dylan does the drawing ud126It was difficult to ‘watch not touch’ the 16 treats in the hat, but Dylan waited patiently until I gave him a go ahead. And then, with lightning speed resulting in a blurred picture, he picked only one treat. The winner is…

the winner ud126I was very touched. And I want to tell you why. Pat proposed the name Arlene, I believe, because Arlene was a dear friend of many neighbors here on the island as well as many dog parents at our park. She had a wonderful little puppy, Hogan, who was friends with Dylan and other dogs frequenting the park. One morning in August last year, Arlene left us suddenly after being hit by a car while crossing the road right here in our neighborhood. She and Hogan were on their way home from the dog park. Tiny Hogan survived and was adopted to a good home. So now we have Arlene, this very special Osprey girl, flying the skies above all of us. And that feels just right.

Thank you all for participating in the lottery and congratulations to Pat!

63 thoughts on “Enough Drama Already!”

    1. Thank you, Hien. I too think Arlene was a wonderful pick by Dylan. It has, indeed, been a few fascinating days. Little Arlene and Sandy were not around tonight, I’m sure they were out on a fishing trip together.

    1. Thank you, Christine. I have though of it a few times…printing them all out, selecting the stories and editing them should be doable once I have more time 🙂 Thank you for your email too. I will respond soon.

  1. How wonderful to see Arlene fledged Tiny! What a great tribute to have the name of a dear neighbor recently lost to you all. You have a complete story in your beautiful pictures of the life cycle of the Osprey, a real accomplishment as a result of your dedicated care and interest in this raptor family. Have a wonderful week my friend!

    1. Yes, it was lovely to see Arlene fledge, but she certainly scared me…and initially her parents too, I think. She does things differently, but luckily she has very supportive parents! Thank you, my friend. Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. You can imagine that I was half a wreck on Sunday night before I finally heard this girl! She is lucky to have very accommodating parents! Thanks Kelly!

  2. Arlene is such a wonderful name and tribute. She sure is special in her own way! What an adventure and great photos to capture the drama. Thank s Helen 💕😫

      1. I am so happy Dylan picked Arlene – means so much on many levels. Last Sunday was all drama before I finally heard her late in the evening. I had the time to imagine so many scenarios – none of which good, but luckily everything seems to be fine. Arlene is one of a kind survivor 🙂

  3. Wow, drama indeed! Sure am glad the newly christened Arlene is alive and well. The name is awesome in honor of your friend. Dylan did good. 🙂

    1. Yes, Dylan did really good. You would have enjoyed seeing his anticipation as he was waiting for a go ahead 🙂 Little Arlene is a unique survivor and I wish her a long and healthy life. Hugs!

    1. Sorry for loading too much drama into this post, Brad…but that’s exactly what little Arlene provided last weekend 🙂

    1. Fortunately there was a happy ending! Now it looks like Sandy and Arlene have taken off on a fishing expedition together, while daddy stayed at home. Thanks Cindy.

    1. Yes, always an adventure. Little Arlene is camping on the same roof every evening, with either papa or mama closeby. Thanks Karen.

  4. Congratulations Pat. I’m disappointed Dylan didn’t like my treat best but Arlene seems very fitting. Wonderful that you keep such a watchful eye!

  5. Absolutely, Helen, that does feel ‘just right’ that Arlene now has a namesake flying the skies ~ brings a tear to the eye!
    Well done to and Dylan for your perseverance. Seems this young girl is strong and bold, daring and probably a good provider! If she’s anything like her mom she’ll be set for a good and robust life.
    Loved this journey with you; another cycle has begun… 🙂

    1. Thank you Carolyn! Dylan demonstrated strong will power…I was quite surprised 🙂 he then got a couple of extra treats for doing his job so well. Arlene seems to be a very bold young lady. She is now camping every night on the same roof with either Sandy or Stanley close by. I hope she doesn’t leave the area just yet so we can see her a little more. Have a wonderful weekend. XXX

    1. Happy you enjoyed the ‘movie weekend’, David. I still see young Arlene camping on the same roof every night, but she is so adventurous I expect her to broaden her views as soon as she learns to fish.

  6. Thanks Helen for another wonderful blog!What awesome news that “Arlene” has been chosen, in memory of our Arlene from the dog park. This brought tears to my eyes.  

    1. Thanks Kathy! I was so delighted when I took the paper out from Dylan’s mouth and saw it was Arlene! He did well completely without my help 🙂 And young Arlene is doing well….still camping on Marriott’s roof every night.

  7. What a lovely story with so many wonderful photographs! Arlene is a beautiful name, especially as a tribute to someone taken away too soon. She may be watching over our feathered friend from where she is now 💜

    1. Arlene loved this area and she used to walk past the Marriott every morning with Hogan…she may very well be watching the little Osprey camping on the roof for now. Thank you, Xenia.

    1. Thank you, Otto. Picking a name among all great proposals became too difficult for me last year, so I delegated the task to Dylan. And he did it well this year too 🙂

    1. It was an adventurous leap indeed! She has made me worry a few times already, but she seems to be a real survivor. I saw her this morning on the same roof, busy eating a fish provided by Stanley, who was perching at the sailing center nearby. I’m sure young Arlene will learn fishing skills in no time 🙂

  8. Oh, Tiny…what a great post… and I’m so sorry I missed the post to submit a name! This particular year has been a tough one for many….not excluding your osprey family! So happy to meet Arlene…and she is indeed a special girl 😁 Sending sweet blessings to you and yours 💙

    1. Thank you, dear Lorrie. I am so happy everything turned out well at the end for the Osprey family. Young Arlene seems to be doing well, still fed by her parents – on the same roof every night. I am sure she’ll learn to fish for herself in no time 🙂 I hope your year is turning to the better and send you lots of bleassings, my friend ❤

      1. Always happy to hear an update from the salt marsh…Helen…and always happy to feel blessed by your beautiful energy. Hope you have a super weekend 💖

  9. Exciting times for the newly dubbed Arlene! Dylan picked the perfect name for the unique osprey fledgling. A perfect way to honor your neighbor’s memory. I wonder what Arlene’s parents think of her unusual way of taking off into the adult world. 🙂

  10. I love the name for her as well. So delighted Dylan picked it. It seems that her parents have accepted the unusual feeding place – the roof. Young Arlene was eating fish up there this morning, while Stanley was perching at the sailing center. I’m sure he’d brought it to her 🙂 Thank you Barbara.

  11. Goodness, that sweet chick has sure given you and me some anxious times. I am glad she is okay and seems to be doing very well since fledging. Arlene sounds like a perfect name for her. Hugs and nose kisses for you sweet Tiny and sweet Dylan.

  12. Wonderful post, Helen. Your photos are superb as always. I really like the name Arlene for the new chick. Dylan certainly chose well. Rosanna is such a pretty name too. Most suitable. Hope you’re both having a great weekend. xx

  13. What a wonderful and touching way to name the chick…Arlene is beautiful and what a story behind the name…living on now. Who needs to read thrillers?! 😀 I’m held in suspense reading this post and enjoying the photographs and forcing myself not to rush to the end. Phew…so glad Arlene is okay and a gutsy female – maybe she should get a medal as well as a name?! A thoroughly enjoyable post and thank you so much for sharing with us. 😀❤️

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