It’s a Girl! And Other Breaking News from the Salt Marsh.

It’s been a busy two weeks since we last checked on the Osprey Family. The week after my last update, Dylan and I went by the nest late one evening, but it was really windy and Mama Sandy was covering the chick. Nothing to be seen. Other than the waxing moon. Presented here for evidence.

evening moon ud159Yesterday, after I had returned from my latest work trip on Friday night, we went to the salt marsh twice. We found the Osprey Family all gathered in the nest for some late-morning family time.

Osprey family ud159Papa Stanley took a nap on the perch, but his sleep was interrupted by Sandy reminding him it was time to fetch lunch. And that’s when I saw it. The chick is a girl! She looks just like her mom, with a ‘necklace’ already at six weeks of age. She had grown beautiful feathers and was as alert as ever.

all three ospreys in the nest ud159Stanley is quite funny. He never leaves on a fishing trip right away when Sandy asks for food. HeΒ  flew down from his perch and parked himself in the nest for a while. Sandy continued her “we-want-fish-fish” song and the little one chimed in a couple of times. It was obvious she had learned to talk.

papa mama and osprey chick ud159Finally Stanley glanced at his watch and saw it was lunch time. He left for his 3rd fishing trip of the day. Both females observed his departure. Better late than never, they seemed to think. And then they settled side by side to observe the life at the marsh. Sandy soon nodded off, but the chick was watching her environment. Perhaps already dreaming of flying.

sandy and osprey chick ud159She could see the ‘Clown’ down below. He was playing peek-a-boo with the chick.

reddish egret 2 UD159

reddish egret ud159And little further away Papa Moorhen was inspecting his territory.

mr moorhen ud159We went home before Stanley returned. But when we walked back in the evening it was like we never left. Stanley had a newly caught fish. He was eating the head on ‘his’ lamp-post, like he always does before he gives the fish to Sandy.

papa osprey has dinner ud159But then I discovered an Osprey flying high above the street. It was Sandy.

mama osprey in flight ud159So who was with the chick? Nobody! She was lying low in the nest all by herself while mama was stretching her wings and flying around just for the fun of it. Now that the chick is six weeks old, Sandy is free to do just that…and even go fishing should she feel for it.

osprey chick alone in the nest ud159After a few minutes of pre-dinner exercise Sandy returned to her chick. She was watching the setting sun and waiting for Stanley to drop off the fish.

mama osprey at sunset ud159We walked to the dog park passing right below the nest and discovered several familiar faces. Harry the trouble-maker, the younger Great Blue Heron, was hiding in the high grass.

younger GBH UD159He didn’t want to be seen and I soon understood why. The Mayor was marching around at the beach end of the marsh.

GBH the Mayor ud159Usually there’s not enough space for the two of them at the marsh, but this time Harry was not spotted. A Yellow-crowned Night Heron could see both of them from his sun-soaked islet, but he didn’t tell.

night heron UD159Dylan sat down as in waiting for some drama to occur, but there was none. A Mourning Dove sat on a branch just above my assistant and enjoyed the peace of the evening.

Dylan at sunset ud159

Mourning Dove ud159We went to the dog park and when we returned the sun was setting over the salt marsh.

salt marsh at sunset 2 UD159It was almost dark, but we saw some movement in the water. Miss Rosa was out and about getting her late night snack. I didn’t think the light would be enough to get anything but a pink blob, but in one picture you can actually see her. A little.

miss rosa ud159Soon there was only the full moon.

full moon april 28 ud159 I’m sure that Dylan, keeping with the tradition, will invite you all to provide name suggestions for the new osprey girl and reveal the lottery prize in the next post πŸ™‚ Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful week.


67 thoughts on “It’s a Girl! And Other Breaking News from the Salt Marsh.”

    1. Thank you Carrie! It is exciting indeed to have another baby to observe in the osprey nest. She seems to be doing so well πŸ™‚

  1. Your story telling takes me back, Helen. Do we ever lose the joy of reading bedtime stories? I hope not… This is what I feel when I read another chapter of The Salt Marsh: I am whisked away from the realities of life, and am enveloped by another reality that speaks of the heart. There is so much beauty in the animal kingdoms. Life and death, joy and hardship, but with an overriding integrity that smacks of love and devotion. You reveal this so well within your writings…
    Give D a big hug; and here’s one for you… πŸ€—

    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment, Carolyn. Nature speaks to me in a way that nothing else does. I kind of sense what is going on…and fill in the rest with the help of my lively imagination πŸ™‚ Somehow the life of this osprey family and their surroundings captured me when I first saw Sandy and Stanley build their (old) nest five years ago. How they interacted was so familiar in human terms and yet so much more intuitive. Dylan has a happy grin every time I tell him we’re going to ‘take pictures of the birds’. We both send you our love and hugs. XXX

    1. Yes, life would go on at the marsh…so many people walk by there every day hurrying to the beach without ever noticing the birds…although I see quite many people stopping to observe them now too. Thank you, Hien.

    1. This time it’s easy to tell. Female ospreys have brown feathers on and around their neck and chest. It’s called a necklace. Male ospreys have either completely white feathers on their chest or a few brown “sprinkles” in the white, just as Stanley has.

    1. Thank you for coming along on our walks, Sha’Tara. I am sure Dylan doesn’t need to wait for long for some drama to take place…such is life, even in the nature.

  2. Your report of the latest news at the Salt Marsh is very interesting and your photos are great to go with the story. Congratulations for the new addition of the Osprey family. She looks so strong and full of life. Thank you Tiny! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you my friend! The osprey girl looks very healthy and provided everything goes well, she will fledge around the last week of May πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, this girl is exceptionally alert, always looking around and learning about her environment. Sandy has put lots of ‘baby gates’ along the edges of the nest to ensure she doesn’t adventure too close to the edge. Thank you for the name suggestion – it does on Dylans list πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you dear Anja ❀ These birds are amazing and their life is so captivating. Soon the baby chick will start her 'flight school' πŸ™‚ Our hugs to you and Hertta.

    1. Thank you Karen. We are happy you liked the news – this chick is growing so fast and already has the typical brown feathers, a necklace, around her neck and chest…just like her mama πŸ™‚

  3. Another captivating story from the salt marsh Tiny, and how lovely, a girl! I would put forth my grand daughters name again, Pippa for the name of the new chick. I love how the couple work together as a team, like devoted parents, when so many birds leave it all to the female to raise the young. It is so good to have a place nearby where you can go to unwind and relax. Have an enjoyable week my friend!

    1. Thank you my friend for visiting and for your beautiful comment. This little family is exemplary in many ways, both parents take such a good care of the chick and they seem to work so well together. Now that the chick is 6 weeks old, Sandy can leave the nest to stretch her wings and to take baths when Stanley is somewhere close by. I am so grateful to have this little piece of nature just around the corner. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

  4. Helen, I’m so happy for the little chick – and a girl this time! Part of marking time for me is now your posts from the marshland and Stanley & Sandy’s latest chick. I feel all cosy and happy inside reading the news, looking at your beautiful photographs. Miss Rosa looks in elegant form and the moon pictures are unreal.Hmmm…one name suggestion is Cassie – short for Cassandra! Wishing you a lovely week ahead! xx

    1. Happy you came along on our walks, Annika. And thanks for your name suggestion…it is noted on the list now. In 2015, when Sandy and Stanley had three chicks, we started a ‘naming lottery’. Dylan is always eager to be the one drawing the name from the hat…the name proposals are written on long, narrow pieces of paper that are fastened around his treats. The only challenge for me is to fetch the paper before he eats it πŸ™‚ The lottery is happening after mid May, before the chick fledges at the end of the month.

  5. Thanks so much for the excellent update, Helen. Your photos as always, are fabulous. Stanley is such a good husband and dad. I love the thought of mama and baby singing the “We want fish” song. Your story made me chuckle. Happy Monday. πŸ™‚ xx

    1. The mama-baby duet is quite adorable, indeed πŸ™‚ Stanley feels obliged to go fishing, but he always mark his ‘independent’ decision by staying put for a while. Maybe he likes the song too πŸ™‚ XXX

    1. Thanks Susan! Time is flying and the chick is growing so fast…only 3 or so weeks before she starts seriously practicing her flight!

  6. A girl!! Great captures of Sandy, Stanley, and the chick. A wonderful story to follow up on. I so enjoy this series. Thank you, Helen. πŸ™‚

    1. We are so happy you visit us, Amy! Time flies and the chick is growing by the day. In a few weeks she will start practicing flying…that is always such an exciting time πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Joanne! I hope to get out to the marsh a little more often now because the chick will be ready to fly before the end of the month. Can’t miss that πŸ™‚ XXX

  7. Beautiful images Helen and so lovely to see the osprey chick – she looks very bright and alert and certainly has her mother’s features! Thank you so much for taking us around the salt marsh and much love to you and Dylan from all of us here :o) xxx

    1. Thank you for coming along on our walks, Xenia! The osprey girl seem to be very healthy and will start her ‘flight school’ in a couple of weeks. That shall be exciting! Our love to you all XXX

  8. I know that I should be concentrating on the new arrival but I liked the lovely moon pictures best of all today. Good to see Dylan paying close attention to the goings on.

    1. Thank you Tom. Dylan is always much more alert than I am. Ducks are his only temptation, he’s very calm with all the others birds.

    1. Yes, Sandy knows what she wants – whether it’s food or a certain type of ‘furniture’ for the nest πŸ™‚ We are all doing good and send you many hugs from the other side of FL XXX

      1. I’ve enjoyed watching the little “family” of yellow crowned night herons go through their birthing process in my back yard this season. As I watch them I think of you, and I wonder if they will come back next year. How many years have you been following Sandy and family?

    1. Thanks Val! The girl is growing fast…in only a couple of weeks she’ll start her ‘flight school’. She looks so healthy and energetic she should get the hang of it very easily πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, David. That little family is quite captivating. They rely on their intuition much more than we, the people, do.

  9. A lot can happen in two weeks! It’s so exciting to see the little osprey girl starting to notice the world around her. I love the simple beauty of the mourning dove ~ what a nice portrait you caught of her. I was happy to get a glimpse of Miss Rosa, too. πŸ™‚

  10. This news had me smiling today, and I learned how to tell a female osprey chick from a male πŸ™‚ What a treat it must have been to get your first good look at her ~ and Dylan is a lot like me, sit down with some popcorn and wait for the drama to arrive πŸ˜‰

  11. Congrats to Osprey family! You know, I have an Osprey travel bag – every time I use it, I remember Mama Sandy πŸ˜€ Thank you for the updates of the family – I hope they will stay safe ❀
    Please give extra pet for Dylan for being such a cool photographer's buddy!

  12. Wow, the chick looks nearly grown up already! Glad you had a chance to get some good photos of her, along with the moon “evidence.” How about calling her Luna?

  13. Oh I shall have to start thinking about names for the wee girl! What fun to see her and I love the narrative in describing the girls waiting for their fish to be hunted for. Looking forward to more updates and of course the naming game.

  14. And what a beautiful girl she is. I can’t believe she is already six weeks old, my how time seems to fly by. All of the pictures are amazing as always. Great moon shots. The clown showing off for the Osprey gave me a giggle and what wonderful captures you got. Love the picture of Dylan sitting, waiting for action, the colors are gorgeous. Looking forward to the next adventure. Sending you, sweet Tiny and sweet Dylan hugs and nose kisses from Chancy, Pooh and me. Have a safe and great week.

  15. Wow, I’m amazed that you can tell that the baby Osprey is a girl at only 6 weeks. I hadn’t realized that bird’s feathers began to differentiate them this early.

  16. What a wonderful update on the salt marsh and the Osprey family. It’s always like I am along for the walk! πŸ™‚ The wee little one is adorable and looks very healthy, yay! I’m going to stick with the “S’s” for her name and say Stacy.

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