Papa Osprey’s Fake Wings. And a Flying Mattress Delivery.

It’s good to be away, particularly if you can spend some quality time with your grandkids. And then happen to stumble on a bird photographer’s paradise. But that’s for the next post. Here only one picture of last weekend’s adventures. As a ‘teaser’.

nesting birds st augustine ud160But first things first. News from a place where I belong.Β  There have been some new developments at the salt marsh since we last spoke, and a quick update might be called for. The youngest member of the Osprey Family is now over seven weeks old. Dylan and I went to check on her yesterday morning and arrived at the nest right after the family breakfast. Papa Stanley was sitting in the nest with the chick but Mama Sandy was nowhere to be seen.

papa osprey and the chick ud160Stanley greeted us with a friendly nod, but the little one was busy observing the skies. Then she realized it was time for her daily exercise routine. Stanley suddenly got wings sprinkled with white feathers, typical for osprey chicks. Those ‘fake’ wings made me smile.

papa ospreys fake wings ud160The chick should be fledging in less than two weeks and I was happy to see her ‘wingersize’ vigorously. That’s when Sandy’s head popped up from the back of the nest and I realized she had been there all along. She was busy working on something.

osprey family ud160Soon Stanley decided it was time to retreat onto the perch. Or maybe he just wanted to show the chick how it’s done. Actually flying.

papa osprey flies to the perch ud160And Sandy decided it was time to run errands. She flew away in the direction of the bay.

mama osprey flies away ud160The chick was alone in the nest, but under tight supervision by Stanley on the perch. She was looking into the distance after Sandy.

osprey chick ud160And I was focusing on taking pictures of her. Suddenly I felt something fly right over my head! And a second later Sandy landed on the nest. With a new mattress for the chick. Lightning fast express delivery. No lines at the mattress shop as the whole trip took less than two minutes.

mattress delivery by mama osprey ud160I was not the only one taken by surprise. Typical Sandy, always fast and efficient. When she wants something she goes and gets it.

mama osprey returns ud160She landed in the middle of the nest, right on the spot where she wanted to place the mattress. Then she had a mother-daughter moment with the chick. Nothing needed to be said.

mama osprey and the chick ud160But the chick understood mama would like to see some more exercising…and she went for another set of wing flaps. She still looks quite tentative in her movements and stands with her legs wide apart. She’ll need several practice sessions a day if she’s going to fledge in the week after next.

osprey chick flexes her wings ud160She isΒ  a beautiful osprey girl and she’ll need a name. So Dylan and I will do the ‘same procedure as last year’ and have a lottery. The prize will hopefully be worth putting on your thinking hat: a 60″/152 cm round beach/picnic towel featuring Sandy and Stanley. And the drawing itself, to be conducted by Dylan on May 15th, promises to be exciting…and super fast. We’re talking about treats here.

Mama and Papa Osprey beach towel UD160

Rest assured that the names already submitted by some of you are safely in the hat. Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend. We hope to hear from you. Much love.

86 thoughts on “Papa Osprey’s Fake Wings. And a Flying Mattress Delivery.”

  1. You know what came to mind for her? You’re going to laugh….Bubbette! LOL I don’t know why, but that’s what I thought of for a name… ❀

  2. What a joy to follow the new chick, Helen. These photos are so lovely. I think a good name would be Celine. Many thanks for this visit to the Salt Marsh today.

  3. This “Baby” looks very perky and smart to me. She probably needs a bit more length of the wings feathers enough to hold her weight. In matter of few days she can get enough lift and you’re going to see a vigorous osprey! Great post as always Tiny. I’m getting curious about the place that you’ve found for bird photos. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you for your great comment, H.J.! Yes, the osprey girl will be flying soon. I was completely taken by surprise to find hundreds of birds in a very unlikely place last Saturday…and I was equipped with a 50mm lens (: but got a few good pics anyway. I will try to assemble a post in a couple of days πŸ™‚

    1. The chick has grown so fast. She’ll fledge either end of this coming week or early the following week. Thanks Tina!

    1. Thanks you, Susan. No name proposal? The prize is happy to fly to London, should Dylan pick your proposed name πŸ™‚

  4. A treat of a start to my day, Helen! The photos are stunning and the commentary and descriptions so vivid and dramatic! Wishing you a wonderful weekend and I’ll tune in for the name draw! Xx

  5. How lovely to see the new chick doing so well and the devotion of these parents. Grandkids seem to bring blessing when they come birding with you, they are great spottersπŸ‘€. How wonderful that you were with them Tiny when you found a new birding treasure trove. Have a wonderful weekend my friend 😊

    1. Thank you Ashley. It was great to watch the (hundreds of) birds with my grandies πŸ™‚ I will try to get a post together in the next few days. Wonderful Mother’s Day weekend to your wife and you.

  6. Wow! She’s growing up fast! Wonderful shots. Using the newer lens?? I love reading your posts. My suggestion for a name is after my grandmother
    – Ophelia. Old fashioned but lovely. 😊

    1. Yes, the chick has grown so fast. Can’t believe she’ll be 8 weeks next week! I used my old “jogging camera” for these pictures because I learned it’s not good to take my new, long lens to the doggy park – too much sand flying around πŸ™‚ Ophelia is a lovely name, thanks Kelly.

  7. What a great image, Helen; to capture Sandy arriving with the nesting material must have warmed your heart… πŸ™‚
    I’m also thinking about that great new nesting platform; it has certainly proven itself this season.
    I’m looking forward to more. From your ‘teaser’, it seems we are in for another treat. And wonderful to know you enjoyed your break with family.
    Give a hug to D… and here are some for you… πŸ™‚

    1. Sandy took me completely by surprise returning so fast. I felt a ‘wooosh’ in the air and she landed while I was still focusing on the chick πŸ™‚ Last Saturday, we literally stumbled on a wonderful bird ‘haven’ and I will try to get a post together in the next few days. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day, my friend ❀ XXX

    1. Oh, I wish I could see better into the nest! I know that Sandy has made the ‘nest cup’ for the chick and now felt she needed a new mattress there. When the chick sleeps, nobody can see her from the ground…even when looking from afar. I have tried πŸ™‚

        1. It has actually occurred to me, BUT I don’t think Sandy and Stanley would like an intruder above their nest. They might ruffle its tail feathers πŸ™‚

    1. She’ll fly soon, and then it’ll be interesting to see if she stays at the nest or, like Arlene last year, selects another spot for her flying practice. Thanks Donna πŸ™‚

  8. Your teaser photograph is an absolute gem Helen and I am looking forward to seeing the birds you saw when you were visiting your grandchildren! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful update on the ospreys too. The young female looks so spirited and if we had to name her we would call her Lucy β˜ΊπŸ’– xxx

    1. Thank you for your visit and wonderful comment, Xenia. I thoroughly enjoyed the surprise of the ‘bird place’ we stumbled on last weekend. But to my great disappointment I only had a 50 mm lens with me…had planned to take portraits of the girls πŸ™‚ But will put the pictures I got in a post soon πŸ™‚ XXX

    1. Thanks for being here, Joanne. Time flies so fast, the chick will have departed from the nest in less than two months…so I’m trying to enjoy her presence now while she’s still here.

    1. I smiled at her flapping demonstration too. Sandy was watching her so intently. I’m sure there was some advice to the chick later πŸ™‚

  9. I love all your tales about your Ospreys, they have now for long had
    such personalities through your writing and beautiful photos.
    Such wonderful parents both Stanley and Sandy are.
    Looking forward to the naming post.

    1. Thank you, Miriam. This little family has given me so much joy…and I am happy to share some of it here. But I don’t see a name proposal from you?!

    1. Oh, I was so happy to find those birds…until I realized I was only carrying a 50 mm lens. But got a few pictures anyway.

    1. Thank you Amy! That was an action packed walk…all happened in about an hour. The ‘fake’ wings made me smile, like kids making rabbit ears behind their parent in photos πŸ™‚ No name proposal?!

  10. Great shots again, Helen. Mama Sandy is a really good mom. I wonder if she will get an extra portion of fish for Mothers’ Day? I like the name Louella which is a French name meaning warrior maiden. Hugs to you and Dylan. 😘

    1. Thank you Sylvia. I will check tomorrow…and hope Sandy gets something special…like a Red Snapper πŸ™‚ Louella sounds beautiful and to the hat she goes. Have a great day tomorrow. Hugs from both of us XXX

  11. Sweet Tiny I am in awe of these fabulous shots and the Osprey. I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone by and that the chick will soon be fledging soon. The fake wings gave me a giggle, what a great capture. Amazing pictures of Sandy in flight. I wish shopping went so hassle free for me as it does for Sandy. Glad you had some nice time with your grands. Hugs for you and nose kisses for sweet Dylan from us. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you Mags. But I don’t see a name proposal? The fake wings gave me a giggle too. I “saw” a kid make rabbit ears behind her dad…like we used to do as kids. Sandy was so fast…I had just taken the picture of her flying away and turned my lens to the chick, got a couple of pictures and heard ‘whoosh’ in the air and Sandy landed back in the nest. I had a great time with my grandies. Always wonderful to be with them. Many hugs and much love from me and Dylan.

  12. My one and only, brand new granddaughter, Stella . . .
    Just saying. Visited the Salt marsh last week, Sand Key was awesome, mid week, with hardly a soul in sight.Snapped a few shots, none of the chick, guess she was napping. ME and the Boss . . .

    1. Glad you found Sand Key beach peaceful. When the chick sleeps she is in the ‘nest cup’ where Sandy put the new soft materials. She is completely invisible from the ground. Stella is a beautiful name…if Dylan draws that name from the hat, you may come and get the prize in person πŸ™‚ Have a blessed Mother’s Day!

  13. Wow – Wonderful captures and journalistic prowess Helen! I chuckled at the flying mattress and the mother and daughter moment that followed.
    I love the names that have been suggested … Stella especially.
    She is quite elegant and royal looking. I’ll put the name “Victoria” into the hat. Have a lovely Mothers Day and week ahead Helen πŸ’›

    1. Thank you dear Val! The flying mattress completely took me by surprise…and gave me smiles. The chick was also surprised by the flying delivery. Your name proposal goes into the hat for tonight’s drawing…results to be reported later this week πŸ™‚

  14. I really enjoyed this new update, beautiful pictures and story and will be anxiously awaiting Dylan’s pick for a name!

    1. Thanks Kathy! We’ll do the drawing tonight, but the reporting of the results will need to wait a bit, too swamped with work right now.

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