Bubbette Says Hello. To Alberto.

The season’s first subtropical storm, Alberto, will soon be making landfall on the northern Gulf coast, now packing 65mph/105kph winds. Yesterday it was churning past us about 135 miles out on the Gulf. It didn’t come here, but the “low” associated with it has brought rainy weather and gusty winds already much of last week for us. And although we now see glimpses of sun every now and then, the winds are still very gusty. As far as I know, Miss Bubbette has not yet fledged. I think Mama Sandy has put her under strict orders not to try her wings in this weather. On Wednesday, Thursday and yesterday when we had some dry weather, Dylan and I went to see her.

osprey chick waits for mama osprey ud161On Wednesday we found her alone in the nest keeping a low profile. Mama Sandy was flying overhead and sounding loud warnings.

Mama Osprey chased an intruder ud161I realized she was chasing away a male intruder who had ventured too close to the nest.

Mama Osprey chases a male osprey ud161Sandy soon returned to the nest and I understood she had flown away in the middle of her lunch. She continued eating. Bubbette had probably already eaten, but asked for more so Sandy was feeding her a few more bites from her own lunch. Mother’s love.

Mama osprey is feeding chick 2 ud161After finishing her lunch, Sandy flew up to the perch. Bubbette continued her wing exercises.

Mama osprey is back ud161We walked around the marsh and saw a few friends. Miss Rosa was visiting…

miss rosa ud161

snowy egret and miss rosa ud161… and foraging together with a Snowy Egret. A Yellow-crowned Night Heron was hunting too, which is rarely seen in the middle of the day.

yellowcrowned night heron ud161And Mr. Moorhen was checking out his territory. Otherwise the marsh was quiet.

moorhen ud161On Thursday we went out again quickly between the rain showers. Bubbette was exercising her wings again. She did not take off the nest, but ‘flew’ onto the highest branch in the nest.

Osprey chick bubbette practices flying UD161And she was hungry. She had, indeed, learned the most common osprey song: Gimme Fish.

And she knows her “head bob”, so typical for ospreys. Mama Sandy just sat on the perch. After a while she took a short flight towards the bay. Perhaps to check if Papa Stanley was somewhere close by eating the head of their lunch fish. You see, I had witnessed a small brawl between Sandy and Stanley the previous night when watching the nest from my living room. Stanley had brought a fish and was sitting on the perch when Sandy suddenly flew up and literally pushed him away. I had no idea what he’d done, or if he would still bring in fish for that matter. I have not spotted him at the nest since.

mama osprey returns ud161The sky had filled with clouds and we left Bubbette and Sandy to wait for their lunch.

Osprey chick perching on the highest branch in the nest ud161Yesterday I went out to the terrace to take a picture of the nest through the rain. I was thrown off balance several times by the strong wind gusts. No wonder Sandy doesn’t allow her girl to get airborne as yet.

osprey chick and mom in the rain ud161Later in the afternoon when the sun came out, I looked at the nest again…and could not spot Bubbette! I thought the poor girl might have taken off in the gusting wind, which made it difficult to fly even for experienced fliers. I took my camera and went out Dylan in tow. The wind hit us hard.

Mama osprey UD161We arrived at the nest, but could only see Sandy on the perch. The wind was blowing so hard that it forced three Anhingas on their way to the bay to land at the marsh.

Anhinga 1 ud161

Anhinga 2 ud161

anhinga 3 ud161Still no Bubbette in sight. This ‘osprey granny’ was starting to get worried. We walked around the marsh and spotted Harry, the younger Great Blue Heron.

Yoiung great blue heron UD161And a tiny, juvenile Green Heron, who was trying to keep her balance on a low branch.

Juvenile Green Heron UD161A male Red-winged Blackbird had to flap his wings to stay put on his sturdy tree stump. Normally he would land in the middle of the marsh on one of those slender bushes, but I guessed he didn’t like the idea of ‘swinging’ in this gusty wind.

redwinged blackbird male ud161When we approached the nest again, pushing against the wind, I still didn’t see the osprey chick, but a pregnant Mama Moorhen walked by.

mama moorhen ud161Suddenly I heard a faint song…fish, fish. It was Bubbette! But where did the sound come from? Dylan and I stayed quite a while close to the nest looking around. Finally we gave up and decided to walk home. When on the side-walk, I looked out to the nest again, and saw her. Phew.

Bubbette ud161She had been lying low in the nest cup all along, probably ordered to take shelter by Mama Sandy. It is windy today too…and the fledging watch continues. Thanks for visiting. Happy Memorial Day and have a great week.

65 thoughts on “Bubbette Says Hello. To Alberto.”

  1. I worry just like you until I hear from the kids. They are never too old for me to worry! Haha. I hope Stanley and Sandy make up! Lovers quarrel! πŸ˜‰ Have a lovely day Helen. Don’t get caught up in the winds! Stay safe! Hugs! Koko πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Koko! Parents always worry…no matter what the age of their “kids”. And I always get worried about happenings at the osprey family. The parents are still not quite on speaking terms πŸ™‚ Finally a bit sunshine this evening! Have a great day & hugs from me and Mr. D.

  2. Thanks for the update, Helen. Bubbette’s safety must be of paramount importance to both Sandy and Stanley. I do hope that they kiss and make up very soon. Wonderful captures of the various creatures dealing with the inclement weather. πŸ™‚ xx

    1. I’m still waiting for the kiss between Sandy and Stanley πŸ™‚ But saw him fly fairly close to the nest checking on his two girls this afternoon…so perhaps the relationship is on the mend. Today was a “washout” for us here, rain, rain and more rain, hence no fledging today either. XXX

    1. All is well, but the weather has been bad, including today. Miss Bubbette has not yet taken flight. Thank you, Susan.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Susan. I think the little miss has now gotten used to us, she remained calm when alone in the nest and we walked by.

  3. Wow, I cannot believe how well bunkered down Miss Bubbette must have been to weather those winds. We had high winds yesterday with the end result being everything is now everywhere, lol!

    1. Bubbette has really hunkered down in the nest…this evening the weather cleared up a little bit and she was up, eating with her mom. I hope no more rain and wind tomorrow so she can fledge!

  4. We just got back from the beach ~ WIND whipping up WAVES!!! Quite a change from our normal placid Gulf.

    Hope the S&S “make up” before B takes flight.

    1. Today the wind was weaker, but we had rain and more rain here until this evening. The parents have not made up as yet, but Stanly flew by the nest today and tipped his wings, whatever that means. An apology? I’m hoping tomorrow will be a more “normal” Florida day so that the girl can get airborne πŸ™‚

        1. David, I wish it was that way. I wouldn’t need to worry when Stanley takes on a Bald Eagle and tries to chase it away from the nest – I didn’t think he would return from that trip. Bald Eagles nest on the mainland right on the other side of the bay…and Great-horned Owl in the same park…

    1. Their world is indeed quite magical. I am always fascinated to learn more by observing them and trying to interpret what is going on. Thank you for visiting us, Tish.

  5. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photographs and the lovely video Helen. I do hope Sandy and Stanley will kiss and make up! Hope you will all stay safe in the storms and please give Dylan a big pat from us all πŸ™‚πŸ’– xxx

    1. Thank you, Xenia! We are all safe, but the rainy weather has continued…now over two weeks, which is rare here. I have not yet seen Stanley in the nest, but he flew by yesterday…and Bubbette has not yet fledged as far as we have seen. Dylan and I send you all hugs and wishes for a good rest of the week ❀

    1. It is truly amazing to be able to see them every year and learn more about their life! I just hope the ospreys were newly married when I first started following them in 2014 so that we can see them many years to come πŸ™‚

      1. I hope so too — there’s always something interesting going on with them! Glad to see that Miss Bubbette stayed safe in the high winds πŸ™‚

    1. Some anxious moments indeed, but happy all is well. First thing every morning I check on the nest…and the chick was still there this morning.

  6. Well, the suspense with Bubbette just had my heart racing! So glad she was in the nest all along. I loved her standing tall on the branch, so proud of herself. πŸ™‚ The rest of the marsh is doing beautifully, how wonderful the variety gets along so well together.

    “My” Bella & Beau just had an unusual suspenseful time also. Another intruding pair of Osprey attacked Bella & Beau in their nest three times in one minute. I’ve been so worried about any trauma that might have occurred to any possible hatchlings. We were still trying to confirm our hatchlings. Thank goodness, I saw Bella feeding at least one chick today. πŸ™‚

    1. I’m rooting for ‘your’ hatchlings as much as I’m rooting for Bubbette. I hope they are well. The migratory ospreys lay more eggs that the non-migratory like ours, so hopefully you will see more hatchlings soon πŸ™‚ Bubbette has not yet fledged as far as I can see, but last night was the first time the rain and the wind let up and now we have intermittent sun…so it may happen today!

      1. Thank you Helen! I’m so tired of the rain and wind here too. Last year the Chesapeake Bay had such a wet Spring, it was reported many Osprey eggs did not survive to hatch. Yay, just posted some hatchling good news here. πŸ™‚

        Bubbette, you go, girl! Fly!!

  7. A lovely story Tiny, so glad the drama had a good ending and the little one was keeping safe. Good to see the birds are doing life despite the strong winds. The anhinga is almost identical to our Darter. So pleased the cyclone will pass you by. We are still in drought here. Have an enjoyable week my friend 😊

    1. Yes, little Bubbette is safe…and maybe today is her day. The sun is finally trying to come through and the winds have calmed down. So we’ll take a walk to check on her. The Anhinga is indeed very similar to your Darter – I thought of it when they suddenly landed at the marsh. They were clearly trying for a ‘fly over’, but the wind was gusting so hard that it even made my walk difficult. Have a wonderful, blessed weekend, Ashley πŸ™‚

    1. We did not have real damage here in our area, only lots of debris from all the palm trees and little branches and twigs everywhere, but that was it. Finally last night the rain and wind let up and today the sun is trying to shine through the clouds so I’m hoping Miss Bubbette will fledge soon. Stanley has not yet come back to the nest, but did a ‘fly-by’ yesterday to check on his girls.

    1. Thank you Maverick. We had over two weeks of rain and wind, but now it looks that we are on the better side of it πŸ™‚

  8. Under normal weather conditions Bubbette most likely would have flown, but the parents were right to prevent her from doing it! It might look easy for birds to fly but involves quite a bit of practice, if something went wrong she might have ended with a broken wing. Parents are wise! Great post Tiny! I’m glad you are not in area affected by storm Alberto. πŸ™‚

    1. I agree. Bubbette would have fledged last week had the weather been better. Finally today the rain and the wind have gone, so we will be paying a visit to the nest soon πŸ™‚ Thank you, H.J.!

  9. Beautiful pictures! Loved hearing Bubbette cry out “I’m hungry!” I’m glad that Alberto left the family of Ospreys unscathed!

    1. Thank you Robin! It was great to see you and Priya last night. When we walked home from the dog park, Bubbette was singing the same song. Sandy left and flew towards the bay, but I wondered if it wasn’t too dark already for her to catch a late night snack.

  10. This post kept me on the edge of my seat. I am so happy Bubbette is safe and doing well. Sandy and Stanley are such good parents. Fabulous pictures sweet Tiny. I hope all in the Marsh stayed safe in all the wind. Happy to know that you and Dylan are safe too. Hugs and nose kisses for you both from all of us.

    1. I was happy, too, that Sandy didn’t let Bubbette to fledge in that wind! Finally last night the rain and the wind were gone (for now) and we will be going to the marsh to check on Bubbette. Today might be her day πŸ™‚ Hugs and kisses from both of us to you all. XXX

  11. Helen, I just want to call out to Bubette to stay low, safe in the nest! I feel anxious reading your post, wondering what is going to happen … it’s intense. The bickering between the parents, making sure Bubette does her exercises! Thank you so much for sharing the latest news on the family. Keep dry and safe yourself with the oncoming storm. Xx

    1. I was so happy to see how strict Sandy was…made Bubbette lie down flat in the nest cup. Finally the weather has improved…and we’ll be checking on that girl and her progress in the flight school. Sandy and Stanley have not yet made up although yesterday he made a ‘fly-by’ to check on his girls. XXX

    1. Thank you Barbara! It seems to me that ospreys are very good in dealing with Mother Nature’s whims. Today, finally, the wind is gone and we’ll be checking on Bubbette’s progress πŸ™‚

  12. Whew! I am so glad the Osprey family is okay. I was worried with those strong winds we were having. You are such a good Osprey Grandma to keep a close eye on them.
    I simply love all of the gorgeous vivid pictures you post.

    1. Thanks Kathy! We checked on Bubbette last night. She was making her exercises and sang the familiar song. Now that the wind is gone, she may fledge…we’ll check on her today too πŸ™‚

  13. I know you aren’t a biologist, but dang girl! You’ve done an awesome job of documenting the osprey’s! Thanks for another year of drama and photos of them.


    1. Thank you Nancy! Today the weather has improved so we’re hoping that Bubbette will be flying soon! I’m trying to find some time to go and check on her.

  14. It’s probably nearly time for an update, Helen! Hopefully, the winds have died down and the fledgling (and mama) will be feeling more settled.
    I wonder what the quarrell was about? Our dear Stanley must have offended in some manner! My man, K, would have apologised regardless. He always believes if there’s a quarrel, he is probably the antagonist; whether right or wrong… Now that’s good training.. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

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