Small Bird. Big Bird. And a Huge Bird.

When it rains it pours. Once again I have validated this old say. But such is life. Every now and then we are reminded that we are not in control of our own life, and even less so of the lives of the people close to us. We need to accept what comes our way and adjust. There is no other way.

This has also been true for the Osprey Family. Towards the end of April they still had two hatchlings, but it seems that – like in the last three years – the younger one didn’t make it past week three. I have learned to accept this as a way of nature to ensure that at least one strong chick fledges. And this one is growing very fast, here pictured at about four weeks (above) and five weeks (below)old with proud Mama Sandy.

My assistant and I have seen the Osprey Family somewhat regularly, mostly at sunset time on our way to the doggy park. And I have to say Mr. D. is behaving truly well with the birds. And that now includes the many ducks at the salt marsh. He’s truly earned his diploma.

On our way home we often walk right under the osprey nest and the other night we witnessed Sandy and the chick waiting for a late supper at sunset.

Sandy was nodding off, but the chick was alert examining its surroundings. But where was Papa Stanley?

We walked over to the bayside and spotted Miss Rosa working on her dinner.

And to my delight, the Skimmers were back! We have since spotted them also at the salt marsh.

Papa Stanley’s favorite perch at the Sailing Center was empty. I scanned the bay and the sky and finally found him far away, close to the opposite shore. He was fishing.

He spotted a fish several times, got ready to dive but aborted in the last minute. We followed his attempts with great interest but finally had to leave before he caught a fish. Right after we got home, we heard some noise over the salt marsh… and a huge bird was landing only a stone throw from the osprey nest.

There were several emergency vehicles close to the landing site and after about five minutes on the ground, the huge bird flew off again. It was transporting someone to a trauma center in a bigger hospital on the mainland.

Whoever that person was we wished him or her the best. Mama Sandy is used to see such a huge bird in the park every now and then, but I’m sure the little one was quite puzzled by the noise and the size of that bird.

We have also taken a couple of walks at the Taylor Park. It’s been more quiet there too, but we spotted a tiny Least Bittern which I have never before seen in the wild.

A beautiful Green Heron was running on the shore vegetation…

โ€ฆ and a red-bellied Woodpecker was working a big tree right above the trail.

And, of course, we spotted an Anhinga. It was reading the warning sign and then checking the water…

โ€ฆ and there it was – a large alligator. It was taking a keen interest in me and my assistant and when it started to glide closer to the shore, we decided it was time to leave.

So yesterday Dylan and I decided to go out in the afternoon’s heat and check on the ospreys. We saw Papa Stanley taking in the sun on his favorite perch on the bayside. He was keeping an eye on the nest…and us.

When we arrived at the salt marsh, the little one was showing of its impressive wingspan to Mama Sandy.

We sat on “my” bench in the shade and watched them. Soon we discovered that the little one not only exercises its wings already, but has also learned to talk. When Sandy started asking for an afternoon snack, the chick joined her in the fish-fish-song! They both knew that Stanley was close by and could hear them.

We were about to go back home when the song went up to falsetto… a sign that food was on the way! We could see Stanley circling around the nest and then landing with a long, slim fish, head already eaten of course.

Sandy managed the placement of the fish and started eating it together with the little one. Stanley sat happily on the other side of the nest. We left the family to enjoy their snack and promised ourselves to be there when the chick is fledging, probably within the next one week or so.

Once I can determine whether it’s a boy or a girl, we will have the name draw again. Thanks for coming along and please check back soon again.

50 thoughts on “Small Bird. Big Bird. And a Huge Bird.”

  1. What a great stroll, Tiny…that capture of the alligator…UGH!!! Would have had me running away for sure. I had the opportunity to go on an airboat recently and it was great! The captain knew where all the alligators were and made sure we saw them. Amazing creatures. I also went on an exploration on my paddle board yesterday and came across an osprey nest I had never seen…Papa was in the mangroves about 100 feet from the nest and he alerted momma to the intruders. Then we got closer to the nest and momma started making a racket. I thought of you, for sure!
    Hope you are well and feeling lots of love! โค

    1. Thanks Lorrie! Yes, the gators are quite something. I was on an airboat in Everglades and now last year close to Cape Canaveral and have seen probably hundreds of them. But spotting a few in this little lake is always a thrill…this one was really staring at us and only a dew yards from the shore so we retreated ๐Ÿ™‚ Wonderful you spotted an osprey nest! I still remember how upset our ospreys were in the beginning when I started to observe them almost seven years ago…but quickly we made friends and that now includes Dylan. Wishing you many blessings, my friend โค

      1. I was so excited to see them so close (never thought that they would attack…although their words, if I interpreted them correctly, said not one stroke closer ๐Ÿ˜‰.)
        Helen, do be aware of those gators. We have a park here that does not allow you to bring your dogs (and you can pretty much bring them anywhere here) because the gators believe they are dinny! I don’t want to invoke fear (as that is what I am trying to eliminate) but a hungry gator…ugh!
        Sweet blessings for you…I hope the rest of the week is wonderful! ๐Ÿ’—

        1. Thank you, Lorrie! Fortunately these gators have plenty of fish in the lake…they eat mainly fist and small turtles and when they come on to land they soak the sun just at the water’s edge….and people will not go close. Many people walk their dogs there and we are all very careful despite the good “reputation” of these gators. Have a wonderful week dear friend.

          1. Awww…thanks Tiny…I know you know what you are doing!! Disregard my attempt at trying to repel fear…it didn’t go so well!! Hehe!
            Enjoy my friend! Loving this weather ๐Ÿ˜

    1. Thanks Tim! We are blessed with lots of birds, but now that summer approaches and its hot, they stay in shade and hide in the bushes…more difficult to spot. That gator was too curious for comfort so we hurried away…

  2. Things are looking good there… Miss Rosa is very pink now, I see there’s more water in the marsh, that will make many birds happy to have fish at a closer distance. I’m sorry that one of the babies didn’t make it, but this one is looking very strong and alert. Thanks for the post. Take care my dear friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you, H.J. ๐Ÿ™‚ The salt marsh is not very lively now because of the heat, but many residents are out and about early in the morning and in the evening and at sunset time. Miss Rosa’s pink dress was so beautiful, colored even more by the setting sun’s colors in the clouds. The osprey chick is looking good and will fledge soon… Say hi to everyone!

  3. Beautiful images Tiny! especially the Gator head! Sad for the loss of the baby chick but good that their is a survivor each time to carry on the next generation. Yes, life is not really in our hands as we sometimes think, there are many twists and turns from unexpected challenges, and the fact that we can’t see ’round corners with our destiny. Hence the need to live by faith in a Father who loves and understands us more than we realize and has a plan for our future yet to be unfolded. Have a wonderful week my friend!

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words, my friend. I am happy, too, that at least one osprey offspring has survived each year after 2015 when they had three fledglings. We are watching this chick and its increasing ‘wingersizing’ at the nest….trying to be there when it fledges.

    1. A tete e tete with a gator is a big no-no ๐Ÿ™‚ I think the chick will fledge next week…a bit later than previous years, but for some reason Sandy and Stanley laid eggs a bit later this year.

    1. I am so happy to see the Skimmers this year. Apparently the coyotes ate their eggs on the beach least year and they disappeared for a year. Thanks Tish!

  4. Helen, a treat of a post and itโ€™s a joy to come along on your familiar walk! ๐Ÿ˜€ It is sad about only one chick surviving but that seems to be the way here. I canโ€™t belive how quick it grows and itโ€™s amazing to follow each one until they fly the nest. Iโ€™ll keep my eyes peeled for the name draw for the newest member of the family! Oh, Papa, Stanley is definitely checking you out … and a great photo of him on his fishing expedition!

    Many thanks for โ€˜rescuingโ€™ my latest comment from moderation – that seems to be happen from time to time.

    Wishing you and amazingly well-behaved Dylan lots of wonderful walks this season! ๐ŸŒบ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Thanks Annika! Dylan fell ill on Monday night and spent the day at the hospital yesterday. He was diagnosed with a bacterial stomach infection…poor guy is on antibiotics and two other meds. I gave him two days of paid sick leave from his photo assistant duties, but it looks like he will be eager to come back to “work” tomorrow as we follow the fledging exercises of the osprey chick ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. A wonderful post, Helen. Love the look on the anhinga โ€˜s face. ๐Ÿ˜… Mr A is a very impressive size. Dear Dylan is so very handsome. ๐Ÿ˜ Iโ€™m so glad that the surviving chick is so healthy. Thanks for your update and fabulous photos. ๐Ÿค—

    1. Thanks for coming along Sylvia. Mr. D. has been under the weather since Monday night. He’s on antibiotics and other meds and on “sick leave”. Luckily he’s already doing a bit better, but still not eager to go to the osprey nest for a follow-up visit. Have a great rest of the week, my friend. XXX

  6. Good job with sweet Dylan and the birds…he is so smart and such a sweetie. I sure was hoping both the chicks would make it. The one that survived is a real beauty and growing really fast. I am glad you decided to move on when the alligator began getting closer it sure was a big one. Sweet Tiny all of your pictures are amazing as always and I enjoyed so much seeing all the beautiful birds again. Thank you so much for sharing some of the wonderful wildlife via photos. Hugs for you and nose kisses for Dylan from Chancy and me.

    1. Thank you so much for coming along, Mags! Dylan fell ill on Monday night and spent the day at the hospital yesterday. He was diagnosed with a bacterial stomach infection and is now on several medications, including antibiotics. His tummy is doing much better but the meds make him really tired. I gave him ‘sick leave’ from his photo assistant duties until he feels much better. Many hugs to you both from us โค

  7. I am sorry to hear about Dylan. I hope that he will soon be taking you for walks again.

    I liked your picture of the bittern. I believe that they are tricky birds to spot so your picture was really very good.

  8. I love the picture of Papa Stanley on his perch looking at you and keeping an eye on the nest. His eyes are very penetrating and stern. I wouldn’t want to cross him. Good to see Miss Rosa again. ๐Ÿ™‚ It must have exciting to spot the Least Bittern ~ you have so many kinds of birds down south there and yet you still find new ones once in a while. It was a very good idea to give that alligator a wide berth! Yikes!! Looking forward to the fledging of the osprey chick…

  9. Tiny – I’ve missed reading the Osprey stories (I think I’ve missed a couple posts ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ) Love the vibrant colors in all the birds you come across. You really know how to capture their personalities. Cheers – Susan

  10. I love accompanying you and Dylan on your explorations of the marsh and bay! That chick looks ready to try itโ€™s wings any day. Thank you for keeping us up to date with Osprey family and whatโ€™s going on ๐Ÿ’•

  11. Long Live the Ospreys! They truly are a great example of nature, Helen, and where true power lies… As you’ve said; we need to appreciate whatever comes our way, accept, and move forward. Not always easy, but, certainly the wisest way. &
    Wonderful images as always; including Mr D – he is such a cutie. And the image of the alligator is fabulous.
    Well, Helen, the next time I visit with you I imagine the little one will have fledged. And so the circle continues.
    Happy snapping… ๐Ÿ™‚
    xoxoxo

  12. How many years have you been following the the Osprey Family? I certainly have seen the a few times now on this blog. It’s really like a family now, isn’t it. And as always you capture some beautiful images, both of the ospreys as well as other creatures.

  13. Thank you and Dylan! You are the masters! Hugs!โคโค๐Ÿฉ Anja & Hertta ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒป

  14. So nice to see the Osprey chick growing big and healthy! Beautiful captures of the Osprey family and the other birds and creatures around the salt marsh. Our “Bella & Beau” just had a second egg hatch, I was watching Bella feed both chicks this morning with my binoculars. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Baby Osprey is growing really fast! With the discipline that your Assistant is showing, are you sure he is not about to get his PhD already? I think he passed the diploma stage already.

  16. You’ve got perhaps the most therapeutic walk in the world ~ simply awesome, and your photographs bring us all into another world. The rollercoaster ride of life is something that never ceases to amaze, the often drastic shifts of emotions that after a while we do simply need to accept what comes our way and adjust. I know you’ve really had your share, but it makes the appreciation of life that much stronger. Cheers to you and take care ~

  17. Great post and filled with fun stories and fantastic photos, as usual, Helen. I haven’t seen you around WordPress in quite some time, hope you are well and thriving. Best wishes to you.

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