Tag Archives: Fish hawk

I Have a Surprise for You, Tiny!

After returning from my trip this morning, I headed out to see the osprey family. Before even unpacking my suitcase. About a week ago, I’d seen the youngster take off for a short flight above the nest, and I was excited to see if she would fly out of the nest today.

Im flying look mama osprey nestling 513
Last week’s achievement!

You noticed I said “she”? I’m now almost sure it’s a girl.  She is much like her mama. Just look at them side by side, the decorations on her breast are quite marked, like an elaborate “necklace” typical for female osprey.

mama osprey and youngster watching tiny ed
Mama (on the left) and youngster last week

When I arrived in the nature reserve, mama osprey was keeping an eye on the youngster, as usual. Papa osprey was nowhere to be seen. I assumed he was on fishing duty. I took my position under the trees and observed the two quietly for about 15 minutes. As there were no signs of anything much happening, I relaxed, put down my camera and just sat there lapping the morning sun.

The youngster is checking out something in the marsh
The youngster is checking something in the marsh

Suddenly the youngster turned, looked down…and just “fell” from the nest spreading her wings. She took me by total surprise! I had expected to see some wing flexing, but she just went over the edge and eased into flight! Of course I didn’t catch that very moment with my camera, but caught up a few seconds into her flight.

osprey youngster flying 521
Hello fish…I see you!

She was flying really low, close to the water. I’m sure she had seen some fish close to the surface and wanted to check it out. Since I was way back from the marsh, I could only see her a few times above the brush and the trees.

osprey youngster flying 3 May 21
Here I come!
I’m coming back mama!
osprey youngster back in the next
I made it!!

It was fantastic to see her fly. Her wings flapped a lot and were not yet perfectly synchronized, but she was in the air on her own flying about 2-3 minutes above the marsh! Then she soared upwards and made a successful, if not perfect, landing back into the nest. I’m sure you noticed how mama osprey was leaning outward to make room for her flapping wings.

Back in the nest waiting for lunch
Back in the nest waiting for lunch

I stayed with them for a while but there didn’t seem to be more practice sessions planned for this morning. I assume that the young one needs a little more flying practice before the diving and fishing lessons will start. I will try to keep a close eye on developments.Juvenile AND PAPA OSPREY 521

Before I left them, I noticed that mama osprey’s balcony plants are still green with some white flowers – after three weeks! I have to admire her gardening skills, among other impressive stuff I’ve seen over the last couple of months.

Hope your week is going great!




Look Mama! I’m Flying!

Since my last “report” from the nature reserve I’ve had two opportunities to visit with the osprey family.  First on Sunday afternoon, after a sumptuous Mother’s Day lunch, and then again two days ago.

Mother’s Day was fairly cloudy, but Tuesday was sunny and breezy. The two visits were quite different,  although it was clear already on Sunday that the nestling’s flying practice had started!

Mama osprey and nestling resting after lunch
Mama osprey and nestling resting after lunch

When I arrived in the vicinity of the nest on Sunday, mama osprey was looking after the youngster. She appeared a bit irritated. I soon discovered that some gulls were flying back and forth fairly close to the nest.  Too close. There might have been a “doggy bag” left from the family’s Mother’s Day luncheon, but mama didn’t welcome uninvited guests. After a few loud warnings, she decided to make it very clear that she preferred some privacy. It was her day, after all.

Mama osprey on her warning tour above the marsh
Mama osprey on her warning tour above the marsh

She flew a few fast and furious rounds above the marsh, and that seemed to do it. No more disturbance from the gulls.

mama ospreys warning flight 511  ed
Mama osprey on her patrol

It was funny to see how the nestling was laying low while alone in the nest. I couldn’t even see his/her (still not sure about the gender, but leaning towards a girl) head. It appeared above my horizon again only when mama was returning!

Mama osprey returns to nest
Mama osprey returns to nest

As soon as the peace was restored, the youngster started flexing his wings. Mama was still checking out something on the south side of the nest.

osprey nestling flying practice 511 ed

I overheard mama osprey giving some advice to the youngster, but unfortunately I didn’t understand all of it . I’m still a beginner in osprey language.

osprey flying practice 1 511 ed

The youngster jumped into the air and hopped from one side of the nest to the other. Accompanied by flying motions. I saw his/her feet in the air, not touching the nest for a second or so! I have a picture to prove it, but it’s completely blurred…silly me did something stupid in the excitement of it all.

Papa came home to take over child care duties...
Papa came home to take over child care duties…

After a little while papa osprey returned from his afternoon tour of the neighborhood. As soon as he touched down, mama osprey told him to take over the child minding duties, and flew away. I guess she needed some exercise too!

osprey mama and nesting best 513

Two days ago, my short visit was even more exciting! The youngster did real practice sessions above the nest under mama osprey’s strict supervision. I have prepared a small gallery below so that the youngster can show off his/her newly acquired skill!

When the young one was 3-4 feet up in the air, I was almost sure s/he would fly out! But it was not that time as yet.

It looks like I might miss the fishing lessons. Unless the youngster decides to wait for me to come back home from my upcoming trip.

I need to “fly” now.  See you all later, Tiny






Lunch. Fresh Seafood.

I couldn’t keep myself from checking on the osprey family again. You knew that, right? I had been spying on the nest from our terrace using binoculars …unfortunately it’s too far for me to get sharp pictures with my current camera gear.

The nest as seen from our terrace (almost half a km away)

So yesterday, after shoving down half a salad late in the lunch hour, I ran out to the nature reserve. Ok – I didn’t really run, but that’s how it felt in the afternoon heat.

Approaching the nest I only saw the mama.  She was observing me. The nestling was laying low, but I could see little movement of his head every now and then. They were not eating lunch as yet.

mamaosprey and nesting lying low
Mama osprey observes Tiny while the nestling is resting (head visible in front of mom). Note the balcony flowers still blooming.

It was about 2 p.m. and papa osprey was nowhere to be seen.  That’s until mama osprey thought I had been too sloppy with my camouflage. She gave out a few short high-pitched whistles, cheep cheep.  The calls were not the kind of frenzied cheereeks I had heard earlier when the dogs approached the nest, but papa osprey appeared almost immediately! He flew over the nest, looked down on me and tipped his hat (sorry, I missed that picture). That’s old Tiny, he seemed to think, no danger from her. He didn’t even circle the nest, just continued to fly high towards the beach. He has great intuition.

ibis flexing
An ibis bird fluffing her feathers
small heron wet 2
A reddish egret drying herself

I decided to turn and walked around the marsh to the other side of the nest  where the ospreys are more used to see joggers and other loose folks like me. I was still a bit away, busy watching some ibis birds and egrets washing and drying themselves in the marsh, when I sensed something in the air. I looked up and saw a huge fish hanging from the talons of papa osprey’s right foot high up in the air!

papa osprey bringing home fish for lunch
Papa osprey brings in fresh seafood

Lunch had arrived, fresh from the ocean! There was activity in the nest. I guessed the fish was portioned out. But I got a surprise! The nestling was being fed by his mama again!

gimme food says baby osprey
Mama, gimme food!
here you go baby mama osprey feeding
Here you go, baby…

I left them to enjoy their lunch in peace and quiet.  It was not yet the time for flying practice.

Fly high now – Tiny


Preparing for Graduation?

Today’s lunch time assignment in the nature reserve was exciting. Gorgeous weather and lots going on with the osprey family. Their house was clearly in need of repair and cleaning after the rains and winds we’ve had recently.

papa osprey flying to get stuff
Papa osprey going to Home Depot

Papa osprey was busy bringing in new twigs while mama osprey was doing repairs and cleaning the nest. She (I’m sure it’s her) had also potted some flowers on the balcony as you can see in the pictures. Green plants with white flowers.

papa osprey brought a stick_edited-1
…and coming back with a twig

I wondered whether the flowers were in preparation for the nestling’s graduation. It’s about that time, isn’t it? The youngster had grown so much in the last few days that it was difficult to tell who was who. He was almost the size of his parents now.

osprey nestling flexing
Whatever you say pa, I don’t agree!

I think it’s him here flexing his wings and talking back to his papa.  Stereotypical teenage behavior. He doesn’t have as much white on his head as his parents do, his head and beak are little smaller, and he’s still a little “fluffy” at the edge of his wings.  Did you notice the little white feather in the air?

osprey family all three
“We see you” say the parents. “Whassup in the reserve?” says the youngster.

And he wasn’t doing any chores. His papa was flying back and forth bringing in needed materials from Home Depot and his mama was busy repairing the nest.

Did you also notice that both papa and mama are looking straight at me, while the youngster had no clue that a budding ornithologist, although carefully camouflaged, was present? So it must be him.

osprey landing back to nest
Mama osprey returning to the nest, Nestling is laying low.

This was also the very first time I saw both papa and mama flying away from the nest and leaving the nestling alone there for a couple of minutes. When mama osprey executed a short flight (for exercise, I’m sure), she didn’t go far from the nest. She just circled it a few times and went straight back. But the fact that she did leave him alone speaks volumes. He’s approaching independence! I hope to be invited to the graduation party. And if I am, I’ll vouch for you too.

Take care now, Tiny

Solid Food!

Today is gray and rainy. I am happy I was “on assignment” in the nature reserve yesterday when it was hot, windy and just very cloudy. I half expected to see the osprey nestling standing on the edge of the nest ready to spread his wings so that a wind gust would take him up in the air. But he was not quite “there” yet.

When I approached their nest, I saw the papa osprey flying out for a fishing trip again.

papa osprey going fishing
Gone fishing…

The mama osprey and the youngster soon discovered that I was approaching. Both were peering out in my direction.

Mama osprey and nestling have discovered Tiny
Mama osprey and nestling have discovered Tiny

That’s when I saw that the nestling had grown a lot from last week! He was almost two-thirds of the size of his mom. And he was no longer been fed by the mama osprey. He had graduated to solid food! His head was bobbing up and down as he was happily eating from the fish that papa osprey had brought in a little earlier.

nestling and mama osprey ed
The wind was airing the young osprey’s feathers…

I stayed with them for quite a while. It was funny to see how the mama osprey always moved to the side of the nest closest to me. She was protective, but not alarmed. I hope that means she knows by now that Tiny is a friend 🙂

I might miss the exciting flying lessons as I have a grand baby of my own to welcome to this world any day now…

Take care and have a wonderful weekend – Tiny


Nature Reserve Neighborhood News

In this weekend edition I’d like to introduce to you our next door neighbor, the Great Blue Heron. He calls our beach and the nature reserve home. Like we do.

When he’s not at work –  fishing in the marsh, he likes to go to the beach. Like we do. He usually checks out  the scene from the rocks at the end of the reserve. His preferred pastime is to watch people fishing. Sometimes he even volunteers to guard the fish bucket. And he doesn’t mind company. Provided it’s of the right kind.

Blue Heron and a Pelican on the beach
Blue Heron and a Pelican on the beach

I also have to update you on the situation regarding other important residents, namely the osprey family. I now know for sure that the couple has one offspring, not two. He is growing fast and seems to be hungry all the time. The papa osprey is away on fishing trips most of the time and the mama osprey seems to be responsible for grooming and feeding the nestling.

Faster mom I am hungry 2
I’m hungry, mom!
Thanks mom! The fish is delicious!
Thanks mom! The fish is delicious!

Sometimes I hear her talking in loud voice to the little one. School starts early! I witnessed such a teaching session earlier this week.

See, I'm flexing my wings!
See, I’m flexing my wings!

At the end of the session the youngster flexed his wings…probably dreaming of the wind carrying him out of the nest.  One of these days he’ll be lucky. I’ll try to keep an eye on him and report on any new developments.

Have a wonderful weekend!

On assignment 🙂


Osprey Baby News!

That’s right! Those of you who have followed my adventures in the nearby nature reserve will remember that about a month ago I witnessed a drama in the resident osprey family. I then thought that the female was laying on the eggs – and I was right!

Mama Osprey
Mama Osprey

This afternoon I went there again and saw at least one nestling, maybe two. A brown feathered nesting, almost half of the size of the mother lifted his (or her) head when I approached their nest pole. And there might have been another youngster on the other side of the nest. I was too slow with the camera so I can’t be sure.

osprey mom with baby 2
Mama Osprey with a nestling…or two?

The nestling I saw clearly was already flexing his wings. That means he’ll fly in 10-15 days! If I am lucky enough to catch on camera some of the practice sessions, where the parents apparently drop fish in the water for the youngster to catch it, I’ll be sure to share those pictures with you. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.