Tag Archives: Roseate Spoonbill

Gen Z Invasion. In the Nature Reserve.

I haven’t had the time to take a walk for quite a few days, so I started feeling the deficit today. You know, like an itch in the soul and tingling in the toes. I knew that a long walk on the beach and in the nature reserve would provide a complete cure. So that’s what I did.

Arriving in the nature reserve, I discovered that the Gallinule kids had grown up in the last one month, transformed from fluffy black fur balls to beautiful teenagers.

Common Gallinule chick
Gallinule chick on June 4
Two common gallinule chicks
Two chicks on June 15

The three chicks didn’t want to pose for a portrait together (what’s new?), but here’s how they all look today. They are about two-thirds of the size of mom now, And they  don’t want to be seen with her. They are full of energy and busy exploring the world on their own.  Luckily I didn’t see them thumbing on smart phones  🙂

gallinule  juvenile
Gallinule teen July 8

Walking a bit further, I found a young roseate spoonbill. She was sleeping in the shadow of a tree and woke up when I approached her “bed”. She gave me the look. You’re waking me up and it’s not yet even noon.

sleeping roseate spoonbill
Roseate spoonbill sleeping in a tree
roseate spoonbill
You woke me up!

Then to my total surprise, the young osprey came to say hello. She’s been hanging around on the bay-side (across the street from the park) after she left the nest about three weeks ago.  Thanks to excellent binoculars I’ve seen her fishing on the bay and then eating the fish on her favorite lamp-post at the sailing club. Now she flew right over her birth home, fairly high up, and looked down on me.  Sorry for the bad quality of the pictures, but she didn’t send me a text that she was coming 🙂 It was great to see her again “in person”, even if very briefly!

My friend, young osprey flies over the nest
My friend, young osprey, flies over the nest and nods a greeting…
juvenile osprey two 708
The young osprey flies over to the bay-side

There were so many gen Zs in the reserve today, they far outnumbered all the other generations. Next, I saw the resident great blue heron patrolling the marsh. He’s  a mature adult, a boomer like me. I bet he’s the Mayor of the marsh. Always there, always in control.

The Great Blue Heron, Mayor of the marsh...
The Great Blue Heron, Mayor of the marsh…

There were several other herons present in his municipality. I saw the green heron again. He was taxing out on the sand dune and then took off.

green heron in flight 708

Before I left the reserve, I spotted a tri-colored heron. She’s such a beautiful and gracious bird. And a great fisher too.

Tri-colored Heron
Tri-colored Heron

I’m quite sure the night heron was there too. He’s always hiding in the bushes around the marsh and very difficult to spot.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the walk, whether gen x, y, z or an older version like me. Have a great week.

No…it wasn’t me.

My lunch-time walk in the nature reserve was so much fun today! Here is one short snippet, others will follow later.

This one little island, or rather a patch of grass, in the marsh has become really popular among residents and visitors alike. Today, walking towards the osprey nest (you can see the nest pole in the upper right corner), I saw at least ten birds gathered there. And  became a witness to a funny incident.

We're all grooming...
We’re all grooming…

Lots of grooming was going on. Every bird was making him/herself beautiful, the roseate spoonbill and the ibis were no exceptions.

The Spoonbill aired her feathers...
The Spoonbill aired her feathers…

When the spoonbill flexed its wings, probably to air out loose feathers, the ibis behind her saw something interesting…

I'll just get that quickly...obody needs to know
I’ll just get that quickly…

And acted with lightning speed.

Was it you?
Was it you?

Ouch! Did you just poke me ibis? No….it wasn’t me. I’m minding my own business.

Tiny, you didn't see that, right?
Tiny, you didn’t see that, right?

Then the ibis looked straight at me. As in asking whether or not I had witnessed the incident. When I told him I did capture it all on camera, he got a little upset. I told him he needs to own up to his actions, but I didn’t mention I intended to share the pictures with you. He didn’t ask.

See you all later.

It’s Complicated.

I am puzzled. I’ve visited the osprey family four times in the last one week. I had expected to see the young lady do frequent flying practice, but that hasn’t been the case. Regardless of the timing and length of my visit, I’ve found mama osprey and the nestling sitting tight in the nest. Deeply involved in discussions.

Do you hear me mama?
Do you hear me mama?

I’ve witnessed a wide array of vocalizations, from pleasant discussion tones to loud shouting matches between mom and daughter. To the point that I’ve rummaged the internet for a rosetta stone version in osprey language. No luck so far.

Shall we talk or shall we fly?
Shall we talk or shall we fly?

The other day both mama osprey and the teen did some wing exercises in the nest. The nestling was flexing, but did not fly, and mama osprey did some Pilates. Lots of stretching going on, and lots of communication.

Mama osprey doing Pilates..streeetch...left, right
Mama osprey doing Pilates..streeetch…left, right

On the top of that, papa osprey has not shown up during any of my visits since more than two weeks back. Last time I saw him, he came empty-handed and mama osprey flew away immediately. Is there a rift between the parents? Papa sleeping on a couch somewhere? Or did something happen to him? I have no way of knowing.

My latest picture of papa osprey on May 11
My latest picture of papa osprey on May 11

This morning I went to see them much earlier than I usually do. First I saw only mama osprey. I was hoping the nestling had finally gone out for flying practice, but then I saw the breeze lift up a few feathers and discovered a brown back in the nest. The youngster was still sleeping! At 10:30 in the morning.

Mama osprey guarding her sleeping nestling
Mama osprey guarding her sleeping nestling

Soon the teen woke up and slowly stood up.

The osprey teen is waking up...
The osprey teen is waking up…

The dialogue they have been having every day since last Sunday started almost immediately. I waited and waited. No flying practice this morning either. But I noticed many new decorations hanging down from the nest. And the balcony flowers were still alive and well.

Osprey discussion...on the loud side this morning
Osprey discussion…on the loud side this morning

I started to get worried and wondered if something was not right. I decided to check on them more often from my terrace (using our strongest binoculars) to see if the youngster would fly at all during the day.  To my delight I saw her flying two short rounds fairly close to the nest late this afternoon! She didn’t soar high like her mama as yet, but at least these practice rounds were a bit longer than what I’d seen her do earlier, a few minutes each. So I’m hoping everything is alright. And that fishing lessons will follow. Family life can be complicated indeed.

Tri-colored heron in the reserve
Tri-colored heron in the reserve

I have to tell you something else. The other day I saw yet another bird I haven’t seen in the nature reserve before: a tri-colored heron!

And today I witnessed a “crowd” of four different birds on a little island in the marsh. The vacation season has started. Lots of demand for prime real estate with water views.

Four different birds on an island: small blue heron, small white egret, roseate spoonbill and two ibis.
Four different birds on an island: small blue heron, small white egret, roseate spoonbill and two ibis.

Will keep you updated on developments. Hope your week is going great.