An Osprey Family Album (continued)

Part 6     (Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Changing Chick Profile)

Photos from August 22nd

The young Ospreys are out and about.  They're flying over the houses in a nearby subdivision, flying to perch in far away trees and flying out of sight to who knows where.  The Mom brings a fish for breakfast and lands on a near by pole and starts calling.  After waiting for a few minutes with no response, she calls again.  This time one of the kids comes back to the nest and starts calling along with the Mother.  After a few minutes, a second wandering child flies in.
With two kids ready for breakfast the Mother delivers the goods to the young fledgling who are doing their regular "hungry refugee" routine (note the hunched shoulders and pathetic needy-looking faces) that has worked pretty well so far.

The Mother leaves the fish to the hungry crew and retreats an appropriate distance to a pole where she can give the kids their space and yet keep her eye on them.

While one youth eats the other keeps up the "come-n-eat" call to the third sibling.
Finally the third bird, shows up to complete the trio.  The Mom keeps an eye on them and they keep an eye on each other, as it should be in a good Osprey family.

Photos from August 25th

This morning breakfast is initiated by the fledgling Ospreys.  First one youth comes to the nest and starts calling the others. In moments, a second youth comes in for a landing and joins in the call for the third.  In very short order all three are on the nest calling for food.  Like clock work the Mother comes in with a fish (she's been waiting patiently with a fish, on a remote pole).
The two dominate sibling "decide" which will eat first, while the third is still calling for more fish.

After a brief rest on a nearby pole the Mother takes off and in a couple of minutes returns with a second fish.

Now there are two fish and three Osprey fledglings -- a third fish will NOT be forthcoming. Two of the siblings are busily eating while the third seems to be waiting patiently (and silently), knowing there's plenty to go around.

Photos from August 31st

Tragedy strikes the Osprey family.  On the favorite pole of the "timid sibling" hangs a young osprey who died at less than three months of age.  This is probably the one who ate last, who spent time away from the others on this nearby pole,  and who was the most ardent to call the siblings together for their meals -- the shy one.
Still clutching to the electric wire with one set of talons and to a fish with the other, the young Osprey tells a story of a life cut short in this beautiful yet dangerous world.

The mother Osprey sits on a pole at the other side of the field, facing away, while another sibling eats a fish on a distant pole. The two others were no where to be seen.   The human photographer didn't stay long.  He packed up his gear and went home.

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Photos and text by Milt Moody
Copyright 2003 Milton G. Moody All Rights Reserved