No tiny, soft nest for him! He builds a fortress against Great Horned Owls, Great Blue Herons, Black Vultures, Turkey Vultures and other deadly osprey chick hunters!
Just imagine the equivalency for you of the weight and size of the stick he is carrying!
A bit awkward?
Osprey pair hanging out together and making plans on Southern Red Oak tree that hangs over their nest site.
Osprey pair planning their nursery after sunset at the mouth of Pomonkey Creek at the Potomac River-
Same pair, different angle.
One of the most exciting events in our lives is the annual return of the osprey pair who nest on our point. Not a clear photo (through scope through window), but we think this is the male, Dart, short for D’Artagnan. If an osprey could break the sound barrier, it would be Dart! Normally the female returns first. We are waiting for a better frontal view to confirm whether it is Dart or Pepper Dotty, daughter of Polka Dotty.
Red Eye is screaming at top of her lungs from her nest-fortress. Both of her parents are in southern red oak above her eating channel catfish. Unlike nests where there are more than one chick fighting for food, she will enjoy the remains of both parents’ fishes.
This gives you an idea of what the original photo looked like, shot through telescope. She is perched on top of nest. Nest box alone is about 3 inches deep. Her nest is a true fortress.
Baby birds scream until they are too full to move. So an osprey chick with a full stomach is quiet.
Red Eye is so full she can focus on grooming. But there is still an osprey survival lesson in progress. Mom retrieved the scrap of fish Red Eye didn’t finish in the nest, brought it up to her favorite eating branch and is now demonstrating that there was more food to be had from Red Eye’s discards.
Red Eye is observing mom’s thoroughness. Maybe next time there will be fewer left-overs for mom.
Red Eye (osprey chick) begs Pepper Dotty (mom) for fish. Pepper says what all mother osprey say to their chicks, “Go fish!”
Pepper continues to eat, ignoring her starving, miserable chick.
Red Eye continues to complain. Pepper ‘hoods’ her fish. Dart (dad) flies to nest off camera.
Red Eye flies to nest but Dart is already gone and there was no fish left in the nest. Help!!
Suddenly Pepper drops to the nest to deliver fish remains to her chick and Red Eye starts eating immediately.
Happy Red Eye will survive another day! Thanks, Mom!
7-19 Red Eye hung out on a tree branch with Dart (dad), practicing normal osprey behavior. Suddenly an eagle flew past and Dart dove off to notify the eagle he was not welcome in osprey territory. So much for a young osprey to learn!
Here’s Red Eye, back at her nest, the morning after she fledged. Her parents will continue to feed her while she learns how to fish. Check out her wing and breast spots. There is a doe on the far shore, probably about 1/4 mile away.
Pictures taken with an I-phone peeking thru a telescope may not be the best quality but at least you can see what’s happening.
Fawns and osprey chicks are both covered with spots! Here’s our osprey chick, Red Eye. Although you can’t see the color of her eyes in this picture, you do get a pretty good view of the spots all over her wings.