Wednesday, June 30, 2010

JUNE 30, 2010

The fuzzy baby chicks are now gangly adolescents.  They are almost the size of their parents, and the nest has become a bit snug for the family of four.  Mama and Papa often retreat to a branch on the big ash tree by the river.  There they can keep an eye on the nest, but also have a little space.
The chicks have voracious appetites, and, although their parents hope to encourage independence by not overfeeding, they also spend time fishing to feed the youngsters. The fish also provide the ospreys with water, which they've needed in these mercilessly hot, sunny days.
We've learned to recognize their different fishing styles.  Papa ascends to great heights, then plummets like a bullet into the water, extending his great talons at the last moment.  He snatches a fish and turns it so it's facing forward.  He must know that that will work better aerodynamically. Papa then takes the hapless fish on several soaring, swooping passes over the  nest before he lands.  Mama flaps along the surface of the river, dips quickly and gracefully scoops up a fish.  She returns to the nest with considerably less theatrics.
Flying is likely to come any day now.  The chicks stand on the rim of the nest and flap and flap, sometimes getting a couple inches of air.  Mama and Papa watch with approval.

Friday, June 25, 2010

JUNE 25, 2010

The babies are flapping their wings, and the span is quite impressive.  Now, when Mama flies, they watch  over the top of the nest.  Their turn to fly is coming, any day now.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

JUNE 19, 2010

For some days now, Mama and Papa have been bringing sticks to build up the nest. The babies are getting big. Mama does leave them alone for a few moments, but she still keeps a sharp eye out for intruders: Us, of course, Latte the Cat, and double-heads. These last are skates that swim into the shallows and gambol about. On each side, triangular tips rise above the water, looking like sharks' fins. We haven't seen skates here for several years, and neither, apparently, has Mama Osprey. She starts the "peep peep peep" alarm when she spots one.
The intrepid purple martins find shade on these hot days by perching under the osprey platform.
Papa has resumed dining atop Little Bird's masts, to our dismay. Jack has to hose unappetizing fish remains from the deck and cockpit.
All of us are waiting for a break in the heat and humidity.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

JUNE 8, 2010

Two little dark heads have been sticking up like periscopes for a few days now. Their curved-beak profiles are clearly visible. Mama is still minding the nest, although she does take a brief break from time to time. Papa appears once in a while with a fish. (We are wondering where he is hanging out most of the time.)
Discussion of acquiring a telephoto lens has resumed. You all know how much we like baby pictures.