We got up Saturday to find the nest empty. We were devastated at the thought that we might not see the ospreys again, but before long, one glided low over our yard and landed on the nest. It was the baby! This "baby" is now the size of an adult bird and has a wingspan of about five feet. The only way we can tell it from its parents is by its mottled brown feathers.
The rest of the weekend it took short practice flights, mostly upriver and then back over our yard. Mama and Papa, who seemed to have decided on a tough-love approach by staying away from the nest, came back to voice osprey approval, and also to bring fish for the new flyer. The baby had worked up a great appetite. This morning, after a flying session, we saw Mama breaking off bits of a fish and tenderly offering them to her youngster.