Osprey Family Portrait

By . July 13th, 2015. Posted in Wildlife
Osprey family at their Chesapeake home

Osprey family at their Chesapeake home

Here they are, this summer’s osprey family. Dad is perched on the left and Mama on the right, with their two chicks nestled beneath them. The portrait was taken following a feeding, so everyone was full and willing to pose.

Every year, the ospreys amaze us. Nothing overwhelms the intrepid parents…not ominous wind and hail, interloping herons and eagles, or noisy jet skis and firecrackers. Mama spreads her wings and covers her babies whenever she senses a threat. Dad, who is often elsewhere fishing, zooms out of nowhere if he hears his mate call for help. The nest site exposes them to their surroundings day and night, so defending their family comes as naturally as fishing and feeding.

Dad watches as Mama gets busy with his latest fish...yum!

Dad watches as Mama gets busy with his latest fish…yum!

And he's off, while Mama has just begun to feed those hungry mouths.

And he’s off, while Mama has just begun to feed those hungry mouths.

And feed they do. Dad is the provider, delivering several fish a day to the nest. Mom is the teacher, showing her chicks how to tear off bits of fish as she pops a tasty morsel into an outstretched mouth. Any day now the babies will begin to try the process on their own. Mike and I also saw one of the chicks stretch its wings and flap this morning, a precursor to hovering and then rising for that first breathtaking flight. It’s July, and as always the pace of baby development is brisk.

Can you see the two hidden chicks?

Can you see the two hidden chicks?

Yes, I'm the boss!

Yes, I’m the boss!

For now, Mama is still boss and shoos her youngsters into the center of the nest at the slightest provocation. As the chicks become two camouflaged piles of feathers, Mama gives her “look.” No wonder she is in charge!



Comments

  1. Ann Engelman
    8:26 pm on 7/13/15

    Love this annual adventure! What an on-going summer drama! Your pictures are terrific and I so enjoy running along side this story with you and Mike through your pictures. Many thanks.

  2. Kathy
    10:31 am on 7/14/15

    Love the opportunity to share these summer sagas with you, Ann. Long-distance bird watching…yet another shared pursuit of ours!

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