First let me say thank you for visiting my blog and photo site! This is my first attempt at anything like this so please bear with me as I learn to navigate and create as I go along. My main intent is to provide the Oyster Cove Community as well as family, friends and others that may have in interest, more insight to our osprey nest as well as other Chesapeake area photos that I’d like to share with you and hope you enjoy.
Our osprey family is doing quite well for another season! In this first post, I want to show you several photos of our osprey family’s growth over the last four months. Comparing my photos close-up from last year and this year, it appears this is the same pair that has returned to our nest. Here is my first sighting of the pair together on the nest March 19, 2010. The female osprey arrived first about a week earlier.
The pair did some amazing courtship and bonding, and they worked non-stop rebuilding their nest that incurred heavy damage from this past winter’s weather. They were successful again producing two chicks as last year, and they have since done an excellent job keeping our two chicks well-fed and protected. The female osprey became a permanent fixture on the nest around April 6. She did most of the sitting, but her partner gave her numerous breaks to exercise and eat while he took over. The two chicks hatched sometime during the second week of May.
Here is one of my first photos of the mother osprey feeding one of her chicks who is less than two weeks old.
In the next photo, one of the chicks is smiling for us! This chick is about 2 1/2 weeks old.
The same day I also took the following photo showing both chicks, with one spreading his tiny wings.
The next three photos were taken the following two days and shows the chicks with their downy feathers and white stripe down their back. This stripe is part of their camouflage for protection to blend in with the nest.
One week later, the following photos show the change in the chicks’ feathers, the down is disappearing while pin feathers have begun to grow. Here the chicks are approximately four weeks old.
With such patience, the mother osprey is feeding the chicks. In the following photo, they are about six weeks old and are already amazingly 70-75% full grown!
The mother osprey feeds the chicks fresh fish that the father continues to supply to the nest as well as additional sticks and soft materials to keep the nest strong for the growing family.
Yesterday the mother was showing the chicks flying techniques as she hovered and stayed close circling around the nest, and then landing slowly, sometimes doing a touch-&-go while the chicks were sitting up side by side intently watching her. It looked like they were in school!
The chicks have been practicing daily, spreading and flapping their wings while clinging to the nest with their talons. There has even been a few couple-inch lift-offs but they quickly drop back down and grab the nest. They will fledge any day now on their first of many flights to come. Can you believe the size of those wings now?!!
Finally, here’s a family portrait taken three days ago. The female osprey is usually larger than her mate and has a darker patch on her chest. Our female is on the far right, while our male attempts to adjust a stick.
This brings us up-to-date with our osprey family and hopefully my first photos offered you a quick time-line of our family’s growth over the last four months. Some photos were not the clearest but they showed a milestone that I wanted to share with you. I hope to update at least once a week with more photos from the past few months and well as current ones, and more often when exciting things are occurring with our osprey or if there’s a photo or update I just have to share with you. I also plan on showing some other Chesapeake area wildlife photos that I hope you will also enjoy. Subscribe to my site for a notice when I’ve published a new post!