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Observations & Images
15 May 2007
Approximate age of nestling(s) in days: 48

No sunrise again today as an overcast sky heralds the approach of more storms. The nestlings are up and about exercising their wings while keeping up a unified chorus calling for food.
The little nestling airs its wings in the breeze.
The male Osprey makes an astonishing three visits to the nest to bring fish before the threat of storms forces me to leave. The female Osprey was not present when the male left off the first fish which was immediately snatched up by the largest nestling who displayed no trouble tearing into it. The little nestling can be seen at left begging for food which it did not get.
The large nestling did not seem to mind having the small nestling around but when the aggressive nestling moved in it got a harsh reception which sent it scampering away.
Although the little nestling was not receiving any food the aggressive nestling grew jealous and lunged at the little nestling to move it away from the fish.
Here the little nestling at left and the aggressive nestling eye each other warily over the back of the large nestling who is still eating the fish.
The female Osprey immediately took the fish away from the large nestling when she landed in the nest.
The female began the task of doling out the fish with the large nestling receiving the major portion while the aggressive nestling hovering behind received very little. The little nestling can be seen through the female's legs where it is cowering at the edge of the nest after being chased away by the aggressive nestling.
The male lands long enough to drop off another fish then beats a hasty retreat.
After finishing the first fish the female and the large nestling moved to the new fish which left the field open for more sibling rivalry.
The aggressive nestling gets a good grip on the back of the little nestling's neck which resulted in several feathers being pulled out.
It is becoming clear that the little nestling is able to receive at times more food from the female than the aggressive nestling gets despite its violent behavior to keep its smaller sibling at bay. Here the little nestling is fed by the female while the aggressive nestling looks on with daggers in its eyes.
The aggressive nestling lunges at the little nestling over the back of the female.
This happened several times with the result that the female opened her wings each time thus separating her two quarrelsome offspring. This does not imply she is taking sides, only that she is in the way. The female has never been seen chastising her offspring for their behavior otherwise as long it did not involve her personally.
Another fish delivered by the male satiates the two larger nestlings thus finally allowing the female to feed the smaller one in peace.
The nestlings show off their size and growing strength as they vigorously flap their wings.

THE NEIGHBORS

What might be a juvenile Brown Booby passes over the Osprey nest. This is one of a pair that have been seen in the area the past few days.
A Softshell Turtle was discovered laying eggs in a nest excavated in soft sand.
After the eggs were deposited she used her back flippers to gently cover up the egg chamber. Note the pinkish cloaca hanging down from which the eggs were laid.
A wave of sand thrown up by its powerful front flippers washes over the back of the turtle to cover the nest.
After covering the nest the turtle wallowed around in the sand creating an array of false nests to confuse any potential predators from finding the real one.
After retreating to sit on the bumper of the vehicle to watch three Black Vultures nearby I was startled to find that the Softshell Turtle had finished its work in the sand and was now coming straight toward me.
The turtle stopped every few feet to take its bearings and look around.
A close-up of its unique head with its powerful jaws and its snorkel nose. The Softshell Turtle spends most of its time in the water keeping its large body mostly out of sight save for it eyes and its snorkel nose protruding above the surface. To see what this usually looks like visit 3 March 2006.
Moving at an unhurried pace the turtle finally stopped, made a sharp right turn then headed into the thick brush. Its course would take it straight to a nearby pond where it presumably lives.
 
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
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