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Observations & Images
21 May 2007
Approximate age of nestling(s) in days: 54

Another day of sibling rivalry finds the little nestling, at right, able to shake off and recover from the attacks quicker and quicker. Food was definitely not a problem today with the male bringing fish about every half hour. On one trip both the male and the female arrived at the nest simultaneously with fish. The male just dropped his off but the female took the time to eat in the nest along with feeding the aggressive nestling.
The little nestling, seen here, wolfed down an entire fish on its own before moving over next to the female to take the place of the aggressive nestling who had moved off after eating its fill. The female accepted the changing of the guard and started feeding the little nestling without missing a beat. After all had made gluttons of themselves they pointedly ignored the new fish the male continued to drop off in the nest. Over two hours went by before any of them showed an interest in eating again and that in only the most desultory way.
The following series of images shows the most exciting event of the day.
The large female nestling continues to practice her wing flapping.
But today she actually rose in the air and was able to hover!
Though it could be seen she was making an extreme effort she stayed aloft for about twenty seconds drifting back and forth across the nest.
The large nestling comes in for a landing.
Once back in the nest she tried to repeat the flight.
Unfortunately, she could not attain the same altitude as before plus the flight was only about half as long.
She slowly descends back to the nest.
A few hours later she was able to repeat the same thing all over again. Being present to witness her first flight will be the real challenge since it could happen anytime soon.
The nestlings line up in ascending order from left to right: the little nestling, the aggressive nestling, and the large nestling. Once they are satiated with food they move around each other with no sign of hostility.
A rare portrait of the entire family starting at left: the male Osprey lifts off after delivering a fish to the nest, the little nestling, the female Osprey, the aggressive nestling, and the large nestling.

THE NEIGHBORS

A pair of Great Crested Flycatchers were observed playing tag around the stand of dead trees that contain the Osprey nest. Here one of them lands on an outrigger of the nest.
The marshy area around last year's Osprey nest was crowded with wading birds. In this picture can be seen Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and a Great Blue Heron. Also present were Tricolored Herons. There were so many birds it was hard to estimate their number. It was also next to impossible to get a clear picture of them because the advance guard, seen here, all froze up with tense looks when they saw me so I decided not to go any farther so as not to scare them away.
A Snowy Egret perched in a mangrove tree.
A Tricolored Heron rose out of the crowd and flew off toward the Indian River Lagoon.
A real close encounter occurred when I had been standing at the tripod motionless for some time watching the goings on in the Osprey nest. Out of the corner of my eye I caught movement down near my feet and was surprised to see a female Common Yellowthroat here seen grasping an insect which it consumed.
Surprisingly, the little Warbler took it in stride without flying off in alarm, which I expected, when I inched back to retrieve the handheld camera. The photographer along with the tripod holding the main camera trained on the Osprey nest are visible reflected in the bird's eye. An enlargement of the eye is truly a strange self-portrait reminiscent of a similar picture concerning a Black Racer which can be seen here in this image taken on Christmas Day, 25 December 2006.
After getting the fairly relaxed pictures above the Yellowthroat became very active and was never still long enough to get another good picture, especially since it kept mostly to the shadows.
A Cuban Brown Anole enjoying the warmth of the sun on a truly hot Florida day.
The Anole extends its dewlap as it turns away.
 
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
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