Watching the baby osprey grow up at work. The nest in the light post in the parking lot was big. There were 2 babies turning into adults quickly. The above were taken on May 24th. We are thinking they were born in early May. It was May 16th when we could first see the little baby head pop up over the nest.
By June 1st they looked like full-grown osprey. I caught Mom feeding them both one night leaving work.
By June 16th, they were flapping their wings and sitting on the nest without a parent nearby. It was only a matter of days before they were gone.
On June 26th I was heading to my car and noticed both babies were gone. I found one of them in a nearby tree. He still has those orange eyes and white spots on the end of his wings. They still hang around the area and I see them occasionally hanging around the trees near the nest when leaving work.
We have an osprey nest in our parking lot at work. Every morning and evening for weeks I watched the osprey parent sitting on the nest. Finally, on May 16th, I saw a head pop up. The baby was finally visible to see from my car. Later I would find out there were 2 babies but on this day I only saw the one head.
The parent took off. The other parent was close by on another light post.
The fish crows were relentless this year. They were driving the parents crazy, buzzing close to the nest and chasing after them as they come into the nest with a fish.
Mom finally settled down to feed the baby. I kept my camera in the car for several weeks so I have more pictures of the babies growing up to post later.
We thought we had lost the baby osprey early on. We could barely see the tops of their heads and then one day we noticed both parents were off the nest that morning and then when I was leaving work that day. One of the parents was taking a bath in the retention pond and the crows were driving her crazy. The next day we saw the tiny heads peek out so they were both fine.
By mid-April, the babies were getting much bigger and easier to see.
By the end of April, the oldest was testing his wings.
Still getting dinner from the parent.
By early May they were fully grown but still had their orange eyes and spots on the tips of their wings. Not long after this picture was taken, they were flying circles around the parking lot area. By early June they were spending most of their time off the nest but close by. They were still coming to nest to be fed only then the parents were dropping off the fish for the kids to eat on their own. And now, we are all empty nesters.
Two baby osprey were peaking out over the nest in the parking lot and the nest on top of the smoke stack next to the bait store.
Dad was close by with lunch. I think he was going to eat some first before he took it over to the nest.
You can almost always find a reddish egret fishing somewhere on the beach.
It rare to see a common loon here in the spring. Especially in his summer breeding colors. When they hang out here during the winter, they are a drab gray color. This one stayed pretty far away from the fishing pier.
Big gulp. There are signs at the fish cleaning station to “Not feed or throw fish parts to the birds” They all do it anyway. In theory it seems okay but the cormorants hang around the pier and get too close and end up getting caught with fishing hooks.
The dolphins playing around the pier.
My Saturday morning walk at Fort Desoto in late May.
These two female red breasted mergansers are still hanging around the fishing pier. They should be north for the summer by now.
A ruddy turnstone on the rocks.
A royal tern brings her a fish. Since she’s eating it, I guess they are an official couple.
The laughing gulls are pretty this time of year.
Having a conversation about something. All of the gulls are pairing up.
The juvenile reddish egret is still hanging around the pier.
Two baby osprey on the smokestack tower nest.
Someone got their snack stolen. Or maybe, the bird is being paid to advertise.
Saturday morning at Fort Desoto.
Last year, an osprey couple built a nest in one of the lights in the parking lot at work. They did not have any babies that year. The nest did not seem well built and people are walking by all day long. This spring they started working on the nest and I didn’t get my hopes up. My doubts were not necessary this year. One night I walked out to my car and saw a little head sticking up. The next night I brought my camera to work and got the above shots.
It gets better. A week later I realized there were two babies.
After a heavy rain had filled the grassy area next to the parking lot, one of the parents flew down and was drinking some of the water. The ducks seemed baffled by their new friend.
Also in the parking lot was a night heron nest. High up in a pine tree, two babies were looking down at me.
One night while I was taking pictures of the osprey, this crow flew past me and landed in a nearby pine tree. I hate to think it but it looks like he has a small duck in his beak. This was the only shot I got before he flew off.
A kildeer was watching me from the side of the parking lot.
Last week the babies were fully grown. They were flying from light pole to light pole but still getting their food from the parents. Soon they will be gone for good. It looks like he’s got some fish guts on the nest.
Since it’s rare these days that I can get to a park after work, it’s nice to have the wildlife come to work.