Crazy faces at work and it’s not the employees

Although this is how I feel most days when leaving work.

Besides osprey, we have yellow crowned night herons that nest in the pine trees in the parking lot at work. The nests are really tiny and always look like the slightest breeze could knock them down. We lose a lot of eggs to the fish crows that relentlessly attack the night herons when they are nesting. A few babies make it to adult hood. It’s so funny to see their bright orange eyes staring down at me when I’m walking to my car.

I recently saw a bunny in the parking lot and snapped this through the window before leaving work.

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Amost grown up at work

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.

SkyWatch Friday

Growing up at work

For several years we’ve had osprey babies growing up in the parking lot at work.  The nest is on a light post that no one parks under anymore.  No one wants to clean up big baby bird poo off their car. The parents continued to bring in new sticks, straw and moss while they were growing up.  It was fun watching them grow up. They would be screaming for food in the morning when I drove in and screaming for food after work when I was leaving. They were usually sleeping if I made it out to lunch.  The best was watching them start to fly close around the nest. More pictures to come.

SkyWatch Friday

More babies at work

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One of the night heron parents trying to sleep in the sun.

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Still pretty young, the baby night herons were finally big enough to see from the parking lot at work. These babies were growing up right near my car.

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A week later, the babies were almost the size of the parents. There were two nests in the parking lot.

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These are yellow crowned night herons.

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And some mallards trying to nap in a puddle in the parking lot.

SkyWatch Friday

Growing up so fast, part 2.

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Most cars go flying down the road along the waste plant. I mean, why would a normal person slow down to see what’s hanging out in the ditches along the road. Even if you did slow down as you go past, you might not see that tiny speck of a baby bird on the edge of the water. The black necked stilts having been nesting here for several years. Usually some time in May you start to see the babies following the parents around if you know where to look. I pulled onto the grass and took the above from the car. They are very skittish and as soon as the car door would open, the parents would go crazy. So I just rolled down the window and snapped a few shots before leaving. Anyone going by probably just thinks I’m waiting for a tow truck to come.

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There were also baby anhingas in the bushes near the black necked stilts.

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A very young juvenile little blue heron in the same spot. He’ll soon turn all blue once he loses his baby white feathers.

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An older juvenile spoonbill. He doesn’t have any color in his face yet.

Just a few things I saw leaving work in late May.

Growing up in the parking lot at work

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This is the 2nd year in a row that an osprey couple is raising a family in the light post at work. The babies were pretty big by the time you could see them peeking out over the nest. I finally remembered to bring my camera to work and took the above after work. At first I thought there was only one baby, but there were two.

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A few days later I was able to catch one of the babies being fed.

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A few days after that, I caught the other parent flying in. He didn’t have a fish with him so I’m wondering if that’s why she was screaming at him.

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The next week the babies were fully grown and looked just like the parents except they still have the white spots on their wings and orange eyes.  Now the babies are flying around and every morning when I drive into the parking lot I see them on different light posts.  When I leave after work, they are both back on nest for the night. Soon they will be gone for good and we’ll all be empty nesters in the parking lot.

SkyWatch Friday

In the parking lot at work

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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.

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It gets better. A week later I realized there were two babies.

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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.

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Also in the parking lot was a night heron nest. High up in a pine tree, two babies were looking down at me.

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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.

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A kildeer was watching me from the side of the parking lot.

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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.

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