With all the holiday weekend traffic, I wasn’t going to go out there today. But I had to check on the brood. They’re all well and active. I’m putting together some video. But, in this shot, one of the three-day-old kiddos has decided to go off for a galavant, and Mom (or is it Dad?) is wondering where he went.
Little sister isn’t telling …
Just had to get out to Opal Beach today … and I’m delighted to report that these two are finally hatched and doing well. I have tons of photos and some great video too, which I’ll share as soon as I figure out how to do it efficiently.
Seems like Mom is saying “Yes, I know it’s been three weeks, and I know these kids are supposed to hatch between 19 and 25 days. But they’re gonna pop out when they’re darn good and ready and not before.”
So … we wait
Mom seems to be contemplating the imminent arrival of the two little beings inside those shells. As of Sunday, May 22, the first egg is 19 days. That’s the normal period before hatching. The second egg is two days behind.
So any time now we’re likely to see a couple of gangly youngsters … and two very busy parents, trying to keep them fed and corralled at the nest.
The biggest problem the adults were having today (Sunday) was keeping the curious – and possibly destructive – gulls away from the nest.
She had flown away for a minute or two, after Dad had come in with a fresh fish – which she swallowed whole! – and as she casually strolled back to the nest she took just a moment to greet her soon-to-be-babies before settling down to the serious business of hatching them.
This Osprey pair is getting a late start on the nesting season, but they’re working really hard to catch up with their neighbors.
(Just west of the picnic shelter at Battery Worth (GINS)
Mom seemed a bit miffed as she squaked for Dad to hurry up with her food. Looks like it’s going to remain two eggs for this season.
It’s funny to watch her. She sits quietly for long periods of time, but as soon as she hears him coming (amid the voices of other birds which she totally ignores) she is up on her toes and calling him in.
Once he drops off the fish, he leaves as quickly as possible – obviously off to find more.
Thursday there are TWO.
Didn’t see dad around today, but when mom stretched her legs and rose off the nest a little – there were two eggs.
Headed out to Opal Beach first today, hoping to find some Least Tern activity. And – Boy! – did I ever.
This nest was within six feet of the road. Mom is sitting on the first egg. Others are likely to follow in a day or two. And Dad was shuttling little fish to her as fast as he could. I saw him deliver at least three in a matter of minutes.
Then I moved along, figuring I had intruded enough on this beautiful family.
Okay. In no particular order – here are a few of the shots I captured yesterday.Osprey with his catchImmature Bald Eagle coming in to roost
Great Blue Heron settling in the top of a tree
Same GBH leaving the tree after being buzzed by a pesky Osprey
My favorite couple. He’s bringing her some lunch, but apparently she wasn’t interested
The Skimmer on the beach
Male Osprey soaring
The Skimmer was a bonus. I spotted it alongside the road as I was driving out of the park. there are lots of Least Terns there too, all settling into their colonies, claiming territory and getting ready for egg-laying season.