Totally captivated in 2007 by the live camera feed of the Hornby Island nesting Bald Eagles in B.C., I was drawn into birding and have never looked back. Thus begins my account of what I'm fortunate enough to discover each day and perhaps capture with my camera.

Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by and are the property of Janice Melendez

Species Counts:

2014 Final Year List: 255; 2015 Year List a/o June 5, 2015: 235; Life List: 327

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tough Love

What may have been my last serious photo shoot for the year with the two Osprey babies was on the evening of Friday, August 26th, but the sunrise that day at The Point was spectacular:


Seizing the moment when Robert went for one of his marathon kayaking sessions, I spent the Golden Hour at the nest.

On my way up to the highway, though, as always I checked one of the distant trees where our local Osprey chill during the day and was surprised to see not only an Osprey, but a Turkey Vulture as well! This is not the best shot, but is a good size comparison shot of both species. On the left is the Osprey which looks like the size of a songbird next to the Turkey Vulture!

I arrived at the nest to find both crybabies present and for the next few hours I watched and listened to them whine, beg, cry, act out, stretch, wail, beg, whine, shriek, and cry. And cry. And cry. Other than that, they were total slugs, as neither parent brought any food to them in the end, poor babies! 


At first the baby on the branch was well-behaved....


...but then it began:



No answer from the parents:


Time to stretch out that wing:


...and the wailing starts up again:




...and continues:

...and so on:


When all else fails, it's time for some wing stretches:



...but that doesn't bring in food either:

Now it's time for a power nap, there's no sign of the parents whatsoever...

...and finally it packs it in and takes off:

Now my attention switches over to the other baby who has been a slug in the nest all this time, providing back-up vocals for its sibling, along with some head-banging moves:

But back to the begging calls:

It was time for me to leave them for the night, as it was heart-breaking for me to watch them for perhaps the last time together for this year. Was this tough love method how the parents force them to provide for themselves? Probably.

Our local hawk watches have already started up for the season, and adult Osprey are now on the move south, and these babies won't be too far behind them. Even over the past two weeks I've noticed fewer Osprey in the Kawarthas area, and any recent visits to the nests have come up empty as well. Hey, what was that, yet another collective sigh of relief from you all again??!!

I already miss these two quirky characters that I've spent so many incredible weeks  days hours with. I've watched them grow so quickly to be the same size as their parents.

I've watched them fight over food drops, mantle, wingercise, branch, chatter, beg, cry, insanely spin their heads around, and poop and then some!!! 

I've watched them finally and safely fledge, and watched them expand their territory each time I've returned to their nest. 

I wish them a safe journey to perhaps South America, and hope that perhaps they'll even return back here to the Kawarthas next year!

See, admit it, you miss them already too!!! ;-)

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