Poppa Osprey Brings Home the…?

I’m not sure what Orlando the Osprey just brought —merely his care and love?—but it’s plain he and his mate are a nurturing unit.

The distance between us is just a bit too far for my Fujifilm XT-3’s 100-400mm zoom—which yields the 35mm equivalent of 600mm—but I’m not permitted to venture closer and the events it documents warmed my heart so much that I’m posting the grainy photographs anyhow.

Years ago, we saw bird-lovers erecting an Osprey Platform far out in our favorite salt marsh; within two days, a nesting pair was building their dream home here. With a commanding view of salt marshes lining Lighthouse Cove, the Ospreys were soon perching on provided observation poles and patrolling the bay for prey.

By the time we left for home, Momma and Poppa had produced a clutch of eggs. Every year since, I’ve checked this nest and each year it’s filled with an Osprey family.

I like to believe it’s always Orlando and Olive, the same pair I photographed last year and the year before. Osprey couple mate for life, and are quite possessive of the same nesting site, migrating more than a thousand miles to return every year.

This Spring, I was thinking “my” nest might be empty, when suddenly Olive’s head popped up, and, within seconds, as shown above, Orlando arrived! And, much as I try to keep things objective here, I can’t help telling you—I felt a rush of warmth and tenderness at seeing my buds back at home, setting up the nursery.

Minutes before, about a mile away, I had seen Orlando snatch a fish from the water. I figured he might be heading home next. And this is what he did. I couldn’t tell whether the fish was still in his talons, but it’s a pretty good bet—Ospreys are the only bird of prey to feed exclusively on fish, and they don’t swallow and regurgitate for their young.

Keep up the good work, Poppa Oscar! I never tire of seeing you and Olive care for your family.

Daddy Osprey Brings Home the...?
Second in a collection of three photographs, this shot gives a slightly better view of Mom. I can’t be sure whether the eggs have hatched, but something has caught Dad’s adoring eye.
Third of three photographs. Minutes before, miles away, I shot Dad seconds after he swallowed a small fish. Perhaps he intends to regurgitate it for his young? Anyhow, I went to my car directly to check the nest…et voilà!

Leave a Reply