Raising Aussie Osprey

PERTH, Australia

I've been watching a pair of Osprey at their nest on a dead tree above the Swan River in Perth for several weeks. I've been very fortunate in being given access to private land overlooking the nest. I went there this afternoon and the Ospreys have a baby. My lens doesn't have the focal length to get really good detail at this stage. This shot is of the female, identified by the leg band and bung or blind left eye.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

Trust me, there really is a baby there. If you follow the female's beak and eye direction, although that's the blind eye towards the camera, you may be able to see a tiny wide open mouth. I've cropped to billyoh to provide some detail. I'll head down there each afternoon if I'm not working and will hopefully be able to provide chronological progress. I don't know if there was more than one egg. So exciting.

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Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

Yay, you're an Auntie!

Wilmar, AR(Zone 8a)

Yes, I can just make the baby out. It is well camouflaged.
Great pictures, Margaret

The Ozarks, MO(Zone 5b)

Congrats Margaret...I can see the little one! I am looking forward to watching them grow up!! Thanks for starting this thread...it's gonna be fun!

Marlton, NJ

Wonderful pics Margaret! Looking forward to seeing more.

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

OOOooooo, I see the baby!!!!

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I never would have seen it if you hadn't pointed it out! He's (or she's) so cute! it even has a tiny little eye stripe like mommy

PERTH, Australia

In retrospect, I should have posted this first. This is where it all started.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

Now, from today. The chick's head is visible above the clump of frayed, yellow rope. Let your eyes move left in a line from her left claw and you should be able to spot it. Again I've had to crop heavily to provide the detail there is.

I thought I saw two chicks, but having a look at the six million shots I took on the computer when I got home, I couldn't see another one. Time will tell. The angle is just that bit too narrow to be able to see properly.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

Between her beak and the leg ring you may be able to see the chick's head facing her. The male had caught a fish and she was feeding it.

You know, the good thing about watching these two in their messy, cluttered nest is that it makes me feel a better housekeeper.

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Orchard Park, NY

Absolutely amazing sighting Margaret! I'm hooked. I'll keep an eye out for progress.

What is all that stuff? It's not all dead bodies I hope.

PERTH, Australia

Hey, good to hear from you OP. Good timing and I'm glad you're enjoying it. I had the most astonishing afternoon at the nest and not just because I've confirmed that there are indeed two babies.

These are of the two tiny chicks being fed by the mother. Her bung eye is visible. The male Osprey had just brought a fish to the nest.

This message was edited Jan 23, 2009 6:34 PM

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PERTH, Australia

Oh, by the way, OP, yes, they are dead bodies (just kidding). Their nest is so full of rubbish. The chicks are so well hidden, tucked down behind the bits of frayed rope, it's really difficult to get a good shot. Quality isn't the best, but I should be able to improve things when the chicks start growing and moving around a bit.

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PERTH, Australia

This little bird is called a Willie Wagtail and it started harassing the male Osprey, who had gone to have a well-earned rest after his fishing expedition. I couldn't believe my good luck at what I was seeing. I snapped away like a crazy woman, eating up CF cards like a piranha. It was chattering away the whole time, trying to drive the Osprey away. Even though the Osprey's nesting tree is situated out over the water and not really close to anything else, the Willie Wagtail must have a nest nearby. These little birds are noted for their courage and will try to chase anything away that they consider to be too close.

This message was edited Oct 25, 2008 8:00 AM

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Marlton, NJ

Great shots Margaret! Glad to see there are indeed 2 chicks!

The Ozarks, MO(Zone 5b)

Outstanding Margaret...can't wait to see the rest of the series!

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

ooo! "Isn't she pretty?"

PERTH, Australia

Thanks Pelle and Rose.

Brilliant, Mrs Ed!

When I first arrived at the site, this is what greeted me. Poor Osprey, they get no peace.

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Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Great to see the two chicks Margaret! Wow, weren't you the lucky one to be there at the start of it all! Lol! Are they Cormorants waiting for an easy meal?

How rich do you feel, lol, you could do with a longer lens but the chicks will grow bigger, making it easier. :) Can't wait to see them grow!

I did the same thing last year with a Wood Pigeon in my Oak tree, the chicks fledged in a week but were still dependant for a long time after, they could hardly fly! I lost the pics in a crash but put some on here if I could find them, it was last autumn when the leaves were turning.

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

How exciting that there are 2 babies!!

Anchorage, AK(Zone 4a)

I really like the Willie Wagtail shot.

PERTH, Australia

Thanks Gary. I've been thinking that maybe it wasn't such a random event that I observed. If the Willie Wagtails have a nest close by, there's a fairly good chance that it will be repeated. Guess where I'm going today!

Nanny, I kinda suspected that there were two, but couldn't see pixelled proof. They are soooo tiny and when you see the parents with those gigantic claws moving about near them, sometimes grasping a fish, you wonder how they aren't trampled. They are just so gentle with the bubs.

Wallaby, I actually hired a longer focal length lens to take those shots, with maximum focal length of 500mm. I didn't have a tripod and it was real heavy. I've resisted getting a tripod because it's so cumbersome, but I think I may have to if I ever win the lotto and can afford a super fast, super focal length lens.
With the cormorants, I think they were just resting there.

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

Great series of pictures! We have the Osprey here, but I have never seen a nesting pair or a nest. Wonderful experience!

Thanks so much for sharing. (and I think you are doing a great job of getting the shots for all of us to see)

PERTH, Australia

Good to see you've found it cparts and good timing.

I've jst finished downloading my fourteen trillion shots from this afternoon. I was pretty well preoccupied watching the Willie Wagtail tormenting both Ospreys in turn today. At one stage there were two Willie Wagtails at the poor male Osprey. Those magnificent birds have the most incredible tolerance levels.

This shot is marginally better than the previous ones of the babies. They moved away from the frayed rope and have also grown a wee bit.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

This shows the female on the nest and the male on the branch with the Willie Wagtail on his back.

This message was edited Oct 25, 2008 7:11 PM

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Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

I have been working alot lately and haven't had the time to spend here as much as I like. Hate to miss great threads like this one.

More great pictures! It is amazing to me to see these big birds and see the smaller birds constantly harassing them. You would think when you are at the top of the bird chain, life would be easy, not so. We think we have it bad with pesky bugs bugging us!

PERTH, Australia

Zeroing in and chattering angrily all the way.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
PERTH, Australia

Sorry cparts, I got one of those "whilst you were typing....". I was blown away by the Osprey's patience.

Caption not necessary.

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PERTH, Australia

Both the chicks are there, but the second one isn't clear. I think this is probably the best shot of the chick so far.

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PERTH, Australia

What was so funny is that after a minute or so of relentless bombardment, the Willie Wagtail would land on the dead branch next to his prey, catching his breath before it all started again.

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PERTH, Australia

Where'd the little blighter go, love?

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Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

Today's pics are great Margaret!! This is a fabulous thread to follow each day!

Marlton, NJ

Tremendous shots Margaret!

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

That little baby poking its head up cracks me up.

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

You're doing great getting those chicks, how's the soulders, lol! I can imagne how heavy the lens would be, I don't think it would be cheap to hire one here, but very expensive to buy one. A 600mm Nikor lens is around 6,000!

In a few days they will grow a lot, they look so tiny for such a big bird!

Fantastic shots of the WW, it must think it's big, lol, what courage to attack those birds.

This message was edited Oct 25, 2008 1:32 PM

The Ozarks, MO(Zone 5b)

Tremendous shots Margaret...I am so enjoying this thread! Thanks for all the updates, so much fun seeing all the action. That WW is just a hoot!!

PERTH, Australia

Thanks you all for your comments. Here's a shot from today. I stopped off at he Osprey's nest on my way to work. Still not sharply focussed but the best so far.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Now that is dedication! You got a shot worth the effort too, the chicks are looking perky with their watchful parents. It looks good to me!

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

The picture is incredible. You should be proud!
The parents look proud of their little guys.

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