Sunday, June 23, 2013

Meet The Osprey Family ( part 2 of 2)

In part 1 of "Meeting The Osprey Family at Robb Field", there was only one osprey at the nest who later entertained us with his joy of discovering flight. In our second visit at Robb Field, we were greeted by two ospreys on the nest. From afar, we could not tell if they are all juvenile ospreys because the young (born around April of this year) now look almost as full size as the parents. However, on closer inspection with the aid of our lens, we found out that the two left on the nest were a juvenile and  adult pair. Our indicator were: the color of their eyes, and the white specks on juvenile's wings.
 Juvenile ( at the right, with orange eyes) and Adult ( left, with yellow eyes)
In a short while, the baby flew off the nest, then, followed by the adult. They flew across the San Diego River Estuary. Using our lens, we were able to spot two ospreys perched on the poles of the parked boats. We have not been to the north side of the estuary, so, we used the google maps apps in our cell phone to learn about Mission Bay's Hospitality Point Park at the other side of the estuary. 
Looking Towards The Other Side of Estuary From Robb's Field
We followed the ospreys to the other side of the estuary ( yes, we have become birds paparazzi now, haha ). It was only very recently that we got hooked on bird watching. What an added joy it is to our nature wandering. Thanks to the ospreys for leading us to discover another park in San Diego. 
Kayaks and Boats at Hospitality Point Park
When we reached Hospitality Point Park, it was easy for us to find the ospreys since they were still almost at the same spots as when we spotted them from Robb Field. The closest to us was the adult below, which we soon learned must be the mom. 
Why we believe the one above is the mom osprey because of her size. She was definitely bigger than the other adult not too far from her. Female ospreys are generally bigger than male ospreys. She also has that brown pattern on her chest's feathers. Whereas, the other adult osprey (picture below) perched on the tree close by has an all white chest.
Thankfully, the ospreys are not shy to humans, so it was easier for us to take them picture. In fact, these two adult ospreys were perched on a pole (female) and tree ( male) next to a lot of human traffic who were enjoying Hospitality Point Park. Some of them, followed us and also took pictures of these birds.
The DAD ( notice the feathers on his chest are all white, without brown streaks like the female )
The osprey family talked. It was their noisy talking that led us to see their offspring percehd at different spots. I wonder what they were talking about since the young just left their nest at Robb Field after they indulged on a big fish for breakfast. Could it be the parents were asking the young to practice flying and hunting? 
Notice all the white specks at the juvenile's wings, whereas the adult's wings are all brown. Perhaps, the talking indeed was motivating the young to practice flying and hunting, that soon, one of the juvenile left his post and flew towards the estuary.
At the estuary, the juvenile hovered above and would dive down with two feet first, however, each time he was not successful in getting a fish. The learning curve for these young ospreys to hunt is steep as they are expected to hunt on their own in 2 months.
Ospreys are powerful raptors. They are also known as fish hawks, with an appetite for bigger fish. They are large, long winged birds of prey.

Before I end this post, let me share with you another imagined conversation I have among the three ospreys in the picture below which we saw on our third visit at Robb's Field. The left most osprey is the mom (yellow eyes with brown specks in her chest, as an adult male would have an all white chest). The other two ospreys on the right are juvenile basing from the color of their eyes and the white edges on their wings.
Baby (in the middle): Mom, she has been feeding on that fish a long time, don't you think it is my turn?
Mom (leftmost): Calm down, my child, you will soon have your turn.
Baby ( rightmost): Don't worry, there's still a lot of fish here!
The baby at the right most went back to feeding herself with the fish brought by dad.
Baby (in the middle): Mom, I am really getting hungry. Can I get my turn now? Promise, I will not finish the fish but pass it to older sibling when hunger disappears.
Baby ( rightmost): Okay, here you go!

The baby at the right most pass the fish to the baby at the middle, while the mom moved aside during the transfer of fish between the two siblings.
Baby (in the middle): Hmmmm, yum yum! yum yum! Thanks mom, and thanks sibling.

The other sibling went to the other side, and soon felt sleepy from being full.
The mom was carefully watching the young have their meals. 
MOM: Good job, my kids. You have learned the joy of giving and waiting. You all are old enough now to work on your discipline to wait and to work on your sensitive side to give so we all could have a happy and joyful life.

~ end of imaginary conversation ~

Further Observation:
1. One of the babies on the nest soon flew away.
2. The last baby to finish the fish also soon flew away.
3. When all babies have left the nest, the mom soon flew away, across the San Diego River Estuary to Hospitality Point. 

Because this was my second time to see the mom flying away from the nest last, I presume the mom stays with the baby ospreys to really check everybody gets feed, and the first one to fly away is the strongest baby who probably always had her/his share of food first. 

The mom, like all great moms in the world, was happy watching the baby getting fed and growing, protect them but not too much so that her babies could soon learn life's skills to be on their own. The dad, like most great dads, was the provider, who after working so hard to find fish to feed the babies, was resting somewhere to gain the energy to train the babies the necessary skills to survive on their own. 
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  1. I love this post. Have to comeback and read some more. In Thailand right now - :-). Love reading stories about anything...

  2. I haven't really tried bird watching but it seems fun. This is also my first time to know about Ospreys. From your photos, I guess that they are big birds, lucky of you to have taken many photos of those birds.

  3. Wow, betchai.. this was a sweet little story. I enjoyed reading this so much, the pictures introduce the family so beautifully and your story gives out a nice moral, the joy of giving and sharing :)

  4. I'm glad you have become bird paparazzi. I love looking at the pictures of these birds.

  5. Great shots of Ospreys. Try to search nga if these birds shared the family with hawks.

  6. you are one lovely soul who could discern the thoughts of even winged friends :) love your imagined conversation and how observant you were of the family of birds' behavior...they look so friendly and must have wanted to be featured here at TJOSL too so they posed and posed hehe...P.S. dropping by to see if you have adopted an entirely new template...loving the blueness here though and wondering if you will eventually use another template too :) love yah! :) enjoy having all the time in the world away from lesson planning hehe :)

  7. What beautiful birds. The look so regal.

  8. The imaginary conversation feels so real. I think if birds can speak that was the exact words they will utter. And as usual Mam Betch, you're photos are amazing :) #pangpostcardangpeg :D

  9. I am a fan of your photography skills! I love how the birds seems to be talking to each other.

  10. Very nice composition on the photo of Kayaks and boats. Your photos really speak for themselves :)

  11. These birds are beautiful. It must have been wonderful seeing them up close.

  12. I love looking at nature's pictures. It brings me closer to the beauty of God's creation and if I can't go there personally, the sight of those beautiful creatures in your blog is worthy of awe. :)

  13. first, i love all the pictures and of course, your imaginary observation is so great...maybe not everyone can observe osprey the way you do! galing. anyway, i love how you compared it to all other moms. :)

  14. bird watching! wow! what a great new-found hobby. great shots! uhm, thanks for sharing, it's actually my first time to read about ospreys. :) tc!

  15. Betchai, I don't know that much about osprey's but sure enjoyed reading through your post. The shots are sensational! That wing span is just amazing.

  16. have always enjoyed your imaginary conversations and will always do so Beth. your words along with the photos are awe-inspiring!

  17. Wow..majestic birds captured so wonderfully! Just beautiful!

  18. Love your imaginary conversation - perhaps you should turn this post into a children's book?