Guess Who Came To Dinner?

I was planning a trip up to St. Augustine for a photography workshop and I had a full day to get up there.  My good friend Jess suggested that I meet with her to photograph an osprey nest outside of Orlando and promised that I would find the shoot amazing.

I met her at the nest and I was quite impressed with the vantage point that it offered of the nest.  I set up and began shooting.  Osprey are always a wonderful subject to photograph in Florida and I personally find them quite fascinating.  So beautifully marked, that sharp beak and impressive talons, that intriguing face.

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While I found the mom quite wonderful to shoot, I wanted to see that baby osprey that I knew was there, but hiding underneath its mom.  As if to oblige us, it emerged from the protection of mom and gave us a glimpse.  I was elated.

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It turned to look our way and then it happened … our eyes met and my heart melted.  I do believe that I squealed with delight.  🙂  I think that it even smiled at us.  🙂

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It was so adorable … with that chicken-skin texture to it and the soft downy look appearing on it.  Not sure exactly, but I believe that it was between a few days old and less than 1 week.

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Mom was actively looking around for its mate, as the the baby sat nearby.

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She began to make some minor adjustments to the layout of the nest.  That little one was just as wobbly as could be too, taking a few steps, then falling over.  I worried about it and prayed that it didn’t fall overboard.

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Finally, dad finally arrived back to the nest and brought a fresh catch for the family to dine upon.

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The baby osprey knew what was going to happen next and immediately started to call out for its dinner, leaving an open target for mom to reach its hungry mouth.

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She was a good mom too, taking her time to tear off bits of the “sushi dinner” and offer it to her young one.

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This feeding session went on for quite some time.  Sometimes, she would grab a bit for herself along the way.  I had to laugh as the little one appeared to be in desperate need of a napkin!  LOL

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This little one never seemed to be full either … always begging for more food from its mom.

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Sometimes I had to wonder how it didn’t choke!  But it always seemed to manage to get the bits and pieces, even when they appeared to be too big, down the hatch.

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To our delight mom eventually offered us a better view of both of them during mealtime.  We sure appreciated that.

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Actually she offered us a few different angles to shoot the action from.  The one below was probably my favorite!

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Eventually, they were both stuffed for the moment.  She moved the remaining portion of fish over and settled in for some bonding and rest.  But of course, not before giving us a great angle of the happy mother and her baby.

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Since I don’t live in the area, I’m not sure what happened to the young osprey.  That being said, I sure enjoyed the time that I spent with Jess and the osprey family on that day.  After grabbing a bite to eat and catching up, I had to make my way to St. Augustine…. in the dark!  Oh, and by the way, YES, it was definitely worth the side trip!

Stay tuned for more Florida birds!

© 2015  Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography

 

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10 thoughts on “Guess Who Came To Dinner?

  1. Oh Deb, these are great! I have such a smile on my face as I remember that evening. Yes, the baby certainly did need a napkin!! and yes, you did squeal. More than once, in fact! 😀

  2. Those are the most awesome images of an Osprey with a baby that I have ever seen! What a vantage point! I think I heard you squeal from BC!!! LOL! Excellent shots!

    • LOL, that’s so funny Wendy (and quite possibly not far from the truth). 🙂 I’ve never had such a great vantage point for photographing baby osprey. It was a thrill for sure.

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