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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
Mom was actively looking around for its mate, as the the baby sat nearby.
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.
Finally, dad finally arrived back to the nest and brought a fresh catch for the family to dine upon.
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.
She was a good mom too, taking her time to tear off bits of the “sushi dinner” and offer it to her young one.
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
This little one never seemed to be full either … always begging for more food from its mom.
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.
To our delight mom eventually offered us a better view of both of them during mealtime. We sure appreciated that.
Actually she offered us a few different angles to shoot the action from. The one below was probably my favorite!
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.
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