I bribed Rich with dinner at his favorite restaurant (Ethos Vegan Kitchen) in order to sneak away to my favorite Osprey nest for a look at this year’s baby. I’d visited a few weeks before, but the baby was so small that I never saw him. When I returned in mid-May, he’d grown quite a bit. When we got there, Dad had just brought in a nice fish for dinner. Mom spent a good half hour picking off tiny bits and feeding them to Junior. She very patiently fed him before sneaking away bites for herself. Suddenly she stopped eating, looked up, and started calling. The next thing I knew, a stick was dropping in from the sky!
The stick images are fun to watch. The first just has the tip of the stick at the top of the frame. More of the stick appears with each frame, and finally you see Dad’s feet as he lowers the “new furniture” into the nest. The funny thing was that he dropped it right on top of the baby! Mom fussed at him as he landed into the nest and said hello.
It was fun to observe both parents at the nest. Often it’s just Mom and Baby when I visit, and having Dad around made the show much more entertaining. Mom did a little dance when he arrived, as if she was hungry and wanted attention. I guess it does get hot and boring up there in that nest!
Baby wasn’t particularly cooperative during my visit. He had his back to me for most of the time, and I got very few shots of his face. During Dad’s brief visit, I got one shot with Baby’s face! Mom and Dad seemed to be observing another bird flying over the nest. They both looked up and fussed repeatedly to ward off any unwelcome visitors. They are very protective of their young offspring.
This was my favorite shot of the evening, showing “Baby O” with his mom as she re-arranged a stick for him. I hope to get back over to see him again soon. I think he was about three weeks old at this point. It’s amazing how quickly he grows!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Winter Park Osprey Nest?
Check out my Winter Park Osprey Nest page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!