The sun was just rising on Captiva Island in the Gulf of Mexico when Andy brought in the breakfast fish for the three little Osplets. Like yesterday they were all lined up to have their fish. The sun cast a rose-gold glow all over the nest of Andy and Lena while those babies were eating. It was just magnificent.
Before that image was captured, Andy flew in and got the breakfast order from Lena.
Once he had the order, Lena prepares for the arrival of the fish and feeding the babies their first meal. Lena is really careful as she backs off the little ones.
You can see how they fit under her so she can brood them.
Lena is very loud. She calls to Andy reminding him that the babies are awake now and they are hungry! Get that fish here fast!
Just imagine. In about ten days time these three will be doing little chirps at Dad helping Mum tell him ‘we need fish’!
First thing in the morning is the best time – for me anyway – to catch a good glimpse of Little Bob. They get scrambled up during the day and it can be hard to see him. Big and Middle Bobs are getting large.
Andy delivers a wiggly catfish to the waiting family at 06:54. The little ones are fully awake. They are hungry and they are lining up for breakfast.
As Lena gets situated to take the fish, you get a good look at the trio. That is Little Bob at the far end.
It looks like Big Bob is having a good look at that fish as Lena grabs it by her beak to move it from Andy’s talon. He reminds me of Ervie – right up there with that fish, not taking his eye off it.
It is a very busy time during the transfer of the fish. The adults have to be careful not to lose it and also not to let that fish hammer the chicks and injure them. It seems very tricky to me – a live, wet wiggly fish jumping about.
Andy flew off after he established there are no predators about. The wee babes get themselves up to the edge of the nest bowl to eat.
Lena finishes feeding the three at 07:14. They are nice and full and will sleep soundly.
At 08:35:21 Andy flies in with the remaining piece of fish that he had retrieved from the nest so Lena can do a second feeding.
These two have a real pattern that is different from that at Port Lincoln. There are normally three feedings in the morning and the fourth in the late afternoon at Captiva while Mum and Dad at Port Lincoln spread the feedings throughout the day. Both of course start feeding at dawn but that is where the similarity ends. It shows that in different geographic areas and with different Osprey couples their approach to the care of their young is different.
Andy often stays while Lena is feeding to act as security for the nest while she is busy. This is another difference that I see between the Captiva and Port Lincoln Osprey nests. Andy is very vigilant about predators and there are many around this nest (the couple have lost their chicks to Crows in the past) whereas Port Lincoln has no predators.
Lena was still feeding the nestlings at 09:01. That feeding will last for half an hour. Each of the osplets will be full. These long feedings are different than many of the other nests where the Mum feeds from 10-12 minutes.
Lena gets a much needed break. Andy will take care of the babies beginning at 09:11. You get a really good look at Little Bob who is on the far right in the image below. Does he think Dad has a fish and he had better get up front?
Andy is getting much better at brooding these wiggling babes. Him and Lena work so well together taking care of their wee three. Fingers crossed.
The chicks hatched on 16, 17, and the 19th of February. Little Bob is one week old today!
Lena returned and Andy flew in with a fresh fish a couple of hours later at 12:15:44.
Little Bit is wiggling his way over to the table as Dad dries off.
He’s up there – not the greatest of places – but Lena will stand and feed them until all three are full. No one will go hungry.
Little Bob got up there. Little Bob had a great second feeding this morning and he is doing really well now, too. No worries so far for this one.
I wonder if the heat in Florida makes for better fishing in the hours before noon? I must watch today and see if the pattern of three morning feeds and one late afternoon holds.
Lena is still feeding the osplets as I finish this blog. This is a fantastic Osprey family living in the Gulf islands of west Florida. If the predators stay away they should have three successful fledges.
Here is the link to the camera:
Thank you so much for joining me today as I check in on this single Osprey nest. Take care everyone. See you soon!
Thank you to Window on Wildlife and Captiva Ospreys for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures this morning.