When we went to Turks & Caicos we were delighted one early morning on our daily beach walk to discover an osprey nest perched on a large pole about 1000 feet from the shoreline. There they were, two siblings waiting for mom to return with a meal. We observed them for several hours and here are the results of this sighting. When each of the young fledglings left the nest they would fish near the shoreline, soaring for their diet of live fish; they are able to dive into water to catch them. They search for fish on steady wingbeats and bowed wings high in the sky. We watched them hover briefly before diving feet first to grab a fish. We could see the catch in the Mom’s talons as she carried it back to the nest, the fish headless.
Ospreys can be found near salt marshes, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, estuaries and in this case they were near a coral reef. The conspicuous stick nest was way out in the open on a pole.
This is a detailed account of the following pictures:
The two youngsters, (about 3 months old) are waiting for Mom to return with a meal, and finally one leaves the nest to go hunting (they are now old enough to hunt on their own too). The remaining one is still chirping madly and then Mom appears with a fish in her talons, no head. She deposits the fish diving head first into the nest and flies off where she can watch the nest. Eventually the second youngster returns and suddenly steals the fish from the nest flying off to a nearby roost. The fish now gone from the nest, the victimized young oprey follows his sibling to another rose.
The next series of photos are the two of them sitting on a wooden perch near the nest but lower down, while the dismayed osprey watches his sibling guarding his newfound stolen catch saying to his sister/brother, don’t even think about it, it is mine! Oh poor guy!
Photography courtesy of James E. Storm