Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rose, the osprey chick, continues life lessons.

When I arrived on Sunday (the day after Rose fledged) she was sitting in the nest, demanding that Mom feed her.
Mom complied. Rose is well able to eat on her own, but perhaps, as with humans, there are times when it is comforting to backtrack to the tried and true safety of parental control.
Rose was showing a lot of confidence taking off and landing.
I like this picture of her flying free. The white feathers (pin feathers) that Ship Rock tried to point out to me on Saturday are quite clear. I am one of those people who seem to learn in retrospect. I hear, when taught, but can't quite absorb the information until I go over it again later, usually when I'm alone. Thanks, Ship Rock.
To me, it seems that Rose now has that "It can't happen to me" attitude of an inexperienced adolescent. I worry that she still flies lower and closer to the seals than I believe is completely safe. One person told me, before she fledged, that she had only one chance to succeed at flying. If she missed it and fell into the water, the seals would get her. In fact, the seals haven't shown much interest in Rose, but I guess those words have stayed in my mind.
This action caught me by surprise. I was having fun watching Mom in flight, but could hear some frantic goose squawks, and suddenly became aware that I was witnessing an "incident" between her and this only partially seen goose. A lesson for Rose? Did the goose threaten in some way that I missed? So many unanswered questions in wildlife observations.
You're my hero, Mom!

On Monday..

I arrived to find Rose flying low again. I know she will need this skill for hunting, but I wish she would move away from the many dangerous looking objects.
She also spent much more time than I would have liked flying in and amongst the boats and sail masts.
Here, she flies onto a light standard behind the wall by the park lookout. I have never seen her parents do that. She perches for a few minutes, and then flies off.
My heart was in my mouth as she flew across the water, and seemed to be tangled in this mast.
But, she flew away, looking strong and none the worse for wear.
Rose-observation is causing me a fair bit of stress! Stay away from all sail masts, will you please, dear girl?
This was taken in the last-minute glow before the sun disappeared on Monday evening. I was disappointed that only one of her eyes has light in it, but still happy with her confidence and free flight.
Taken a second later. Again, a disappointing shot, lacking detail, but as with the last one, thrilling to see her freedom.
There was to be one more lesson before I left for the night. Mom brought in a fish.
Another picture of Mom and the fish, just because I think she is so stunning. I have never seen Mom hunt, but somehow, I think she may have caught this one herself. No reason for that suspicion except intuition. Normally, she will carry a fish, but it is always one that Dad has brought to her. I didn't see Dad in the area, did not see a transfer, and did not see the fish being caught.
Rose flies to the nest from the neighboring pylon. Her manner is aggressive. She expects to be given that fish.
Perhaps it is just perspective, but it seems to me that she lands on top of Mom. Whatever her exact position, it is clear that she is being rather rudely aggressive.
This is the first time that I have witnessed Mom being very assertive. Enough is enough!
Perhaps, Mom is saying, "This fish is mine! If I choose to share it with you, you will show a properly appreciative attitude. Soon, no one will bring you fish at all. You will have to find your own."
Rose gets the message, but doesn't particularly like it.
When I left, Rose was sitting quietly, and Mom appeared to be satisfied with her conduct.
I don't know if Rose was given any of that particular fish. Bill, ever appreciated and loved, came to get me, and we walked along the waterfront with Black Jack as darkness fell. A non-Rose post to come soon, showing some of the sights Bill and I have enjoyed lately.

I did not go to see Rose on Tuesday. I am always aware that things can change in an instant. I head off to see her today, hoping to find that all is well and that she is choosing to stay around the nest for at least another few days.


  1. I am so pleased to note that the parents are helping Rose to learn each little step of her new independence. Right now, they are encouraging her to want to find her own food... but have not withdrawn all their fish although there is obviously a strong hint that she begin foraging for herself. The skimming of the water is in preparation for her first catch! Clever birds... and Rose is obviously a good observer! I am enjoying this "journey" very much! Phyllis

  2. This is a very nice record of the successful rearing of a chick by a young osprey couple - a captivating and well illustrated story. There are not many like it.

    Thank you for mentioning my web name, and for the hot links to my Flickr site.

    Cheers, Shiprock

  3. Hi Carol:

    Well, just a quick note to say thanks! Lately I haven't been able to make it down to the nest as much as I would like. So I sure appreciate the fact that you take the time to provide updates. As you may recall, I've been watching this nesting pair since the spring - back when their nest was nothing but a few sticks. What a great story this has been so far. I have my fingers crossed that the parents will be succesful raising their chick. So far Rose seems like she's doing ok. And wouldn't it be great if the parents returned next year. Could we be that lucky?

    In any case, thanks again for the updates.

  4. Carol thanks so much for this amazing photo documentary about the osprey chick. Great opportunity and you have captured great moments. Thanks again, Anna :)

  5. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Phyllis, Shiprock, Henrik and Anna. I have always loved birds, and always thought flight to be something of a miracle, but this opportunity to watch the osprey family has given me a new awareness that I would not have missed for the world. Each of you are wildlife lovers and experts in your own right, and sharing the journey, and learning from your comments and observations has made the experience just that much more memorable.