The babies in the nest are actually juveniles and while set up a good distance down the road so as not to stress them, they gave us quite a show. Wanting to photograph the ospreys for awhile, professional wildlife photographer Jennifer Howard and I set out one morning, but much to our dismay, when we arrived a fellow had parked his car right below the nest and the juveniles were in quite a dither. Finally he left and when he stopped where we were, we both chewed him out pretty good.
The 3 juveniles.
Some wing stretching started,
a little flapping.
Then a jump from the nest which surprised us as we didn't know whether they had been flying yet.
The second one taking off, and then the third did as well.
This is where the situation became serious, one of the juveniles couldn't fly very well and landed on the side of the road. It's a country line but at the stop sign is a busy 2 lane highway.
It could do a short distance without any height and kept getting closer to the traffic. Jennifer walked up the road after it made it across the highway and managed to get it back on the nest side with the help of understanding motorists.
Jennifer's photo showing the stressed bird.
During this time while the siblings were getting a feel for their wings, a couple of times they almost fell to the ground or collided with each other.
They came and went back to the nest a few times.
The juvenile on the ground finally took to the air in a low fly that ended up on the side of this tree. The poor thing was exhausted, panting away.
A few jumps in the air to try and take off just wasn't working.
It's safe behind a hedgerow in a farmer's field (for now) and figured walking was the the way to go.
When Jennifer and I left, it was still on the ground but the siblings would fly by and call. We were there a good couple of hours with no sign of mom or dad but the lake isn't far so they had probably gone fishing.
Update: Recently I drove by the nest and there was one juvenile on top eating. We're hopeful it was the one from the ground and that the parents are still bringing him food until he's stronger.
Also, Jennifer and I have the ball rolling to have the nest platforms moved away from the highway and closer to the lake.
I'm linking with: