Today was a big day for chick number 2, Essie. Throughout the morning, Essie was hovering for long periods of time above the nest, so we knew that flying was in the near future. At approximately 1:50 pm, Essie officially fledged. She left the nest and landed on a piling at the end of our neighbor’s dock two houses south of us (the same dock where Tom liked to eat his fish before the chicks came along).
Essie spent her afternoon on the piling and at 4:45 p.m., she decided to head back home. A couple of hours ago, we noticed her on one of our boatlift straps. In the meantime, Chester has spent most of his day on one of Crazy Osprey Man’s perches and a little bit of time at the end of our dock.
Over the years, we have noticed that the first time a chick flies, he/she spends a long period of time at their first landing place. When they finally take off again and land at another site, they also spend a lot of time at the second landing site.
Right now, Essie is somewhat stranded on the boatlift strap. She has been there for a couple of hours. When we first noticed her, she seemed to be caught in the strap.
My mom and I went down to the dock to see if we could help her, because she looked like she was struggling. When we approached the boat strap, we discovered that she was not stuck, just in an awkward position. This was all going down as a thunderstorm was approaching and numerous lightning strikes were illuminating the sky above us. My paranoid mother asked me to run back to the house and bring out the camera to get it on video, but when I returned to the dock with the camera, she yelled at me to get inside because of the lightning. Sometimes I just can’t win with her… Audrey has been flying circles around Essie and she is noticeably distraught. A little while ago she landed in a tree on the shoreline closest to Essie. She sat there for a while, and then we saw her disappear over the riprap and dive into the water. She flew up with a small fish, which she took directly back to the nest. Some of you have already noticed, but a tug of war ensued between Audrey and Chester. Greedy Chester won the war, and took the whole fish for himself.
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P.S. Just as I wrote this post Essie flew back home, all three babies are now safe and enjoying the fish without any parental supervision.
Adios Amigos, until next time,