Tuesday, July 29, 2014

First Flight

One of the adults hangs out in the tree above the back deck.

Parent on left, sibling watching out for the first flyer.

We can set our calendars to certain dates based on the habits of the ospreys nesting by the house: The pair return to the nest on April 12, the first hatchling will fly by July 28 and all the ospreys, young included, will be gone south by the middle of September (their departure date might have something to do with hurricane season, or lack thereof, but I never thought to track this over the past six years).
It's amazing, really, how many hours we can spend simply watching the ospreys, particularly when we are waiting for the first flight to happen.
The first born is always the first to fly and it spends ten days or so jumping up and down on the side of the nest, flapping its wings. From the deck, we holler encouragement: "You can do it! Go ahead, fly! Fly!"
I missed the first leap into the glorious world this year, I usually do. It happens early in the morning when my husband is outside drinking coffee but I'm inside feeding our zoo. We get to witness the attempts at landing -- this year's first flyer is hitting the nest every time but we've seen some interesting bounces off the side of the nest! In past years, they've landed on the flag pole, on the garage roof, in the lane but this year, the first flyer seems to have the hang of it from the start and simply lands on the wood pile out back, a favourite hangout of ospreys in general.
Now we wait and watch for baby number 2 to make the leap.

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