Osprey kid fledged
The boyz and I woke a little late this morning and we weren't too anxious to get out of our comfy bed as it was only 59 degrees in the camper. We eventually rolled out from under the warm blankets and shivered for a few seconds as we adjusted to the cool morning.
After getting the boyz out for their morning walk, I eventually loaded up the car and headed to Crown Point to check on my favorite Osprey nest. As I parked the car and started to head towards the nest, I watched as dad flew a fish into the nest for the kid and quickly left. Upon closer arrival, I spotted mom in one of her favorite trees, yet on a branch I've never seen her on. A really great spot! I sat with the kid for only a minute before I headed over to get a few shots of mom sitting in the tree. I approached very slowly and went up the hill to get more at eye level with her. She was extremely cooperative and I sat and watched her for at least 20 minutes before heading back to the nest. While I watched her, she periodically called out. I wasn't sure if she was calling for dad or trying to lure out the kid. I later realized she was trying to get that kid out of the nest.
After enjoying some time watching mom perched in the tree, I decided to head back over to the nest to watch the youngster. As I was heading back, mom decided she was also going to head to the nest and I found her sitting in there with the kid when I got to my viewing spot. She sat there for maybe a half hour or so before going back to the tree she was in earlier. Once again, she sat and tried calling the kid out, but he didn't budge. Eventually I went over and got a few shots of her as she was in another really nice spot. She sat for a bit and then flew south along Lake Champlain.
I then decided to head back to the nest and watch the youngster in case he decided to stretch or do some wing flapping, but that never happened. Instead he walked towards the edge of the nest and made me so nervous. I watched and prayed that he would be safe and wouldn't fall out of the nest. Then, to my surprise, he took off and flew a few awkward circles before he decided to land back in the nest. It was such a beautiful moment to see this guy out of the nest for the first time. After he landed back in the nest, I noticed that his body language had changed and he appeared to have a little more confidence in himself. Both mom and dad made an appearance after he fledged and mom landed back in the nest for a bit. Eventually she left and he once again took another flight. He then continued to fly in and out of the nest during my last couple of hours there
The first outing for this guy was a bit long as I'm sure it took a bit of effort to get back to the nest. Then the next few times out, his flight was short and there was a long break in between for some rest. By his sixth flight out, he was out longer and went a little further from the nest. On many of his flights, he flew towards me and right over my head. So close that I couldn't get focus because he was too close.
It was a fantastic day watching this youngster learn to fly and land and I can't wait to go back tomorrow to watch some more. I feel so blessed that I get to observe and capture these special moments. It really is an amazing thing to see! Here is a shot of one of him landing back in the nest, perhaps the 5th or 6th try which was far more graceful than his first landing or two!