Couldn’t wait ’til summer’s end to update you on our friends at the Naval Academy, Oscar and Opal Osprey. They’re in the midst of fledging this year’s batch of chicks, (their 16th year) and it appears there are four healthy, noisy young ones preparing to take to the skies.
As you may recall, I was in a bit of a tizzy last March when Oscar and Opal arrived almost two weeks late. They sorted out their nest and seemed to enjoy a quiet few weeks before I noticed their “guarding of the nest” behavior, which I interpret as they’re protecting their eggs.
Well, apparently starting late didn’t interfere with their family plan. Yesterday, as I walked toward the football field, I saw in the distance three osprey circling low over the Severn River near the Academy’s seawall.
As I approached, it was clear that two of the birds were small and one larger – Oscar, I soon recognized. He had the two under his command flying in spirals, gaining confidence as they did so. And, on a nearby light post, overlooking the “practice field,” one small osprey sat, calling plaintively. (I’m assuming, “Hey, Dad, I want to try too!”)
And if that weren’t enough excitement, Opal perched calmly on her nest’s edge, with yet another, a fourth fledgling at her side.
I was amazed. I’ve seen two and three offspring over the years, but never before have I seen Opal and Oscar produce four fledglings!
Now, let’s hope they can all master the fine points of survival and take to the skies when it’s time to head south.