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Thread subject: Osprey living in beautiful Sanibel Island, Florida
Name Date Message
Celeste 02/10/10 07:48 am Just returned from our visit to Florida. Drove frantically home before snow arrives! Though Florida's weather could have been better, (cold and rainy a lot of days), there were those wonderful days that felt like late Spring. The highlight of my trip is always Sanibel Island and Ding Darling NWR. Though one can hear and see osprey around and about throughout Florida, the surroundings for osprey at Sanibel seem the most wonderful to me. As usual Osprey in Florida can been seen with nests that one can almost touch above a traffic light "bridge" while waiting for a light to change. Osprey nests are discouraged on electric poles with pointy wires, but somehow they manage to make a nest nearby. The hotel we stayed right before the bridge to Sanibel had its usual occupants on a roof of the Resort. The female was brooding while the male chirped constantly to protect his territory.
At the same spot each year at Ding Darling, an Osprey hangs out to eat its meal with the clicking of cameras of those who pass on the "drive". For a long time this osprey watched us and now and again would eat its fish. Thankfully for the wildlife at Ding Darling, they close once a week to give them a break from US! I saw plenty of nests where the male would sit in the nest during the day and/or wait in a nearby tree for his mate to arrive. On the morning we left Sanibel (4:30am), one particular nest that was quite low to the ground as one waited to drive to the main road, I was curious to see where the male spent the night, and sure enough in the morning darkness he was in a nearby pine tree, his white breast glowing, facing the nest.

On a side note, on Sanibel there is a rehab area for wildlife and in the local paper they featured a pelican whose beak was torn. They caught the bird and through experience they have found it is best to "not" mend it as it it does not heal properly. They help the pelican by feeding it and allowing the skin to grow and heal on its own.

It was wonderful hearing those chirps a parking lot of a grocery store, in Sanctuaries where one could walk and observe wildlife. I kept wondering if one of those osprey I heard was one of "ours" who decided to stop in Florida rather than fly further..or should I say I "imagined" they were one of ours! Though Florida has Osprey year round inhabitants, there definitely were several nests with a male in it, "waiting". Almost that time of year for us...hopefully without anymore snow! Which by the way, the drive home through Washington DC and Maryland it was very evident how Mother Nature made her presence. . So many pine trees broken from the weight of snow and mountains of snow everywhere. One driver of a very small compact car left his roof with at least 12 in of snow on it. The color of the car was a bright blue and it looked like a Smurf driving through Washington. I'm sure it was intentional...dangerous for drivers behind the car, but funny also:-)
A couple of photos to remind us that Osprey will eventually return to "us"!!!!!
Pam 02/10/10 10:13 am Lovely to hear from you again Celeste and so glad you did not have bad weather to contend with on your way back Thanks for the account of your Osprey watching in Florida. To be able to watch them every day like we watch sparrows must be very nice indeed. Good pictures too. Look forward to more holiday ones - welcome home !
Nancy L 02/10/10 10:48 am Thanks for your 'travelogue,' Celeste. Glad you had a good trip. Now you're back to Winter with a vengence!
martyc35 02/10/10 11:17 am Thanks, Celeste. Glad you had such a great time, and the pics make me envious, but I am so glad you shared them.
Marie 02/10/10 01:52 pm Ahhh , it is so nice of you to share your Osprey FIX ! What a wonderful trip down south.

Glad you got home safely. I hope you can cope with all that snow that is pounding the East Coast.
FOB Webmaster 02/10/10 01:55 pm Gee, trees that don't have snow in them. I forgot what that looks like. :-)

Celeste: Sometime you all should think about visiting around Sebastian, Florida -- on the Atlantic side. It's a beautiful area right on the Indian River Lagoon and the Intracoastal Waterway. It's osprey heaven, with quite a few natural nests.

It's also home to Pelican Island NWR -- the first wildlife refuge -- and Archie Carr NWR -- where the sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.

Melbourne Beach is also nearby, and it's a beautiful section of Florida's Atlantic Coast, or what they call the Space Coast, since it's near Cape Canaveral and Merritt Island NWR.

Pam 02/10/10 04:12 pm They close Merritt Island NWR off when there is shuttle activity...I know that from experience...unfortunately :-(
FOB Webmaster 02/10/10 07:25 pm Yeah, it is a weird place for a wildlife refuge.
terryo 02/11/10 06:56 pm Thanks for the trip report to SI and the great photos. Caused me to stir a tad in my ez chair in anticipation of warmer times on the Carmans soon. I've been spending a lot of time tuning in to the misfortunes of the FOB eagles with all this snowy weather. Lisa of course has kept us up to date. Thanks again for the report.

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