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Thread subject: OSPREY IN FLORIDA
Name Date Message
Celeste 04/28/12 11:35 am Just returned from Sanibel Island, Florida, and our favorite place Ding Darling NWR. Osprey are alive and quite well on this beautiful Island. They are everywhere, and chirps can be heard all day, every day! It was wonderful hearing osprey language again!

While there I tried to learn about the Osprey of Florida who do not migrate. I know they are smaller because they do not migrate, and need to save energy in the sub-tropical climate. However, while at Ding Darling I noticed osprey that were much larger than a nest I had seen earlier on Tarpon Bay. There were 2 women who are devoted to observing this nest while they are nesting. The osprey chicks in Florida were either fledging while I was there or about to. The osprey in the Tarpon Bay nest were noticeably smaller to me. However, while at Ding Darling, I came upon a nest right on the road where the cars slowly drive, (you get out to take photos whenever you want). The osprey in this nest were the size I was more accustomed to seeing here on Long Island, which made me question, how do I tell the difference? I got so many mixed answers from the volunteers, and a Naturalist who was part of the Eco Boat tour I took on Tarpon Bay. I just was plain confused, till I met a Ding Darling Volunteer who had been bird watching all his life. I asked him my questions, the main one being, was it possible that migratory osprey return to their Natal nest on Sanibel? He said very possible and like we have learned from our own experiences observing, that things are seen by the "people" that the experts never get to see up close and personal. For example, he told me that he has seen Blue Herons breaking twigs and sticking them in water as "bait" to lure fish to eat! Amazing! He firmly doesn't believe in the term, "Birdbrains!".

I did come across an article that 6 osprey were tagged in Florida. Two stayed near their natal nest, 2 flew miles away in Florida from their natal nest, and 2 migrated to South America! The Volunteer felt that the osprey shared the same DNA, and that anything is possible and there is still so much to learn.

For example, I was told that Roseated Spoonbills, leave Ding Darling in April to nest in Tampa. I fully expected not to see any, as I was told it was quite rare. One night we went to Ding and it was low tide, what a gift! I saw groups of them taking advantage of the low tide and feeding. A fellow visitor who lives on Sanibel, told me the day before he saw 55 Roseated Spoonbills in one area alone. The Volunteer I spoke to said he felt there were Juvies and Adults who elected to nest at Ding Darling.

While taking the Eco Boat Tour on Tarpon Bay on waters that belonged to NWR we saw many sights, but the best was as the boat was making its turn at the end of the NWR's waters, whre land with homes on property that was not NWR"s. There were nests after nests on the roofs. Of course the owners of the homes cannot remove the nest till nesting is over and the osprey leave. Chirping goes on morning, noon and night, all day every day and is was very LOUD! Osprey were in nests on roofs, osprey on platforms built in yards or on the street very close to one another. The osprey were in such close proximity to each other, I wonder about "territory" rights in such closeness!!

The lovely women that I met at Tarpon Bay who were assigned to observe the nest there gave me a link to the International Osprey Organization.

Osprey Assoc.

Below is a link of some of my photos.

martyc35 04/28/12 01:43 pm Great information, Celeste. Looks like you had a good time. I enjoyed your pics, too. Is that cormorant-like bird an Anhinga? I'm not good at birds I've never seen up close and personal, but it looks like some I've seen in other FL pics.
Trishrg 04/28/12 03:38 pm What a fantastic read!! Sounds like you had the trip of a lifetime! And your slideshow is fantastic! You got some amazing shots!!!
Thank you so much for sharing the scenery!! Love it!!
Pam 04/28/12 04:05 pm What a great time you must have had Celeste. Thank you for sharing your photos with us. The Osprey pics are great. They are very clear, did you get a new camera? All that lovely sunshine too.
Celeste 04/28/12 04:50 pm Thank you all...Yes Marty that is an Anhinga and yes Pam I did get a new camera for Christmas from my son. Canon Rebel T21. I am still a big time newbie, but its great to take continuous photos and I loved that!
terryo 04/28/12 05:36 pm Great pixs Celeste, enjoyed reading your journey around Sanibel Island. I particularly enjoyed seeing the osprey pix of the bird that was on the roof of the house, talk about a colony of birds thriving together. I joined the Int'l Osprey Foundation a few years ago, I enjoy receiving their 4 page newsletter quarterly. As you know they're headquarted on Sanibel Is. They also give out grant money for various projects and I remember 4 or so years ago they gave Rob B. some money to try and convince poor farmers in the Dominican Republic not to shoot the ospreys. Rob did some black & white tv and radio ads with the money. Thanks again for sharing your exciting story.
srichmond 04/29/12 02:35 am Great photos! I especially like the spoonbills and their reflections in the water. And the osprey pics are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
Marie 04/30/12 03:28 pm Great pics Celeste and a wonderful read of your trip to Florida and the many ospreys you saw. Guess that new camera is working well for you. ;-)
I felt envious of your encounters with ospreys in the flesh. Still, I was lucky to see one and possibly two that have taken to a new man made nest pole across town. The new pole is close to the Cell Tower which was this pair od ospreys nest home for the past three years. Guess their activity on the Tower was interfering with reception so their nest was moved over to the new pole, this spring, which in height is almost the same. Very high , way up, so not good for photography. Too bad they didn't put a camera on this that would be interesting. ! None of my other nests that I used to observe are active at all anymore. One wonders where all the young went to as they migrated north to their natal nests. Sad to think generations of them have perished.

Cathy from Seattle blessed me with a visit to Victoria over this past w/e so we managed to get together for 4 hrs, Saturday evening. We had a great time recapping our special days on DPOF and the visits some of us have made to various parts of the globe, to connect with like minded friends that have met on this site. Wonderful to see each other and since Seattle isn't too far from Victoria I promised I will head down that way, later this year. Hopefully September perhaps, if all goes well.
Life is busier than ever for me it seems, so try to pop in to DPOF web site to read reports when I can.
Wishing all well and a healthy, happy summer.

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