Wednesday September 17, 2014; 01:40 am EDT
The Osprey Saga
Week 19: On the Road to Independence
A milestone has been reached. Junior is finally feeding himself. Now he can stuff himself with fish to his heart’s content and grow even faster.
Here’s how it came about.
After Oliver delivered the fish one morning, Olivia hunched over it and tore into it without feeding it to Junior. Then Olivia took off and flew circles and figure eights around the nest, swooping in close every once in a while. She was getting young Junior to feed himself of the pieces she had torn off, then to keep feeding himself the rest of the fish. It worked.
Mothers have all sorts of tricks to get their kids to eat.
Junior is big now, almost the size of his parents and looking more and more like them, with real grown-up feathers. Olivia gets him to exercise his wings, but he’s lazy and doesn’t really get into flapping them very long. A few flaps and he quits and huddles down and just sits there. Sound familiar?
One last thing. Livie is done re-arranging the nest. She finally has all the sticks running in the same direction and the nest as flat as a pancake. I assume it’s so Junior doesn’t get snagged when he makes his early attempts at taking off and landing. I’ve never seen her do this before. All living things learn from experience, just like humans.
Thus continues Michael Koblos’ 26-week saga of the doings of his nearest osprey family. A 78-year-old retired naval officer, Koblos lives in a small cottage on the water, Home Port, in a place called Cobb Island, located in the wide Potomac River about 50 miles south of Washington, D.C.