Several times a week last spring, we curiously watched a nest of young Osprey grow into young juveniles until they were old enough to fly off into the wild blue yonder! We watched as the mother and father would catch fish with their talons and bring the catch back to the nest to the awaiting hungry siblings.
On one particular outing we were walking the length of the dock, from which we viewed the nest, and there on a boom of a sailboat was one of the juveniles. Young and fearless it allowed us to get unusually close. It was exciting as an artist/photographer to be within fifteen feet of a wild bird that I had watched grow up. This had to be one of its first few flights away from its nest.
In my painting, I decided to place the alert and wary bird back on the edge of its nest, tired of waiting for delivery service and contemplating its own fishing expedition. The brownish-tan chest coloring is indicative of a young bird. The orange eyes also are a dead giveaway to the age of the Osprey. As Ospreys mature the eyes gradually turn to a strong yellow from orange. The white-tipped feathers will also gradually darken. This Osprey has decided it is almost time to leave home.
The surrounding soft blue sky will become the young bird’s playground, the air currents becoming the wind beneath its wings, allowing it to soar to great heights. The Osprey is nicknamed the “Fish hawk” for it is frequently seen swooping down after spotting a fish from high above sea level, entering the water, and with a sudden flurry of increased wing speed taking off with a fish in its talons.
Now Spring is back and as of last week the nest is still empty. This young Osprey hopefully managed it through this unusually cold winter fine and will be building its own nest soon. Life goes on…