The Three (Osprey) Amigos

On our trip to Blue Cypress Lake to photograph Osprey in early May, we were lucky enough to come up on a nest with 3 juvenile Ospreys. We had heard that some of the Ospreys had begun to fledge, but our guide wasn’t sure we would actually see a juvenile take to the skies. Click the images to view larger.

The Three Amigos

As we approached the nest, we noticed that there were 3 juveniles in the nest. You can tell they are juveniles by the eye color. Adults have yellow irises and the juveniles have orange irises. Take a look at the size of that nest! Why that would be the equivalent to a 2-story mansion for most Osprey families!

I snapped off a few frames then heard someone exclaim “Card Full”!! Unfortunately, that was me! So I had to stop shooting and swap out cards. That didn’t take long, but when I looked back up to shoot again, I only saw two of the juveniles.

Siblings

This is an image from the same day of an adult Osprey. You can easily see the difference in the iris in these images.

Adult Osprey

I thought maybe the third juvenile was hunkered down low in the nest. Isn’t it natural for juvenile Osprey to hide when a boat load of photographers pull up and start shooting? After all, who wants to have their picture taken before they have a chance to get cleaned up?

The Third Amigo Returns

A few minutes later, my question was answered when one of the juveniles soared back to the nest from a little excursion over the lake. At first I thought it was an adult coming back to the nest, but on closer inspection, this was the third amigo who had taken off for a little test flight while I wasn’t paying attention. I’m not sure if that was his first flight or not, but the expressions on his siblings lead me to believe that they were somewhat jealous that he had permission to leave the nest.

Blue Cypress is a great place to photograph these majestic birds. We were very lucky in that we had the wind from the east and the sun in the east, so I have a lot of images of the birds coming directly at us. Our boat captain, Joe Middleton from Middleton’s Fish Camp, expertly guided the pontoon boat to make sure we always had the sun and wind to our backs. It was by far my best time on the lake. I’m already looking forward to next season to go back out there. You can’t have too many Osprey images…can you?