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“Osprey Family” Is Our Newest Image

An osprey brings a fish back to the nest as the other parent tries to feed three chicks.
An Osprey brings a fish back to the nest as the other parent tries to feed three chicks.

We are very proud of our newest addition. It was finished last Thursday, the day before the John’s Pass Seafood Festival. We didn’t get into our campsite at Fort De Soto Park in Saint Petersburg until after midnight Friday morning because we could not leave Miami until we finished this picture.

We were on a trip to Everglades National Park in the spring to check out reports of Great Horned Owl chicks in the Coe Visitor Center parking lot.  Then we went on to Flamingo and discovered a few Osprey nests also. This one was in a short snag near the parking lot next to the campground. We could barely see the top of the chick’s heads from the ground, so Nancy balanced on our canoe on top of the van to get a better perspective. She was taking pictures of the one parent and chicks when out of the corner of her eye, she saw the other parent approaching. Nancy didn’t have time to zoom out and recompose the shot; she just swung around and captured the bird (with fish) as it was about to land.

Needless to say, this is a composite. In one photograph, we had a close-up of one parent feeding its chicks on the top of the nest. The next photo shows the flying Osprey and the left part of the nest. Still, another photograph shows the lower portions of the nest. Nancy hand-held the camera, and the images had to be hand-“stitched.” This was our most challenging image so far. Had Nancy had time to zoom out to get the whole scene at once, the image wouldn’t have had the resolution it needed.

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