“(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays.”

I hope the fond memories of time spent with friends and loved ones this past weekend will warm your heart during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

If you’re lucky, you’ll avoid crunch time as Christmas approaches if you bought all your presents on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or were hunched over your computer today snagging deals for Cyber Monday while munching the last turkey and stuffing sandwich smeared with leftover cranberry sauce.

A few fellow bloggers recently wrote about a change of venue for holiday get-togethers, from their home to the homes of their offspring. Was this the case for your family as well?

So how do YOU define home?

No matter the street address, for humans, home is where the heart is, right? For others, maybe home is where you hang your hat at the end of the day.

This post about our feathered friends, will give you an amusing look at where this Osprey family defines home, but first here’s a little backstory.

I was ecstatic that eagle sightings

… were a possibility on this boat tour/adventure.

Back in August of 2018 I took a two-hour Metroparks riverboat cruise. The event entitled “Eagle’s Eye Nature Cruise” was geared toward viewing the existing International Wildlife Refuge (as well as the then, still in-progress revitalized Humbug Marsh) and some of the Detroit River’s many uninhabited islands. The highlight of the cruise was Bald Eagles’ nests and maybe a glimpse at a Bald Eagle, all from your seat on a riverboat. It was a fun experience and if you care to read about it, just click here.

Unfortunately, the nests were not visible through the leaves and the guests of honor, i.e. the Bald Eagles, were nowhere to be found.

Our Metroparks interpretive guide was apologetic for the lack of eagles, citing moulting season and our eagle friends being out of sorts, but mentioned that if we were still keen to see some raptors, as we exited the park, we should glance up at the siren at the Brownstown Fire Station located on the fringe of the park.

Unbelievably, for four years I kept forgetting to make that pit stop to view the nest. Usually by the time I’ve had a half-day of walking around this 1,607-acre (6.50 km) site with its three-mile shoreline, I’m ready to head home and welcome the half-hour ride to just sit down.

On the Sunday of 4th of July weekend I finally remembered ….

It was serendipity that I was walking to my car on that sunny day when a shadow passed over me. I know there are a nesting pair of Bald Eagles at Lake Erie Metropark, which I’ve yet to see in the nearly five years of visiting this venue. I quickly looked up to see an Osprey silently gliding overhead. I watched it alight in a tree, then quickly soar back into the sky, a few sticks in its beak. I hustled to the car hell bent on seeing the Osprey family and their twiggy digs.

Nest Sweet Nest.

After driving through the park, I exited and just down the road was the fire station. I parked and gazed up. The sun was not going to be my friend here and I knew I would be shooting blindly into the sun, but before I would leave an hour later, clouds rolled in. Also, it was a hot and sticky day and initially I thought “well you know where it is now, so just come back when it’s a bit cooler and the sun won’t meddle with these shots.”

But common sense was set aside when I glimpsed the Osprey heading out, so I stayed anyway. I was feeling lucky to finally view the nest, yet I saw no young’uns from my vantage point, just a very large Osprey returning repeatedly to its home with a beak filled with twigs. Just like an eagle’s nest, there is always room for renovation with supplemental sticks.

A burning question for me is doesn’t the siren’s loud blare scare the bejeebers out of the Osprey chicks? Hmm.

I won’t use captions under the photos now that you know the story, so just enjoy the photos.

(Header photo is from Chris Norman on Pinterest; the rest of the photos are my own)

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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50 Responses to “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays.”

  1. Sandra J says:

    Oh my, that is a bad place to have its nest when those sirens go off. Ooops :). Isn’t it something when we look at nature, birds. They return to home by instinct to where ever they were born, most times. I have done that as well. Returned to where I found the most happiness physically, but mentally home is defiantly in my heart. With family and with the Father above. Wonderful post Linda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked this post Sandra. Oops indeed! I was pretty surprised to see the Ospreys would build a nest so close to that large siren. I am sure they use it for the monthly alarm test like we have in our city. I would think the whole family would be blasted right out of the nest!

      Like

  2. That noise will wake up the kids in the nest!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Anne says:

    What a marvellous sighting and good photographs too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. great shots Linda! I know what you can get them for Christmas…..noise cancelling headphones!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Wayne! Those poor Osprey chicks … they’d be hearing the blaring siren when they were still in the egg! I am sure those Guinea Fowl and Chickens escaped from Heritage Park due to the loudspeakers being turned on with loud music and yodeling and they needed to get away from it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That is so cool to see the osprey nests, Linda! They are such cool birds. We see a lot of them around here too, along with plenty of eagle’s nests. I got to watch a nesting osprey family back in July in a dedicated nest and I saw 4 chicks pop up when mom came with fish! Such a delight–great shots of home sweet nest!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked the shots Terri. That nest was resting rather precariously on top of the largest sirens. Our energy provider relocated an Osprey family at that same park many years ago. They nested on an electrical pole which did not harm the birds as it wasn’t on top of wires, yet for some reason was causing flickering lights and intermittent outages for local homeowners, so they were moved to a platform specially built for them. The parents raised their young, but did not return to that nest again. That would have been fun to see the chicks pop out of the nest when they saw food. I have a photo of an eagle’s nest at a new venue I went to – no eagle, but I couldn’t believe how big the nest was!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. trumstravels says:

    That is an odd place for a nest ! We saw a Black backed woodpecker nest this summer, in a tree, right over a campfire pit in a campground. I wonder if the smoke bothered them? I like Ospreys but Bald Eagles are just so wonderful, especially to photograph. We have a lot of Eagles in Northern Ontario. We are going to my son’s this Christmas, he lives in Toronto, I am excited to be honest! No shopping, no housecleaning and no cooking lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I thought so too Susan – the noise would send them flying out of the nest! That is odd – smoke filtering into the woodpecker’s nest. Maybe the parents were anxious to get the nest built and didn’t have time to be picky! The only time I see Bald Eagles is every February-March at Dingell Park on the Detroit River. That likely won’t be happening now as the industrial plant that emitted a lot of steam and kept the River from totally freezing over so the eagles could fish from the ice floes has closed down. We have a nuclear power plant in Monroe and once a year they allow the Detroit Audubon Society members to go on a field trip because the steam from the nuclear power plant melts all the ice there, so the eagles have good fishing at that location.

      That sounds like a fun Christmas trip – it’s been many years since I’ve been to Toronto – probably 1990. We only went back once after my grandmother died in 1986 and my passport is not current anymore, so I can’t even cross the border now.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Sometime when you have time, you’ll have to check out Wayne’s blog. He often posts about his eagle friends in Tofino, B.C. I may have mentioned his site to you before as you told me you visited there.
      https://tofinophotography.wordpress.com/

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Laurie says:

    You got some great shots of the osprey, Linda. Your bird photos are amazing! So good!!! Too bad you didn’t see any eagles on your eagle-watching trip. I can’t imagine the osprey aren’t bothered by the sirens going off! Maybe they are used to it???

    We are at our son’s house in Oregon for Thanksgiving. This summer, while we were visiting the same son, we took a ride down the Willamette River on his (very) small boat. We saw so many osprey and juvenile bald eagles. The only adult eagle we saw was sitting in a tree, being pestered by a juvenile. The baby still wanted the adult to feed him, and the parent thought it was time for the baby to find his own food. I loved watching all the birds, as usual! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Finally, I got this post done Laurie. I mentioned it to you shortly after I saw the nest and Osprey in July! I don’t know how they tolerate that blaring siren noise – surely the chicks are scared, especially if they have routine emergency test alarms that go off once a month like we have in our City. I wondered if you were visiting somewhere at Thanksgiving. I remember when your entire family met at a resort one Thanksgiving – Arizona I think? I know it was somewhere warm. I would love to see what you saw from the boat – it was a real treat for a bird lover like you. The parents must decide “enough is enough – you’ve been spoon fed long enough!” This year has been a lot of fun birdwatching and capturing images … my annual “Birdie Bucket List” has exploded!

      Like

  8. Jessica says:

    Wow! What incredible photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Eilene Lyon says:

    I’m sure they’re pissed at that time-share salesman…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Joni says:

    Wow what an amazing structure/nest but what an odd location too? Do you know if the sirens go off there very often? Do they nest there every year? I admit I don’t know much about osprey, but I’m assuming they are raptors like bald eagles or hawks?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Hi Joni – Isn’t that amazing? Every time a siren would go off, it would scare the chicks I’d think. I would have liked to ask those questions to the firemen but there was no one there that day so I don’t know how often the sirens go off. In our City the sirens go off at 1:00 p.m. the first Saturday of each month. I did research a little just now after reading your question about the sirens and it looks like there are four fire stations in Brownstown Township, two which are fully staffed 24/7 and two which are only staffed part of the time. So they may not do routine sirens. I didn’t realize Brownstown was that large to have four fire stations – we have just one, but this is handy for this park as it’s right on the fringes of it. Ospreys do return to the same nest every year to raise their young and they are raptors like bald eagles and hawks. It was lucky for me as I’ve been back here several more times and didn’t see a single osprey.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. peggy says:

    Fantastic captures of these lovely Osprey. I agree with comments of others – this is a noisy place for a nest. It has been awhile since I spotted an eagles in our area and I never seem to get any good pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Peggy and I am amazed at the parents building a nest so close to the siren and I wonder how often it goes off? We have a monthly siren test, the first Saturday of each month at 1:00 p.m. If I am outside I hear it, but don’t if I’m inside I don’t hear it at all. I never see the nesting pair of eagles in this park, though a few of the walkers who frequent this park have pointed out where to find them. I do not have a close-up eagle … yet and my only eagles pics are not even worth mentioning. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What amazing pictures Linda! You are quite the photographer!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Diane! I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out since I couldn’t see anything most of the time due to the bright sun. I am just amazed that the parents would build a nest that close to a screaming siren – it was fun watching this Osprey going on a stick hunt, like a dog fetching a stick.

      Like

  13. I’m with you on wondering what the heck they do when the sirens go off. We have an eagle family near us that built on the sirens too. Guess they like the sturdiness of the pole – trees sway, but the poles stay. Great photos, Linda. Thank you for the warm holiday wishes too. I hope you had a relaxing day and enjoyed the break from work. 🥰🤗😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked the shots Shelley. I was going to do that post a while ago and then had that series of posts from Heritage Park and put it on the back burner. I did enjoy the time off – it was over so quickly though. A few years ago, DTE, our energy provider, moved a nest with eggs from some type of electrical poles at the same park. The Osprey parents built the nest and were not in danger of electrocuting themselves but it was affecting homeowners on the fringe of the park. So DTE put the eggs into a cooler to transport them, the parents watched the entire time while they relocated the nest using a cherry picker bucket truck. The crew hung around afterward to make sure the parents came back to the nest so the eggs would be incubated properly. I almost mentioned that story in my post as it made the news at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Ally Bean says:

    Home means quiet in my nest, but what you’re showing here is for the birds! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. bekitschig says:

    These photos look very different from your other ones. Is this the blue phase?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ruthsoaper says:

    I’m glad you got these photos Linda after the boat tour being a bust. These are really nice shots!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Ruth! I was excited to finally lay eyes on this Osprey nest after a disappointing boat trip with no eagle or eagle nest sightings. I did see my first eagle’s nest at Sterling State Park this Fall. I took some pictures of it – amazingly large. I was thinking of you today Ruth. I was in the grocery store today and saw a small wall calendar, similar to yours, which has a different quote about nature every month. I liked it and got it and I am going to steal that idea and post a quote once a month … I can’t promise it will be on the first of the month, due to my posting schedule. Ruth … I lost power for 13 or 14 hours after Friday night’s high wind … but worse than that. A tree branch from a huge tree two doors down fell on electrical wires … a wire was on the chain-link fence between my neighbor behind and me and another wire on his garage roof. Caused a power outage and a huge fire … very scary and the garage burned down and they cordoned my house off with caution tape … I thank God the fire stopped at the fence line, but DTE did have to cut two of my trees as branches were touching the wires. They were supposed to do that a few years ago, left me a postcard to okay/nay it and send it back to them. I okayed it and sent it back, they never returned. It was very scary and it happened at 11:30 p.m. and neighbors and I were outside until 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning. My house smells of smoke and so bad yesterday I wore a mask in the house.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        This year has been good for your bird bucket list, hasn’t it?
        I’ll be watching for your nature quotes. I have yet to get a new calendar but do plan to.
        Wow that was quite an ordeal for you. I too thanks God that it wasn’t worse than it was. At that time of night it was good that someone noticed the fire and was able to call for help. We didn’t have any problems from that storm but they have been doing a lot of trimming in our area for the last few months. We did have our furnace go out Thursday evening so were without it Thursday night and most of Friday. They were able to replace the igniter and get it going so I’m thankful that we did not have to replace the furnace as it is 25 yrs old.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It has been a great year for my bird bucket list Ruth – you are right. In fact, I saw a few more that weren’t even on it. The beginning of the year I’ll do a recap of favorite photos – most will be birds. I saw that calendar and looked on the back where it showed each month and I thought “I have to get that calendar with its beautiful photos and quotes.” I liked how you showcased your calendar pages with inspirational quotes each month. This fire has spooked me Ruth. I took a closer look today at the damage to the one corner of my yard, just 25 feet from the back of the house, my room where I was sleeping. Too close for comfort. I went to see the house at the end of the block today. In her case, it was not a downed wire and resulting fire, but a transformer blew and the circuit breaker box exploded and blew all the windows out. How scary! You were okay as you had the fireplace and that’s great you didn’t need a new furnace. We had to have a new igniter years ago … we had a Heil furnace that lasted well over 25 years before it began to have issues.

        Like

      • ruthsoaper says:

        I don’t blame you for being spooked.
        Yes we were able to keep warm while the furnace was out though we appreciated it more once they got it fixed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Nothing like that first blast of hot air as it warms the house – that’s for sure. Yes, I still am spooked by the whole ordeal.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Hmmm, they must like loud music! Building a nest by a siren…brave birds. Linda, you get some interesting shots of our animal friends and show us how funny they can be.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. It’s hard to believe the osprey would build a nest right there on the siren. But if the siren doesn’t go off that often maybe they didn’t know. Maybe the firemen are aware and don’t operate the siren during nesting season, which doesn’t last that long. Other than that it looks like an ideal location for them. That being said, it sure is noisy around my own home, with lawn mowers and leaf blowers and snow plows and sirens passing by — it never ends. Enjoyed your pictures of them carrying the twigs and branches to the nest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That makes sense Barbara. Since this fire station is right on the fringe of the park I wonder how many fire runs or emergencies they have inside this park? I did learn this fire station is one of four in the City of Brownstown. I would think those poor baby Osprey would have their ears damaged from the sirens, so what you said about not operating the siren in nesting season makes perfect sense. Glad you liked those photos of them carrying twigs and branches. Most of the time I was shooting blindly into the sun, so all those were lucky shots for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. J P says:

    Is there such a thing as a deaf osprey? Maybe that’s the kind that nests on a siren. An interesting location for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I’m with you JP and I sure couldn’t see the wisdom in making a nest there unless you want your “kids” to be deaf before they even leave the nest. It looked pretty solid for being built right on top of the sirens – what were they thinking?

      Liked by 1 person

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