Archive | 12:15 am

Osprey (Year Bird #42)

30 Mar

One of the easiest raptors to identify is the Osprey.  They are fish specialists so you tend to find them near fresh water.  They have white heads and a sleek, long-limbed look to them.  They stand out.

Saturday, while driving near Lexington Reservoir in Santa Clara county, an osprey flew right in front of my car.  Breathtaking!  Love those 60 mph birding opportunities!

Osprey with Flounder

Ospreys are, as I said, fish specialists.  I was lucky enough to capture this one nibbling on a flounder last year at the Albion River in Northern California.  He wasn’t too worried about us as we let the boat drift near him.  We wanted to get a good picture but didn’t want to scare him (her?) away.  Handsome, huh?


On that same trip, I caught this one out over the ocean where the river meets the Pacific.  Earlier that same day, I caught a Bald Eage in much the same place.  It was a GREAT trip!

Osprey nest on Albion River

Ospreys nest in trees high above the water.  This nest above the Albion River is typical.  They like to nest near their food source (the water).    We saw the parents returning to this nest and also sitting in the tops of trees nearby to keep an eye on the nest.

Osprey pair on nest

This pair of Osprey nests at Mono Lake every year.  It’s an inland sea with a very high salt water content.  There are no fish in the lake.  The Osprey must nest here because it is safe.  They commute to nearby freshwater lakes to get their food.  Mono Lake is a fantastic bird watching hotspot.  Many, many birds use it as a nesting ground and/or haitus on their migration route.  However, most of them eat the rich food sources that are provided in Mono Lake (mostly insect, brine shrimp, and then nearby desert creatures).  These enterprising Osprey have carved out a unique niche for themselves.

To see more amazing birds doing their birdly thing, visit Bird Photography Weekly!