Friday, June 22, 2012

The Very Hungry Osprey

Wednesday was a wonderfully warm day. I wore a tshirt and capris and was still warm. I didn't turn the AC on in the cabin since there was a great breeze. Everyone was happy and friendly since it was warm and sunny. (Of course now, two days later, it's only 60 degrees and pouring rain. Sigh.)

Late in the afternoon, I looked over at a snag that's very close to the ramp on the east side. There was an osprey sitting on a very low spot of the branch, almost in the water. A closer glance, then looking at it through the binoculars, and I realized he had caught a huge fish. (I shared the binoculars with a bicyclist who came aboard. That was a mistake. He'd been riding for 20 miles already. He put the binoculars up to his eyes, looked, then handed them back to me. When I put them up to my eyes, the rubber around the lenses were wet with his sweat, which then made rings around my own eyes. SO GROSS!) I'm guessing the fish was at least 14 inches long. Most likely, he caught the fish, and it was too heavy to fly up to the nest, so he stopped in a low spot, somewhere he could reach. (click on any picture to view it larger)

I could see that he was doing his best to eat the fish, most likely to make it light enough to fly it up to the nest. You can see him testing the weight and trying to take off. He did this frequently.

He sat there, all told, for at least 45 minutes eating his fish. At one point, a crow got very interested.

Until finally the osprey made a noise toward the crow and it flew away.

On my next trip back to that side of the river, I could really see that the osprey had eaten at least half of the fish. One whole side had the skin and a good deal of flesh taken off.

A few minutes later, the osprey flew off, taking the fish with him, back to his chicks in the nest.


  1. Fantastic and how wonderful and you are sooooo cool to see and observe all this. Wonderful!

  2. Thank you for sharing that, Jenny. The pictures are awesome. Those birds are wonderful to watch. And really you were actually rather close to it.