O for Osprey

Categories: Birds and Down by the Bay.

A favourite bird for us to observe and photograph is the osprey.  Osprey are fish eating birds of prey. There are a few osprey nesting platforms around the bay and on our walks we’ve always got our eye on them to see what activity is going on.

The nesting platforms are high up on a pole with a wooden base and a perch for lookout.  Here you can see the male and female in the next of twigs.  There is a standard pattern for the nesting platforms if by chance you are interested in building one.

osprey at craftygardener.ca

They love to keep a keen lookout.  The male and female are similar looking but the male is a bit slimmer and has narrower wings. Osprey usually mate for life.

osprey at craftygardener.ca

They have amazing vision and can detect fish moving in the water from high up in the air.

osprey at craftygardener.ca

They have a large, distinctive beak, perfect for catching fish.

osprey at craftygardener.ca

And then there are those talons which are perfect for grabbing and holding the fish.  It can have toes pointing forward and backward and they always hold their fish with the head to the front and tail to the back for better aerodynamics in the air.

osprey at craftygardener.ca

When observing the osprey from below their wings often form an M shape.  The wingspan can be 127-180 cm wide (50-71 inches).  One of the photographic skills I want to work on this year is improving my taking of photos of birds in flight.

I’m sharing with ABC Wednesday, and the letter of the week is O. O for osprey.

 I’m also sharing with Wild Bird WednesdayI’d Rather B Birdin’ and Saturday’s Critters.

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