Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Two-Osprey Day

Yesterday morning I opted to drive to work after dropping Tru at daycare, so that I could have a pleasant 1-1/2 mile walk through part of the Fill.  As I neared the end of the Fill and approached the athletic fields, I realized at my current pace I'd hit the office a good 20 minutes early, and was wondering how to slow things down when I spied a large dark bird on top of a soccer field light way far away that was too big for a crow and the wrong shape for a cormorant (which are all gone now anyway).  I didn't have my bins but I had my camera, and when I zoomed in, I saw this:

Osprey!  As I was watching it, I heard a bicycle approaching and someone calling my name.  It was Jean, one of the wonderful people I did the Master Birder class with, on her way to work.  She admired the Osprey.  Then we had a catch-up chat that lasted about 15 minutes, so I no longer had to be too early to work.

As she pedaled off, I glanced back up at the light, and saw another large bird flying towards it.  I thought, "This could get interesting," and brought up my camera to zoom in to see what it was.

Why, it was a second Osprey!  Goodness, what a surprising start to my morning.

After a brief mating encounter, they disengaged, and I got great views of those amazing talons.

Then they settled down together as I finally had to continue on my way to the office.

On my way home after work, I walked the same route, and there was one Osprey on a light calling repeatedly, and the second one was hanging out on a different light ignoring the first one.  Not sure what was going on there, perhaps a small domestic dispute.  Then a crow landed on the first one's light and distracted it for a while.

After the crow flew off, the Osprey resumed its insistent calls, the other one continued to ignore it, and eventually I gave up watching and went home.  A fellow birder stopped by while I was there, and said he'd heard them in that same area for several days running, and wondered if it was possible they would nest here.  No idea, but it sure was a fun way to start and end my working day.


  1. Those are terrific photos. Love the talons! Beautiful birds. Hawks and owls . . . my favorites.

  2. Has it occurred to you that your presence is some sort of aphrodisiac for birds?

    1. This seems unlikely. While I've been ever so lucky to see Song Sparrows, Belted Kingfishers, and the Ospreys engaging in activity of a reproductive nature in the past two months alone, over my entire seven years of birding I think my grand total viewings of such shenanigans is seven. An average of one encounter per year hardly seems worth tracking (there is no checkbox on my Life List database table for "seen doing it").

      Also, if that were the case, surely my reappearance in the evening would have triggered activity, and the lonesome Osprey that was calling persistently to its mate would have been quickly satisfied, don't you think? Alas, it was not to be. At least, not while I was watching!