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Osprey

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Osprey on the hunt

I happened across this pretty lady back in August in Grand County, Colorado. Her young ones had fledged so her and her mate were free to do as they pleased. On this morning, she was patrolling the waters of a nearby lake looking for breakfast.

These summer-season visitors to Colorado are some of my favorite raptors. They are gone from my area and have headed south to the Gulf Coast and South America for the winter.

Some Osprey will take on extraordinarily long migrations. One GPS-tracked bird flew 2,700 miles from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, to French Guiana, South America in 2008.

A female Osprey patrols the waters of a mountain lake in Grand County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey patrols the waters of a mountain lake in Grand County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Male Osprey nails its landing

This the time of year when many of Colorado’s summertime residents start their journey south to warmer environs and the Osprey is one of those. Most have already left, a wise move given the taste of fall we have seen the last couple of days, as colder temperatures and wet conditions arrived.

These raptors have a very long migration as most will spend their summers along the coasts of Mexico and South America. In 2008, one Osprey was tracked making a 2,700 mile journey in 13 days from Massachusetts to French Guiana!

I spent quite a bit of time with a few different pair or these during the spring and summer and will be anxiously awaiting their return next year.

An Osprey comes in for a landing in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

An Osprey comes in for a landing in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey struggles to stay focused

Do you worry about the photographer or pay attention to the landing you are about to make? This beautiful female Osprey struggled with the decision.

She was originally perched by her nest but decided to relocate at which time she spotted me. This seemed to make her a bit disconcerted and she made a bit of a ruckus then made a landing at the top of a young, spindly pine tree.

That landing though proved to be a bit difficult because rather than making sure she had sure footing, she kept her eye on me. It took a few attempts to get a good grip on the tree before she was finally able to settle in on the new perch.

Taken in Grand Lake, Colorado.

A female Osprey struggles to land at the top of a pine tree in Grand County, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey struggles to land at the top of a pine tree in Grand County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bad attitude Osprey

The male at this particular nest not too far from my house didn’t really seem to want his picture taken on this morning. This was taken a few weeks ago and I haven’t been back since but do need to get by there as I believe he and his mate now have a few new mouths to feed.

Osprey are actually a type of hawk. They are spring and summer residents of the Centennial State and spend their winters in the warmer environs of the coasts of Mexico and South America.

A male Osprey seems less than thrilled about having its picture taken. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey seems less than thrilled about having its picture taken. (© Tony’s Takes)

Male Osprey returning from Home Depot

Well, probably not but he was bringing back some home building material to add to his and his mate’s nest. A friend pointed this spot out to me yesterday. This pair has chosen a rather poor location for a nest – right on top of a power pole with lots of wires.

Osprey are infamous for this, not always choosing their homes wisely and unfortunately sometimes with bad outcomes as they or their nest can short out the wires. At best it can cause a power outage, at worst, the birds can perish.

I’ll be hoping these two use great care up there and are successful in raising a family.

A male Osprey heads back to its nest with a stick. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey heads back to its nest with a stick. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey lands at its nest with a stick. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey lands at its nest with a stick. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey spreads its wings

These raptors are amazingly agile in flight. Able to hover at one moment, dive into the water in the next. This male had just delivered some nesting material and was relocating itself to a new perch. With ease it jumped up and with a few flaps of its wings it landed on its new spot.

Those wings, by the way, add up to a wingspan in excess of five feet. Smaller than a Bald Eagle but bigger than a Red-tailed Hawk, they are very sizable birds.

This image was taken a few weeks ago. Now, the female is firmly ensconced on the nest, keeping eggs warm. With any luck, it won’t be long before the first of the new arrivals appears.

A male Osprey spreads its wings as it hops to a new spot near its nest in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey spreads its wings as it hops to a new spot near its nest in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey stays focused on flight

This was one busy guy. He was doing everything he could to keep his lady happy from some morning ‘recreation’ to heading out and fetching building material for their home. Here he is right after launch as he went off to grab a stick from alongside the nearby pond.

When I last checked on them Sunday she was not yet sitting in the nest but it shouldn’t be too much longer. From there, it will 34 to 40 days before the little ones hatch.

A male Osprey stays focused as it takes flight in northern Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey stays focused as it takes flight in northern Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Get a room!

Get a room! Well, I am glad they didn’t.

I checked out a new Osprey nest stand near Longmont, Colorado and it looks to be a winner. Great visibility, light in the right direction and best of all, two willing photo subjects. This pair treated me to tons of pictures including a few series of wild life action as they worked to begin a new generation. 😉

Osprey are spring and summer residents of the Centennial State and spend their winters in the warmer environs of the coasts of Mexico and South America.  These raptors are actually a type of a hawk.

Making them a bit unique is that they almost exclusively live near water and dine on fish. Aiding them in their ability to catch fish is an unusual reversible outer toe that allows them to get a better grasp from behind in addition to the front. Thankfully he seemed to keep those talons pulled in for this bit of fun.

Copulating Osprey near Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Copulating Osprey near Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Somehow I don’t think she was happy to see me

Those eyes! To me, adult Osprey have just amazing eyes and when they focus on you, they are piercing. This female was guarding her nest in a man-made stand and did not seem too pleased to have her picture taken.?

A female Osprey seems a bit put off by the camera being pointed at her. Taken in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey seems a bit put off by the camera being pointed at her. Taken in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Female Osprey brings home some trashy nesting material

They say one person’s trash is another’s treasure so I reckon it applies to birds and their nesting material as well. This beautiful Osprey had picked up some discarded paper and was returning it to her nest in Longmont, Colorado.

This image was taken back in April 2015 just as these raptors had returned to the state for the summer. Osprey spend their winters along Mexico’s coast and in South America. Summers see them migrate to the northwestern United States and much of Canada.

Here in Colorado we have seen a welcome increase in their summertime presence. This has been helped by the many manmade nesting sites that have been established for them along the Colorado Front Range and in the mountain areas. I am anxiously awaiting their seasonal return!

A female Osprey returns to her nest with some material to add to her home.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey returns to her nest with some material to add to her home. (© Tony’s Takes)

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