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Osprey

Osprey takes to the skies

This capture was taken back in June but somehow I failed to share it at the time. We have been going to this spot on Colorado’s Great Plains multiple times each summer for the past 15+ years and I had never seen an Osprey there. Well, much to my surprise and pleasure this handsome fellow decided to break that streak. We spent a few days watching and photographing it as it took advantage of the ample fishing opportunities and the pleasant late spring weather.

An Osprey launches into the air from a tree on the Great Plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An Osprey launches into the air from a tree on the Great Plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Young Osprey in head on flight

From a morning last month spent with this very cool juvenile. Its parents set up their home in a state park in northern Colorado and not long after they had this new addition. Usually the juveniles are pretty tolerant of people but this particular one never seemed to care for us two legged mammals.

Most Osprey have left Colorado for the season and are heading to 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.

A juvenile Osprey flies head on.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvenile Osprey flies head on. (© Tony’s Takes)

My fish!

This pretty lady didn’t seem to appreciate having her picture taken while eating. Over the summer I have intermittently spotted a pair of Osprey at a nearby pond. It is a prime location perfect for them with multiple ponds but in the past, I have never seen any there.

I would like to think that perhaps this summer they have setup a home somewhere nearby. With any luck, after they spend the winter in warmer environs, they will return and I will see them again. This particular image was taken three weeks ago when I happened to see her on my way home from work.

A female Osprey keeps close watch as she holds a fish in her talons. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey keeps close watch as she holds a fish in her talons. (© Tony’s Takes)

Male Osprey makes surprise approach on his mate

From a week or so ago. I thought my photo day had ended and was on my way home when I saw a large bird land in a tree by some irrigation ponds not far from where I live. Naturally I had to check it out and was pleased to find a pair of Osprey.

The female was enjoying a meal of freshly caught fish while the male looked on from an adjacent tree. Seeing his bride eating without him must have been too much to bear as soon he took flight and flew right up behind her, clearly intent on either snagging the fish or landing beside and trying to get it. At the last minute he rather wisely chose to change his plans and go catch his own meal.

This image shows him at the last minute as he pulled up and headed off. I’ve seen this pair a few times in the area since this spring and suspect they have a nest somewhere nearby. It won’t be long though and they will leave Colorado and head for warmer environs to the south for winter.

A male Osprey makes a surprise approach on his mate in Thornton, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey makes a surprise approach on his mate in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

“Maybe you should point that thing somewhere else!”

This male Osprey did not seem to appreciate having its portrait taken. Not sure why. 😉

I came across him resting on a light pole over the holiday weekend and while he looks displeased, he was actually quite comfortable with my presence. In fact, he was so comfortable with me he simply sat. And sat. And sat. After a half hour I gave up hoping for a launch shot and left him to sit. And sit. And sit.

A male Osprey stares very intently into the camera. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey stares very intently into the camera. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey shakes it off

Not a lot of variety in my photo subjects yesterday unfortunately. I captured pics of an adult Osprey and a juvenile at different locations. The adult was stubbornly perched on a light pole and while I waited a long time, refused to move.

Here you see it giving itself a good shake, the most action it displayed during the time I watched it. Certainly do not care for the light pole perch but it is still kind of a fun pic.

Have a great Labor Day!

A male Osprey shakes itself and spreads its wings in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey shakes itself and spreads its wings in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Juvenile Osprey casts a serious stare

Almost one of those “if looks could kill” moments. 😉 I stopped by to check on this young one and its parents this past Sunday and while the parents opted to hang out in an area where I couldn’t follow, the young one was willing to have its picture taken.

In fact, I took tons of pictures of it as it seemed like it wanted to show off for me. A half dozen times it performed nice, wide circles around me giving a wide variety of flight shots – and clearly also keeping a close watch on the guy with the camera. It won’t be long and the juvenile and its parents will be heading south for warmer environs during the winter.

Taken at St. Vrain State Park, Colorado.

A juvneile Osprey flies overhead while keeping a close watch. (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvneile Osprey flies overhead while keeping a close watch. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey makes some noise as it launches

This female Osprey in Longmont, Colorado apparently really, really did not want her picture taken. She was less than thrilled to have me anywhere near her and made sure I knew it. Despite me remaining a very respectable distance away, she made some noise and then launched into the air.

This image shows her just as she prepped to take flight. Given the distance and very poor lighting conditions, the image is not good quality. However I just love the pose and look so want to share.

A female Osprey in Longmont, Colorado makes a lot of noise as she prepares to launch.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey in Longmont, Colorado makes a lot of noise as she prepares to launch. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mama Osprey being tracked with GPS

I have read about these devices but this is the first time I have seen one in the wild. I was taking pictures of this Osprey in Grand County, Colorado this past weekend and saw what looked like a piece of grass or something sticking off its back. I thought to myself, “I’ll just Photoshop that out.”

A little while later I captured flight images of it and it wasn’t till I got home that I see it clearly is one of those GPS devices for tracking birds’ migrations. Pretty cool to see although I sure would think it would be uncomfortable. Ha!

I know some organizations provide real-time tracking of Osprey with these but I can’t seem to find any for this particular one. It certainly would be interesting to see where her migration takes her in the winter.

A female Osprey with her offspring at her nest in Grand Lake, Colorado. Note the wire from a GPS tracker on the back of the parent. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey with her offspring at her nest in Grand Lake, Colorado. Note the wire from a GPS tracker on the back of the parent. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey at her nest in Grand Lake, Colorado. Note the wire from a GPS tracker on the back of the parent. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey at her nest in Grand Lake, Colorado. Note the wire from a GPS tracker on the back of the parent. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey in flight. Note the raised area on her back where a GPS tracker in installed. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey in flight. Note the raised area on her back where a GPS tracker in installed. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey at her nest in Grand Lake, Colorado. Not the wire from a GPS tracker on the back of the parent. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey at her nest in Grand Lake, Colorado. Not the wire from a GPS tracker on the back of the parent. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey Dad delivers sushi to his mate and newborns

With two of his offspring for the season having been born just the day before and another arriving in a few hours, this male Osprey was ensuring his growing family was fed. He had caught this nice size fish at an area pond and then landed on a nearby pole with the meal. After having his fill and giving me some nice captures of it eating, he launched into the air and delivered the bulk of the meal to his mate and young ones.

The pair had four eggs and as of this morning three have hatched. Given that the most recent one hatched two days ago, it is likely the fourth egg failed but that isn’t too bad of a percentage for these birds at all. It will be a lot of fun watching them grow up! Taken on Monday in Longmont, Colorado.

A male Osprey carries a fish to its nest in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey carries a fish to its nest in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)