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Osprey

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)

Osprey looks ready to rip apart the photographer

If looks could kill then I suspect I wouldn’t be typing this right now. 😉 This male Osprey had finished a fresh fish delivery to its spouse at their nest and then landed on a nearby pole. Shaking off the morning chill and recent rain, it set to spend a good deal of time stretching and preening.

While it appears the raptor might be a bit perturbed with having a camera pointed at it, in reality it didn’t mind me one bit and largely ignored me. This image was taken just as it finished scratching itself and was settling in to keep watch. Nevertheless, the intensity of that stare and those talons certainly make it look quite intimidating!

An Osprey looks deadly serious. (© Tony’s Takes)

An Osprey looks deadly serious. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey on patrol for a meal

This beautiful raptor was circling over a pond and I was lucky enough to witness it plunge into the water a few times in an attempt to catch a fish. On the last attempt it was successful but unfortunately facing the opposite direction from me so those pictures are not great.

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. When fishing, they will oftentimes hover above their prey then dive straight into the water. I shared a video a couple of days ago showing this if you want to check it out.

An Osprey patrols a Longmont, Colorado pond looking for breakfast.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An Osprey patrols a Longmont, Colorado pond looking for breakfast. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey takes flight head on

A very fun picture taken this past weekend at St. Vrain State Park, Colorado.

There are a number of Osprey that spend their summers in the area and this was the male of a pair that is nesting within the park. He was happily perched in a tree near the nest when he decided it was time to go fishing. Thankfully I was ready and snapped this image as he headed right toward me.

Due to the compression effect of using a very long telephoto lens it makes it appears I was quite close when in reality I wasn’t. I love the intense look of those golden eyes coupled with the blue skies and some wispy, low clouds behind. Many of the females are already sitting on the nests with their clutch beneath them. In another few weeks little ones will begin emerging.

A male Osprey flies head on at the viewer in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey flies head on at the viewer in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Male Osprey makes poor attempt at nest building

Well, guys can kind of be jerks when they are forced to do something they don’t want to. I have to wonder if that isn’t why this male Osprey made such a poor attempt at adding to his and his mate’s nest.

He returned with a clump of grass but rather than landing with it like they normally do, he chose to just toss it toward the nest. The result? The grass clump only hits the edge of the nest and falls apart. Somehow I suspect his spouse was less than impressed.

Scroll down to view the complete sequence of the nest building fail.

A male Osprey tosses grass toward his and his mate's nest in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey tosses grass toward his and his mate’s nest in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey work on making a home

Having returned to Colorado over the past couple of weeks, the Osprey are wasting no time getting their home ready for little ones.

At his particular nest in Longmont, Colorado this past weekend, mama was busy fetching new building material and meticulously putting it in place. Dad? Well, he was sitting in a nearby tree dining on fish watching the lady do the work. 😉

Scroll down to view the complete sequence of a female Osprey adding to her nest.

A female Osprey returns to her nest in Longmont, Colorado with a stick. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Osprey returns to her nest in Longmont, Colorado with a stick. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey displays a bit of attitude

So this is how the conversation went…

Me: I am so glad you’re back!
Osprey: Yeah, good for you. Now back off!

😉

The ?Osprey? have returned to Colorado for the season and I could not be happier. I was very anxious to go pay some of them a visit so I broke away from family Easter festivities for a bit Sunday morning for a quick photo session.

All of the ?nests? that I have historically seen active already had these cool hawks on them. All were pairs except this guy (or gal) was alone at its nest while I was there.

He was willing to tolerate my presence but, unfortunately, it refused to finish its meal while I was there (note the fish in its talons). I did manage some awesome captures of this one and the others so will be sharing more for sure.

An Osprey displays a bit of attitude toward the photographer in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

An Osprey displays a bit of attitude toward the photographer in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)