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Osprey

“Get away from my fish!”

A male Osprey jealously guards its catch while devouring it on a pole. The look he gave me probably fits in the ‘if looks could kill’ category.  😉

Actually, the pair of Osprey at this location are extremely tolerant of people as their nest is in a public park with plenty of onlookers; I was just lucky enough to capture this amusing expression.  The pair has four eggs they are keeping warm, the first of which should hatch this coming week.

Scroll down for a look at all the images I captured on this day of these gorgeous birds.

A male Osprey jealously guards its catch while devouring it on a pole.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey jealously guards its catch while devouring it on a pole. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

Osprey on alert as Turkey Vultures fly over

Watching the behavior of animals is always fascinating and yesterday I saw some interesting stuff. My son and I were observing an Osprey nest and taking pictures of them when some large birds appeared in the sky and began circling.

The male Osprey became alerted to the presence of these interlopers and began circling his mate and their nest (presumably with some hatchlings). It was obvious he did not like the fact these other birds were nearby, even though they never really came close.

The other birds were Turkey Vultures, some of which we tracked down later and got pictures of (see my post from earlier today). Given that they normally feed on carrion, they didn’t really present a threat to the Osprey nest but the parental protective instinct of the Osprey was on full display.

Here you see the male Osprey on one of its rounds as the vultures pass behind.

A male Osprey circles its nest to ward off intruding Turkey Vultures. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey circles its nest to ward off intruding Turkey Vultures. (© Tony’s Takes)

Male Osprey looking for love

While taking pictures of an #Osprey nest in Longmont, Colorado recently, this suitor came by for a visit. Needless to say, the male and female residents of the nest were far less than thrilled with this new interloper. They became quite vocal and the nesting male took flight and made sure this visitor never got too close.

A male Osprey flies over a nest hoping to find a willing mate. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey flies over a nest hoping to find a willing mate. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bringing home sushi for breakfast

A female Osprey returns to her nest with a freshly caught perch in her talons. If there is one thing these fabulous hawks are known for more than anything it is their extraordinary fishing ability. If needed, they will dive into the water, entirely submerging themselves.

Helping them snag and carry their prey is a reversible outer toe. This also allows them to easily carry their catch parallel to their direction of flight helping to limit wind resistance. If you view this image full screen, you can actually see that is how this Osprey is carrying the fish. Taken in Longmont, Colorado.

An Osprey returns to its nest with a freshly caught fish.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An Osprey returns to its nest with a freshly caught fish. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey flyby

This male Osprey was circling the nest of another pair of Osprey in Longmont, Colorado.  I tend to think he had thoughts of moving in on the home and perhaps the female that was there as well. The other male however would have no part of it and soon chased this interloper off.

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.

If you want to see more of these cool birds, you can find some of my pics of them here. Also, below the main image is the complete gallery of images from this day.

A male Osprey flies over a nest in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey flies over a nest in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey in flight with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop

This female Osprey was returning to her nest in Longmont, Colorado with some nesting material recently. She was kind enough to approach at such an angle that I was able to capture her in flight with the snow-capped mountains behind her.

I do wish she was carrying a stick or nothing at all rather than some trash but beggars can’t be choosers. 😉

An Osprey returns to its nest in Longmont, Colorado with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in the background. (© Tony’s Takes)

An Osprey returns to its nest in Longmont, Colorado with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in the background. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey landing silhouette

This is one of those times when a mistake actually turned out to make a pretty good picture IMHO.

I was taking pictures of Osprey in flight when one circled around to land – but on a pole that required me to face into the sun to see.  I knew the overwhelming brightness of the sun would cause the Osprey to be underexposed but thought maybe I could salvage it by bringing up the shadows in post-processing.

Instead, I didn’t hardly touch it and in fact darkened it a bit.  The end result is a pretty cool picture of an Osprey as it flares up right before touching down.  What do you think?

A backlit Osprey comes in for a landing in Longmont, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A backlit Osprey comes in for a landing in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey mating sequence

Spring is in the air! Osprey returned to #Colorado over the past couple of weeks after a winter vacation in Mexico and South America. They quickly began working on their nests and of course enjoying some ‘recreation.’ With any luck this pair will have been successful and some little ones will follow next month.

Scroll down for the complete gallery.

Osprey prepare to mate in Longmont, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey prepare to mate in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey brings home nesting material

Osprey brings home nesting material.  I am so excited to see these awesome birds return for the season.  At this particular nest up in Longmont, Colorado, they were busy setting up their home.

These birds have proven to be very adaptable to the presence of humans – as you can see by these pictures.  The Osprey never gave us a second look and ignored the golfers that were playing through not 10 yards away.

Scroll down to view another sequence of images of the Osprey hard at work on their home.

An Osprey returns to its nest in Longmont, Colorado with material for building.   (© Tony’s Takes)

An Osprey returns to its nest in Longmont, Colorado with material for building. (© Tony’s Takes)

Osprey return to the Colorado Front Range

Was expecting to see these guys start arriving any day now and sure enough, found one this morning at Barr Lake State Park.  Not a great spot to watch them as the nest poles are a good ways away from the trail.  As a result this pic isn’t that great – I’ll have to start checking some of the better locations around.

You’ll notice the pole as this site is leaning severely.  I guess the state couldn’t get the equipment needed to fix it and, oddly enough, the nest didn’t successfully fledge any little ones until last season when it became crooked.  Go figure.  😉

An Osprey sits on a nest at Barr Lake State Park, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An Osprey sits on a nest at Barr Lake State Park, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)