Saturday, June 15, 2013


I came across an osprey today that acted like I've never seen one act.  He, or she, was sitting on a nest high in an old snag of a tree on an island.  I was cruising bye very close to the shoreline when she started to scream Skree, Skree, Skree, Chirp, Chirp, Chirp!  She did it over and over constantly.

I couldn't imagine there were young in the nest this time of the season, but she was putting up quite a squawk about me being so near.  Maybe that's all it took to set her off.

Ospreys are powerful birds of prey and this one looked very healthy and she proved the powerful part out later one.

Ospreys, like the bald eagle, are graceful in flight and both have impressive wingspans.  It messes with my mind when I watch these birds drive through dense tree tops at full throttle, their wide wings sometimes crashing into the tips of the branches and knocking the dead, dry sticks off the limbs.  It can be an awe inspiring site to watch first hand.  She took off.

She circled around the island and drove straight back across through the thickest trees screaming all the way and hit a branch on a dead tree full out, latched onto a branch and tried to rip it from the limb.  

She repeated the exact process again.  Circle the island, drive through the center of all the trees and slam into that dead branch.  You can see above that she has her talons extended for the grab onto the limb.  She's flying full speed when her feet hit that branch.  Then, she sort of gets bent out of shape and buckles at the sudden stop, recovers, lets go of the limb and flies away for another try.
She struggles with the dead branch, lets go and off again.

What is she thinking?  I wonder if she really wants to attack my boat but is intimidated by it's size and is taking it out on the dead tree limb.  She's off again and making her circle.

She's made her circle and is flying straight into the trees for another go of it.  There are a lot of photos in this entry of the osprey.  Not only is this a unique exhibition of odd activity by this bird, or any bird, but it's a good opportunity to observe the shape, form, and flight postures that an osprey, or any other raptor for that matter, can adapt.  These are beautifully created creatures are perfectly suited to their environment and they are masters of it all.

She barreled through the trees to the center of the island and swooped straight up through the tops of the trees and came at the boat.  I suspect that she would like to slam straight into me but is afraid of the unknown.  She swung around the outside of the boat and went back around to the other side of the island and out of site.  I could hear her though.  That constant, loud Skree, Skree, was never ending.

 She headed for the dead tree and her favorite branch with landing gear down.  I thought she was going to have a run on that limb again, but she turned and came straight toward the boat - right at me.  Yikes!  What the he--!

She went right over the tower of the boat and into the trees.  I thought I had an osprey in my lap for sure there for a moment.  Look how she just crashes through the limbs and foliage.
She was headed straight for that dead limb.  I really think she is taking her frustration out on that limb.  I had better leave her in peace shortly, but I wanted to see her slam into that limb one more time.

She is moving at top speed and her legs are extended and 4 inch talons are open and ready.  Amazing!  I doubt there is any critter who could attack an osprey nest and be successful at it.
She is coming straight at that limb and intends to grab it with her talons.  There's no doubt.  

Ka-Pow!  She hit that limb hard and caught it in both her feet.  She almost made a total sudden stop but kept her momentum, and the end of the limb snapped off.  My mouth hung open.  What a display of power from a bird that only weighs 3.5 pounds.

She circled to the right, turned and came straight at the boat as if to say, "next time this will be you."

I was pulling away before she landed.  I guess she thought I was driven off by her brash actions.  She settled back onto the nest with her new stick in tow.  What a show!  What a wild show!  Just another day at the office.  Just another day.   See ya....