Did you ever see an Osprey? They are pretty widespread and summer in our area.
Osprey are odd-looking hawks that build these strange-looking stick nests. Look at those big bug eyes too. I have been to three bird preserves/wetlands in the last week and two of them have nesting Osprey.
This bird is off to the hunt, which unfortunately, is in that direction. So I don’t have front views.
Osprey are also known for the odd kink in their wings as shown below. When hunting, they dive for fish with the legs and feet outstretched and the glowing yellow eyes sight along their talons. I did not get a photo of this because they hunt far out in the marsh, further than my lens could scope.
They scan the marsh and make a rather quick dive to get fish. Had I been out by boat, maybe I would have been close enough to capture the hunt.
Osprey with kill at Tifft Nature Preserve
Above are the parents. One stayed at the nest, while the other went on the hunt. I have been to the preserve at Tifft a few times, but have yet to spot the chicks. The family above is at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.
The refuge, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, serves primarily as a nesting, feeding, resting and staging area for migratory waterfowl. Summer is the slow season, but some birds can be found breeding in the marshes at the Refuge.
Osprey on nest at Tifft Nature Preserve.
The waterways are filled with grasses and reeds, but unlike Tifft, Iroquois has cleaner (without duckweed and algae) open water.
My posts on wetlands this year highlighted those habitats and the importance to many life forms. With dry summers and water extracted for irrigation the world over, many wetlands are drying up.
If you want to learn more about the Osprey, go to All About Birds, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I just reported on what I observed at two local preserves.
More birds of the marsh are coming up. Some even with front views! I am visiting a Canadian marsh on Sunday with the Buffalo Ornithological Society to see the shorebirds migration. I should see birds I have yet to post, plus I will be getting them named correctly hopefully.
Don’t miss the giveaway on How I Get My Photos in Yucky Light. No correct guesses yet and a random draw will get the prize. Just leave a comment on that post to be a part.