Thursday, December 9, 2021

An Osprey with a the Middle of Phoenix

It's a little hard to see, but the thing in that osprey's talons is a fish!

I'd been birdwatching at a water source in the middle of the Phoenix metro area when I saw what I believed to be an osprey flying around.  He started diving dramatically, often pulling up at the last minute,  sometimes splashing all the way into the water and coming up empty-clawed.  It was awesome to watch.  But I started wondering if maybe he was young and inexperienced, or maybe just not a great hunter.

Then he made a gentler dive and maneuvered as if to land on the water.  But he came up with a fish!

With the fish in his talons, he started flying around and around, like, "Okay, I got the fish.  Now what am I supposed to do with it????"  Finally he flew out of sight.  

I waited about five minutes, seeing if he'd come back.  No luck.  So I got on my bike and rode around to the other side of the ponds.  I was about to leave the area when I saw something on the banks.  It was the osprey!  Eating his fish!  

Here he is, craning his neck back to look at me:

There was a chain-link fence between us, which wasn't conducive to good picture-taking.  He was quite distant, so I figured I could sneak up to the fence and shoot through it, but I apparently scared him, and he flew off.  But not before I hurriedly snapped the picture above.

I wish I'd been a bit more sneaky or just stayed where I was so I could watch him longer (and not harass him).  But still...and awesome experience! 

Here's a better picture of an osprey on a different day at the same place:

They're now one of my favorite birds.  So beautiful and so fun to watch.

No comments:

Post a Comment