Thursday, July 25, 2013

Osprey Family!

I'm so pleased with the picture below that I'm just going to leave it here for another day, and link it to Skywatch Friday - if you keep an eye on the sky you'll never know what you'll see!  Check out other views of the sky here:


We were just driving along the road between visiting gardens today, an hour southwest of here, when we noticed a familiar flat platorm on top of a hydro pole, a nesting platform for osprey.  This one appeared to be occupied by young who were sitting up high, so we stopped to have a look.  Wow!  Fully grown osprey young sitting up on the nest, looking back down at us.

Looking at those eyes you can understand how they have a reputation for being fierce!  Osprey are fish hunters, and this nest was just a short distance from a shallow lake created for flood control, so the parents had obviously been successful in their fishing.

Such osprey platforms are not unusual in southern Ontario.  Many community groups have put up nesting platforms, and this has helped osprey populations rebound very successfully from very low levels since DDT was banned in 1974.  Osprey are still listed as endangered in some U.S. states, but they tolerate human presence and populations are growing well, partly thanks to all the nest platforms.

 
In this case we just pulled to the side of the road and had a really good look at the three chicks, looking back at us.  Then I looked across the road and noticed another!  Take a close look at the top of the hydro pole below - one of the parent ospreys!

 
Meanwhile, my wife was sure she had seen 4 chicks as we drove up, so we backed up to get a different view, pulled to the other side of the road, and yes, there was the fourth chick - all pretty large now to be called 'chicks'.
 
As we drove away we looked back and saw the 6th osprey - the other parent, sitting on the back of the nest.  The most successful osprey nest I've ever seen, and the best look at the chicks.  For most of their time on the nest, they are down within the nest and you're lucky just to see their head.  These chicks must have been just about ready to leave the nest.
 
 A very memorable sighting on a beautiful blue-sky summer's day!


16 comments:

  1. What an amazing sighting! Thanks for showing us what you saw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting; glad you enjoyed it.

      Delete
  2. Nice job. Ospreys have indeed made a fine comeback and are common throughout many parts of the continent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks; appreciate your comments - I don't get many bird pictures!

      Delete
  3. What wonderful osprey photos! I especially love the closeup of the three juvenile delinquents in the nest. :-) The watcher was definitely being watched! Beautiful photos - this post would make great candidate for SkyWatch Friday!, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the idea. I took you up on it.

      Delete
  4. Wonderful photos of these handsome birds!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gunilla. Every time I see your comments I can't believe someone is visiting from that far away! Hope you enjoy it.

      Delete
  5. Fantastic!
    Have a great week-end!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow what terrific osprey shots. Yes, their eyes are amazing.
    I like all those white puffs of clouds in the sky. So pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was certainly a highlight of my recent photos!

      Delete
  7. Fantastic shots of the osprey with the clear blue sky as a backdrop.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for posting a comment on my blog! Now I have discovered yours. What gorgeous plant and animal photos! You must live in a very pretty area of Ontario. I have relatives in Toronto and used to visit Lake Simcoe. My father was born and raised in Wingham near Lake Huron. I hope to see you on my blog again sometime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do live in a nice part of Ontario. And yes, I'll be back to check your blog.

      Delete