Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Raptors captivate people. And the Osprey is a premier attention getting raptor.

Common throughout North America, Ospreys live near water, allowing for great first-time raptor watching.

Size matters.

I suggest it's an imposing presence that makes the Osprey so interesting.

They prefer tall structures, whether natural or manmade, for their nests. Humans, thankfully, have provided the Osprey with thousands of towers, poles and buoys across America for their personal use.

It's a fair compensation for nearly wiping them out with DDT in the 1970's.

This trio lives a centerfield lifestyle in a Thiensville, Wisconsin softball park. They call out as people pass.

Listen to their call at:

The chick shakes off early morning dew.

Seventy-foot lights tower over open spaces and the nearby Milwaukee River provides good fishing.

According to a local woman I met at the ball park, there were two chicks on this nest. But, as is often the case, one did not survive. An Osprey females doesn't lay all her eggs at one time. If food is scarce only the oldest, strongest chick survives.

Food seems to be plentiful for this pair though. Still, fratricide is a fact.

Ospreys look alike, but I'm assuming this is the male. He's bringing home some food, but it looks as if he had snacked on it beforehand.

The Osprey's territory overlaps the territory of a particularly aggressive Eastern Kingbird, who'd routinely harass him whenever he passed.

You have to hand it to the kingbird for attempting a feather pluck.  He's grossly out matched, yet, ready to teach a lesson to an ill-informed Osprey.

Whether he won the battle and lost the war is an open question.

He did make the Osprey loop around rather than passing directly through, so there was some victory in his fight.

Still, it'll be an ongoing battle.

(Click any picture to enlarge.)

Seeing a bird with a nearly six-foot wingspan in your local ballpark is a special event. It's free for all who wish to partake.

That's nearby nature.


Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds
The Sibley's Guide to Birds