Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Osprey watch


During our latest stay at my in-laws' beach house, we enjoyed several days of beautiful weather and the company of one of our favorite fish-eating birds.

We first saw the Osprey on Saturday, when it landed on a nearby snag and we noticed that it was holding a fish. We scoped it through the kitchen window and identified the fish as a cutthroat trout, probably plucked from the Nestucca River just east of the property.
A day later, the Osprey returned to the snag with another fish, on which it dined until a Bald Eagle showed up to collect its daily fish tax. A brief chase ensued, and the Osprey surrendered what was left of its catch before flying off to the south.

 
A few hours later, the Osprey returned, this time with a starry flounder, a flatfish that she probably captured downstream in the Nestucca Bay estuary. We watched our new friend consume its flounder, bony fins and all, with no trouble from the eagle. We even filmed some footage of her ripping pieces from the fish she gripped tightly in her long, curved talons. After finishing the meal, she spent another hour perched on the snag, digesting and enjoying the view.
As we were packing to leave on Monday morning, the Osprey was back with yet another fish. We could not identify the fish species this time, but we enjoyed watching her grip it and rip it just the same.

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