Osprey Fishing Sequence

This is a set of images of an Osprey fishing series. I was photographing this Osprey flying overhead when it saw something and went into a dive to catch a meal. I lost the Osprey in my viewfinder on the way down but got it again as it hit the water. I kept shooting while it caught it’s prey, surfaced and flew off. The final image is when it circled around and flew by me with it’s fish in its claws.
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Osprey Flying Towards Nest

From a previous visit to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, I photographed this Osprey heading for it’s nest, coming in for a landing. There are lots of Ospreys flying around the Refuge, plus many Osprey platforms with nests that are along the Wildlife Drive. If you wait by one of the platforms along the Drive you can get good images of Ospreys flying in or flying out. Plus bringing fish to feed the young Ospreys.

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Osprey With Meal

Ospreys are one of my favorite birds to photograph. It is fun to see them diving into water to get a meal. Plus to see them defending their nests against other Ospreys or birds of prey. They also seem to really stare at you as you are photographing them as in this photo. They are very agile in flight which gives you some interesting photo opportunities.

Osprey Out Our Window

When we were in Florida last fall we stayed at a condo in Captiva Island. Which is just a very small bridge away from Sanibel Island and the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, where we like to photograph the Wildlife and Landscapes. We were on the third floor and not too far away towards the beach, high in a Palm Tree, was an Osprey nest. The pair of Ospreys were quite busy and frequently in the Palm trees by us. It was also fun to hear them squawking during the day. Unfortunately there was screening on the windows so I had to go down by the beach & pool to photograph them.

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Osprey Nest – center of frame. Osprey on branch, palm tree far right @ 24mm.

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Ospreys On Nest

I saw this pair of Ospreys was working on the nest, rearranging sticks in the nest. As I was photographing them I was surprised that they started to mate. Then the male flew off and landed in the grasses near the nest. It is interesting to see them working on the nest, rearranging sticks and bringing more sticks to the nest. On other nests being built, sometimes you see plastic bags, food wrappers all kinds of garbage they bring to build the nest. This one was very clean looking, but it was early in the building of the nest. These were taken at the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville NJ. This area is great for photographing the nests from the Wildlife Drive. The road is higher, then the sides along the road slopes down gradually to the water or channels, so you are looking almost directly across at the Osprey Platforms, instead of looking up. Most are somewhat close so if you are patient you can get quite a variety of photos of the Ospreys building the nest, flying to & from the nest, flying around the nest, etc. Sometimes they bring a fish and feed the young or just eat it themselves at the nest. Being patient helps, but you can always drive along the Wildlife Drive which is basically a loop, getting other interesting shots and come back to the nests to see if anything is happening. Also often you see them defending the nest from Gulls, hawks or other predators. At Blackwater NWR, in Maryland, you see Bald Eagles going after Ospreys to steal their catch. They also have a few Osprey platforms but are much farther out in the water

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Female Osprey arranging sticks in the nest

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Ospreys mating

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Male Osprey flying off, leaving the nest

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Wider view of the nest


Unusual Osprey Nest

This is the 2nd year in a row I noticed an Osprey nest in this old,  broken and battered remains of a small tree along the Wildlife Drive. It probably is only 4 feet off the ground, the lowest ever Osprey nest I have seen. They usually seek out a high position to protect the nest. They usually are high in trees, utility poles, towers, streetlights, almost any high structure that has enough space to put a nest. In Florida I remember seeing a street with almost every street light along the street occupied with Osprey nests.

I do not know if this is the returning Osprey from the previous year or just any easy place to put a nest.

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Views of the nest

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A Series of Horizontal Images to Compose a Vertical View Of The Surrounding Area

Osprey Platforms Along Wildlife Drive – Full Occupancy

There are quite a few Osprey platforms for building nests along the Wildlife Drive in the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Brigantine Division in Oceanville, NJ. Usually for some reason there are one or two that do not get used each year. But this year they seem to all occupied. There are also other nests throughout the Refuge that you do not see, except for the large amounts of Ospreys flying in the Refuge. The platforms along the Drive are a good place to wait for interesting photos. Everything from the Ospreys defending their nests and young from other Ospreys, hawks & other intruders, to seeing them mating or bringing fish to feed the young Ospreys. Also early in the season you will see them bringing sticks and branches to build the nest. You can get great flight shots as they leave or return to the platforms. You need a long lens, since they are not real close to the road and it is forbidden to go off the road. (But I have seen a few do that which is not a smart thing to do) Quite often there are times of a lot of action you can get photos of right above you on the Drive. Most platforms have a post nearby where the mate waits near the nest, sometimes eating a fish. While you are waiting for action from the Ospreys, there is usually lots of other subjects flying or wading by. Egrets, Herons, Terns, Gulls, Shorebirds, Cormorants, Bald Eagles, Swans, the list is endless. Also while you are waiting the landscapes and Cloudscapes are great there. A usual day there I can easily have 5,000 shots or more to go through especially if you are tracking the flying birds, shooting bursts to get the best wing positions. Or if you come upon a bunch of shorebirds in a feeding frenzy, with hundreds of birds going at it.

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Osprey With Baby Green Heron Meal

I photographed this Osprey flying at the Brigantine Division of The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey in the Summer. I had not noticed until now it was carrying a young Little Green Heron in its claws, bringing it back to the nest.

Osprey Diving In…..

I photographed this female Osprey diving in to grab a stick for the nest. The nest was already built, but I guess it was for repairs. I shot this series earlier this Summer, but have been busy with work. I liked the out-stretched talons and the look of concentration as it was going after something.  Canon 7D, 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon 1.4x Series III Teleconverter.

Osprey stick brig 2016 v1_MG_7440 hp v2The Osprey kept picking up sticks for a while, returning to the nest, where there were a few chicks.

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Osprey FlyBy

On our last visit to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Brigantine Division in Oceanville NJ, there were a lot of Ospreys.They were on Osprey Platforms, on posts, on trees, on the ground and busy fishing so it gave quite a few opportunities for photography. This male Osprey flew close by when I was photographing another one on the ground in the grasses.

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