Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Osprey @ Coquina Bayside

All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all. Alexander

On December 21, 2007, my friend Diane and I, had plans for a morning sunrise. The sunrise that morning was not spectacular, but the rest of the morning show was.

As we stood on the bank and watched for the sun, we saw many sail boats with anchors down for the night. In the peaceful scene the squealing cry of two osprey, male and female, soared and soared, music to our ears. At first we could not see them, but as the sun rose higher in the sky, we spied them on a mast, one on each boat.

We quietly waited and listened to see what they would do. Ospreys hover over the water, plunging feet first when they spot prey. They fly with slow wing-beats interspersed with glides. Ospreys form pair bonds through aerial flight displays and courtship feeding.

This male osprey lifted off into the air and we watched as he sank towards the water with talons outstretched, scooped up the fish and to our amazement flew to the top of the light pole we were standing under.

we watched through our cameras for many minutes, snapping and clicking. He ignored us completely as we moved from side to side looking for the best shot. Several times, he stopped eating and looked down at us as if to say, What? you've never seen an Osprey eat before? the answer was NO, never before and never since.

Ospreys live near rivers, estuaries, salt marshes, lakes, reservoirs, and other large bodies of water. They are rare along rivers in the shrub-steppe zone, as they prefer water surrounded by forested habitat. They can be found near fresh or salt water, as long as the water can sustain medium-sized fish.

The Osprey is a unique bird, the only member of its genus. It is believed that Ospreys followed a different evolutionary path quite early on, so that they are quite different from other raptors.
The osprey's family habits are also colorful and interesting. They generally pair for life and reuse old nests, adding new material each season. Their nests, in high, dead trees or on man-made elevated platforms, can weigh hundreds of pounds and are easily observed. Osprey refurbish their nests annually with grass, lichens, and sticks

The osprey is the only species in the family Pandionidae, which is sometimes considered a subfamily of the hawk and eagle family

Click on the video below to hear what we heard as we waited for sunrise and don't miss the detail of this awesome bird, click on the photos.

Job 37:14 says

"Stand Still and consider the wondrous works of God."


Sunny said...

"All things bright and beautiful..." I remember singing that in Sunday school.
These are super pictures. When I lived on Cape Cod I loved to watch the Osprey, but I never got any good pictures of them.
Sunny :)

Beverly said...

You are certainly educating people about Florida! Great photos of the ospreys.

I'll be home on Tuesday, November 3.

Ginny said...

Wow!! My husband and I are birdwatchers, so you know how I love this post! These pictures are amazing. I love the two profiles where you can really see the curve of his sharp beak. We saw an osprey here in town once, and only once. They are rare around here. He was fishing in the river and we got to see him catch fish. We watched for as long as he stayed, but there were no digital cameras back then. However, we did not get to hear him make a noise. It was funny listening to your video. Because after looking at such a majestic bird, I expected some huge, imposing sound to match his countenance. But it doesn't even sound as fierce as a crow. Wonderful post. Beverly told me that there were ibis outside a Bob Evans there. We have never seen anything like that here, it's hard to imagine that birds like that are everywhere in Florida. More birds!