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    Posted April 29, 2012 by
    Surrey, British Columbia

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    The return of the Osprey

    Again this year, the Osprey have returned to build their nest, year after year at the same exact spot, namely a pylon in the waters of the Fraser River in Vancouver, B.C. This pair of Osprey has had bad luck for 2 consecutive years; their offspring’s didn’t make it. They had a healthy pair of babies only once. They feed exclusively on fish, hence their habit of building nests close to water. They plunge feet first, sometimes catching prey well below surface. Feet are equipped with bumps, called spicules that assist talons in holding fish. They fly with the fish head in front all the time, to help them aerodynamically during their flight. The male eats first, and starts with the head, a delicacy for them, and then he flies over to the nest to offer the leftover fish to the female. Pairs raise their young on pylons, power towers, platforms, building bulky nests, very often close to human habitation. They defend fiercly their territory as well as their young by attacking other raptors that are way bigger then themselves. I have seen an Osprey go after a Great Blue Heron in flight!
    Their wingspan is 160cm, Blackish above except for whitish crown, mostly white underpants, contrast with dark mask, strongly banded wings, and tail. Wings somewhat angled, gull like with dark patches.
    Being in a somewhat hidden location, few people and photographers know about their nest, and we try to keep it that way, the less traffic the best chances they have to raise their chicks.
    All these shots were taken from far away with a 500mm lens.

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