spring fling

I got back from a two week visit to relatives in California to find that spring was in full swing here in Minnesota.  On my walk around at the local marsh this afternoon, not only were the frogs, turtles, and birds visibly active, there was quite a lot of courtship singing and territorial fighting going on.  I watched a pair of Osprey swoop, circle, dive, land on their stick nest, take off again, fly around more, then finally back at the nest get down to business — yes, that kind of business.  I found an unobstructed view about 150 yards from the nest platform, propped my telephoto on my knees and shot 180 photos!  Here is some of the action I witnessed.

osprey landing on nest

This nest platform has been here several years, and I know this pair have added sticks to it recently because last winter, the nest platform was completely bare.

osprey pair flying

Circling around each other for several minutes — I guess this constitutes courtship flight.

osprey pair-at their nest

osprey pair at their nest

osprey pair at their nest

Male (on the right) displaying to female

osprey pair at their nest

He alternated between showing his rear end and flapping his wings in her face.

osprey pair at their nest

A strange wing fluttering behavior that you might see in a begging chick…sort of submissive for a male.

osprey pair at their nest

Then he took off, circled the nest three times, and came in for a landing

osprey pair at their nest

Some serious braking action here, as he wants to land on her, not the nest.

osprey pair at their nest

Touchdown — ouch — pull your talons in.

osprey pair at their nest

And…success —mission complete.

Just as the finale was taking place, my camera blinked and quit — card full, battery dead.  What a great experience.

15 thoughts on “spring fling

    • Yes, it is. I thought you knew that there are occasionally a few racy photos on display. I’ll warn you next time so you can avert your eyes. 🙂

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