breakfast at the osprey nest

I checked the osprey nest at one of the local lakes last week, and it looked like there were sticks being added to it, and one of the adults was sitting in a nearby tree.  Yesterday, I found both adults sitting in trees near the nest, vocalizing, and basking in the early morning sun.


Now that they are back in town, perhaps there will be some courtship action to be photographed.

Unlike other species of raptors, osprey partners are fairly similar in size and appearance.  Males are slimmer with narrower wings, and fainter spotting on the breast feathers, but it’s hard to tell which is which from this distance.  I am too far away, even with 400 mm of telephoto to see much detail in their feathers.


This individual sat quietly for about a 1/2 hour while the other bird went fishing.


After a quick (less than 5 minutes) round trip to the lake, this bird brought back a big chunk of fish, which it proceeded to delicately pick apart.


Nothing like fresh fish for breakfast…


That piece of fish was stuck in the talons and to the rough scales on the bottom of the bird’s foot so well that it had to vigorously shake the piece loose to transfer it to the other foot.  I wonder if ospreys are right or left-footed in their preference for holding food while eating??


The other bird had this comment to make about its partner’s meal…well, it’s always good to get rid of excess weight before going off to fish yourself.


Breakfast is over, time to get on with other daily activities, like nest building.

2 thoughts on “breakfast at the osprey nest

  1. A friend forwarded your blog to me…perhaps you would be interested in our Facebook page all about research and behaviors of Ospreys in the twin cities. I have been studying them for 23 years. We monitor all known osprey nests in the eight county metro area.
    We have found that males and females are usually quite different both in size and markings. As with all raptors, females are larger and they usually have much more of a “necklace” of dark spots on their breast. Most males have white breasts or just light spotting. Of course their are always some exceptions!
    Enjoyed your photos!
    Vanessa Greene

    We also have a blog at

    • Well, I guess Wikipedia is wrong again. I actually checked because I knew there were size differences in other raptors. Thanks for clarifying and also the reference to your blog and FB page.

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