Friday, March 15, 2013

Osprey - The Greatest Hawk!

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), a unique bird of prey, relies mainly on live fish, appears on all continents except Antarctica. Osprey reuse their nest year after year and both parents take turn and sit on the nest. During nesting season, their biggest threats are Bald Eagles, crows and raccoon as they steal the eggs and chicks. It will takes 38 days to hatch and about 60 days to fledge. We often see Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk and even Bald Eagle (occasionally) are sent to rehab center due to car accident or injuries. But we seldom see an Osprey sent for treatment. Because they stay at the "safe side", near a large body of water such as lake, river or shoreline to catch fish. 

Osprey, Central Florida, 2013
Click image to admire!

Osprey is very special to me among all hawks.  I remembered my first encounter with an Osprey was at E. L. Huie Water Treatment Center. That was many years ago when I had only a point and shoot camera with me that day after my 6 hours of volunteering work at the Wetland Visitor Center. I used my car top as tripod and managed to snap few shots of a perching Osprey and thought I wish I had my long lens with me.  Another volunteer suggested to go birding with him around wetland area, I just felt like to check out pond area. Not knowingly that something was waiting for me at the pond, an Osprey was calling out to me ...

Both parent takes turn to sit on the eggs.
During  nesting, male catches fish and brings back to his female
Click image to appreciate their beauty!

Osprey can travel over 160,000 miles during their 15 to 20 years of lifetime. Due to DDT use in the United States their number was close to extinction and rebounded slowly with the help of man-made nesting poles and DDT being banned after 1972. Unfortunately the main cause of their death nowadays is from entangled with fishing net, we, human, left behind from commercial trawling. The net caught by their talons tie them up from tree causes these birds not able to leave tree and ends up starving to death or twines around their chicks at nest and eventually suffocates these young birds who will never have the chance to grow up knowing how great and beautiful they are ...... We are only "tourists" on this planet. We came with nothing and we should also leave with nothing. If you must leave something, leave no harm and burden but a legacy to remember!

Click image to feel his spirit!

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to my good friend, my Dundee Shifu, Trevor Andersen. His advice and encouragement motivated me to get to this secluded location to photograph this beautiful hawk! Watching them through my view finder, it gives me a new definition of contentment that no word can even describe! If you love birds, please protect them and set them free! -- Happy Birding! -- Linda


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  1. awesome hawk & wonderful photos... love it dear Linda <3

  2. Linda, gorgeous photos! My husband and I are amazed at the nest shot you took... what a pose. Beautiful!

  3. linda, what a killer shot, send that photo for contest ! --Junye

  4. Wonderful, excellent , and stunning shots! Wow wow wow!


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