The Osprey often confused with the Bald Eagle eats mostly fish consequently you will find them living near oceans, bays, rivers, and other water ways. An Osprey’s other names include Fish Eagle, Sea Hawk, River Hawk, or Fish Hawk. This large bird is usually about 24 inches in height with a 71 inch wing span.
When we moved into our home here on Miller Bay in Poulsbo, we are surrounded with woods. There’s even a gully with a stream running in back of the house. The gully houses a variety of vegetation and trees… Maple, Cedar, Alder, and Fir. The Cedar and Fir trees compete with Seattle’s Spaceneedle for height. The exciting part is that at the tip top of the Fir tree is an enormous Osprey nest. The nest, from afar, appears to be a space ship that crashed into the tree. So NOW I do have a “spaceneedle” behind my house.
In the Spring when the Osprey return from their trip south to warmer climes, I can hear the babies squawking for food. Shortly afterward, one of the parents takes off for their fishing trip along the bay.
At times, as I sit at my desk to enjoy the view of the bay, I will see a streak, like Superman dashing to the rescue. Only suddenly there is a SPLASH of water and the Osprey emerges with a salmon. Then later in the season when the salmon are spawning, they jump out of the bay like popcorn. Heck, as far as the Osprey is concerned the fish jumping are as good as popcorn as this gigantic bird takes his pick of the fish flying up to meet him! I can even hear the bird screech “DINNER TIME!” The babies anxiously await!
We periodically have power struggles over the fish as an Osprey attacks an Eagle attempting to knock the fish from the Eagle’s talons, only to send the Eagle crashing into the bay. Did you know that an Eagle can do the backstroke?
Ospreys are magnificent birds. It is a joy to watch them swoop from the heights of their nest straight down toward the water only to screech to a halt as they grab a fish and zoom back to feed their babies.
The babies have a distinctive cry, especially when they are hungry, just as any child does… “MOMMY FEED ME!!”