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Observations & Images
19 February 2006

A gray, overcast day finds the female once again off the nest when I arrive. She is not far off, though. Usually she is perched within quick flying distance (~10-15 seconds) of the nest as seen here. She is continually scanning the sky and as soon as she sees the male Osprey, she immediately returns to the nest to meet him.

Due to the dark, overcast sky brought on by an approaching cold front resulting in bad lighting for photo exposures, pictures of mating and nest building for the day, though photographed, will not be shown in this entry to cover two new exciting occurrences.

Today is the first time that the male is directly observed feeding the female. Here he is seen approaching with a small fish in his talons.
Seconds before reaching the nest, he releases one of his feet from the fish to ensure a safe landing.
The transfer is made in the nest. The male, seen at left, steps away as the female takes the fish up in her bill.
Then the female, clutching the fish in her talons, takes it for several short loops around the nest before settling down to devour it with the male looking on.


The second surprise was a visit by an Otter. Initially, he (or she; I'll default here to the chauvinistic "he" unless proved otherwise) was just swimming by and after swinging the camera around and down to take pictures of the back of his head as he departed, the sound of the shutter tripping caused him to stop and scan the pond bank looking for the source of the noise as seen here.
Rather than disappearing, the Otter swam straight toward me, hauling himself up onto a half submerged fallen Australian pine tree to get a better look.
The Otter seemed just as fascinated to watch me as I was in watching him. Here the Otter is seen searching for food.
Once food was found, the Otter would return to the downed tree log, haul himself out, and eat while watching me. In his mouth can be seen what looks like some sort of fish. Upon returning with the catch the Otter would open his mouth wide....
....then snap down resulting in a highly audible crunching sound as he chewed.
But, alas, eventually the Otter got bored with me and ambled off in search of something more interesting.
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
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