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Observations & Images
23 February 2006

Within minutes of setting up the camera, the male Osprey appeared carrying a big fish in his talons.
The fish was quite alive and thrashed about energetically, obviously upset at the dramatic turn its life had taken. The male Osprey missed the first landing attempt into the nest but succeeded the second time in bringing the fish down.
The female became quite excited at the appearance of the fish. Here the male is shown offering his foot for the female Osprey to pull the fish off his talons. Between the female pulling and the male shaking his foot about, the female finally got the fish free.
Now it was the female's turn to take the fish for an aerial ride. Here she is shown lifting off with the fish in her talons. As much of the literature states, Ospreys are fastidious birds when it comes to cleanliness and will usually eat away from the nest so as not to foul it.
The female Osprey landed with her dinner in the pines near the nest.
Following the usual Osprey feeding protocol, she begins by ripping into the fish's mouth, tearing the head off/apart.
She would frequently stop between mouthfuls to survey the area for potential competitors.
With the bony head off, she can enjoy the meatier parts of the fish.
While the female ate, the male Osprey worked on the nest. Here he is shown moving a large branch around.
After working on the nest for a short while, the male Osprey flew into the pines near the female and quietly watched over her as she finished her meal.
The female Osprey consumed the entire fish in a little over an hour. Here she is shown with the last of the fish tail in her mouth which she consumed with gusto.
Dinner over, the female used the pine tree to clean her bill by rubbing it quite vigorously against the limb. Note the size of her talons which Alan Poole describes as being razor sharp.
 
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
www.lunarcabin.com - - - - www.ospreywatch.org