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Posts Tagged ‘channel marker’

Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) were really vocal and active last week at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.  Most often, though, the ospreys were flying out of range of my lenses, so getting shots of them was a bit of a challenge.

Eventually I manage to get a shot of some  perched ospreys. In the first and third photos, the osprey appeared to have a fish that it kept hidden from me. Perhaps it had had a recent experience with an eagle trying to steal its catch and consequently was hyper-possessive now. I think that attitude also explains why the bird was in a defensive, crouched position and would look around before taking a bite of the unseen fish.

The middle photo shows an osprey on a nest that is being constructed on a channel marker in the waters off of the wildlife refuge. In the past,I have photographed much larger nests on this same buoy—check out my blog posting entitle Defying gravity from last year to see a photo of a previous iteration of a nest at this spot.

In the last few days some local photographers have posted photos of warblers at this wildlife refuge, so I will be looking for small birds as well as the larger, more visible ones like these ospreys. Insect activity is beginning to pick up too, so it looks like April will be a busy time for me and my camera.

osprey

Osprey

osprey

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

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When I saw an osprey couple trying to build a nest earlier this spring on a channel marker in the waters off of Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the building site seemed way too small. Amazingly the ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) found a way to add an overhanging extension that seems to defy gravity. The couple seemed comfortable in the nest, which appear to be capable of easily holding their weight.

A neighboring osprey couple had the opposite problem—they had too much space. The ospreys used only half of the space for their nest and could easily have shared the other half with another couple, but I think that ospreys like to keep their neighbors at arm’s length, or maybe it would be better to say “at wing’s length.”

osprey nest

osprey nest

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Land prices are so high here in Northern Virginia that you have to be creative. Yesterday I spotted this Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) couple building their tiny house on one of the boundary channel markers off of Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The osprey perched in the back, which I believe is the female, remained in place while the other osprey flew off to forage for building materials. Sometimes they were only small twigs, but occasional the male osprey would return with a fairly long branch, as in the second photo. In the third shot, the male osprey has successfully landed with the long branch, but has not yet let go of it.

Multiple osprey couples are busily constructing nests all of “my” wildlife refuge and I hope to be able to share some images of their constructions sites.

 

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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