Sunday, April 21, 2013

Fish Hawking

Yesterday I had one of my favorite birding pleasures--I found a new "secret" place. My definition of secret is pretty loose; it only means that I've never heard anyone else mention it before.

Note the metal band on its right foot.

Cascades in the background, between Thorp and Cle Elum.

Following my gut is often the best way to have the most rewarding and invigorating birding experiences. On a instinct-fueled whim--after a very unremarkable (translation: boring and frustrating) five hours of birding--I turned down a road outside Thorp and was met with bounty: a green prairie-like ridge exposed to sun and wind, offering up a family of deer, a kestrel, an un-shy Meadowlark and a trio of Osprey around a nest.

The Osprey flies with the headless fish clasped in only one claw.

The fish-bearer is below; the one above checked it out many times but eventually flew off, fishless.

One of the osprey had a fish which apparently did not interest the other two enough for them to stick around. The fish-bearing Osprey circled around solo for about 20-30 minutes, and then devoured it alone. If anyone can enlighten me about the origin of the band and/or Osprey courtship rituals, please do!

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