Oyster Cove Osprey Update

The osprey in our area continue to thrive even through the extreme heat.  The fishing is good and water is plentiful for dipping and dripping on the young to stay cool.  Our Oyster Cove osprey nest platform is still a very popular perch for the area osprey.  We were not successful this season in obtaining a new resident pair but our community continues to enjoy the presence of the many that fly over us and stop by for a visit.

All of the following photos were taken from my balcony.


I always enjoy watching an Osprey and Great Blue Heron interact.  Sometimes an Osprey will ‘tolerate’ a Great Blue Heron and just keep his eye on him.  But not usually.  I watched one instance where a male Osprey had come to perch at the platform and discovered a Great Blue Heron already down at the base doing a little fishing.  This obviously bothered the Osprey who began to make threatening calls at him over and over again.

Osprey ‘threatening’ a Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron tried to ignore the Osprey, until finally they had a stare down for several minutes.  While I stared at them….

Stare down between an Osprey and Great Blue Heron

Finally the osprey dove at the Great Blue Heron but didn’t tag him, and then was gone.  The Great Blue Heron watched him leave and then went back to his fishing.  This time the Great Blue Heron won!  He’s usually the one that is forced to move on.

The next photos are not the best but show some fierce action between two Osprey who were fighting over possession of the platform.  As one was perched, another dove at him.  The perched Osprey immediately flipped, ready for the attack.  Check out those sharp talons!  They both meant business!

Fighting over Osprey nest platform

We have this happen a lot.  Sure makes for great action to watch!  It usually doesn’t last long, and one will quickly fly off with no one hurt.

Here’s a few flight shots of osprey passing by while I watch and photograph.

The Osprey are gorgeous and interesting birds.  They are noisy and territorial, but they are also dedicated and loyal to each other and their young.  The fledglings are now experiencing a whole new world as they soar in the skies and perfect their landings, while mom and dad continue to feed and care for them.  And it won’t be long before instinct kicks in and pulls them for their migratory journey to as far as South America for a winter vacation.

Until next time, have a great week, and be safe!  As always, thank you for stopping by.  🙂

42 thoughts on “Oyster Cove Osprey Update

  1. Simply amazing photos! Each one a jewel… but that fight between them has got to be a most unusual experience to photograph! to even see!

    • Thanks Snowbird! I’ve watched an osprey chase a great blue heron numerous times, it really is comical to see such a big bird like the GBH trying to get away from an osprey on his tail, he’s so awkward at those maneuvers. It is odd that an osprey cannot tolerate a GBH nearby, but a GBH really does mind his own business and doesn’t care about the osprey unless he’s threatening him. I liked it that the GBH stayed his ground and the osprey flew away! 🙂

      And when two osprey fight, boy do those talons emerge!

      • Thanks for this information. I have a friend who lives near the osprey in this are and he’ll enjoy this little detail. Many thanks.

  2. Magnificent birds and your photos are great. That stare down was interesting and the almost combat – wow! These birds mean business! Thanks for sharing your part of the world with us, Donna.

    • Thank you Beth! Usually the osprey will swoop at the GBH again and again, trying to force him to leave, but this time I think the GBH told the osprey, “Go ahead and try, I ain’t budging…!” 😉

    • Thanks Nia! They are a lovely bird, but like that #7 shot, it shows how really fierce an osprey can be when messed with! I wouldn’t want one coming after me, I can imagine those talons tangled up in my hair, YIKES! lol

    • I’m really LOL!!! Yes yes yes, I do! There is always amazing activity in the mornings at sunrise, and I have to force myself to leave to go to work each time. I have been late to work numerous times, LOL. Of course, once the osprey leave, then there’s all the other migratory birds that come through all winter. They cause me to get to work late too. Know anyone else who says it was the birds who made me late again??!! Or were the reason dinner wasn’t started or is burnt??!!! (giggle)

  3. Great shots, Donna. What lens are you using now? Great close-ups, and I like the shots of the platform, showing the height, and I like the stare-off between the heron and the osprey.

    Your book should be shipped from here tomorrow, so you might have it by the weekend. I will send it by Priority Mail. Sorry about the long wait.

    • Same lens Bob, my 70-200mm with a 1.7x teleconverter. Doesn’t it seem crazy for an osprey to try to intimidate an GBH?!! Poor GBH’s just trying to fish and mind his own business, and this osprey who doesn’t even live there, has to bother him. They make me laugh all the time. Goes to show, birds are good for the heart! 🙂

      Can’t wait to see your new book that I know will have amazing captures. No problem on wait….I’m a bird photographer…..I have a lot of patience! 😉

    • It sure has me wondering. I was hoping a first-time returning osprey from the area would scoop it up, maybe an offspring of Oliver & Olivia. Now that it is all cleaned up, it should be real enticing to newbies next season, keeping fingers crossed!

    • Thanks David, I am very thankful and love my balcony’s position, now if I could just stop burning dinner because the birds are flying by and I’m out there with them! LOL

  4. Wonderful photos, as always! I see Osprey every day as they fish the river, but I never get close enough for a photo. I love seeing yours!

    • Then I’m honored to share them with you Terry! Thank you! Glad you get to see them fish, it is pretty awesome to watch, their dive with talons in front to grab the fish is just too cool!

  5. Donna, what a great balcony you have! I never get this close either, and with your story telling it is almost like being there. That attack shot is fantastic! and i get a kick out of the heron holding out.

    • I know, I do love my balcony. 🙂 No lie, I see so much more that I don’t photograph, sometimes I love just sitting there, soaking in the view and the activity around. Which of course then a gorgeous bird flies within feet of me and I don’t have my camera in hand or on the tripod LOL. Win some, lose some! I’m lucky to know that one day soon another bird will be flying by just as close and I’ll capture that one. That heron has been visiting the berm daily now for several weeks (got to post my shots of him!) and I really got a kick out of him holding out too, I just knew he was thinking, “I’ve been here for weeks dude, this is my turf!” 🙂

  6. What an incredible balcony you have! It just boggles the mind to think that you get to see all of this outdoor drama while at home.

    The photos were great. I especially liked the osprey flipping and the heron stare down. I had been marvelling at the hostility that our local osprey seem to have toward blue heron. I used to think it was motivated by competition over fish, but I have since seen photos of blue herons eating other birds, so now I’m wondering if there is concern over the osprey’s young.

    • We’ve been here six years, and the wildlife activity never ceases. I am thankful daily!

      From the many osprey/blue heron skirmishes I’ve witnessed, it has always been the osprey that initiated the attack. I don’t believe blue herons have any desire to go after the osprey’s young, I’ve never seen any behavior like that. I really think it’s the osprey who just will not tolerate any other large bird in their space. Maybe it’s a size thing with the osprey and they want to show their dominance. From my records, this actually the first summer that we’ve had blue heron visiting below the nest on a daily/weekly basis, because our osprey pair would never allow them before. Once the osprey migrated, we were always treated with blue heron visiting throughout the fall. It’s amazing just how smart birds are!

  7. I have to echo everyone else here what a great series of photographs. The stare down and attack are priceless!! Funny I just got back from the beach this weekend and while In the woods/marsh in Assateague I thought about you in particular. There were quite a few birds that I did not recognize out in the Bay and I thought hmmpph, Donna probably has photographed a good portion of the species of birds I am coming across.

    • Thanks for the comments, I hope you post your photos of Assateague! Hubby and I are trying to plan a week off this Sept/Oct and Assateague/Chincoteague is on the list, along with the Outer Banks. I’m anxious to see the migratories passing through and take some photos! 🙂

    • OMG! SO COOL!! What an awesome sighting to witness & photograph. Thank you so much Terry for sending this, I am still sitting here flabbergasted LOL! I am definitely passing this on to my fellow osprey lovers! 🙂

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