An Osprey, A Gull & A Floater

Many times I’ve seen a group of gulls over the water trying to steal a fish, crab, or other type of food one of them is desperately hovering over to keep for himself.   A couple of weeks ago off my balcony, I watched a gull floating while eating a dead fish because it was too heavy for him to get airborne.  An osprey appeared and started to circle.  He then did a quick dive, and proceeded with grabbing and stealing the fish out of the water and from the gull.  The gull was not happy and began to chase the osprey but quickly gave up pursuit.  He knew he was no match to the osprey.   (The photos aren’t the best, sharing the behavior!)

Lining up for the strike and grab

Got it!

The gull begins the pursuit

Mr. Gull voices his unhappiness!

The osprey quickly gains speed over the gull and pulls away.

The gull gave up and the osprey is off with his dinner.

I found this behavior quite odd for an osprey, I’d never seen one steal from a gull.  But even more odd is osprey eat only live fish.  This fish was a floater.  So I wondered as I watched him fly off if he would eat the fish once he found out it was dead.  Hmmm…..

Finally, I have a photo (courtesy of Amanda Adams) and link of  an unusual occurrence with osprey and a bear.  Terry of  Montana Outdoors (one of my favorite blogs, give him a visit!) shared a story with me that occurred a few weeks ago in Montana where a bear made his way up a tall tree and into an osprey nest which was believed to have had a successful brood that season.   The parents caused quite a ruckus at the bear from the sky, but I’m hoping it was over their nest being trespassed, and that the chicks had fledged and were not in the nest at the time.

Montana CBS News carried the story with more photos.  Who knew a bear was another possible osprey predator??

As our summer winds down, it is apparent around our area that the osprey are beginning to leave for their migration to as far as South America.  No longer are we seeing or hearing very many osprey.  So farewell thee osprey, enjoy your tropical vacation, we will be here waiting for your return!  🙂

37 thoughts on “An Osprey, A Gull & A Floater

  1. A terrific observation of the interaction between the osprey and the gull, and great photo captures of the entire sequence Donna! The gull sure did have a lot of courage to even attempt to take back what was his/hers!

  2. Know you will miss the osprey but let us hope the nest in your front yard is back in full action when they return. I know you will find something to share with us until that time!

  3. A great collection of action photos, Donna. Amanda’s photo of the bear in the nest is quite funny, aside from the seriousness of him after the young ones.

    • Thank you Bob! The bear sitting in the tree did look as if he was grinning at the camera, being silly, does give you a chuckle. We just hope the little ones had already fledged!

  4. Very cool series of photos. I have seen raptors leave their dead game in the nest to feed their young over the course of the day. Maybe they are willing to eat floater if it isn’t too old. 😕

    • I’ve seen a duck, fish and rabbit lay on different days in an eagle’s nest all day as they feed the young from it. So it does make you wonder with the osprey just what they will do at times. Thanks Deb for your comments!

  5. Brilliant photos,sorry to say but now I am feeling jealous from you 😉 .You are so lucky to travel and catch interesting pics of the amazing natural world.I can imagine that feeling when you see all these things happening in front of your eyes. 🙂
    OK, the thing I liked most in these photos are sea waves. I like their shade.

    • I do love and am very thankful for the thrill of the amazing nature and waters that surround our home. What a joy it is each night to arrive from a stressful day at work; and it sure makes it hard to have to leave in the morning! lol Sometimes those gorgeous birds beg me to stay and photograph them! 🙂 I’ve been known to be late to work on occasion because of them. 😉 Thanks so much for your comments and stopping by!

  6. So happy to find this blog! Googled “no ospreys in my nest.” Any advice or links for me? We have a pole with a deck on top….looks like many successful ones on my creek (near you!)….but we only had ospreys the first year or two, which was 6 yrs ago. For a couple of years they’d start building, then leave…this year, nothing. Can we lure them back somehow?

    • Thanks Anne Theresa for stopping by and your comments! Unfortunately, there’s not too much you can do to ‘lure’ osprey to you. They are fickle on their location choices, sometimes they amaze me of their choice when there’s so many ‘better’ locations to chose from. (Examples are the osprey that continue to build nests on the overhead signs on Rt 50 around Grasonville, so crazy when there are empty platforms only hundreds of yards away!) This is our first season with no osprey after about 10 years of success. Resident osprey are known to return each year to their nest until one doesn’t survive the migration. If the other one survived, he/she may decide to take up a new residence location with their chosen new mate. We’ve come to the assumption that one or both of our pair didn’t survive their migration. We did have one osprey return back on time but a second one did not show. Then he disappeared after a couple weeks. It appeared thereafter we had several pair of new young osprey fighting for the nest but then they all gave up and moved on to new platforms just around the corner and on the buoy markers. Our remaining nest from last year became a ‘yard sale’ of branches that were taken day after day, slowly disappearing from our platform for use in their new residences. It was definitely odd that these pairs still fought over who ‘owned’ the platform as their ‘extra’ perch & territory, then I would watch them fly off to their nest. I had been planning are trying to figure out how to clean off the platform for a new fresh start for next year, but ours has been completely cleaned off, with no branches left. Sometimes nature has a way of taking care of itself.

      Great horned owls are also known to cause enough fear in an area to keep osprey away. Seen any of them? They are a major predator to the osprey.

      Is your pole over the water or over land? Osprey prefer over the water. Also they prefer it higher the better. Although I’ve seen some well-established nests not even 6-8 feet up over the water. So when you think you’ve got the osprey figured out, they throw a curve ball and do something completely out of the norm. They are very smart and unpredictable! I wish you the best of luck next year. Keep me posted next spring if yours becomes a home again for the osprey. Stay positive, I know it’s disappointing to watch another season go by with no activity. This season was a rough one for me too, I was heartbroken. They ‘become’ part of the family when you watch them on a daily basis!

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