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!  🙂

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