Osprey No. 3

This morning before sunrise, I sighted my third Osprey in our area.  I was hoping when I stepped out this morning before getting on the road to work, I’d at least ‘hear’ one.  I found a pair of Osprey on Lippincott’s Channel Marker #3.  And YES I heard them too!  What a wonderful sound, I love it.  I watched this pair for just a couple minutes before they both flew off to the left where I anticipated they went to one of the Osprey platforms erected at Osprey Point (I cannot see these platforms from my balcony, but I can when I drive by them).  Sure enough, there the pair was, sitting on the platform seen closest to Rt 18 when I drove by.  Their season is ready to begin!  Here’s a couple shots of the pair on the channel marker.

Osprey Pair on Lippincott's Channel Marker #3 3-15-13

Osprey Pair on Lippincott’s Channel Marker #3 3-15-13

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Osprey pair reconnected

As soon as I passed their Rt 18 platform, I jumped on and headed east on Rt 50 towards our infamous Osprey nests over the highway; my first Osprey sighted was still on his/her nest sign, still waiting for his/her mate to return.  That also gave me my confirmation I have indeed seen three arriving Ospreys.  🙂

While photographing the Osprey couple, I couldn’t help taking a photograph of the House Finch on my neighbor’s railing.  He was also enjoying the sunrise.

House Finch singing at sunrise

Male House Finch singing at sunrise

My buddies, the House Finch.  They do love sitting on the balcony railings….and leaving me little presents.  😉   Here’s three more photos of maybe him above or another visitor hanging with me at sunset one evening.

House Finch enjoying the last of the day's rays

Male House Finch enjoying the last of the day’s rays

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Male House Finch

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Male House Finch

A surprise visitor at sunrise a week ago caught my eye running below me on the ground between me and the Osprey platform.  He was fast!  I took several photos and got lucky.  I thought to myself, my goodness this dove or pigeon is fast.  But the red eye, hmmmm….  Well, I soon found out when I pulled out my books that it wasn’t a dove or pigeon at all, I came up with identifying him as a Sharp-shinned Hawk (correct me if I’m wrong, as this would be a newbie to my bird list!).  The Sharp-shinned Hawk is the smallest hawk in North America.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

He was here and then up and gone as he flew off!

Well, this is a quick post, I had to shout out the third Osprey sighting for us locals who are eying the sky, markers, and platforms for another Osprey arriving.

Welcome back, Osprey!  And to all of you, have a great weekend, thanks for keeping up with me!

15 thoughts on “Osprey No. 3

  1. I would say that the “presents” the finches leave are worth the gift of their song! The hawk does look like a sharpie, and I agree with you. They and Cooper’s hawks are nearly identical other than their size, the edges of their tails, and the length of their necks. The one in your photos looks too small to be even a small Cooper’s hawk.

    • But the male Cooper’s hawk is quite a bit smaller than the female Cooper’s hawk. So much so that the male Cooper’s hawk approaches the size of a large, female Sharp-shinned hawk.

    • I agree with you Jerry on the ‘presents’! Thanks on the ID help, I’m caught in the middle here! 😉 Did the red eye help at all on IDing? All the images I saw between the Cooper’s and Sharpie, I only found the red eye on the Sharpie. Do Cooper’s have a red eye at all?

      • You must have missed my post on Cooper’s hawks
        http://quietsolopursuits.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/coopers-hawk-accipiter-cooperii/
        as the adults do have red eyes. It is often hard to tell a sharpie from a cooper’s, I’m going by relative size to ID the hawk in your photos. A male sharpie isn’t as large as a crow, in fact, not much bigger than a pigeon, at least the one I was following around for a couple years wasn’t. The female was a little larger, about the size of a crow. My general rule for making a positive ID is that the Cooper’s tails have rounded edges and they have necks. Sharpies have square tails and no neck. I find the slight color variations about worthless to make an ID, as the light often differs enough to make coloration useless, especially in photos. I doubt that this will help though, every one has their own ways of telling the two species apart.

      • Thanks again Jerry, I did just jump to your post. Saw the red eyes! 🙂 I do have a few more photos that I’ll run thru to look at the tail closely. This one was real small, almost dove size. So many birds, I don’t know how you can learn them all, but I’m slowly trying!

      • I haven’t learned them all, not by a long shot. I still have flycatcher photos that are very good, but I can’t make a positive ID of the species. I was fortunate to have a pair of each species of hawk in question around my apartment complex and saw them at least weekly. Although, the more time the cooper’s hawks spent around there, the less time the sharpies were around. But, the red-tailed hawks didn’t seem to bother either of them. It was only because I saw all three species so often that I got fairly good at IDing them.

  2. You are indeed lucky to get good views of Osprey. Over here in the U.K. although numbers are slowly increasing they are still a rare occurrence and limited in their nesting locations. As numbers slowly increase (and these have been helped by release schemes) folk are erecting Osprey nest post in what are thought likely spots….but that is very much guess work! Look forward to seeing the season progress with your birds.

  3. That little house finch certainly was photogenic. 🙂

    As to whether the hawk is a Sharp-shinned hawk or a Cooper’s hawk, here’s a nice side-by-side comparison: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/accipiterIDtable.htm

    I am also tempted to think it is a Cooper’s hawk. To me the widest part of the bird appears to be mid-torso which goes with a Cooper’s hawk. The Sharp-shinned hawk is widest up higher… almost at the shoulders. But to me the definitive thing is the coloration of the head. According to Cornell, the Cooper’s Hawk has what looks like a “dark cap” because the feathers on the back of the neck are lighter and contrast with the dark feathers on the top of the head. However the Sharp-shinned hawk looks like it is wearing a “dark hood” because the dark feathers on the top of the head blend into the dark feather on the back of the neck.

    • Execellent info Deb, thank you so much! I just now saw this second comment from you. And darn if at the link doesn’t show the red eye. lol Goes to show how amateur I am with birds, but with all of you, I’m learning more and more! With all the hawks, I even bought a hawk book to further try to help me. Thanks again, I really appreciate your help and sending the link!

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