An Osprey Meal

At Blackwater NWR, a female Osprey is watching while filling the refuge’s quietness with chirp……chirp….chirp…..chirp…..

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Female Osprey brooding while watching & waiting on her mate to bring her a meal.


Her mate is in sight just across the way, perched in a tree with their meal.  He hears her.  But first, he will eat his part of the meal, the head of the fish.  The rest will be hers and any possible hatchlings.


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Male Osprey eating the head off the fish before delivering it to his mate.  He’s looking across at his partner who is chirping for him to hurry up!


At another Osprey nest, a brooding female watches her mate eat right in front of her.  He, too, will eat just the head.

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Another Osprey pair with the male eating the fish’s head before passing it over to his partner.


Word from Blackwater NWR is there appears to be hatchlings at their multiple Osprey nests, including the two above.  How wonderful for the Osprey!



26 thoughts on “An Osprey Meal

  1. I believe it’s going to be a great Season for all birds. They look very healthy and well fed. Have a beautiful Sunday Donna! Thanks for the post. 🙂

    • I hope so, HJ! They deserve a great Season. Have a beautiful Sunday as well! I will, I’m going to be with all three grandboys for the day. I’m positive there will be more boy than bird photos tomorrow with my camera! 😉

  2. Great pictures, and so interesting that the male just eats the head! We have plenty of osprey nests around us here on Shipping Creek on Kent Island but I have yet to see any sign of chicks in any of them.

    • Thank you! Keep looking! I’m hearing chicks are hatching everywhere. Do you know about the Osprey cam & blog on Kent Island? They are showing chicks on their cam now. Yay!

    • Thanks Ashley! That is ‘the tree’ for that Osprey male, lol. I can imagine he’d fight over it with anyone else, it’s perfect for him to be away from the nest but still perfectly close. 🙂 Spring is wonderful, with all the new life being born!

    • Thank you, Jerry, the Osprey are back to high numbers around the Chesapeake Bay region again. I guess Michigan Lake doesn’t have a long/warm enough period to support the Osprey’s March-September season? I’m sure there’s plenty of fish for them there. 🙂

      • We have a few osprey, but our governmental agency thetis in charge of restoring wildlife species seems to put a very low priority on osprey. I suppose that it’s because of limited money, and Michigan is working on so many other wildlife projects, such as wolves, moose, elk, and when it comes to birds, eagles.

    • I’m sorry I didn’t clarify on the fish-head eating! Actually, the male will eat an entire fish. But then his responsibilities shift and he also has to feed his incubating/brooding mate, and then add in hatchlings, AND add he’s trying to also supply nesting materials AND protect the nest, the male gets pretty darn busy. So after the catch and while enroute back to the nest, he will eat just the fish’s head to keep him fueled to keep on with his chores. If he’s lucky & has time, he’ll perch close by the nest to eat the head; but then as in this instance, the female sees him and makes it loud & clear to hurry up. 🙂 Yes, fingers crossed the hatchlings thrive!

  3. Great captures of the ospreys, Donna! I am always fascinated by the hard working parents, the male is busy with a diverse set of duties and the female bears the main responsibility of taking care of the off-spring! They both lose weight during the nesting season as they are no longer the priority as far as food is concerned. I hope the hatchlings grow up safely and fledge in due course 🙂

  4. Some very nice behavior captures! I have seen Osprey carry around fish with no heads before but I didn’t know that it was a behavior thing, good info.

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