Monday, August 24, 2009

Birds of Prey - Osprey

Ospreys are birds of prey that feed on fish and are found around much of coastal Australia (although in Vic they are only found near the SA border). Osprey - Cape Range NP, WA.

Osprey - Darwin, NT.

Osprey- Darwin, NT. Ospreys fly over their territory scanning the water for whatever they can make a meal of. When they spot a fish they use their feet to catch it. They have a built in reflex that makes their feet grasp whatever they contact first. This one has mistakenly picked up a piece of woody debris - even though they are very skilled at catching fish on the wing even they occasionally miss.

Osprey- Cape Range NP, WA.

Osprey nest, Cape Range NP, WA. One of the parents is in the nest along with two young(just visible in the pic below). We watched them take turns in bringing back food for the nestlings. While one hunted the other stayed with the chicks. It seemed to be a continual relay and left me wondering how much fish could these little guys need. Ospreys often build nests on man made structures like they have done here. Other birds, like tiny finches also build their nests in the bottom part of the structure.

Osprey and young in their nest, Cape Range NP, WA.

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