Cirque d’Osprey

Driving up and down highway 95 between Golden and Radium offers a lot in the way of beautiful landscapes and the rich marsh offers much in the way wildlife. Especially abundant are the osprey nests crafted carefully on manmade platforms near power and telephone poles. These were created to prevent Osprey from building nests in some high energy locations. Just what you need when servicing a high-voltage line, an angry Osprey.

The Osprey is unique in a few different ways, I found one very interesting fact among them. It belongs to the genus Pandion, and the family Pandionidae, but it is the only member of both this genus and family.  Although the Osprey is sometimes called the sea-eagle it differs greatly in the shape and function of its talons. Only the Osprey and owl have a reversible toe that allows them to grasp prey with two in front and two behind. Unlike the mullet it seems its business up front and in the back.

I recently came upon two Osprey fishing in a nearby pond. Their behaviour was risky business, diving from a height above the water into a graceful spashdown. After surfacing, they did not look their best with a healthy case of bed head.


At this point I was excited for the bird, I thought for sure he managed to get what he so deserved. His wings started to beat furiously in what looked like a hopeless struggle to get airborne. Water splashing resembled a Saturday afternoon at the local public pool. Finally he is making progress and things manage to look more promising.


Seeing his empty talons is sad for the Osprey but makes me happy, because I know he is still hungry and will try again.

Of course its not always fun and games for the patient wildlife photographer. Sometimes you find them perched.

Or in some cases these love birds get it on with a panoramic view of the sunset.


And sometimes they let you know when they are tired of the giant lens and the endless clicking. This road is much busier then it used to be.

We should start seeing some little Ospreylets sometime soon. You will see me driving looking for little fliers.




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