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Old 03-11-2019, 07:03 PM
  #261  
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I haven't seen any yet but the ospreys should be back to the Chesapeake Bay any day now



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Old 03-12-2019, 07:20 AM
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Great shot, Mako. Ever notice how they hold their fish when flying? They actually hold them straight forward and parallel to their body for better aerodynamics and less resistance. Really amazing.

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Old 03-13-2019, 04:13 AM
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They are amazing birds. There is a channel marker just inside the train bridge on the Gunpowder and another, the first one south of the bridge before Maxwell point, I go by all the time.
We see them when they return, have the chicks, watch them grow and be fed then in the fall they are gone.

Found this interesting article when searching where they spend the winter.
The bird is 3 months old and the path is instinctively known. 2,700 miles!!!!!! AMAZING.
Like the monarch butterfly and so many other animals. Mind boggling.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/backpa...eir-migration/
"On a clear morning in early September 2008, a three-month-old female Osprey named Penelope pushed off from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and flew, alone, 2,700 miles to French Guiana in 13 days.She touched down in coastal Maryland and North Carolina for three days, lazed along the Bahamas for four, then blew through the Dominican Republic in 29 hours. At dusk she launched out over the Caribbean, flying all night and the next day to a tiny island off the coast of Venezuela. A week later she was exploring rainforest rivers in French Guiana, her home for the next 18 months."
.

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Old 03-13-2019, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Hatem View Post
Great shot, Mako. Ever notice how they hold their fish when flying? They actually hold them straight forward and parallel to their body for better aerodynamics and less resistance. Really amazing.
Sometimes the fish are too big to fly with




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Old 03-13-2019, 05:51 AM
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Great Osprey Shots - I saw one this week on a ICW Marker - Topsail area
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Mako 234 Sometimes the fish are too big to fly with

That's a great pic. I'm not really good with identifying fish to be perfectly honest, but is that a sheapeshead? Don't they have human-like teeth those friggin things lol.



Another cool tidbit about ospreys is their feet they're more unique than any other of the raptor species. Another reason why they couldn't classify them as eagles despite their strictly fish diet and also because of their talons. Unlike the majority of raptors which have the three front toes pointing forward and the rear, killing toe (hallux) pointing backward and owls which have two forward pointing toes and two rear-pointing ones, the osprey is capable of interchanging it's outside toe to go forward or backward and be like a hawk/eagle or an owl. You can clearly see the one forward foot doing so in the pic I posted. Obviously a trait for assisting the grabbing and holding on to slimy and slippery fish. Their talons are also completely round. The only raptor like that while all others (eagles, hawks and owls) have concave bottoms to their talons. Most likely another adaptation to piercing and holding on to fish a bit more easily.

One thing for sure when you watch these magnificent birds carry their fish forward through the air is the reaction of these fish.
It's like wuuuuut the F.... just happened!?





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Old 03-13-2019, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Hatem View Post
That's a great pic. I'm not really good with identifying fish to be perfectly honest, but is that a sheapeshead? Don't they have human-like teeth those friggin things lol.



Another cool tidbit about ospreys is their feet they're more unique than any other of the raptor species. Another reason why they couldn't classify them as eagles despite their strictly fish diet and also because of their talons. Unlike the majority of raptors which have the three front toes pointing forward and the rear, killing toe (hallux) pointing backward and owls which have two forward pointing toes and two rear-pointing ones, the osprey is capable of interchanging it's outside toe to go forward or backward and be like a hawk/eagle or an owl. You can clearly see the one forward foot doing so in the pic I posted. Obviously a trait for assisting the grabbing and holding on to slimy and slippery fish. Their talons are also completely round. The only raptor like that while all others (eagles, hawks and owls) have concave bottoms to their talons. Most likely another adaptation to piercing and holding on to fish a bit more easily.

One thing for sure when you watch these magnificent birds carry their fish forward through the air is the reaction of these fish.
It's like wuuuuut the F.... just happened!?
Sheepshead is correct. I was in a kayak and saw an osprey struggling in the water so I paddled over to it. Sat there over 30 minutes watching it and took over 500 pictures. It ended up eating about 1/2 the fish to lighten the load to be able to fly off with it.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:38 PM
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Borrowing a phrase recently posted here on THT...... "you could throw a cat in there sideways"............

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Old 03-15-2019, 08:03 AM
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HUGE osprey fan... I get great enjoyment out of watching them do their thing. I am lucky to be in an area heavily populated and I can watch them dive bomb from the comfort of my deck. I have endless blurry pics of them fishing. One day I will buy a camera that is fast enough to actually get a clear shot.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:22 AM
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Key Deer on Big Pine - those mosquitoes torment them so badly.

One of turtles on walk-about

Hitchin' a ride

This little guy got caught in a 5 gallon bucket in the garage. Cute in an ugly kind of way.
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:58 PM
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This is a really heavy crop but I think a new eagle or pair has moved into the nest across the creek from me. This bird looks younger with its colors.



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Old 03-23-2019, 03:43 AM
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From a few years back on my corn plant. The leaf is about 3" across.
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Mako 234 View Post
This is a really heavy crop but I think a new eagle or pair has moved into the nest across the creek from me. This bird looks younger with its colors.


Very likely this is the same, exact bird you took a picture of earlier or the previous year, below. Sub adult going through it's final stages of adult molting, showing very much the same characteristics in flight pattern and attitude with the head. Tail is getting whiter as well as beak is getting yellower. Everything points at it being the very same bird. Very, very coooooooool!

Originally Posted by Mako 234 View Post
These aren't the greatest but yesterday had 2 juvenile eagles come in to harass the pair that live across the creek from me. One of the adults had food that the young ones wanted. I've always wondered if the young ever return to where they were born?





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Old 03-24-2019, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatem View Post
Very likely this is the same, exact bird you took a picture of earlier or the previous year, below. Sub adult going through it's final stages of adult molting, showing very much the same characteristics in flight pattern and attitude with the head. Tail is getting whiter as well as beak is getting yellower. Everything points at it being the very same bird. Very, very coooooooool!
Those were taken 6 or 7 weeks apart. Do they change that fast? I know at the time of the younger bird picture there were 2 white headed eagles in the nest. When I first moved into this house I found an old journal that talked about the eagles nest across the creek back in 1997. I think the male is a new bird as the other bird has been spending a lot of time in the nest recently. I really have no idea but they're fun birds to watch. There is no shortage of eagles around here so seeing others besides the pair with the nest is not uncommon.

Anyway, here are some pictures from kayaking this morning.





















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Old 03-24-2019, 02:56 PM
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Down here in Patigonia.... A Southern Caracara and a Grey Fox...

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Old 03-24-2019, 05:06 PM
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Cara Cara's... fence post birds... lol. They're everywhere and will kick a turkey vultures butt.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:17 PM
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We have about 6-8 of these that return to the same section of real estate ( open farm fields and scattered pot holes) every year.
They are so cool to watch. Usually completely unperturbed and stoic when you stop the car to snap a picture.


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Old 03-24-2019, 06:29 PM
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These two are about all grown up now. Still see them wandering across the flats along the river

nearly every day
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mako 234
Those were taken 6 or 7 weeks apart. Do they change that fast? I know at the time of the younger bird picture there were 2 white headed eagles in the nest. When I first moved into this house I found an old journal that talked about the eagles nest across the creek back in 1997. I think the male is a new bird as the other bird has been spending a lot of time in the nest recently. I really have no idea but they're fun birds to watch. There is no shortage of eagles around here so seeing others besides the pair with the nest is not uncommon.

No, definitely not the same bird then if it was only 6 or 7 weeks apart. I thought the first pic was taken a year ago and if that was the case, then yes. It would've gone through it's molt and looked like that second sub-adult. So cool you have so many bald eagles nesting and coming through your area, very lucky.

Speaking of bald eagles and a super cool, emblematic historical story about these magnificent birds that are only found here in North America that I bet not too many here knew about.

Has anyone ever heard of "Old Abe"? Old Abe was a young, nestling bald eagle who became an orphan when the tree his and his sibling's nest was in was chopped down by an Indian Chief called Ahgamahwegezhig (Chief Sky) in 1861 in Park Falls, Wisconsin. One eaglet died from the fall and the other was taken by the chief to become the tribe's pet. Later the chief canoed down the Chippewa River and met a farmer named Daniel McCann who incidently, lived near "Eagle Point" Wisconsin. The chief made a deal with McCann and sold the young eagle for a bushel of corn.

Ahgamahwegezhig (Chief Sky) who cut the tree down and captured Old Abe.


At the time, the Civil War was in full swing and at a nearby tavern, a local company of volunteers were hanging out getting drunk and McCann brings the eagle to the tavern to see if anyone was interested in buying it since it was growing fast and becoming harder to handle by his family. A few of the volunteers from the Wisconsin 8th Volunteer Regiment decided to pitch in $2:50 to buy the eagle and take it back to camp and use is as their mascot. Long story short, the Company's Captain Perkins names the bird Old Abe (for obvious reasons as a Union regiment, they were quite fond of Abraham Lincoln) and so they decided he would be part of the colors regiment and made him a special perch and assigned him an "Eagle Bearer."



Legends were made and written of Old Abe that he would get excited every time they'd be getting ready for a battle and he'd fly over the battlefields screaming and warning his fellow soldiers of the enemy's position. They treated him better than most of the soldiers and grew very affectionate of him. He survived something like 38 battles and skirmishes and eventually the Confederates found out about him and would target him specifically to kill him and ruin the regiment's morale. So they moved him to the end of the battle formations.

After the war, he became an even bigger legend and they would parade him through Eau Clair, Wisconsin and people would want to take their picture of him and he would salute on command.

Old Abe sitting on canons as he's paraded through the streets post civil war.




Really a remarkable and true story and even more interesting is that the famous 101st Airborne patch is designed in commemoration of Old Abe, the Fighting Eagle.






Original photos of Old Abe on the custom perch they made for him.







Ironically he lived for a long time after the Civil War and was kept in the City Hall's basement museum and he died when it caught fire and went up in flames. Somewhere in there is a wild lesson in irony. But definitely a very cool story that not too many know about.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:19 AM
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This fella was territorial and liked to stay on the front porch where the other turkey pic was taken from.


A couple days ago around 3pm



Peeping tom almost broke the window beating on his reflection


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