Saturday, 22 April 2017

Western Osprey (Balbuzard pêcheur) in Burlington, ON

18 April 2017

     We are very fortunate in Southern Ontario to have a very robust population of breeding Western Ospreys Pandion haliaetus and my good friend, Franc Gorenc, captured in amazing detail the sequence of an individual patrolling over the water and diving to capture a fish. 
     In the first image the bird is scanning the water for signs of prey, when it started to hover, indicating that it had sighted its quarry.

     It prepared to plunge down into the frigid water.

     Franc masterfully captured this image as it began its descent, never for a moment taking its eye off the fish.

     When an osprey hits the water it goes right under and following a successful dive emerges with a fine meal.

     It requires a lot of power lift out of the water with heavy prey and you can see the effort required of those huge wings to get the osprey airborne again.

     This dive yielded a very large fish and we watched the bird strain to lift off with it.

     The fish is taken from the water broadside on and the osprey then rotates it to achieve maximum aerodynamic efficiency.

     What a spectacle we witnessed. I have seen this drama take place many times but it never gets any less riveting. We all were left feeling privileged to have been able to see this magnificent raptor capture its prey. We wished it well as it flew off to find a perch to eat it.

     Thanks to Franc for his fine work and for permitting me to use these images on my blog.


  1. Love osprey. Great series of pictures.. Congrats David.. :-)))

  2. Brilliant Osprey images, I love it.

  3. Wow. Wow. Amazing. Superb photos. Congratulation.

  4. Hi David and aren't they such a delight to watch when fishing, such a wonderful bird and some super images by Franc. Super post. All the best to you both. John

  5. Hi David,
    Fish is very big ! Luckily, the raptor managed to get out of the water.
    Good pictures !

  6. Oh David, what an amazing sight to see. Fantastic photos!

  7. Wow, this is beautiful David.
    Wonderful to see how it pulls a fish out of water.
    Greetings Tinie

  8. You are indeed fortunate to have so many Ospreys close by, and so many lakes full of fish for the birds to take. To see Ospreys I have a 100+ miles round journey on our crowded roads - not much in Canada miles I know. I always hope to see them on spring passage in this area but rarely do. Hopefully I will see on or two in Menorca where there is a resident all-year round population which does not migrate back to Africa.

  9. Hi David

    Beautiful pictures of this beautiful bird of prey.
    Beautiful how he caught the fish.

    Groettie from Patricia.

  10. Hi David. What a delight to see Franc's images of the Osprey fishing. In spite of being a volunteer on the Rutland Osprey Project for more than ten years, this is something I've only witnessed once, as the Ospreys tend to fish away from the nest that we monitor!

    Love to you and Miriam - - Richard

  11. A beautiful set of sequence shots, and a bird I love to watch myself.
    All the best Gordon.

  12. Wow how lucky to see this in real life and lucky also to have Ospreys close by. I fantastic series of photos, well done Frank. Best wishes Diane

  13. Indeed a truly spectacular series of photos!

  14. Preciosas fotos del águila pescadora, son todas magníficas. Felicidades a Franc Gorenc, es sin duda un gran fotógrafo. Un fuerte abrazo David!!!

  15. Fantastic observation David,
    What a great series of pics!
    I wish I could see these birds more often here!

  16. Hello, awesome series on the Osprey! Great post. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  17. Stunning series of photographs.
    Fabulous post.

    Enjoy the remaining week of April ...

    All the best Jan

  18. Wauwwww .......... These are really great pictures of the osprey.
    Beautiful to photograph them in flight.
    I would also like to do this! So cool to see!

  19. Hello David,
    marvelous photos of the catching raptor. Gorgeous !
    Have a sunny day, my friend.
    Best, Synnöve

  20. The aerodynamic way Ospreys carry fish is always a wonder to behold.

  21. Magnificent, the way this osprey catches its prey.
    And magnificent, these series of pictures. It's telling a story.

    Best regards, Corrie