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.