Osprey Noir

//Osprey Noir

Osprey Noir

I figured it was about time I added to my Bird Noir series.

I was on Elliott Bay, looking out for the re-tern of the terns — Caspian Terns — when I saw this Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) flying toward me. I pre-focused where I thought she might be fishing, but she veered off to my left and hovered over a Port of Seattle storage yard that was obscured from my view by trees. Still expecting her to make a dive into the bay, I was surprised when she suddenly plunged toward the dirt below her and swiped something from the ground … in the same way a Bald Eagle grabs her salmon with an overhand grip.

The Osprey banked left, over the fence and flew past my head. I saw she was carrying a section of thick marine rope for her nest. I shot a few frames as she dragged her treasure past me and back to the nesting platform which is just an Osprey hop-and-skip away.

As often happens to me at this particular location, she was backlit by the sun and entirely in silhouette. I was able to draw out quite a few shadow details from the RAW image, but the colors were just about bleached to black and white anyway. So, Bird Noir it is for this Osprey.

(This is one of an Osprey pair nesting on a platform constructed on Port of Seattle property near the Cruise Ship Terminal.)

Shot with my Olympus E-520, Zuiko 70-300mm f4-5.6, 1/1000, f8, ISO500.

Click Images for Larger Versions

Osprey Carrying Marine Rope at Port of Seattle

Pandiona with Nesting Material in Seattle

By | 2012-04-19T02:32:37+00:00 April 19th, 2012|Animal Behavior, Birds, Blog, Raptors, Seattle +|6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Mia McPherson April 19, 2012 at 4:22 am

    Ingrid, I like both images but the second one where the Osprey appears to be looking at you speaks the loudest to me. Love the wing spread, fanned tail and the trailing rope.

  2. Larry Jordan April 19, 2012 at 5:23 am

    I concur with Mia Ingrid. In that second photograph she is looking right at you with those big golden eyes and it just takes your breath away.

  3. ingrid April 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Mia and Larry, I appreciate your perspective on this. It’s funny how images strike us a certain way. I didn’t fully appreciate the second photo until you pointed those things out. I was initially drawn to the first photo because it makes me laugh how Osprey carry everything in the same way they carry fish … with that aerodynamic posture and grip. Thank you both!

  4. Ron Dudley April 22, 2012 at 4:41 am

    My favorite is the same as yours Ingrid – for the same reason you mention and for the better light on the head and eye. Really like the unusual “nesting materal” also.

  5. Glenn Nevill April 27, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I like the first one the best. I like the shape of the rope mimicking the wings. I also get a feeling of the effort it takes to nest. The second shot makes carrying the rope look effortless.

    • ingrid April 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks, Glenn. It always makes me chuckle the way Osprey carry everything as if they’re carrying fish. I realize this is not funny in itself, but when you watch them turn objects in their talons for reduced drag, it’s an ingenious behavior.

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