Newfoundland Travel - Birding: Osprey

Updated: Jan 27

Many of us spend years "chasing the dream" in our 9 to 5 jobs. This was certainly the case for me but, after my retirement, I saw that life had more possibilities than previously imagined. As a lover of nature and owner of a small vacation rental in Pouch Cove, I often explore the outdoors, take photos, and share my experiences with guests in order to help them plan their vacation. This is my birdwatching experience with the Osprey. #birding, #birdtherock, #osprey, #birdofprey, #raptor

Hovering overhead, this osprey has its wings spread widely and is holding its legs tightly to its tail.
Hovering overhead, this osprey has its wings spread widely and is holding its legs tightly against its tail.

As you stroll along one of the beautiful walking trails in Newfoundland, you may see an Osprey flying overhead. A beautiful sight to behold, it can be identified by its large size (approximately 21 inches long), distinctive markings, and soaring movements. #osprey, #raptor, #wildlife, #bird, #birdphotography

Viewed from below, an Osprey with its wings open, neck bent slightly upward, and tail fanned, soars through fluffy white clouds.
This osprey is likely a female as it has a mottled brown streaking pattern on its upper chest.

Osprey have dark brown back and wings, a banded tail, green legs and a white undersurface. A brown stripe highlights their beautiful olive-colored eyes. Females are differentiated from males by their slightly larger size and a mottled brown streaking pattern on their upper chest. #osprey, #birding, #birdwatching, #birdtherock, #newfoundland, #birdofprey, #raptor

Osprey hovering overhead, his wings fully extended and eyes keenly focused on what is likely fish swimming in shallow waters below.
Osprey hovering overhead, his eyes focused directly below (likely searching for fresh fish in a shallow pond).

Osprey's preferred food source is live fish and, because they are unable to dive to more than about three feet below the water's surface, they must nest within a 12 mile radius of shallow bodies of water to ensure a ready source of food for their family. While fishing, they soar the skies skillfully, using their sharp vision to detect food, then dipping quickly downward into the water, talons open and eager to grasp their prey. This link demonstrates an amazing video of an osprey catching a fish underwater (I give full credit to @hare_whisperer for this video and am grateful for the share link to offer the video to others to view). https://youtu.be/lUJt1JgleXU

Osprey soar over shallow bodies of water, circling repeatedly, and constantly scanning for accessible fish.
Osprey soar over shallow bodies of water, circling repeatedly, and constantly scanning for accessible fish.

Nests are usually built on treetops, cliffs or human-built platforms. Usually the male finds the site before the female arrives. The Osprey circles its nest to protect it against predators and, when danger is imminent, its sharp call becomes more urgent and rapid. Osprey will have between one to four eggs and incubate for a period of about 36 days (the full nestling time about fifty days). Young are born with a downy covering and eyes open. This Youtube video, compliments of CBC NL, shows some special Osprey family moments collected from the Newfoundland Power webcam. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxeJdpDo0fE

Osprey soaring in the clear blue sky, wings extended, tail fanned, and eyes focused directly ahead.
The view of an Osprey soaring overhead, wings extended, is an amazing sight.

I'm sure you will agree that bird watching in Newfoundland is a rewarding experience. Please follow my Newfoundland Travel Blog to see my work on some other popular tourist attractions in eastern Newfoundland. I'd be delighted to hear from you so why not contact me today?

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