Posts tagged “Osprey

Story Behind the Photo: Osprey

Osprey, Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin, FL

As I’ve mentioned in the past, Ospreys are one of my favorite birds. Now that I think about it, my fascination started when my family would spend as much as we possibly could on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Our trip from Virginia Beach included a drive over the Wright Memorial Bridge, named after the famous Orville and Wilbur Wright who first took flight in Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks. Along that drive, Osprey nests were easy to spot on the power poles and eventually the platforms provided for them along side the bridge. For me, seeing an Osprey today is just as exciting as it was when I was a kid and when I drive along the local bridges and causeways in the Tampa Bay area, I’ve always got an eye out to spot one.

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Story Behind the Photo: Osprey

Osprey, Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin, FL

As I’ve mentioned in the past, Ospreys are one of my favorite birds. Now that I think about it, my fascination started when my family would spend as much as we possibly could on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Our trip from Virginia Beach included a drive over the Wright Memorial Bridge, named after the famous Orville and Wilbur Wright who first took flight in Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks. Along that drive, Osprey nests were easy to spot on the power poles and eventually the platforms provided for them along side the bridge. For me, seeing an Osprey today is just as exciting as it was when I was a kid and when I drive along the local bridges and causeways in the Tampa Bay area, I’ve always got an eye out to spot one.

Buy a print | Osprey Photos


Story Behind the Photo: Ospreys

Ospreys, Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin, FL

I’ve been visiting Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, FL, for years. It’s my favorite spot for sunsets in the Tampa Bay Area, and that’s where my family goes when we are ready for a beach day. On all of these many visits, I was aware of “Osprey Trail” but never ventured down it until a few weeks ago. My, what I have been missing! Named for the 26 active Osprey nests along the trail, I’ve never had the opportunity to see so many Ospreys in such close proximity. I didn’t realize how nice it would be to see them in their natural habitat rather than nesting on telephone poles along area roadways. In their nests, perched on tree limbs, flying overhead – they were everywhere, and they were loud. I don’t know that I’d ever heard an Osprey call before that afternoon. Usually drowned out by the sound of crashing waves, or too far away to hear, the Osprey’s call is a unique chirp that surprised me. The whole afternoon surprised me actually, and I have found yet another reason to love Honeymoon Island!

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Story Behind the Photo: Osprey

Osprey near Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin, FL

Ospreys are by far one of my favorite birds. Since they live near open water, I am sure to always look for them as I drive near the coast and especially over the many bridges and causeways in the Tampa Bay area. They are large birds, roughly 2 feet tall with a wingspan of up to five-and-a-half feet making them easy to spot if you are looking for them. Ospreys are the only raptor to hunt by plunging feet first into the water to catch fish. To watch them is fascinating as they seem to hover in mid air for a few moments as just as they prepare to dive. I chuckle sometimes after seeing unsuccessful fisherman pack up their rods and reels after a long day of fishing, only to see an Osprey fly by with what seems like a huge fish in their talons.  Designed for fishing, they have spiked pads on their feet to help hold onto slippery fish and even carry the fish head first to increase their aerodynamics.

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Story Behind the Photo: Osprey

Osprety on Chanel Marker 9 in Hurricane Pass near Dunedin, FL

Each time my family goes out on our boat for an afternoon on the Gulf, we use Hurricane Pass between Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladesi Island State Park, in Dunedin, FL. As it’s name suggests, Hurricane Pass was formed by a hurricane in 1921 that separated what is now Caladesi Island from Honeymoon Island. The waters around Hurricane Pass are shallow and are a haven for feeding birds, especially at low tide. It  isn’t uncommon to see dozens of shorebirds on any given day, many jockeying for position on the channel markers to get a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the fish below. That is on all of the markers except number nine. In our many trips through Hurricane Pass, when there has been a bird perched on marker number nine, it’s been an Osprey every time. We assume it’s the same one each time and he’s our favorite part of Hurricane Pass. Click here to buy a print and view the entire collection