"" Writer's Wanderings: When Is An Osprey Not An Osprey?

Friday, March 11, 2016

When Is An Osprey Not An Osprey?

Several years ago we rented our first condo in Florida and it happened to be near an osprey nest. It was fascinating watching the comings and goings of the inhabitants. The nests are huge and are all over the Florida Keys. Many of them are actually on tall posts that have been specifically placed for the osprey to nest on. I'm guessing it's to encourage them not to use the lamp posts on the highways.

The osprey is also called the fish eagle, sea hawk, river hawk or fish hawk and by its other names you can tell that its main diet is fish. We watched one day as the osprey carried a wiggling fish to its nest to feed on. I'm guessing there might have been some little ones in there to feed as well.

This year we have met a fellow from Quebec who is an avid photographer and osprey watcher. He pointed us to a nest he'd discovered where we were at least eye level with it. On our way north to pick up our granddaughter, we pulled off the exit ramp of the Overseas Highway to check it out and sure enough, there was an osprey on the nest. Our friend said that there are several young ones in the nest but we couldn't see them. I think mama osprey was shielding them.

Another spot we were directed to was at a local hotel that has three stories and at the end of one of the buildings is an osprey nest. This one begs the question: when is an osprey not an osprey? Answer: when the nest has been taken over by an owl. According to reports the owl fought valiantly to take over the nest and won. The hotel personnel we spoke with says they expect to see offspring soon.

Nature provides abundant entertainment in the Keys.

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