Eyes of the Osprey March 2014
The Ospreys are back in strong numbers, and the crystal clear lakes of California now free of DDT are a literal paradise. The bandit of the sky with “the dark mask” is perfectly adapted with bendable elbows in those wings and an extra thumb nail on the talons for grasping the skeletons of large fish. Bald eagles often set its sight on stealing the fish from the ospreys. There are always some unique aerial displays between the two over the prized catch.
Now days, every body of water around these parts now have ospreys. I have even seen them over drinking water canals and small creeks. Recently, I have a located a particular bird at Los Vaqueros reservoir southern entrance who catches a fish and lands on a utility pole on the walking trail very close to the visitor center. Several people walk by and many stop and admire. They take photos of the osprey on their cell phones and show their children the incredible predator of the sky. It takes this bird nearly two hours to devour a large trout as he takes his time. My theory of why he is unafraid so close to humans may be that this area is UN desirable for Bald eagles who have much less trust of us humans. I stood there over an hour and observed this bird constantly stare to the sky with nothing passing by without a glance. The only change in demeanor came when an adversary osprey circled the area. At that time he screamed vehemently and made sounds I had never heard from an osprey. I have returned a few times to Los Vaqueros and have witnessed this same bird using the pole for his feeding perch. It’s almost becoming a daily show here at the reservoir. It’s true, the ospreys are back and I am including a couple pictures of what many natives called the fish eagle. If you visit there drive to the end parking lot and walk towards the buildings. Look at the utility pole top along the walking trail.
I realize I am always bias towards birds of prey, I can't help it.
#1 recent osprey Los Vaqueros reservoir (Alameda side) #2 Recent golden eagle on Vasco Rd. #3 Older coyote on Morgan Territory. #4 Recent profile of red tailed hawk near Bethel Island CCC. #5 Recent ferruginous hawk near Bradford Island CCC. Note The ferruginous hawks will be headed north soon, sending out one last look at one of my favorites. # 6 Recent osprey again at Los Vaqueros. # 7 Recent golden crowned sparrow at Old Marsh Creek Rd. CCC # 8 Black Crowned night heron "smiling" at Holland tract CCC #9 Recent Blue heron also on Holland tract CCC #10 Recent bobcat from south entrance of Los Vaqueros reservoir.