Baby Falcon – Where have all the Osprey Gone?

Over the weekend I was down on the Cape for the first time in a couple of weeks. The weather was beautiful and a lot of people were around, but it seemed a little quiet. A lot of the birds had left. In particular, I noticed the osprey were gone.

Early in the summer only one parent would hunt at a time while the other stayed with the eggs or chick. By early September not only were both parent osprey hunting, the fledged chicks were joining them. At times I could see six or even eight at a time circling the ponds.

Not this weekend.

On my normal kayak ride I only saw one or two egrets at a distance and one great blue. Of the three swan families I only saw one.

Swans

I did see a few kingfisher, but as usual they didn’t let me get close.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I also kept seeing large bird of prey, but I was able to get many pictures.

Down on the beach most of the shorebirds were gone, but I did see a big bird fly by and then land some distance away. Here is the full uncropped picture using a zoom with a 35 mm equivalence of 600 mm. If you don’t know what that means, this is a telephoto lens that can bring the distant pretty close. As you can see, I wasn’t very close.

Falcon at a distance

I slowly walked towards the bird, taking pictures as I approached. For the most part he didn’t pay much attention to me. I walked around to his front, still closing the distance. He began looking, but he didn’t seem bothered. He has his mouth open in one picture, but I never heard a sound so I don’t think he was warning me.

I took over 200 pictures as I approached. I never knew when close was be too close. Most of the time he had his back to me or he was grooming himself. He also was watching the ultralights flying over.  Here is an uncropped picture of my closest approach. A bit closer than the first one, yes?

Closer falcon

Check out the gallery at the bottom for more pictures of this immature peregrine falcon. Click on a picture to bring up the slide show.

Shortly before it was time to go home I was walking by a small lake and heard a familiar cry. One immature osprey was still in the area. I took almost 100 pictures of him as he circled and splashed into the pond. He was on the far side so the pictures didn’t come out, but here is a sample of some of the pictures (click to enlarge).

osprey-collage

I can’t wait until next year when the osprey return. For now a whole new flock of bird species will be showing up in front of my camera. There’s no telling what I’ll post next.

22 thoughts on “Baby Falcon – Where have all the Osprey Gone?

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  4. Akhiz

    awesome clicks, birds of pray have always been my favorite, once even got attacked by an eagle, there are so many species of them in my part of the world (south asia) :)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks Akhiz! Attacked by an eagle must have been quite an experience. There are several large birds of prey around where I live. We do occasionally see Bald eagles, but I have seen more when visiting my parents who live near Cleveland (I’m closer to Boston).

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  5. lifeconfusions

    Woah these are extremely impressive shots. I’ve to admit I don’t know much about professional photography but the way you explained the close up picture and the farthest one. I really liked it :)

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  6. M-R

    It must be strange, the way one moment the joint’s jumping and the next it’s like 4:30am on a Sunday morning … But you did bloody well under the circ.s !!! The ospreys are, indeed, simply heaven; so I can’t wait any more than you can – in a vicarious kind of way. :-)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It’s a huge difference in just two weeks. I love the Osprey, but then again i thought it was pretty cool to get that close to the baby falcon. Watch this spot some time in late April or early May, perhaps June…. (I think I posted my first osprey pictures for the year this year in June)

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  7. idiotwriter

    These are really lovely shots Trent! Did you take them?
    My favourite little guy is a Malachite Kingfisher. When I used to work for a Safari company on a lake I loved watching them build their nests along the banks. Sometimes they would perch themselves on the end of the boat – THAT was a treat :D

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks! Yes, those are all mine from this weekend. I’ve had a lot of problems getting pictures of the Kingfisher because they usually fly away before I can get close. I’m typically in my kayak when I see them. It is cool to see them dive into the water. They don’t make quite the splash Osprey do, but I think they go deeper in relation to their body size. The best kingfisher photo I got this year is https://trentsworldblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/king-fisher-01.jpg

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          I live in North America – I split my time north and south of Boston. Most of the time I live in New Hampshire about an hour north of Boston. I spend a lot of weekends on Cape Cod, about and hour and a half south of Boston.

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            1. trentpmcd Post author

              I often try to avoid regionalisms, but it’s hard to even write “Cape Cod”. I think if I were to say the words out loud people around here would give me a quizzical look and and say, “Where?” ; ) Most of what you write is border-less, but I knew you were in the UK. I think I followed you for a while before put you on the map.

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              1. idiotwriter

                Just a curious triviality dear. I like birds and wondered if they were birds from the Cape I refer too or somewhere else ;)
                I agree you see… borders are only good for certain things. But lets not go there right :P

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                1. trentpmcd Post author

                  I just looked it up – Malachite Kingfisher are from Africa. The Kingfisher on Cape Cod is the Belted Kingfisher. They’re related. Peregrine Falcons are spread all over the world except for New Zealand and Antarctica while Osprey are also pretty widely distributed, though not quite as far as the falcon.

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