Wild Skies | Osprey

Wild Skies | Osprey

Ospreys are year-round residents in Florida.
Fish is their primary source for nutrition and energy their habitats are areas close to shallow water, including swamps, and marshes.

Osprey have adjusted from their natural preferred habitat by nesting on tops of utility poles as well as human-built platforms due to the construction of urban development around waterfront properties.

As the nests are often used year after year more nesting materials are added after each breeding season.

Osprey females may produce up to three eggs during mid-spring in April and May.

During the incubation period, both the male and female will protect their nest. It will take up to two months for the young ospreys to fledge.

At one time ospreys were once listed as endangered. In the 1950’s chemical pollutants like Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), and other chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides were being used to control unwanted insects. After following the ‘food chain’, researchers discovered the chemical would alter the bird’s calcium metabolism, and in turn, lead to shell-thinning.

In 1972 the United States of America banned DDT and many birds like the Osprey regained their population status.



Osprey - WP

Osprey | Alice Mary Herden

Photographing Ospreys
by Alice Mary Herden

The first tip is to learn about this bird. There are behaviors these birds do that can help you get your best shot. Whether you learn from research, asking avid birders, or from your observations and photo journaling, it is all valuable photographic information.

There may be some Ospreys that have particular habits, and they will do this or that when they are ready to take flight. Some may even have specific eating habits.

  • Have you noticed the fish’s head is always towards the front? Observe how the osprey tears into the flesh of the fish.
  • Do you see any different behavior or where it looks?

Of course, having a steady tripod and a good telephoto lens will help, but what else can help is a DSLR camera field monitor. These are great when you have to set up your tripod for low or high shots.

*Please note, the battery will get hot. So limit your time with the power on and always remove the battery when not in use.

Again, knowledge is your power when photographing wildlife, especially birds.

Stay tuned for a photography tip as I explain ways to photograph against the clear blue sky.

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