Nature / USA

Gone Fishin’ … Osprey (Oops!), Hawk Style

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Like most bloggers, we love hearing from our readers. Your funny stories always entertain; your travel tips help us discover new places. And often our interactions teach us new things.

This is one of those times.

* * * * *

On a summer bike ride, I breezed by a fearless osprey perched on a fence by the trail. He sat quietly while I shot some pretty neat closeups. I wrote a post about this encounter, and a few weeks later an email from one of our readers arrived. The email said the post was interesting, and the photos good, but unfortunately, the bird was not an osprey – it was a hawk. Say what?

In my defense, I do live on an island, which by definition, is surrounded by water. And on the coast in the Southeast US, this means ospreys. I checked my trusty Peterson’s Bird Guide, but the photos didn’t provide a clear answer.

So I sought the advice of our blogging buddy, Miranda at Spend Your Days. In addition to being a very talented blogger, Miranda just happens to be a wildlife veterinarian. And bless her heart, she sent this diplomatic response:

“Beautiful close-ups of a gorgeous bird, James! But unfortunately not an osprey. No matter the age, osprey have a dark stripe of feathers adjacent to their eyes (almost like a mask), which I’m not seeing on this handsome fellow.”

You might enjoy the previous post. It’s still about ospreys, but as you now know, the photo is a hawk … oops.

Blog and learn my friends, blog and learn.

Happy Trails,

P.S. Here are a couple of photos of real ospreys by our blogging buddy and talented photographer LuAnn over at Paint Your Landscape. For more great bird photos from Honeymoon Island State Park, check out her post.

Osprey 1 by LuAnn Oburn

Osprey 2 by LuAnn Oburn

37 thoughts on “Gone Fishin’ … Osprey (Oops!), Hawk Style

  1. A beautiful bird just the same. I had a MUCH stronger reaction when I posted a picture on my facebook page of a large feline in my backyard. I mistakenly called it a lynx (it was a bobcat). I didn’t think I’d ever hear the end of that one!

  2. What a great story! I chuckled to myself a bit. Hehe. Yes, this dear blogging community is such a gift, a plethora of information and inspiration. 🙂

  3. I’m not a big birder so I could have easily made a similar mistake. I believe I have the osprey down now, including his distinctive sound after being on Honeymoon Island. Thanks for the shout-out James. 🙂

  4. James it is good to know we can all make mistakes 🙂 I am so grateful to this blogging community, you and Terri leading the way, for all of the learning and guidance. A great community.

  5. Still, amazing to get that close to a hunting bird. Ospreys swooping into the water to rise with a fish clutched in their talons is an amazing sight, but very hard to photograph unless you are a trained, and extremely patient, wildlife photographer.

    • I love to watch ospreys fish Dorothy, but a diving osprey is beyond my skill level. Also, we have dolphins in the waters around the island, and I’m always trying to get a nice photo. But, the quickest way to get a dolphin to move on is to take my camera out. Yep, I have a good deal of respect for wildlife photographers. ~James

  6. You could have told me it was a Blue Jay, and I might have believed you. 🙂 “Blog and learn” ought to be the WordPress slogan.

    • Maybe I should rush out and get the copyright on the phrase Anita. And I don’t think you have to worry about ospreys in Nashville, so you’re safe. But now blue jays, you need to work on. ~James

  7. I get oops, James. I have a friend who carefully reads my blogs and reports any errors. 🙂 Peggy and I both read it carefully before posting, but occasionally something will slip through. I am always fact checking. I just had a yard stick out to figure out how deep a trench I dug for an emergency snow shelter I am writing about in my next blog. LOL I do appreciate it whenever someone corrects a mistake, however. And I like the way you handled it. –Curt

    • Yes Curt, this oops wasn’t so bad. And I got two posts for the price of one, which is never a bad thing. Terri and I do our own editing, and there are always mistakes that make it through. Usually, I like to write the post, then Terri and I do our edits, and I let it sit for a few days and come back to it. I’m less concerned about typos than about making the post concise. I’m always wordy on the first pass. As to fact checking, I’m a big believer in that as well, but I still say that dumb bird looks like an immature osprey – despite all evidence to the contrary. ~James

      • Oh – it’s wonderful to see them catch a fish! And the really cool thing is that when they fly away with it, they always line the fish up aerodynamically in the claws face first into the wind. Quite a sight!

  8. It was all my fault! 😉 You & Terri have taught me so so much over the course of reading your blog, that I felt the need to return the favor. My apologies for nitpicking, James… no matter the genus and species, it remains a beautiful bird and some amazing photography!! I hope you two “lovebirds” (scientific term, of course) are having a great time in Mexico!

  9. Thanks for the bird lesson! I’m hopeless when it comes to identifying birds but I was reasonably sure I had seen a hawk in our neighbour’s backyard the other day. Your picture helped confirm my suspicions. Woohoo!

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