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Thread subject: So What is the Fascination With Ospreys??
Name Date Message
Tiger 06/30/05 09:05 am So what is it about ospreys that makes them so fascinating?

I know there are probably more peregrine webcams but I think ospreys seem more interesting.

Or what does it for you??
Anne 06/30/05 09:30 am They are incredibly beautiful for a start, they are migratory which adds to the mystery and their hunting prowess is amazing compared to other raptors. When you see an osprey plunge into a lake and sink for a moment as it grabs a fish, your heart stops - is it going to be able to lift itself out of the water. A peregrine stoops onto a pigeon - foregone conclusion. And I have to be absolutely honest here - I dont like to watch a peregrine eat another bird, even though they too are handsome.
Marie 06/30/05 09:55 am Because they are so fascinating.............will think about this question all day...and let you know after work..
cathy 06/30/05 10:48 am To me, they are a sign of health and vitality of our natural world (including us), since so many factors (fish, huge land masses, water, trees, helpless young, chemicals, population) affect their continuing existance. Also, building strong nests in adverse conditions, fish catching, mate selection, communication, incubation, culling young, threat confrontation are highly developed skills which are exciting and inspirational to observe. Also, people are amazed when I tell them that their only diet is fish - there may be other food around, such as dead and live animals and vegetation, but they only eat fish so somehow this seems cleaner and purer. They seem very clean and pure - nest tidy, rockets ejected, beaks clean, all fresh food consumed immediately. They are also beautiful - roosting and in flight.
Cecilia 06/30/05 11:27 am Cathy said it so well that I only have one thing to add...I have always been fascinated by their connection with the banning of DDT in this country. If Dennis Puleston had not been studying the Osprey colonies on Gardiner's Island and noticed that the population was dropping way off, taken some eggs to be tested and made the connection betwen that toxic chemical and the fragility of their eggs...the world could be a very different place today...possibly no ospreys and any number of other birds might have become extinct. Not to mention how the human population might have been affected.
Zara 06/30/05 11:51 am The first time I saw ospreys was up in Scotland. I watched an osprey catch a fish which was so big it pulled the bird down for a moment... phew what a relief when it came back up and flew off with its catch. The birds have been nesting there for the last four years, the nest well off the beaten track, so to come on this site and see nest, eggs then chicks is a treat. We visit the same place in Scotland every year. Wonderful cottage, views over the sea, over Loch Fleet and pine forest. Lots of birds and not many people, bliss. I get up at 5 to watch the sun rise then go out around Loch Fleet and 'The Mound', plenty to see and hear.Mmm not long until we go again.
Zara 06/30/05 11:58 am P.S. No web cams but scenic views. Look at Loch Fleet to see the Ospreys home.
Tiger 06/30/05 12:09 pm Oh thank you Zara those pictures are so lovely. I have been up in that part of the world once when I stayed at Carbisdale Castle.

Did you know that one of the female ospreys in Wales was hatched on the Black Isle?
Pam 06/30/05 12:19 pm Zara: thanks for that link, have bookmarked it, so many photographs to look at, need to have some time to fully investigate. I enjoy watching all birds including the ospreys but nothing thrills me as much as the bald eagle.
Melanie 06/30/05 02:16 pm I can't even begin to think why I like these birds so much. In New England, there were very few, so when moved down down here on the Chesapeake, I got very excited because I thought I was seeing something special and rare. I was, but I didn't realize that a the time. They may not be rare down here (on any given evening walk I see at least 4 adults and there are 4 nests on my creek) but special factor has never gone away. They started out special and they have remained that way. For a while I did Thursday night races (sailing) and we would go past the channel markers and I could start to see them close up and was amazed at how little fear they had for humans , that I could be nearly at eye level and 5 feet away from their nest without being attacked. When I found the ospreycam, the addiction set in hard and fast. These guys have become the avian version of crack.
Anne 06/30/05 02:36 pm Melanie - we used to talk about sailing to the Chesapeake, but I guess we are too old to cross the pond now. We have met so many great sailors from that part of the world. We just stick to Scotland and Ireland now. Anyway I can understand your addiction. I first got interested in birds when some baby blue tits landed on my fishing rod, and then when I started sailing I became fascinated by the terns and their 10,000 mile migration from pole to pole. Now I would say that birds are my major interest. Sailing - or cruising nowadays - is a means to an end for me.
Melanie 06/30/05 03:10 pm The best cruising times here is in the Spring and Fall - summer is just plain hot, humid, nasty and airless and unless there is a storm, the 7K SSE winds never vary. It is a beautiful place, though, and along a major flyway, so the birding is really great here in the spring and fall. I'm sure the waters around Scotland and Ireland provide you with enough sailing challenges. I've never been offshore, unless you count taking the ferry to Nantucket which is a 35 mile trip. You are never quite out of the site of land, one way or the other. When I first started learning to sail, I wanted to do the Bermuda Race, but at this point I am happy to go gunkholing (the art of putting as large a boat as possible into as little water as possible) and watching what goes by until the next high tide comes up. It took a long time for all those bruises to go away from short notice tacks! Kayaking is looking pretty good, too. ;-)
Anne 06/30/05 04:35 pm Gunkholing - thats a new word for me. We do the same only we call it mud-hopping- pottering up creeks - and settling down on the mud till the tide turns. We see allsorts that way, seals, waders, ducks, and otters in Scotland. We have never kayaked but used to have a Canadian. In fact I wouldent mind another, they are nice and stable.
Zara 06/30/05 05:27 pm For Tiger!
Carbisdale Castle... Now a Youth Hostel I believe. Amazing place. We stayed in another cottage about 5 years ago overlooking Carbisdale and the Kyle of Lochalsh.Very near to Shin Falls, salmon leaping, dippers, divers and many other birds to be seen (through the midges, abundant in that area) This year when we drive past I will think of you! Hopefully I will report any sightings of Scottish Ospreys, but where to??
Tiger 06/30/05 07:07 pm Oh Carbisdale Castle was a youth hostel then. That is why I was staying there.

Oh the The Falls of Shin......I can still feel the midges.

Report to??

Well as I have said on more than one occasion my public e-mail address is

Celeste 06/30/05 07:25 pm I often wonder why I feel so very passionate about this bird. A lot of what Cathy states is true for me also. To me they are a pure, tolerant, peace loving bird. They have been able to survive for millions of years and have adjusted to us in so many ways. And yes, as Cathy said, a sign of the health of our enviornment. The mating for life, returning to the same nest, the miracle of achieving a first migration and continuing it for years to come. So much....whenever I see one, it is like seeing osprey for the first time....they take my breath away!

Tiger 06/30/05 07:31 pm Well for me it was reading that book "The Scottish Ospreys" of how they were harried to extinction.....but then they came back.
Marie 06/30/05 08:06 pm Getting back to you Tiger......
As Cathy put it,
!) these birds are true indicators of a world that isn't always a perfectly heathly one...
2)Their ability to tolerate Man is quite remarkable as well as the fact that they have adjusted to man-made platforms in order to breed when suitable nesting sites aren't availabe.
3)Those ospreys that migrate navigate through such inclement weather at times and over such difficult terraine THAT THEY COMMAND MY RESPECT.

4) It generally minds its own business and doesn't, if I am correct, steal from other ospreys or bird species.
5)Lastly, their pure design and beauty of form is quite beguiling. When perched they have a REGAL pose which I find most attractive and when they dive for a catch and break through the surface of the water with their prey it is an awesome sight. This is the mythical phoenix- like- bird that rises from the ashes of the past that almost spelled extinction for these beautiful creatures. The DDT problem! They literally dive below the surface of the water and become fully submerged in pursuit of their prey. When this action is caught in slow motion on film it is indeed a beautiful picture. They are the only Raptor to do this. Although they are known as 'RAPTORS', they are like no other bird and are in a Class all of their own. ''Pandion haliaetus''
I am truly fascinated by this spectacular bird.
Lori 06/30/05 10:52 pm Not knowing all the scientific info on these birds...I fell in love with them before I knew the DPOF exsisted. I thought they were magnificant creatures,regal ,graceful; a pure joy to observe. Than I found out that they once were close to being extinct here on the island. So not only is my bird of choice gorgeous; they are also survivors. They have become my "mentors" Osprey have learned to exsist in this word peacefully and happily (I like to believe) An example I try to follow ; hopefully I will be as successfull. TA DA :-)

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