The Osprey Are Back at Riverside

I was excited on Monday to see an Osprey fly over the Des Plaines River at Riverside with a fish in its talons. I selected the photo below from a series because it’s a little easier to see the fish.

But I never could have expected to see three of these magnificent birds shortly after I arrived at my parking spot by the Hofmann Dam in Lyons on Wednesday. First one, then two, and then three were all flying down the river. I could not capture all three of them in one frame, but for the record here are two in flight together. If you click on the images you can see them a bit larger.

The bird at the top of the post is a juvenile. I determined there was one adult and two juveniles, which makes perfect sense. It was time to teach the kids to go out and find some food.

Since I took way too many photographs of the Osprey and they are quite special, I think I will make this a short post devoted to them and come back with all the other birds I photographed later.

From time to time I would encounter one or another perched on the branch of a dead tree overlooking the river. When I took the photograph below I don’t think I realized that I was viewing the bird through a spider web but the camera picked it up.

This bird posed beautifully.

Below is a little perching sequence of same bird at the top of the post.

According to David Sibley the juveniles have white scaling at the edges of their feathers. Their eyes are also darker than the adults. When they’re flying overhead at a distance you don’t always get to make these distinguishing observations. But the bird in the sequence below appears to be an adult.

Here’s one more, closely cropped.

I will try to be back later with the rest of the birds and who knows what else. I was back in Riverside this morning, wondering if I would see any warblers. I didn’t see any, but I had a couple at the Portage yesterday. Fall migration is beginning.

4 thoughts on “The Osprey Are Back at Riverside

    • Thank you. You reminded me of the book, The Return of the Osprey, which I thought I had read but now I’m not sure, I will have to look for it. I am glad that their nest sites are being protected – it seems hard enough to be a raptor these days.

    • I just got lucky. I haven’t seen more than one at a time since. I think I had a similar situation last year with the juveniles. Maybe I can get lucky one more time. 🙂

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