April 18, 2022
Springtime osprey action has been plentiful at Fort Monroe National Monument in Hampton, Virginia. This one particular osprey nest has been very active. I have watched and photographed this osprey pair as they have rebuilt their nest on this skinny light pole.
Osprey Pair Return to Nest
In early April this year, I observed and photographed a returning pair of osprey building a nest of this very skinny light pole near the old airway strip on Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. I began photographing in the early morning as the pair of ospreys were bringing nesting material back to the nest to build the nest back up. It really amazes me that this pair of osprey nest on such a small space on top of this light pole.
Ospreys Fighting Over Nest on Light Pole
The pair of osprey were away from the nest gathering nesting material, when I spotted another pair of osprey flying in the area. Suddenly, there were four different ospreys flying around this nest on the light pole. Then right before my eyes one osprey tried to land on the start of a nest on top of the light pole. Out of no where comes the other osprey, and a fight started in air over the top of this nest.
Nesting Ospreys defend only the immediate area around their nest rather than a larger territory. They will chase away other Ospreys that encroach on their nesting areas. A week later, I return to check on this same nesting osprey pair and found that they were still fighting off another osprey pair.
Osprey Feeding Time
Ospreys are a fish eating bird of prey and are also know as a fish hawk, sea hawk or river hawk. Ospreys will catch most fish at or near the surface of water. Since osprey primarily eat fish, their nests are usually located within a couple of miles of a body of water. The male will primarily do most of the fishing while the female osprey will stay at the nest waiting for the male to bring her some fish.
Osprey will catch and eat both marine and fresh-water fish. The osprey will hunt for their fish by hovering over the surface of the water. When the osprey spots a fish near the surface the osprey will plunge feet first to snatch the fish out of the water. Often the male osprey will then take the fish to a place nearby his nest where he will eat a portion on the fish before bringing the rest of the fish to the female waiting at their nest.
Check out a recent blog post about the the many different osprey pairs nesting at Fort Monroe National Monument. To learn more about the diversity of wildlife and the ecosystems at Fort Monroe, please read my article called Biodiversity of Fort Monroe National Monument in Hampton, Virginia.
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All the very best,
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