Archive for Eagles, Osprey, Harriers

Osprey pair 5/17/18

I found this pair of Osprey checking out the platform along the marsh channel at York Harbor, they sat together for quite some time but they only seemed to have eyes for the nest platform as if they’d already decided to build. What a treat, the Bald Eagle nest is only a few hundred yards away. I can’t ever remember a ti me I could drive just a few miles for an Osprey or Bald Eagle nest, let alone both!


Bald Eagle adult male 1/12/17


I see Bald Eagles fairly regular these days, soaring overhead while taking a walk on the beach, or in some pine watching the water for flotsam and jetsam like this one with scanning the York River. I had my eye on him for a good half hour and can say he was a small one, meaning male, as females are up to 25% larger. Their remarkable comeback continues even after they came off the Endangered Species list a decade ago.


Bald Eagle 5/11/15


For such a huge and majestic bird, their screechy piping doesn’t quite fit.


Northern Harrier female 1/12/15


Northern Harriers, aka Marsh Hawks, are a little peculiar in that they don’t belong to any of the 3 big hawk families (buteos that soar, agile woodland accipiters, and bullet-like falcons). Harriers are off on their own, hanging from V inflected wings as they fly low, tipping side to side, and using their owl-like facial disks to ambush prey on the wing by using finely tuned hearing as well as sight. Males are a natty gray while females like the one above, are larger and more streaked, darker and and browner. Many migrate, but not all of them along the coast.


Bald Eagles 11/21/14


I can see these eagles just about anytime I want with a half hour drive now. That’s a pretty amazing thing. There’s little chance they’ll let me get any closer without taking off but I still find the reliability of their presence uplifting. They hang out near one of the swimming holes where I grew up we called “the Trestle,” except when I was growing up there was no chance you’d ever see a Bald Eagle here. You see, not everything is getting worse.


Osprey 9/9/14


The Osprey is a bird of prey with a worldwide distribution, found on all continents except Antarctica and having a diet consisting entirely of fish. They breed near freshwater rivers and lakes with abundant fish and recycle their large stick nests that are repaired and added onto for decades. They are brown above and white below, though juveniles have buffy breasts and their backs are spotted with white. Osprey have a distinctive gull-like way of flying, and are often seen hovering like a kestrel or kingfisher before they dive feet first to catch a half pound fish with their talons. They typically mate for life, begin breeding around age 4, and live 15-20 years.


Bald Eagle 12/26/13


This majestic bird is a quarter mile away from where I photographed it so it’s not the sharpest photo, but it’s amazing to have them here at all. What you can’t see is that in another tree a few hundred feet to the left is another adult Bald Eagle, probably its mate, and in yet another tree is an immature Bald Eagle, possibly an offspring of the pair. I’ve seen several eagles at once in Nova Scotia and the Pacific Northwest, but never on the Hampton/Seabrook marshes of New Hampshire.


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