Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Raptors: Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and Great Horned Owls

We made it thru St. Patrick's Day and the drinking holiday's are behind us.:-(

One of the bald eagle's nesting in the Gulf State Park behind our house sailed over today to look for fish lazing in shallow water on the lake in front or finding a stray dog or cat looking like a McD's take-out snack. You don't realize how big they are until one swoops down to check their food sources. They truly are majestic. Visit my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/frank.kelso.author to see pics of one sitting in a tree on park land (I shot the pic from my back porch).

If you like watching raptors, the Orange Beach city WEB page http://www.cityoforangebeach.com/ opens to camera site spying on an osprey nest overlooking Wolf Bay, which separates the island from the mainland. The osprey is a fishing hawk about one-half the size of the bald eagle. The ospreys have nests along the Gulf and in the State Park. The osprey's will lay their eggs soon and they will hatch in late April or early May. The spy-cam lets you watch them feed and, eventually, fly from the nest.

The past Dec, a Great Horned Owl borrowed the cozy osprey nest to lay its eggs. This raptor is an opportunist when nesting; they use any nest, expecting to chase off smaller birds or squirrels. The osprey would have been a problem for the Horn Owl, but the "wise old owl" planned ahead. The Owl laid it eggs by mid Dec, hatched the owlets by mid Jan and fledged them before the Osprey's arrived. Isn't "owlet" a dufus name for an owl-chick??

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