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Photo Submission

Submitted By

Cristina Hartshorn

Hopkinton, MA, United States


An osprey nest dominates the center of the pond at Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary, sitting on a very tall dead tree trunk. During a recent summer visit, the nest was empty but an immature bird (a female) kept on calling from a nearby tree. Suddenly, the calls intensified and the full-sized youngster flew to the nest. An adult bird (a male) fast approached emitting high squeals: I shot the scene expecting a confrontation. To my surprise, the adult deftly dropped a fish to what turned out to be its whining progeny and, in one fluid movement, took off again without touching down. The immature bird grabbed the fish in its talons and flew back to the original tree to eat it. I was amazed by the skill and grace of the adult osprey but even more by the intelligence of these birds. They clearly used the nest as a dropping station for the fish, thus ensuring that it wouldn’t be lost in the exchange.


Big And Smart, But Still Living At Home…

2 replies on “Big and smart, but still living at home…”

Theresa Nickels says:

Great story and photo! You were lucky to capture it!

Cristina Hartshorn says:

Thanks, Theresa! Your comment made my day 🙂
I was indeed lucky, as I really didn’t expect the story to unfold the way it did. I took several pics that show the sequence of events, but I could post only one here. The next one shows the adult changing the direction of its wings and “pushing” to take off without touching down: unbelievable!

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