Monday, February 14, 2011

Wildlife Photo Essay: Osprey vs Fish The One Minute Take Out Lunch

bird, Osprey in flight
For those who may have thought Ryukyu Mike was loosing it when I sat down by the river with my hands full BIRDWATCHING IN JAPAN the other day I'm going to show you what it's all about.

This Wildlife Essay is a ten photo series of shots taken at the Okukubi River in Okinawa, Japan on Feburary 5th, 2011. The Osprey showed up and grabbed his take out lunch so fast, I wasn't ready for him.

bird, diving
This is what an Osprey looks like when he spots a fish a few thousand yards below. It is 1:43PM and he is in the dive mode.

Osprey with captured fish
The tripod is going to slow me down so, I rip the camera off of it and look for where the bird made a big splash. At this point I am using the camera handheld and panning on the bird. I have no idea whether he caught a fish or not. I just concentrate on keeping a lead on the bird as he moves.

Osprey takes off with fish
Once he leaves the water, he takes off along the opposite bank of the river. Next, I know he'll head to the pine trees.

bird, osprey, fish
They get away from the water as quickly as they can. The fish struggles while the Osprey tries to turn it around in his talons.

With the fish facing headfirst, the Osprey reduces wind resistance and can fly faster. Many times during this maneuver, the fish gets dropped. If it is over water, the fish gets away. We have a smart Osprey here.

bird in flight
He's away from the water and gaining altitude but, still trying to get that stubborn fish to face forward and enjoy the ride.

osprey flies with fish facing forward
If you were on your last flight wouldn't you think it'd be kinda cool to see where you were going ?

osprey climbing in flight with fish
The Osprey is starting to gain some altitude and the fish is starting to wear out. It's still 1:43PM.

fish and osprey in flight
It must be kinda hard flapping your wings and trying to wrestle an uncooperative fish at the same time.

osprey flying over river
Here it looks like all the passengers are settled down and the Osprey starts flapping with all his might.

Still 1:43PM. I'll have to see if I can get that second hand on my camera fixed.

osprey carries fish home
Before you know it, the Osprey and his take out fish dinner are up in the top of the pines and out of sight.

It is 1:44PM. The only thing that could go wrong now would be Mrs. Osprey yappin' about, "What took you so long and where's the Tartar Sauce"?

Now, there's no award winning photos in this Wildlife Photo Essay because I wasn't prepared.

But, the next time it's a nice sunny day and I happen to be down by the river, I'll be ready.

The Osprey can spend one minute or just twenty seconds grabbing his Take Out Fish for lunch.

I'll light their eyeballs up for you !

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