The Osprey’s Catch: One Fish at a Time

April, the month the ospreys arrive from their winter range to begin the cycle of life. I captured the below photo in Newport News, VA at the spillway where Lake Maury overflows into the James River. Two hours before high tide the ospreys flock near the spillway to capture their bountiful food of herring, shad and other bait fish. As the tide moves in, the fish swim through the spillway into Lake Maury. In a tight circle, the osprey flies about 10 to 30 feet above the water’s surface. When the osprey spots its prey, it does an aerial dance. Its wings flutter to hold its position from the winds current. The ospreys yellow eyes are intense on its prey. With its wings folded it dives into the water. Within seconds the osprey swoops out of the water with a fish snagged in its talons.


Written and photographed by:  Richard Smith


6 thoughts on “The Osprey’s Catch: One Fish at a Time

  1. Barbra & Jack Donachy December 31, 2013 / 7:27 pm

    One of our favorite birds. Terrific capture. Reminds me of a bay in Japan where I used to watch this “fisherman” plunge to the sea to catch mullet. JD


  2. 1kayaker December 31, 2013 / 7:36 pm

    Thank you I am glad it brought back fond memories


  3. bayphotosbydonna January 3, 2014 / 8:48 pm

    Gorgeous capture, well done, you and him! 🙂


  4. 1kayaker January 3, 2014 / 8:59 pm

    Thank you. I saw your web site. It is great. I too enjoy wild life photography. It is so interesting to study and learn from the subject I capture through my photography.


  5. Maureen McKeon January 5, 2014 / 9:36 pm

    This is beautiful – and I love your description of the osprey hunt!


  6. 1kayaker January 5, 2014 / 9:44 pm

    Thank you, I enjoy observing nature and writing about it. I appreciate your comment.


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