Friday, June 16, 2017


Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge

I first noticed the Ospreys about 20 years ago at the Forebay above Shaver Lake CA. There has been a nesting pair there every year and this year is not different. They have changed their nest location since the original nest tree died. This is not a nesting area with a long history since the dam was completed in 1986 and the only water source is Shaver Lake. The water is pumped up to the Forebay and flows back down through an underground tunnel to make electricity. Part of the feeding territory for the Ospreys is the fish in the Forebay.
If you didn’t know where the nest was, you wouldn’t be able to locate it unless you saw the Ospreys land in the nesting tree. When I set up my tripod and camera, the fishermen who have fished the lake for years are surprised to learn there are Ospreys nesting by the Forebay. They come up to me to ask what I am photographing and look up to see the birds flying from the nest. They don’t seem to be concerned by the presence of humans and we are a long way below them.
The Ospreys are sometimes called Fish Hawks but are not members of the hawk family nor are they eagles. They are their own class of bird nearly as big as a bald eagle and have about a 6’ wingspan. They could be easily confused with a bald eagle with their white heads but their beaks are much smaller. They are distributed throughout the world. They are great fishermen and dive into the water to get their fish. Bald Eagles sometimes steal their fish from them. Eagles don’t dive for fish but do catch fish if the fish are close to the waters surface.

It was difficult for me to photograph them in flight so the photos are not as sharp. They have beautiful plumage when seen from underneath. I used my Sony A7R2 and an adapted Canon 400mm f4 D.O. lens for the inflight shots and added a 2X extender for the nest and landing shots. Hope you enjoy these beautiful birds. Most of the photographs are uncropped.

 Juvenile Offspring Testing His Wings

Closer View Of Talons

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