Osprey Scores

Osprey carrying fish
Crow has fantasy that Osprey may drop fish. Forget it.
Osprey carrying fish; Crow closing in, but Osprey’s powerful wings soon leave it behind

I heard a loud splash, looked, saw a large bird taking off from the water, thought it was a pelican — but no, this bird was carrying a fish in its talons! (A pelican has webbed feet, not talons, and carries its prey in its beak.) With great good luck I managed to get a couple of images, not National Geographic prize winners but good enough to show the action and identify the bird. I’ve seen Osprey over the North Basin before, but always up high and out of range. This was very lucky.

An American Crow saw the catch and gave pursuit, dreaming that the big bird would drop the fish. That was not going to happen. Osprey have barbed pads on their talons to hold slippery fish, and can reverse their thumbs so that they impale prey from both sides. The Osprey soon picked up speed and left the pursuing crow behind.

Osprey have enjoyed a revival around San Francisco Bay in the past decade. They now have a website with webcams mounted by the Golden Gate Audubon Society.

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