Ospreys are migrating through Kansas, and today I filmed a bird eating a gizzard shad. The bird caught the fish at Pratt County Lake, and though I didn’t see the dive and catch, I noticed it flying toward a perch with the fish. When ospreys catch a meal, they usually find a dead limb in a large tree and leisurely enjoy their meal. Once they begin eating, they are usually tolerant of a reasonable approach for observation.
I got the feeling this bird didn’t like its landing spot that much, since it constantly struggled to keep its balance. But it finally settled down to begin eating the fish head first, tearing bites with its powerful hooked beak. And wouldn’t you know it – someone came along and scared the bird away.
But not before I had some good film. Watch for Ospreys from now through mid-October, and again in spring during the month of April. They stay around water, where they eat an exclusive diet of fish. If you’re lucky, you might observe their spectacular diving catches, sometimes disappearing underwater momentarily before taking flight again. Special!