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Exactly how big is an Osprey??

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Flew, May 27, 2005.

  1. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Most of us that have been fortunate enough to see one of these magnificent animals in the wild know how beautiful they are, and many great shots of this species have been posted here. Most however, are taken at some distance, and therefore have no absolute reference that reveals the true size of these guys.

    At the last Merritt session, I was standing under the Osprey nest by myself (most everyone else had gone off to try to find a reported owl sighting). Three Crows flew up and landed on a telephone pole about 30 feet from the Osprey nest, and one of them decided to try to sneak over to the nest and check for left-overs. Very dumb move!!

    The Ospreys tolerated this behavior for several minutes, but finally decided that enough was enough. I sort of saw this coming, but it happened so fast that I didn't get any really perfect shots. Here's one that shows what happened. Talk about your basic dumb-a$$ Crow.... :roll:

    BTW, the wingspan of a Crow is usually over 3 feet. Figure from that how big this Osprey was. 8)


    The Crows left immediately after this little episode. :wink:
  2. Leigh


    Feb 19, 2005
    Okay, now YOU are just showing off!!! ;-) Sure wish we could go down w/you guys this trip, but I'm sure you'll take enough pictures for all of us!! Have fun! Be safe!! Wear lots of anti-bug juice!!! And shoot lots!!!!!!!
  3. Hi Frank,

    What a great photo and story! It sure beat our wild goose chase after the nonexistent owl.

    FYI Sibley lists the Osprey at 63 inch wingspan, almost 2x a crow. Peterson lists the Osprey at 4.5 to 6 foot wingspan. This one was certainly at the big end of the range.

  4. They are incredibly large birds! This is a great photo and demonstrates your point very well. Tibet Butler Preserve has a couple of stuffed ones in a showcase at their info center and they are indeed very large. I'm always amazed at the size of their talons. I would not want to be on the receiving end of them.
  5. drueter


    Apr 24, 2005
    Southeast Texas
    Wow, cool shot, Frank! Hadn't really checked into their size, but now I get a good idea! Thanks for posting.
  6. Cory Cooper

    Cory Cooper

    May 24, 2005
    Salem, NH
    Awesome shot!

    Yes, they are quite LARGE. Would love to see one go for a Great Blue Heron...would look like a pair of Pterodactyls!!!

  7. Cool shot Frank, I really had no idea they had such a large wingspan...:shock:
  8. Cory Cooper

    Cory Cooper

    May 24, 2005
    Salem, NH
    Ospreys are big birds:

    Height: 22"
    Wingspan: 54"

    Very big, even in comparison to the Bald Eagle:

    Height: 32"
    Wingspan: 80"
  9. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    My Smithsonian 'Birds of North America' lists the size the same as Bob's Petersons at 54 to 72 inches. This one looks close to the 72 inch end. 8)
  10. Cory Cooper

    Cory Cooper

    May 24, 2005
    Salem, NH
    Yes, those were just quick, average sizes from a USGS site.

    I am sure they can get quite large with the proper "feeding" environment!

  11. Awesome Frank, great shot! cant wait to see your posts next week
  12. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Glad you caught this Frank..

    I see this all the time at work ' crows and mocking birds chasing and catching buzzard and osprey and pecking at thier tail feathers. Always Just a tad to far tough.

    Great shot. Thats a first and a keeper for sure.

    Thanks for sharing.
  13. Excellent Shot Frank!

    There is an Osprey nest on a stump in the middle of the lake in
    the middle of a swamp near my cottage. Last year mother osprey
    got pretty irate about me and my boat being too close. She came
    down a couple of times and I swear I thought she was coming for
    me. But she just screeched and flew away. I would not want to
    be on the receiving end of those talons.

  14. Greg


    Apr 5, 2005
    Fayetteville, TN
    Stop it Frank! you're making me depressed.
  15. Great pic. and wow that is a big one. Didn't know they got that big. Keep up the great work Frank.
  16. Beautiful shot Frank, damn near wish that crow wasnt in the picture ;-)

    Cool shot, well done!
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