Nesting Osprey pair at Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

Male Osprey with a fishMale Osprey with a fish

It is cloudy and snowing hard outside this morning so I dug into my files and edited these nesting Osprey images I took last year in mid May at Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in Utah. I absolutely love the Flaming Gorge area and have posted about it before. These images aren’t my best Osprey photos but I like the series, my Nikon D300 was in the shop being repaired so these were all taken with my Nikon D200, I won’t post my techs because there are so many images.

In this frame the male Osprey with a fish in his talons was flying into the nesting platform from below it but he has his eyes locked on the nest.

Male Osprey about to land with preyMale Osprey about to land with prey

As he came closer to the platform he flared his wings and tail to slow his flight down, he has released his grip on the fish with one talon, perhaps to enable him to grasp some of the nesting material as he landed.

Male and female Osprey at the nestMale and female Osprey at the nest

In this frame the female can be seen on the nest as the male approaches it.

Male Osprey landing on the nestMale Osprey landing on the nest

The male focused on landing, as I recall it was fairly breezy when I photographed this Osprey pair.

Male Osprey with wings flaredMale Osprey with wings flared

The male landed on the nest and flared his wings again.

The pair of Ospreys on the nestThe pair of Ospreys on the nest

I expected the male to give the fish to the female…

Male Osprey lifting off with his fishMale Osprey lifting off with his fish

But he didn’t. He took flight and landed on a nearby power pole and devoured the fish.

Female Osprey in flightFemale Osprey in flight

Not long after the female took flight and flew over the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, she may have been looking to catch a fish of her own.

Female Osprey about to land on the nestFemale Osprey about to land on the nest

She wasn’t gone long and didn’t catch a fish before she flew back onto the nest. There may have already been eggs because neither bird left the nest for very long.

Male Osprey fly byMale Osprey fly by

The male flew past the nest before we left them alone and gave me great views of his bright yellow eyes.

The road outside my window has turned white while I have worked on this post and winter still has a grip on Utah but it won’t be all that long before the Ospreys migrate back here to their nesting grounds.


Additional posts you might enjoy:

About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Splendid shots of a locally prolific bird! Right now there are nests on almost every pole and tree in sight that’s anywhere near water. That’s good news as it indicates the fishing is good!

    Hope your snow melts soon and your Ospreys return to their nests!

  2. Mia, cool series on the Osprey at the nest. You got some awesome shots of landing and taking off. Well done!

  3. I remember my overall frustration with ospreys because I wasn’t able to get close. Their preferences for altitudes made it harder for me where I used to live. I love the nests too. Bird nests are so prodigious, just where do they get this motor skill to build them? This is astonishing!

  4. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    These guys must be something to watch as they fly. In the photos they seem to go from a “bullet” shape and unfurl into flags of radiant energy. Simply magnificent.

  5. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    Dear Mia, This series is such a wonderful gift! It might not be your “best” but it surely is more than “best” to me. Each shot is an absolute joy to explore. So many thanks I can’t count them!

  6. A real story about the Osprey on their nest, truly beautiful.

  7. A wonderful series Mia!!!

  8. Great shots Mia. Nothing like an Osprey. Best feet in the bird world? Quite possibly.

  9. What a wonderful post, even though I live in the city I see Ospreys occasionally, they make for a beautiful sighting. Fantastic photos Mia

Comments are closed