Osprey Catches Fish

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This series of photos shows an Osprey catching a fish.

I’ve found a tree that Ospreys use to spot fish at Loch Raven Reservoir, it is on the east bank of the river below the second dam.

The Osprey was perched in his tree overlooking a deep pool in the river that quickly transitions into a shallow fast moving segment.

When the Osprey launched from the tree, I was a little slow dialing in focus, and missed his approach.

The first photo is of his strike on the water.

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He didn’t fully submerge, but did hit the water with considerable force.

The next shot shows him gaining lift to rise back out of the water.


The next photo is of the first full down-stroke of his wings


With the fish firmly grasped in his talons, he gains a little altitude.


The Osprey then wheels hard right to fly off downstream with his catch.


I haven’t found where the Ospreys go to eat their fish, but I suspect that it is in a place that offers some concealment from the Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles that sometimes patrol the area at high altitude.

The image of the fish isn’t clear enough to identify the species of fish, but I suspect it is a Gizzard Shad.  Gizzard shad are numerous in the Gunpowder River and Loch Raven Reservoir. They are non-migratory shad and are present all year in very large numbers.