Urban Wildlife Sighting…Osprey in the backyard?!

Urban Wildlife Sighting…Osprey in the backyard?!

This is one the pics I took on Monday, here in Long Beach. Osprey is an unusual hawk to see locally, let alone in my backyard!

Yup. On Monday, I was in the back yard doing some pruning, when I heard an angry crow.  Looking up to the power in the next door neighbors’ yard, I noticed a huge hawk trying to enjoy its lunch in peace with a crow incessantly harassing it.  In addition to bugs, chickens, and plants, I am also a nerd about birds.  I ran inside and grabbed my old camera.  When I uploaded the photo on the computer to see it larger, I was shocked to discover, it wasn’t any of the regular hawks we often see like Red Tail or the most frequent visitor, Coopers Hawk.  It was an actual Osprey.  The only time other time I have seen an Osprey in the wild was this past summer outside of Grand Teton National Park on the Snake River in Wyoming.  They like to live near rivers and waterways where they can fish so I would not normally expect to see an Osprey around here in Los Angeles County. I told K this morning about my sighting, and she said both she and some other neighbors have seen it over the last few weeks, as well.  This fellow on the power pole must have decided since the weather was so pleasant here in Southern California right now and the pond in the park looked like a good fishing hole it might as well stay for a winter vacation.  Hopefully Osprey don’t like chicken.

More pictures and details on Osprey can be found at Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  They are the folks that use the information every year from the Great Backyard Bird Count on February 14th to February 17th this year.  To participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count or find out more about it visit birdcount.org here.

Osprey was just trying to eat a fish but the crow, seen over on the right side of the photo, kept bugging him. The Osprey finally turned around and gave the crow a dirty look, and then flew away.

7 thoughts on “Urban Wildlife Sighting…Osprey in the backyard?!

  1. Wow did it bother the chickens at all in the yard? I saw your plum tree. I was out shopping for some fruit trees the other day. Need to go back and buy a couple. Also two of the chickens are laying so far. The black one everyday for the last couple of weeks. The brahma just started.

    1. Hi Elaine,

      No, the chickens were actually kind of oblivious to the Osprey on the pole. Normally they are freaking out if they see anything even remotely hawk like from above. Maybe they figured the crow had it under control or since it already had a meal with it, it was no threat? The Osprey only stuck around about 5 minutes.

      That’s great news about your bantams! My White frizzle cochin just started this morning; it was a cute tinted and kind of ping pong looking egg. I bet your white cochin will start laying really soon, too, since it was from the same pairing, it just didn’t get the frizzle gene. Is she still super sweet? My white frizzle is really friendly and likes to be cuddled.

  2. Wonderful! Here in New England, the Osprey have made a valiant comeback. When I was growing up, they were absent. Thanks to Rachel Carson, they’re back again — on the coast as well as inland. What a treat to behold!

  3. I’ve got one that sits in my neighbor’s tree and drops fish bits on my car, doesn’t bother the chickens though. We are in La Jolla by the cove.

    1. Yuck! Fish on the car?

      I am glad to see such a magnificent bird around here. However, I doubt the chickens agree.

      That’s cool that they nest in S.D.! It was a nest overlooking the Snake river that made it possible for us to spot one this summer in WY. I don’t think our pond is big enough to support a nesting pair of Osprey, but possibly the San Gabriel River nearby could. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled.

  4. Lianne: I lived in inland North County San Diego near Rancho Bernardo for years and once, to my surprise, saw an osprey (they can be 18 inches tall) near a pond on a golf course. Since many of the local lakes are becoming smaller and smaller, they might be forced to move inland to find food. They are beautiful, aren’t they? But as you say, rare to see around residential areas.

I would love to know what you think about this.

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