Osprey (formerly called Fish Hawk, due to their almost exclusive diet of fish) boast a great success story. Once seriously endangered due to DDT and other pesticides, they have made a strong comeback and are now found throughout the U.S. (Audubon.org)“Unique among North American raptors for its diet of live fish and ability to dive into water to catch them…” (All About Birds), this Osprey circled the wetland ponds, looking for breakfast on a recent morning. Osprey build their nests in tall trees, but often use other structures such as telephone poles and platforms. They often reuse the same nest, adding material to it year after year. This man-made nesting platform is easy to miss if you don’t know when to look up when passing by on the Wildlife Drive at the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
” Such platforms have become an important tool in reestablishing Ospreys in areas where they had disappeared. In some areas nests are placed almost exclusively on artificial structures.” (All About Birds) Very protective of their nesting site and their young, this adult was calling out a warning to visitors who stopped for too long to take a look!