Top Navigation  
 
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
 
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 
Features
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues

Bookstore
 Subscriptions
 Kindle Subscriptions
 Kindle Publications
 Anthologies
 Books
 Back Issues
 Discount Books
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

Advertise
 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

More
 BHM Forum
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Lost Password
 Write For BHM


Link to BHM

Where We Live by John Silveira and Richard Blunt. Photos and commentary from Oregon and New England.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Archive for the ‘Ospreys Catching Fish’ Category

 

Ospreys in Oregon, Part 7

Friday, August 10th, 2012

I’ve been busy with several things that have made me put off posting to this blog. Among those distractions have been taking photos. I can’t post while I’m shooting. And the thing I’m most apt to be stalking and shooting are ospreys. They are simply my favorite birds.

I never tire of photographing them, but the “premium” shots, to me, are those in which the ospreys are actively engaged in fishing. But getting good photos is part luck, part technique, a lot of gas driving from place to place looking for the little buggers, and a lot of hard work crawling over the rocks on the jetties.

The ospreys make a lot of dives and come up empty-handed on most of them. But they have the kind of persistence that pays off.

On August 2nd (which happened to be my son’s 30th birthday) I was on the mouth of the Rogue and caught this fellow in his act.  I didn’t bring the camera into position until after he hit the water, but when he emerged, both his persistence and my own paid off.

In the future I plan on running a lot of the unsuccessful dives because the birds can be really beautiful coming out of the drink with water spraying off of them.

The sequence was shot with my Canon 5D Mark III and my Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 USM.

As I’d said, I was already late getting my camera into play so this was the first shot in the burst. I didn’t yet know whether this guy had caught anything.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f/6.3     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

Here he is, coming out of the water.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f/6.3     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

I still haven’t seen if he’d caught anything and, as I said in an earlier post, ospreys can’t swim, so the have to get out fast.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f/6.3     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

He caught one!

Shutter speed 1/1000     f/6.3     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

Shutter speed 1/1000     f/6.3     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

He’s airborne.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f/6.3     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

He makes it look easy!

Shutter speed 1/1000     f/6.3     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

 

Ospreys in Oregon, Part 5

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

In my last post, I submitted photos of an osprey that missed a catch. Later, while going through my photos, I found a sequence where an osprey caught a fish. (I’m taking about 7,000 photos a month including what I take in burst mode, so I often don’t find some of the good ones until I laboriously go through them.) This is going to be my longest post to date with at least two poor quality photos, the third and fifth in the sequence, but they show some important things. The sequence you’ll see played out in mere seconds.

When I was shooting them, I had preset the shutter speed and f-stop and, of course, this lens is a prime, so it’s a constant 400mm. But I let the camera set the ISO speed, so it’s the one variable. Also, these are all crops from larger photos.

Here goes.

Like most flying birds, ospreys fly with their legs against their bodies because it improves their aerodynamics. In the first photo, the osprey has already started its dive and its legs and talons are extended.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 100     focal length 400mm

 

The osprey is getting closer to the water, so it’s legs and talons are coming forward.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 100     focal length 400mm

 

This photo is blurry and I wouldn’t ordinarily include one like this because of that, but I want you to see that the bird’s feet have been brought forward. Ospreys go into the water talons first.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

In this photo, the osprey has plunged through the water’s surface. Part of its right wing is showing and, as you see in the next two photos, it’s becomes completely submerged. It can pull fish from as deep as three feet under water (and maybe a little bit deeper).

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 200     focal length 400mm

 

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 200     focal length 400mm

 

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 200     focal length 400mm

 

You can see one of its wings breaking the surface.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 200     focal length 400mm

 

Its head has broken back though the surface along with the tops of both wings. What you’ve got to know is that, although fish make up 99% of an osprey’s diet, unlike pelicans, ducks, geese, swans, cormorants, and many other “water birds,” they cannot swim. In fact, if an osprey’s feathers become waterlogged, they drown. So this guy has to get out of the water quickly.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 200     focal length 400mm

 

In this and the next four photos, the osprey is using its powerful wings to pull itself out of the water.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 200     focal length 400mm

 

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 200     focal length 400mm

 

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 200     focal length 400mm

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 200     focal length 400mm

 

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

I’ve read that ospreys are successful on less than 25 percent of their dives and, from what I’ve seen, it’s no doubt true. But in this and the remaining photos, as the osprey breaks clear of the water, you can see it’s got a fish in its talons.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

Ospreys in Oregon, Part 4

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

I’m often down on the jetties in Gold Beach, or walking along Bailey Beach, or out on the gravel bar at Lobster Creek with the DSLR and a telephoto lens trying to catch photos of ospreys fishing. It occurred to me, long ago, that the ospreys and I have at least one thing in common: We are both often unsuccessful in our pursuits, but we are both persistent. I read that an osprey catches a fish in fewer than one quarter of its dives and, more often than not, I either don’t get the photos, or I get out-of-focus photos, or they’re too far away for me to get a meaningful shots. But, like the birds, I keep trying.

My very first post was of an osprey that caught an eel, right in front of me, while I stood on the South Jetty of the Rogue River. In the following sequence of shots, you’ll see one that misses.

At this point, I had just picked the bird up in the lens and there’s some blurring, but you can see its legs back as it begins its dive.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 100     focal length 400mm

 

It’s bringing its talons forward.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 100     focal length 400mm

 

As it nears the water, it’s going into the water talons first.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 

If I have to tell you what just happened, stop reading my blog.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 125     focal length 400mm

 

It’s come out of the water empty-handed (empty-taloned?). As I said, most of an osprey’s dives are failures.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 125     focal length 400mm

 

 

Still shedding water, it begins its climb for another try.

Shutter speed 1/1000     f-stop 5.6     ISO 160     focal length 400mm

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.