Bird of the Week

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This week’s Bird of the Week, compliments of the Weminuche Audubon Society and Audubon Rockies, is the osprey.
Ospreys are large raptors that feed almost exclusively on fish. Seen in flight, the osprey has a white under body, brown upper body and wings bent at the “wrist.” It has a white head with a brown curved band reaching from its hooked beak, through its golden eye, to its neck.
You might spot an osprey pair at a lake or river near Pagosa Springs as they breed, nest and fledge their young from March through October. Well-equipped for their specialized style of hunting, they search for fish from perches or in flight 30 to 130 feet above the water. They hover, rapidly dive and hook their prey with their sharply curved talons.
Ospreys nest high in trees and on platforms provided by wildlife agencies. In 2017, the Southern Ute Wildlife Division installed a webcam on its osprey platform at Lake Capote Recreation Area. By visiting its website, lakecapote.com, you can get a close-up view of osprey life before their fall migration to the south. The screenshot above was taken from the webcam on May 12. There are three babies in the nest.
You can help ospreys by picking up monofilament line and loose hooks whenever you spot them in fishing areas. Becoming entangled is a serious hazard for them.
For information on local birding events, visit www.weminucheaudubon.org and www.facebook.com/weminucheaudubon/.