Bald Eagles, and Nesting Osprey in Idaho
We have spent the last four days back in Swan Valley, Idaho. We are camped below Palisades dam, along the Snake river. This is a new spot for us. We were going to just get water here, then saw the camp spots on the river and decided to stay. I’m really glad we did. There are huge cottonwood trees, berry bushes, and other small trees. The birds are thick here, and I love to listen to them sing.
But the real draw for me has been the Bald Eagles, and nesting Osprey.
The first evening we were here, we took a drive along the river. There was a bald eagle pretty far out there, eating a fish I assume. He jumped up and moved just a little before settling down again. That’s when I took these shots.
Such incredible birds. Even the young ones are awesome.
All along the road that goes through this valley, there are poles with osprey nests. Every year we see a ton of Osprey, and little heads popping out the top of the high nests. This year, I noticed a nest that can be seen looking down into it. We have been back several times to watch.
While watching this family we learned quite a bit. First, there is always one adult in the nest. The other adult will go catch fish, then take the fish to a nearby perch and kill, and eat some of it. These images are from the first time we saw the family one evening.
Dad caught a fish. They look like some kind of sucker fish to me.
He then took the fish to a power pole that was visible to the nest, but kinda far away.
We watched him on top of the pole for a long time. The fish flopped around, but could never get away. If you look close at their talons, you can see why.
Another osprey though he might want the fish too. No such luck.
Mom was getting impatient and kept calling to the dad to bring the fish. He ate quite a bit of it, then brought it to the nest.
The mom pulled chunks from the fish and fed one of the chicks. I don’t think the other one was hungry, he was content to just hang out. I shot a couple short videos, but the sun had gone down and they are a little darkish.
I went back the next morning when I knew the light would be better. Again, the dad..or maybe mom, had caught a fish.
This time both little ones ate.
I went again later this same day, and there was yet another fish waiting to be taken to the nest. Apparently these guys eat a ton.
One morning we got up early to drive the road along the river again. Great time to see birds.
There were two peregrine falcons eating rocks from the dirt road. They are so pretty, I love their markings.
We got to were the river opens up and stopped for a while. There were pelicans.
And some kind of crane.
This has been a great bird watching place. Every morning when I take the dogs out, there are bald eagles cruising the river for food. We have to leave today to do a show in Idaho Falls over the weekend. We are going to come back on Monday though and boondock along the river in a spot we found. Should be even better for photographing the birds.
Have a great weekend everyone.