Big Birds!

It was cool and blustery again this morning, but the sun came out for a bit, and that helped a lot. Plus, I went straight down to the river to get out of some of that wind, and it turns out that I wasn’t the only one.

Our resident osprey had already caught its breakfast when I came by, and it was now high up in a giant cottonwood getting to work on it. Of course, it spotted me, as you can plainly see, but decided I wasn’t enough of a threat to bother dragging that fish to another tree.

By the time I had gotten about as far north as the pond, the sun felt nice and warm, so I took a chance and headed over to see if anyone was around, and here’s a goldfinch looking like it is still trying to warm up.

Here’s a female downy woodpecker working up a sweat on a little tree trunk between the path and the pond and completely ignoring me.

And here’s a grey squirrel adding a little fruit to its diet from a bush out over the water.

Back along the river, here’s a male downy woodpecker working just as hard as the female by the pond, but quite a bit farther up a tree. Thank goodness for that blue sky.

As I approached the base of stairway 5, just across from the southern tip of the southern island, long-time reader and expert spotter, Lisa, came hustling down the path to tell me about her latest find: a pair of great horned owls in a big maple tree right on the island.

They were about 6 feet apart on the same branch and slightly obscured by the leaves still clinging to the tree. This island is where we’ve seen owls before, one even took a bath just about right below this spot, but I’ve never seen two of them together in Estabrook before. Thank you, Lisa!

The forecast is for snow tomorrow morning, so that could be interesting, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

7 thoughts on “Big Birds!

    1. Yes, I haven’t seen that little cutie since October 1. Either someone come to collect it, undoing the misstep of whoever left it there, or it became a meal for any one of the many predators that live in or visit the pond, including the giant snapping turtle, the mink, or a red-tailed hawk.


  1. Hi Andrew, Apologize if you said it in one of your posts and I missed it. Mark and I were wondering where you’re seeing the Osprey more specifically on the river. AND, when do you typically go? IOW, are there times in the morning/day that are more likely to see him/her? Thanks for your guidance!


    1. After the first sighting, on the water between the islands at the north end, I usually see it over the river south of stairway 9. I’ve seen it there sometimes soon after sunrise, on my way north, and sometimes an hour or two later, on my way back south.


      1. Thank you much! And, awe, that poor lil yellow guy. He was soooo cute! We saw him a few times and was really trying his best to stay with the pack.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: