Morro Bay Harbor has been hosting a somewhat odd visitor, an osprey, who’s been delighting folks around the bay for several weeks now.
Normally found farther north of the Central Coast, osprey, or sea hawks (think Seattle’s NFL team), have been known to winter along the California Coast but hey, this is summer.
According to the bird website, www.allaboutbirds.org, “Unique among North American raptors for its diet of live fish and ability to dive into water to catch them, ospreys are common sights soaring over shorelines, patrolling waterways, and standing on their huge stick nests, white heads gleaming.
“These large, rangy hawks do well around humans and have rebounded in numbers following the ban on the pesticide DDT. Hunting ospreys are a picture of concentration, diving with feet outstretched and yellow eyes sighting straight along their talons.”
As for where one might usually find a sea hawk, “Look for Ospreys around nearly any body of water: saltmarshes, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, estuaries, and even coral reefs. Their conspicuous stick nests are placed in the open on poles, channel markers, and dead trees, often over water.”
Or as in the case of this photo, look for the osprey perched high atop a ship’s mast.
Photo by Neil Farrell