Osprey & fish


Not Kokanee: a few correspondents challenged my identification of the fish as a Kokanee. It is now confirmed to be a sucker.

For many years, I have wanted to capture a sequence showing an osprey plunging into the Lake and then rising out of the water carrying a fish. Four summers ago, I managed parts of the sequence, but alas when the osprey surfaced, it had no fish (see, osprey plunge).   

There could be many reasons for my failures: The event is unpredictable; It is fleeting; It is distant. But, the bottom line is that, as yet, I just have not figured out how to capture the moment. Sure, I have pictures of an osprey packing a fish (often headless), but I have had difficulty recorded the moment of capture. 

Although I still lack the whole sequence, progress was made last Monday while walking along a beach near the mouth of Kokanee Creek. I heard a splash and swung around to see an Osprey lifting a sucker from the Lake.

My favourite shot of the capture was taken one second later as the airborne Osprey flew off with its reluctant prize.

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3 Responses to Osprey & fish

  1. Mandy Bath says:

    A kokanee? Are you sure? Looks like a squawfish to me.

  2. Larry says:

    Believe this is a Sucker in this great photo. Love the detail – water droplets and all.

  3. Bill Baerg says:

    Great Shots, as always Alistair!
    I see a Longnosed Sucker in both frames for the following reasons. The brown yellow tinge in general is conducive, whereas the Kokanee should be quite visibly red. Then the long head, especially the sloped down snout, is not conducive to the Kokanee which would have an upturned snout with some funky red/green spawning coloration. Finally the large or long anal fin that seems too limp for a salmonoid is just one other hint for me.
    I’m always amazed at the high number of coarse fish that are photographed as captured prey. They must be slower swimmers! 🙂

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