Friday, February 08, 2008

Osprey Landing

Sitting and chatting on a sofa in the living room of the house that would, less than six months later, become our home, MF and I were delighted one day last summer by the sight of an Osprey perching and sunning itself on a snag overhanging the lake adjacent to the property. Because of the paucity of breeding season (June-July) records of the Osprey in southern Michigan (see map from ebird), it is one of several species for which the Michigan DNR solicits online reports. Herewith is the full text of the report I submitted of our Pandion halieatus sighting.

DATE OF OBSERVATION: July 19, 2007.

LOCATION OF OBSERVATION:
County: Berrien
Town, Village, or City: Buchanan Township
Township: T7S
Range: R18W
Section: 36
Description of Location: Northeast corner of Crescent Lake (as known locally) opposite 4776 Erie Drive in the Crescent View subdivision, a location about 1 mi SE of downtown Buchanan, Michigan, and 1 mi S of the St. Joe River.
Water Type: Lake
Name: Crescent Lake

OBSERVATION OF OSPREY:
Features/Characteristics used in identification: Raptorial bird with light (white) head, chest, and underparts contrasting with prominent dark eyestripe and dorsal surface. Smaller than an eagle.
Number: 1.
Distance from Observer: 100 yards.
Rank Your Confidence in this Identification: Extremely Confident.
Weather Conditions: Clear.
Behavior of Osprey: Perching, sunning, flying.

COMMENTS:
The bird was perched in the top of a dead snag, where it sunned itself and preened for some time, then circled the lake several times before disappearing to the north, only to reappear over the lake a few minutes later.
In commemoration of this memorable event, we plan to call our newly-purchased property Osprey Landing.

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