birds -

Story Behind the Osprey with Red-winged Blackbird Photo

When I took a photo of a Red-winged Blackbird looking like it was hitching a ride on an Osprey's stick, I didn't realize how many people would enjoy it. I'm thrilled that so many have gotten a kick out of it.

This moment was captured late Spring of 2021. I was watching a Great Blue Heron rookery, which is a colony of several nests. I noticed an Osprey flying along the north edge of the pond and then a Red-winged Blackbird flew up from the marsh to follow. These Blackbirds are very territorial and will chase off much bigger birds to defend their nests.

As the Osprey turned towards me, I noticed that the Osprey was carrying a stick for its nest. At one point the Red-winged Blackbird looked like it was going for a ride!

I was surprised at how long the Red-winged Blackbird followed the Osprey, but I'm glad it did - it made for a interesting photo!

This photo has been featured at the following sites:

The photo is available to purchase here.


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