(Note from Miles: I was able to take these photos during a Breeding Bird Survey on June 21, 2018 at Manitoulin Island)
Bald Eagles sometimes bully Ospreys into dropping their fish, then stop to grasp it before it hits the water (or ground).
One of my most vivid memories involved this interaction.
I was startled to hear a roar of wings overhead and looked up to see an Osprey, which had evidently been pirated of its catch, diving at the offending eagle and then pulling up at the last moment as the eagle dropped its prize and rolled over presenting an armament of talons to the oncoming Osprey which swerved upward to safety.
The result of this episode was that neither bird got the fish. I did, as the big sucker hit the ground near me.
The first impression of an Osprey is often that a very big gull is winging overhead, with long, slender wings, swept back at the wrists where there is a dark blotch, very white below and dark above.
Then you notice the dark mark behind the eye and the conspicuous “eye brow”. The wingspan approaches six feet (about a foot less than the eagles). When not disturbed they will build their bulky nests atop big, tall trees or poles, sometimes quite close to human habitations.
Some will accept platforms provided for them mounted on tall poles near over over water.
Dr J Murray Speirs