Staredown: Osprey print framed in reclaimed cedar

I love and work outdoors. In turn, I get a lot of great photo ops. My main office is the field, our natural environment. I got into framing to frame my own photography, much of which is centered around landscape and wildlife photography. I work for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ(CWF) and work with a variety of endangered and threatened species in New Jersey. One is the osprey, a state threatened species. I’ve worked tirelessly to protect them for the past 8 years since I graduated from Unity College in Maine. I’ve installed over 120 nesting platforms for them.

Each summer I help monitor nests and band young before they can fly. I survey a very large area, from Monmouth County south to Atlantic City. As I climb up to each nest I get a surprise, a true surprise. When we time our surveys young can be anywhere from hatchlings to 6 week old chicks (they start flying at 7-8 weeks). One late afternoon I set out to survey New Jersey’s most densely populated colony, Sedge Islands, where between 25-30 pairs nest within 2 square miles. On my way to Sedge I stopped at a small island colony, Clam Island, where a buddy of mine helped me to repair two old nests around 5 years ago. All nests were occupied but there was a different nest, not in a platform, but in a large nest built on a snag over water! So I slowly brought the boat into where the nest was located and walked up to the nest. The adults flew off well before I arrived and let me know they weren’t too happy by calling and dive bombing me. The young laid low in the nest as I waded in the water towards the nest. I checked the young to be sure they were healthy and not entangled in any type of plastic debris then banded them with aluminum leg bands for future tracking. After I banded the last one it stood up and stared me down. As you can see it tried to look big by fluffing up feathers and not backing down. I took a couple photos and went off to Sedge.

I really never thought I’d get such an awesome photo of an osprey nestling. This is by far the best photo I’ve ever taken. It’s not from my experience in photography but from the reaction of the osprey as I stood there, knee deep in water taking photos of it. An experience I’ll never forget!I just had to frame this print and plan to frame many more that I’ll sell and donate proceeds to CWF. Check it out in my Etsy shop.