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Gauge Height: 4.80'
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Posted In: Birding, James River

Richmond’s Ospreys Feast on Shad Run

Andy Thompson

April 28, 2015 10:21am
When an osprey does this...

When an osprey does this…

We’ve featured a lot of amazing bald eagle photos here over the past few weeks, as Richmond’s two nesting pairs — one on Williams Island near Pony Pasture, the other on Cooper’s Island near the Nickel Bridge — have laid and incubated eggs, hunted the James for food, battled each other in the skies of downtown, and now gotten their hatchlings nearly big enough and strong enough to leave the nest.

But RVA’s eagles aren’t providing the only aerial show in town. Back in March, our migratory ospreys returned from points south to nest and raise young in Richmond. There are nests all along the James within city limits, but our good friend Chris Johnson has focused mostly on the scene between the Lee and Mayo bridges. With the shad run in full swing, he’s had plenty of osprey action to keep him busy. Here are some highlights, and you can see more at his Instagram account.

It usually means this for a shad.

It usually means this for a shad.

And a short flight back to the nest for lunch.

And a short flight back to the nest for lunch.

But sometimes this happens!

But sometimes this happens!



























About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?