There is something magical about seeing a bird of prey in flight. Wings spread, they seem to own the sky, soaring effortlessly on those invisible air currents. Like Olympic athletes, they make it all look easy, moving with impossible speed and grace, pulling the oohs and aahs out of the watchers below. And if you are lucky enough to witness the dive and catch, it will take your breath away as you watch that skilled hunter emerge from the sea with a shiny silver fish tightly grasped in those sharp talons.
I watch with my eyes and with my camera lens, tracking and focusing, trying to capture a glimpse of raw power in pixels. A walker nearby asks, “Is it an eagle?” I know this answer–I watch these beauties regularly enough to recognize them even at a distance. “It’s an osprey,” I reply, “they’re also known as sea eagles.”
These aren’t showy birds, they dress plainly in blacks, whites, and grays. And up close you can understand how they can see fish from high above the waves, their eyes are enormous in their small heads. Even as I know that my photos will never capture the wonder and awe that I feel as I watch, I’m happy when I look back at the images. A reminder of fuller memories stored in my head.