By Mike Busch

For many of us, the surest sign of Spring is the first arrivals of Osprey from their long journey north from South America.  I checked all my local nests yesterday and struck out but you can always count on members of the Long Island Wildlife Photography group to not miss anything.  Barbara Metcalf and Michelle Penyy both posted photos of early arrivals yesterday below.

Osprey – Barbara Metcalf

Osprey – Michelle Penyy

As you read this, hundreds if not thousands of Osprey have left or about to leave their wintering grounds in South America to return to Long Island or migrate through to New England.

Here a few factoids about their migration:

Ospreys may migrate 160,000 miles over their 15-20 year lifetime.

-Ospreys mate for life but travel back and forth to  the wintering grounds alone and on different schedules and don’t spend the winters together.  They just meet up at the same nest in the Spring.

-They typically take between 20 or 30 days to travel the roughly 3000 miles between here and South America.

-They often follow the same route exactly and often stop to rest in the same locations.

-Young Osprey leave on their own and find their own way down to the wintering grounds and wait until the following year to come back North.

-The young will return to the same general area of their birth ( within 100 miles or so) but chances are they never see their parents again.

Thanks to help from Jim Botta, we have compiled another big collection of some of the best photos this week below.  Some of the highlights include Common Goldeneye, European Goldfinch,  Red Headed Woodpecker and the first American Oystercatchers of the season.  The brief warm weather on Friday also brought out some of the first turtles of the season.

This week’s cover shot goes to Bob Sanderson with a fantastic shot of an American Coot, a lifer for him.  Also don’t miss some more great videos from Natalie Ann on the last page.

Bald Eagle – Scott Matheny

Common Goldeneye – Daryl Ramrattan

European Goldfinch – Jeff Kollbrunner

Harbor Seal – Christina Michelle

Northern Harrier – Daryl Ramrattan

More Photos on Pages 2-10