A pretty common sight when driving through Baja are the majestic ospreys, always looking out from their nests, usually on top of light poles or in poles especially placed for them. Ospreys are diurnal birds of prey, with a wide distribution: they are found in all continents but Antarctica. They are usually migratory birds, but not in Baja California, where our mild winter is comfortable enough for them to stay all year around.
Ospreys are found close to water bodies, such as estuaries, marshes, rivers, or by the seaside. Fish are their favorite prey, they actually eat barely anything else: fish make up to 99% of their diet! They hunt by diving to the water’s surface from some 30 to 100 feet first. Gripping pads on their feet help them grab fish from the water and carry them for great distances. They are very well adapted to the aquatic environment: an oily waterproof coating on their wings allows them to dive without sinking and they can close their nostrils when submerged in water.
Ospreys are usually monogamous and often mate for life. The male selects a suitable place and together with the female, they collect materials and build a large nest. The females lay 2 to 4 eggs and the pair incubates them.
Watching ospreys fishing, protecting their nests, feeding their young, or just vigilant on top of a cardon is a great pleasure to enjoy all year round in Baja.