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Wednesday September 18th 2019

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Osprey Hatchlings at Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve

Wildlife fans were greeted by two Osprey Hatchlings at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve this month. The Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve is a habitat set aside for birds and wildlife. Because it is situated in between homes and oil rigs so you really don’t expect much. Thankfully there is a lot to see there.

Where to find the best view

Elevated View from Tower 17 gives a better vantage point on the Osprey Hatchlings
The Elevated Beach Side View From Tower 17

This season a mating par of Osprey took over the top of a power pole. The high nest is very visible from Pacific Coast Highway and the Bolsa Chica State Beach Parking lot 17. The parking lot is a bit farther from the nest so you might not think of it as a viewing spot. The higher ground at the state beach parking lot gives wildlife fans a chance to see the hatchlings in the nest with a decent set of binoculars.

How To See The Osprey Hatchlings

Photographer Kelly Bourquin of Custom PhotoCraft used a Cannon EF 400/F2.8 to photograph the Osprey hatchlings last weekend after finding out that an EF200/F2.8 wasn’t enough. In fact she says she is considering heading back with a 600mm lens to capture more of the hatchlings as they stretch and begin flight lessons.

While Kelly was able to capture both of the parents leaving to hunt and feed the new hatchlings, the range at 400mm just wasn’t quite enough, even using a tighter sensor.

Osprey Hatchling looks on as Mom leaves to hunt.  copyright 2019 Kelly Bourquin
Osprey Hatchling Watches as Mom Leaves To Hunt

Kelly says there are clearly two hatchlings visible and possibly a third. Until she gets better pictures she won’t know for sure on the third. Local surfers say that a band of crows attacked the nest early on, so there may have been more eggs. “This isn’t as easy as watching Monarchs in a butterfly house” she added. The Osprey keep their distance and when they move, they move quickly.

More photos soon

Keep an eye out for some great photos next week. Kelly will be there as the hatchlings start to get a little more comfortable with their world at Bolsa Chica. For the rest of the day the Pelicans put on a decent show.

If you have the time, you can park in the parking lot on Pacific Coast Highway or Warner. It is a nice walk along the trail towards downtown Huntington Beach where you will find the first power pole. You can’t miss the nest.

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