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Osprey Island

Have you been lucky enough to see an
Osprey during your visit to Flaming
Gorge? The island in front of you is
a nesting area for this large raptor
which feeds primarily on fish. Look
for a hawk-like bird with a distinctive
black eyestripe and white head, and
a wingspan that can reach six feet.

The Osprey hunts by flying over the
reservoir looking for fish just below the
surface. When it sees one, the Osprey pulls
into a brief stall, flaps its wings a few times,
and plummets - feet first - into the water,
often disappearing below the surface. If the
dive is successful, the Osprey emerges
with a wriggling trout or salmon ensnared
in its long, curving talons.

An Osprey nest is made from heavy
sticks and may be used for decades. It is
added to each year and can eventually
reach over five feet in diameter. While
driving around the reservoir look for these
large, sturdy nests on rocky outcroppings
above the water. One easily seen nest is
located on the top span of the Cart Creek
Bridge just west of the dam.

Don't miss the rest of our virtual tour of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in 1127 images.