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This weekend, a special bird visited Railroad Park. An Osprey!
Birmingham Audubon’s Greg Harber made the discovery and took photos of the bird that has been called “the river hawk or fish eagle.”
Here is Harbor’s posting on Facebook about his discovery:
“Well, well, well, look who made an appearance at Railroad Park late this afternoon… an Osprey! This represents the first recorded instance of this species at the park, to my knowledge.”
Bham Now caught up with Harber this Monday morning and asked him why it is rare and significant to see an Osprey in downtown Birmingham:
“It’s unusual to see it downtown because of our general lack of water, but they do migrate through this area this time of year. We usually see them along the state’s larger rivers during migration. The fact that the bird was actively fishing at these parks does emphasize the fact that these green (and open water!) spaces provide resources for migrating birds and other wildlife. This time of year migrating swifts and swallows can be seen drinking water from the ponds as they dip down into the water while flying on the wing.”
So who exactly is our visiting Osprey?
“This is an immature female, most likely, based on its field marks – back feathers tipped in white and faint breast band – that is migrating south. They winter in the southern US and northern South America. The All About Birds website has a searchable database if you want further info about this species,” concluded Harber.
How to become a birder
Are you interested in birding? The Birmingham Audubon holds weekly events starting in September. The Alabama Birding Trails also contains 270 “birding sites” from the mountains to the gulf. Over 430 different bird species have been spotted in Alabama.
Try “birding” out. It is great way to enjoy nature and develop lifelong friendships.