Several ospreys maintain nests along the north shore of Flathead Lake. As you drive along Highway 82 between Bigfork and Somers, notice the large nests made of cow dung and sticks perched atop telephone poles.
Fledgling bird-watchers may initially confuse an osprey with another fish-eating bird, the bald eagle. An osprey is smaller than an eagle and has a white belly (an eagle’s belly is dark). A feet-first plunge into water is the osprey’s distinctive fishing style.
Ospreys winter in Mexico from about late September to mid-April. It’s thought that mates winter separately but reunite at the site of the previous year’s nest. Eggs hatch in late May or early June. Canada geese may compete for osprey nests.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition