Sunday, September 19, 2010
Pic of the Day
Osprey – Sanibel Island, Florida: By the late 50’s and early 60’s the Osprey or Fish Eagle was a threatened species in grave danger of extinction. DDT, dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane is a pesticide synthesized in 1874 that was used extensively during the mid 20th century. The use of the potent pesticide had a detrimental effect on birds of prey and other animal life. The pesticide worked its way through the food chain to the top avian predators such as eagles, falcons and ospreys. The pesticides ingestion resulted in the thinning of the birds eggs causing the eggs to crush under the weight of the incubating adult.
It was Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring that cataloged the environmental impact of DDT in the United States and its threat to humans and wildlife. The book created a gigantic outcry that let to a ban of DDT in 1972. As a result birds of prey began to recover. Now, the Osprey along with many other birds of prey that were affected have made a remarkable recovery.
This Osprey was photographed on Sanibel Island at a natural nest in an old snag as it was adding nest material. Osprey use the same nest year after year adding new material to the nest each year. Nest can become extremely large, resulting with the weight of nest eventually toppling the tree, which did happen to this nest a few years after this image was taken.
Nikon F4, Nikkor 500mm f4 with 1.4 teleconverter, Kodakchrome 64