Nature Photography > Osprey, Calling


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Nature Photography - Osprey, Calling, photo by Robert Giordano

Osprey, Calling

The Osprey, sometimes known as the sea hawk, fish eagle or fish hawk, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm (24 in) in length and 180 cm (71 in) across the wings. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts, with a black eye patch and wings.

The Osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply. The Osprey is unusual in that it is a single living species that occurs nearly worldwide.

Fish make up 99% of the Osprey's diet. It typically takes fish weighing 150300 g (5.311 oz) and about 2535 cm (9.814 in) in length, but the weight can range from 50 to 2,000 g (1.8 to 71 oz). Virtually any type of fish in that size range are taken.

The Osprey is particularly well adapted to this diet, with reversible outer toes, sharp spicules on the underside of the toes, closable nostrils to keep out water during dives, and backwards-facing scales on the talons which act as barbs to help hold its catch. Ospreys have vision that is well adapted to detecting underwater objects from the air.

Ospreys usually mate for life. Rarely, polyandry has been recorded. In spring the pair begins a five-month period of partnership to raise their young. The female lays two to four eggs within a month, and relies on the size of the nest to conserve heat. The eggs are whitish with bold splotches of reddish-brown and are about 6.2 by 4.5 cm (2.4 by 1.8 in) and weigh about 65 g (2.3 oz). Photo Copyright 2012 Robert Giordano.

Description from Wikipedia.


 

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