Sunday, April 6, 2014

Osprey

Ospreys are superb anglers and eat little else—fish make up some 99% of their diet. Because of their diet, they're found near ponds, rivers, lakes, and coastal waterways around the world.

Ospreys hunt by diving to the water's surface from some 30 to 100 feet up. They have gripping pads on their feet to help them secure slippery fish from the water with their curved claws then carry them for great distances.


Osprey by Phil Brown

In flight, the Osprey orients the fish headfirst to ease wind resistance.

Human habitat is an aid to the Osprey. The birds happily build large stick & sod nests on telephone poles, channel markers, and other locations. Artificial nesting platforms are common in areas where preservationists are working to reestablish the birds. 

North American Osprey populations became endangered in the 1950's due to chemical pollutant [DDT], which thinned their eggshells and hindered reproduction. Ospreys have rebounded significantly in recent decades.

Ospreys are migratory birds that breed in the north and migrate south for the winter. They lay eggs [typically three], which both parents help to incubate. Egg hatching is staggered which means that some nestlings are older and more dominant.  When food is scarce, these stronger nestlings may take all the food and their siblings will become weak & starve.

Check out the Woods Hole Osprey Cam: 
http://www.whoi.edu/ospreycam/page.do?pid=41115 

Good birding,
Sue

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