Sunday, October 11, 2009

Things I know about osprey

It's been a busy time of bathroom renovating, working and planning for a big change. I haven't been out collecting material – didn't see any critters during the bathroom reno, which is a good thing.

Still thinking about osprey though. Here's a list of osprey facts that came off the top of my head.

They have no near relatives. They are somewhere between a falcon and an eagle. Latin name Pandion haliaetus.

People call them fish hawks. They eat fish only.

Females are bigger than males because they defend the nest from predators like bald eagles.

They have what's called a nictitating membrane on the eyes that protects them when they dive into the water head first.

They dive in head first but come out with fish in their talons. (Would love to see the underwater roll).

They shake like a dog when they exit the water.

There used to be colonies of 200 to 300 nests in parts of eastern North America before DDT reduced their numbers.

They don't seem bothered by human activity and often nest in the open, in busy ports and urban areas.

They are one of the most cosmopolitan species of bird, living around the world on fresh and salt water.

North American osprey winter from Mexico south to Northern Argentina. There are some year-round residents in parts of the Southern U.S.

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