Diving Osprey
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The osprey (Pandion halieatus) is a unique raptor that commonly goes by the nickname of "fish hawk". Its piercing whistled cry carries a long distance, and its black-and-white plumage is best appreciated when held aloft on lightly bent wings. Being a top predator, ospreys are slowly recovering from the damaging effects of many years' use of persistent pesticides. Range-wise, they are concentrated along ocean coastlines, as well as at ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. Ospreys savor freshly caught fish that they find with their powerful vision. Once located, the fish are captured by "aerial plunge-diving", a behavior whereby the osprey dives into water with out-stretched legs. Their feet have rough-tipped talons that are equipped with long and curved claws, specially adapted for grasping slippery fish and carrying it away to a convenient perch. Sometimes, their rightfully captured meal is 'stolen' from them by bald eagles, which also enjoy eating fresh fish! ------------- by Claude G. Edwards

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