Creature Feature: Osprey

The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is known all over the world by many names: Sea-Hawk, River-Hawk, and Fish-Hawk to name a few. It is one of the most widespread raptor species, and also one of the most specialized. It hunts almost exclusively over the water, with fish making up 99% of its diet. Ospreys have many adaptations for diving: nostrils that close, barbed scales on their feet that help grab slippery fish, and waterproofed feathers.

Ospreys are easily recognized from below because of their characteristic white belly and brown underwing. If you’re close enough to see their head, the brown eye stripe is also a dead giveaway! Ospreys appear in mythology, religion, and cultural symbols worldwide. They are truly a one-of-a-kind bird!

PC: Sunny on Flickr Creative Commons | Sources: Wikipedia–Osprey
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