Osprey catching fish

An osprey is a big fish hawk that is found near water all over the world.

An osprey is a big bird of prey in the hawk family.  A fully-grown osprey may be 2 feet long, with a wingspread of nearly 6 feet.

Ospreys are found near rivers, lakes and seacoasts all over the world.

A common name for the osprey is “fish hawk,” because it feeds almost entirely on fish.  It fishes by flying over the water.  When it sees a fish swimming near the surface it dives feet-first, hitting the water with a great splash and seizing the fish with its long, sharp talons.

The osprey sometimes goes completely under water to catch a meal.  Its feathers are slightly oily, so that it can plunge into the water without becoming soaked.

Sea eagles often rob the osprey of its catch.  When the eagle sees an osprey with a fish in its talons, it swoops under the osprey.  Then it forces the smaller bird to fly higher and higher until the osprey tires and drops the fish.

The sea eagle catches the fish in midair.

Photo courtesy:  Steve Baranoff

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