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Date: 5 December 2013. How Do Osprey Land?

This morning I watched an osprey flying with his talons holding a good sized fish of approximately eight inches. The fish (mullet?) was about 8 inches long and was held fore and aft to the flight pattern. As the osprey flew by he first appeared to want to land on an oyster bed but took off before landing. Then he aimed for a sandbar, but again appeared to think better of the idea.

Normally this bird of prey (or another osprey -- they all look alike to me) sits atop the abandoned sailboat anchored behind me. As the landing atop a mast would be difficult (impossible?) with the fish alive that wasn't attempted. The last I saw of the bird it was heading for the trees across the river.

Apparently the river is again filled with fish. Just this morning I heard a commotion over by the river bank and saw a pair of dolphin herding a school of fish toward the shoreline, then feasting on same. The fish jumping were all about 5" long and the dolphin were definitely enjoying the fresh dinner.
 


It's good to have the fish back. For a time I didn't see many. Last year, back in December the pelicans mostly disappeared and the ones seen appeared to be quite thin. I had noticed that the tiny minnows along the shore were missing and when I spoke with a fisherman he said that hauls were nonexistent and although he went out each day he didn't think he was making the gasoline his outboard required. That's scary.

Fishermen in my book are to be greatly respected. It's not an easy life on the water and they not only put food on their tables, but also fill the grocery stores with fresh seafood as well. They are good guys and I always wish them well.

So, back to the topic at hand: Does anyone know how an osprey would land with a fish in its talons?  The fish didn't look happy (okay I saw the tail of the fish flaying) so I'm guessing it was attempting an escape.

I'd love to learn more about these great hunters.
Please share whatever you know about the osprey, and thanks!

COMMENTS:
 

Category: Vignettes, Wild Things

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