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Osprey with Fish (2 of 11)

By Gregg Thompson

© Gregg Thompson View Large

The Osprey is the only North American raptor to eat fish almost exclusively, and it's well adapted to do so. To help grip its slippery prey, the talons of the Osprey have barbed pads and a reversible outer toe with two (very sharp) talons in front and two in back – unusual among hawks. Ospreys carry fish headfirst to minimize wind resistance.

Only a summer visitor in much of its North American range, Ospreys winter in coastal California, Texas, and Florida to as far south as Argentina.

Gregg Thompson photographed this Osprey capturing and eating a large fish. Check out image 7 to see the nictitating membrane that protects the Osprey's eye; images 8 and beyond show how far the Osprey turns its head to tear off a piece.

See the other images:     1      2      3      4      5      6      7      8      9      10      11


Listen to BirdNote shows about ospreys.