Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Local Bird Of Prey ~ The Osprey

Now that our local coastal lagoons have been restored, they're attracting birds we haven't seen in years, if ever. Case in point - the osprey. Also know as a sea hawk, the osprey is a bird of prey, which is defined as being a bird that hunts for its food on the wing. Hawks, eagles and ospreys are all related, share large powerful beaks and talons and use their highly developed senses, particularly their keen sight, to capture their prey. The osprey's diet consists of 99% fish and they sight their prey from up to 130 feet over the water. Once they make their dive, they plunge feet first into the water, with barbed scales on their feet that help them hold their prey. They are also able to close their nostrils and can dive up to 3 feet deep.

Ospreys live worldwide, on all continents except Antarctica. They'll nest just about anywhere near a fresh or brackish body of water that has a steady supply of fish. They weigh between 3 and 4 pounds, are 20"-24" long and have a wingspan of 5-6 feet. They've been spotted in both the San Elijo and Batiquitos lagoons, which border our town on the north and south. We're glad to have them in the neighborhood.

Thanks again to southern California wildlife photographer Chris Mayne for sharing his incredible work.


High Desert Design Council said...

I love spotting their nests....so massive.

High Desert Diva said...

Dang it! Have I mentioned how annoying it is to have to have two different blogs, and not be paying attention to where I'm signed in???

Sweet Repose said...

When I lived in Florida, I was always in awe of the huge nests on the tops of poles with platforms all along the highways, I suppose to discourage them from nesting on telephone poles...beautiful birds in flight!

Tracy said...

Such majestic creatures...I've only ever seen them in photos. Great to catch up on your recent posts. We are just returned from our two-week trip...oh, the jet lag--LOL! Happy weekend ahead :o)