Osprey Carrying Fish

Osprey Carrying Fish

Osprey Carrying Fish

One last osprey picture for this season: Most osprey (Pandion haliaetus) that breed in North America winter in Central and South America. Almost all of the osprey that I followed this summer have departed, with only one or two stragglers still around.

Osprey eat a diet consisting almost exclusively of live fish. They can often be seen carrying fish. Osprey fly with the fish aligned head first to reduce air resistance. While watching the osprey, I would see birds carry a fish to the nest and then carry it away again. During migration, osprey will sometimes carry a fish with them – a meal on the wing.

I always anxiously await the spring return of osprey to Crystal Lake (Shasta County CA) where this photograph was taken.

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3 Responses to Osprey Carrying Fish

  1. usermattw says:

    I hadn’t realized a bird might haul a fish along while migrating. I would have thought they would want to travel as light as possible. Very interesting!

    • gingkochris says:

      That bit of trivia about carrying fish while migrating also surprised me. I have watched an osprey carry a fish to the nest, fly away with it, return with the same fish and repeat several times. I suppose if the osprey is carrying his “snack” no other osprey can eat it.

  2. Fascinating information about their handling of fish. Thanks for the information.

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