FWC IMAGE: Florida Osprey Catches Fish Almost His Size, Still Manages to Get it to Shore
By Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission // August 13, 2020
osprey is sometimes mistaken for the bald eagle
(FWC) – An osprey caught a fish that was almost as big as he is – but still managed to get it to shore.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer Davenport was in his patrol boat on the Santa Fe River when he saw the osprey wrangle a large fish out of the water.
Since the bass was nearly as big as the bird, the osprey decided to dine right there at the water’s edge.
The osprey is a species of raptor that is sometimes mistaken for the bald eagle.
This species can reach a height of 23 inches with a wingspan of 72 inches and have a white underside and head, and a brownish upper body with a black line across the eyes that extends to the wings.
Several features distinguish the osprey from other birds of prey, including a reversible fourth toe and spines located on their feet that are used to help grasp their prey as they fly over the water.
The undersides of the toes on each foot are covered with short spines, which help them grasp slippery fish.
The osprey is smaller than the bald eagles that typically share the same habitats, but its five to six-foot wingspan is impressive nonetheless. Adults are dark brown above with a white underside and head.
Look for the distinctive dark line that extends behind the eye and the gull-like way the narrow wings are angled downward when the birds are in flight.