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Osprey

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The Osprey or sometimes referred to as the Fish Hawk has a very unique way in catching its prey.


Fishing method:

The bird starts by flying high and gliding in circles over the water until it spots a its prey using its extreme sharp eyesight, the prey should not exceed 1 meter under the sea surface. Then it increases its height while maintaining the prey in sight. From this altitude the fish hawk make what is called a dead dive, flying down towards its prey at full speed which could reach up to 160 km/h. One of the unique fishing skills is the ability to calculate the refractive index of water and estimate the exact location of the fish. Just before hitting the water the fish hawk makes a complete position change, bringing its legs in front, claws wide open, wings back, head leaning forward, then dives in that position to depths which could reach up to 1 meter underwater depending on the skill of individual birds.


Once the bird senesces the fish it closes it claws and having its wings back the bird pulls them downward giving it trust enough to take off out of the water.
At this moment the fish is still struggling to free itself from the claws which makes it hard for the fish hawk to maintain a good grip of it, specially that it has just consumed a lot of energy as well as being wet which increases the weight excessively. This is where another skill is acquired. the Fish Hawk flaps its wings in fast and short strokes, this is not tiring to the bird but works to free the feathers from water to lighten the weight, this process continues for around 30 to 60 seconds, enough time for the fish to die and hence make it easy for the Fish Hawk to fly back to its nest.
   
 

References:

Maget Toson
Sahara Safaris
   

 


 

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