Osprey

Osprey
Gregory Johnston/Veer

Allow me to introduce Myself: I'm an Osprey

Where You'll Most Likely Find Me:  Every continent except Antarctica. Since we are fish-eaters, we stay close to bodies of water like oceans, rivers and lakes.

What I Like to Eat: Fish

Betcha Didn't Know This About Me: We have a "third eyelid" called the nictitating membrane, which is a thin layer of clear tissue just like an inner eyelid. While underwater, our third eyelid protects our eyes.

Who We Are: Large raptors (birds that kill and eat other animals for food) who are part of the hawk family. We are the only hawk in North America with a diet consisting of mostly fish exclusively.

How We Hunt: We are able to hunt live fish by diving down feet first from as high as 30 feet in the air. We have the ability to completely submerge ourselves underwater (our nose flat closes) to capture our prey. Just as quickly as we swoop down, we fly away even quicker with our captured fish in our curved claws. Other fish-eating birds can only scoop up their prey from the water's surface.

Migration: During the cold winter months when the waters freeze over, we are forced to migrate extremely long distances looking for food. We have been known to travel as far as Central America, Southern America and northern Africa.

Babies: Both parents are responsible for incubating the three or four eggs that are laid by the female. The eggs hatch days apart, not at the same time. The older chicks dominate and are in charge of the food brought by their parents. If food is scarce and the older chick refuses to share, its siblings might starve to death. All osprey have to protect our eggs from hungry raccoons.

Predators: Great horned owls

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