Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), also called fish eagle, sea hawk, river hawk, and fish hawk, is a fish-eating bird of prey. The name "Osprey" made its first appearance around 1460, via the Medieval Latin phrase for "bird of prey" (avis prede). Some wordsmiths trace the name even further back, to the Latin for "bone-breaker"—ossifragus.
They are common sights soaring over shorelines and patrolling waterways for their exclusive diet of fish. Their white belly makes them hard for the fish to see them overhead and their dark eye-line of feathers blocks the glare from the water, enabling them to spot their prey.
Folding its wings, the Osprey dives toward the fish only to right itself and thrusts its feed forward to grab a fish just before striking the water. The Osprey's feet are specialized to prevent its catch from escape. They have two toes that face forward and two that face backward and the toes have sharp spines to help them clamp tight on even the slipperiest of fish. Over several studies, Ospreys success rates are sometimes as high as 70 percent.
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