Spellbinding Stare and Tremendous Talons

Ospreys are common here in Central Florida and actually throughout most of the world. Even though I spot them all the time, I still think they’re fascinating photo subjects.

This bird was already on its perch when I saw it. It looks like it just made a dive and hadn’t finished preening yet.

What're you lookin' at?What’re you lookin’ at?

They’re remarkably well adapted to finding and taking fish out of the water. Their keen eyesight helps them spot prey from on high before plunging in to grab them with opposable talons.

“I think he’ll be to Rome
As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it
By sovereignty of nature.”

Shakespeare in Act 4 Scene 5 of Coriolanus

According to Wikipedia, Shakespeare was referring to “a medieval belief that fish were so mesmerised by the osprey that they turned belly-up in surrender”.

Looking at those eyes, it’s no wonder people thought the birds could hypnotize their prey into surrendering. This looks like a piercing stare, but it was really just a passing glance in my direction from about 100 feet away. Luckily, I wasn’t fully under its spell and still managed to make a photo!

And check out the muscles and long curved claws on its feet! It’s hard to imagine even a slippery fish escaping from a grip like this.

A common and totally awesome bird – sovereignty of nature indeed!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Take care of yourselves and each other. And if you can – make some photos.

©2020, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

6 thoughts on “Spellbinding Stare and Tremendous Talons

  1. Hi Ed! The photos taken by you are beautiful, and the written articles are interesting.
    What device do you use for bird watching? I have a Nikon 5300 and I think I need a stronger lens to get so close to the beautiful creatures.

    1. Hi razvanlesevschi and thanks for your comment.

      I’ve been using Sony gear for a couple of years and am really pleased with it. I made the photo in this post with a Sony A6600 camera and their 200-600mm lens.

      I have a friend with Nikon gear and he gets good results too. If you look at his Flickr photo stream, you can see the cameras and lenses he uses: https://www.flickr.com/photos/44542650@N08/

      Ed

  2. I’ve always been fascinated with the “Fish Hawk”.

    When fishing on Lake Okeechobee at a very young age with my Dad, he would remark: “Now, THERE’S a real fisherman!” as an Osprey would crash headlong into the water and come up with a fish almost every time.

    Great post and photographs, Ed!

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