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Osprey        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Ospreys suffered catastrophic population declines due to pesticide contamination of the food chain in much of North America, but now they are recovering -- and in many parts of Florida they are abundant and semi-colonial.  They are superb and highly specialized fish-catchers, sporting huge feet with spiny no-slip surfaces and meat-hook talons.   Ospreys fish by flying over the water and diving spectacularly on their prey with an impressive splash; captured fish are hauled away torpedo-style to a perch or nest.   The birds pictured here were at Bolsa Chica wetlands in southern California, and at Point Arena in northern California.   More images of ospreys are here.

  • Canon 7D2; 800 mm f5.6 IS lens (2014. 2017)