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Osprey        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Ospreys are superb and highly specialized fish-catchers, sporting huge feet with spiny no-slip surfaces and meat-hook talons.   They 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.   Or sometimes not:   one of the birds shown here caught a fish that was too heavy to lift, so it 'rowed' to shore with its wings and ate the prey there -- still twitching for a while.   The photos were taken Bolsa Chica wetlands and the Salton Sea, both in southern California.   More images of flying ospreys are here, photos of other ospreys are here.

  • Canon 7D2; 800 mm f5.6 IS lens with 1.4X or 2X extender, some with fill-in flash (2017, 2018)