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Fish-Hawk, Osprey

Category: Vi Making Friends With The Outdoor Folk

On the shore you will also find the fish-hawk, or osprey; a
well-mannered bird he is said to be, who fishes diligently and attends
strictly to his own business. The fish-hawk's nest will generally be at
the top of a dead tree where no one may disturb or look into it, though,
as the accompanying photograph shows, it is sometimes found on rocks
near the ground. The young hawks have a way of their own of defending
themselves from any climbing creature, and to investigators of the nest
the results are disastrously disagreeable as well as laughable. As the
intruder climbs near, the baby birds put their heads over the sides of
the nest and empty their stomachs upon him. This is vouched for by a
well-known writer who claims to have gone through the experience.

The female osprey is larger and stronger than the male. On slowly moving
wings she sails over the water, dropping suddenly to clutch in her
strong talons the fish her keen eyes have detected near the surface of
the water. Fish are fish to the osprey and salt waters or fresh are the
same to her. I have watched the bird plunge into the waves of the ocean,
on the coast of Maine, to bring out a cunner almost too large for her to
carry, and I have seen her drop into the placid waters of an Adirondack
lake for lake-trout in the same manner.

Next: Blue Heron

Previous: Beaver

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