Fish-Hawk, Osprey





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.





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