Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Nailed It

I spent some more time at the Detroit River Hawkwatch today. The season started just yesterday. One advantage of having a hawk count on a lake shore is the opportunity to watch Osprey hunt.

As a fish eater, they soar in lazy circles or hover over water when it is meal time. When a fish is located, they simply crash into the water feet first. If they manage to actually grab it (they miss quite a bit), huge talons (I mean huge!) and rough soles on the feet help them hold on tight. They can even re-position their outer toe to improve their grip. (You can do that, too. Lay your hand flat on the table. Take your pinky and bend it back towards your wrist. Okay...nevermind. I was kidding. If you heard a popping sound, call a doctor.)

This bird did a bang-up job of nailing this fish. There was no hovering. As she(?) was cruising up the creek (maybe 30 feet off the water), all forward momentum suddenly stopped, the body was repositioned for entry, and she crashed right in. Unfortunately, she was just a bit beyond the reach of my lens (I use a 100-400mm f5.6). When possible, I try to ID the fish, too. While this pic does not clearly show it, the fish may be a steelhead.

1 comment:

Jochen said...

Ah, the Hawkwatch at the boat-launch.
Sweet, sweet memories...

One of the least attractive locations I've ever been birding landscape-wise, but one of my best raptor days ever.