Longstreet Highroad Guide to the Chesapeake Bay
By Deane Winegar
This large raptor has a dark back, white undersides, and a wingspread of 5.5 feet. The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) dives into lakes, rivers, and oceans feet first for its prey. Many such dives are fruitless. But after rising into the air with a successful catch, the bird shakes itself off, lines the fish up head first to reduce air drag, and flies to a perch or nest. On occasion, the osprey has been known to sink its talons deeply into a fish too big to lift, which then pulls the great bird beneath the surface.
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