19.1.05

Vegetarian predator



Perhaps rather it should be called the pesco-vegetarian bird of prey or P. vegeraptor urbanisis but by whatever name you apply this magnificent hunter is a true vegetarian, an evolved specialist whose ability to exploit the fertile coast lands from Alaska to Key West is legendary.

The Osprey, Pandion haliaetus or "Sea Eagle" nests, sometimes in large communities, near shore lines hunting nearby estuaries and presenting a breathtaking aerial display for incredulous human observers. They build large nests, often 8' in diameter at the top of tall standing dead wood. From these lofty perches the osprey has an unobstructed view of their entire range.

Osprey circle high overhead sometimes in pairs sometimes alone, spotting their quarry from as much as 200' in the air. Using the cover of tree lines they sweep down appearing suddenly, out of nowhere, snatching fish unlucky enough to be shallowing too near the shore. Some reports put his hunting success ratio at 80%.

I have no illusions that this great bird of prey is fisher-vegetarian by choice but it is interesting to speculate on the power of nature and adaptation that could create in such a creature the ability to thrive so magnificently on a diet of fish. For all our omnivorous friends - food for thought.

Read more about the Osprey
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