Once airborne, the osprey rearranges the fish in its feet, carrying it with one foot in front of the other so that the fish is facing forward. This position presumably makes the fish more aerodynamic, and easier to carry. The osprey then takes the fish to a perch, often near the nest, to eat. Osprey generally eat fish beginning with the head and working toward the tail. A male who is also providing food for a mate and offspring during the breeding season will typically consume at least part of the fish before delivering the remainder to the female. Ospreys do not cache fish. If a fish is larger than an osprey (and his mate and offspring if breeding) can consume, the fish is discarded, carried around with the osprey, or left in the nest. Ospreys do not generally need to drink water. Fish flesh supplies sufficient amounts of water to meet their requirements.
Canon 50D, EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Featured In: Amazing Wildlife

Many thanks for checking out my photos, please feel free to give feedback! My wanderings in nature and observations of birds, particularly raptors, is what gives me great joy and constantly reminds me of the beauty and strength of life. My favourites are raptors, I love their freedom, grace, ruthlessness, pride, adaptability and flexibility and I learn much about parenting, protection and blind faith from them.
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  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 3 years ago

    Nice colorful capture Byron


  • Many thanks Larry!

    – byronbackyard

  • Hugh Fathers
    Hugh Fathersover 3 years ago

    Always lovely shots . . .

  • Thanks so much Hugh … much harder this year, so much rain and it’s so overgrown but I get there as much as I can to watch them!

    – byronbackyard

  • shortshooter-Al
    shortshooter-Alover 3 years ago

    Great shot Deb. I just read yiour info and these guys aren’t stupid are they. (pointing the fish forward).

  • Thanks Al, they’re amazing, they carry the fish like a torpedo and sometimes swap it from one foot to the other midair if it’s a big, heavy fish. Very smart!

    – byronbackyard

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyerover 3 years ago

    Great capture and info !
    How very clever they are working out the transport arrangements :)

  • Many thanks Trish, they are incredible and carry the fish like a torpedo and move it to the other food mid flight if it gets too heavy!

    – byronbackyard

  • Meladana
    Meladanaover 3 years ago

    Cool shot, love the colours, great information! :))

  • Many thanks Meladana!

    – byronbackyard

  • DeeZ (D L Honeycutt)
    DeeZ (D L Hone...almost 3 years ago


    The Keepers Part 3 Collection!
    January 18, 2012

  • Many thanks Darlene, very happy making!

    – byronbackyard

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