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Osprey Feeding Habits

Ospreys are a wetland dependant species.  Their diet consists almost entirely of fish.  In Pinellas they fish in the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay, Lake Maggiore, Lake Seminole, Lake Tarpon, the Anclote River and many other small lakes and ponds found in neighborhoods, parks and golf courses.  Ospreys excel at catching fish.  One of their unique adaptations is that they can rotate one of their toes creating 'double hooks' on each side of their talons.  After a good catch they almost always carry a fish head first and they usually eat the head first.  Yum! Ospreys have special oils that repel water but they are only able to dive in shallow water.  They have very little down. Down is fluffy white feathers found near the bodies of birds which typically keeps them warm.  One of their favorite fish is a sunfish.  They can see better than humans and can dive very rapidly to catch their prey.  Below is a photograph by James Wells of an osprey eating a lady fish.

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