Photographer's Note

One of the largest birds of prey in North America, the Osprey is a fish-eating specialist; live fish accounting for about 99% of its diet. Barbed pads on the soles of its feet help it grip slippery fish. When an Osprey takes a large fish to its nest, it carries the fish headfirst to make it as aerodynamic as possible. . It is one of the most widespread birds in the world, found on all continents except Antarctica. For some stunning shots of osprey in action, check out thislink Osprey eggs do not hatch all at once, but instead the first chick hatches out up to five days before the last one. The older chick dominates its younger siblings, and can monopolize the food brought by the parents. If food is abundant, little aggression is seen amongst the chicks, but if food is limited, the younger chicks often starve. This is a great Link for bird identification.

The osprey is eating a garibaldi, a marine fish designates as the official state marine fish (the California golden trout is the state freshwater fish). The garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus) is found in shallow waters off the Southern California coast and Mexico. When disturbed garibaldi emit a thumping sound which can be heard by divers. The garibaldi is the largest of the damselfish family (Pomacentridae); adults typically reaching 14 inches. Males build the nests, the female enters several of them and then makes her decision. The garibaldi is one of the few fish to use the same nesting site every year. I was hoping that the osprey might be the state bird, but its the quail; a more visible choice. Osprey are primarily seen on bridge light posts, waiting to catch a passing fish.

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Additional Photos by Pat Lim (plimrn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3999 W: 226 N: 6734] (21344)
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