Friday, June 5, 2020

Osprey

Ospreys returned to their nest in the Port of Olympia lumber yard. The nest sits on top of a tall security floodlight pole. Erika and I took this image on 22 May 2020, although my first sighting was made on 2 April and others reported seeing them even earlier. Ospreys are slick birds, specialized for catching fish. Ospreys are found around the world and enjoy amazing feats of migration—often over 3000 miles. Many North American birds winter well into central Brazil.

Ospreys are in their own family, Pandionidae, but clearly closely related to eagles and hawks, Accipitridae. A few ornithologists argue that the two families should be merged. Molecular scientists have also argued for the past deeade about how treat the world’s Ospreys. The data suggest Ospreys represent at least two, and perhaps up to four species, one species each from the New World, Indo-Australasia, Europe and Africa, and Asia. At this time, however, only one species with four subspecies are officially recognized (Bierregaard et al. 2929).

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