Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

Origin: Worldwide
Sighted at: Smathers Beach, Key West, FL

 

The osprey! The eagle of the sea! (but not actually a sea eagle! definitely not a a seagull! nor even a Seagal.)

The osprey is found on coastlines all over the world. Ospreys have the genus “Pandion” entirely to themselves, owing to a unique trait where one of their claw digits is reversible, allowing them to grasp their prey from either side. This prevents their main source of food – fish – from slipping away as they hunt.

Osprey nests are not uncommon to see on the long road that leads down the Florida Keys: ospreys like to build their big nests very high up off the ground, and often construct them on top of pylons supporting power or phone cables.