Creatures of the week – RVAHub
This is only a small part of the Osprey photos on my hard drive I have an Osprey problem.
Where spotted: Photos were taken this year and last mostly at Mayo Bridge, T-Pot Bridge and Floodwall
Common name: Osprey
Scientific name: Pandion haliaetus
Length: 21.3-22.8 in (54-58 cm)
Weight: 49.4-70.5 ounces (1400-2000 g)
Wingspan: 59.1-70.9 in (150-180cm)
- An osprey can travel over 160,000 miles of migration in its 15 to 20 year lifespan. Scientists track ospreys by attaching lightweight satellite transmitters to the birds’ backs. The devices locate the location of an osprey within a few hundred meters and last 2-3 years. For 13 days in 2008, an osprey traveled 2,700 miles—from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, to French Guiana, South America.
- Ospreys are unusual among hawks in possessing a reversible outer toe that allows them to grasp with two toes in front and two behind. Barbed pads on the soles of the birds’ feet help them grasp slippery fish. When flying with prey, an osprey aligns its catch headfirst for less wind resistance.
- Ospreys are excellent anglers. In several studies, ospreys have caught fish on at least 1 in 4 dives, with success rates sometimes reaching 70%. The average time they spent hunting before fishing was around 12 minutes, something to think about the next time you cast your line in the water.
- The osprey easily builds its nest on man-made structures, such as telephone poles, channel markers, duck blinds, and nesting platforms made specifically for it. These platforms have become an important tool for re-establishing ospreys in areas where they had disappeared. In some areas, nests are placed almost exclusively on man-made structures.
- Osprey eggs do not all hatch at once. On the contrary, the first chick emerges up to five days before the last. The older newborn dominates its younger siblings and may monopolize the food brought by the parents. If the food is abundant, the chicks share the meals in relative harmony; in times of scarcity, the youngest can starve.
- The name “Osprey” made its first appearance around 1460, via the medieval Latin phrase for “bird of prey” (Prior notice). Some wordmakers trace the name even further back, to Latin for “bone breaker” –ossifragus.
- The oldest known Osprey was at least 25 years and 2 months old and lived in Virginia. He was banded in 1973 and found in 1998.
Fluffy Buffy at Richmond SPCA
Are you looking for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Fluffy Buffy and I’m the girl for you! I’m quite alone here by myself, just waiting for someone special to come. Won’t you take me home today?
Age: 10 years, 1 month
Gender: Sterilized female