A Quick Time-Out From Politics

Hey everyone!

My apologies for not actively posting more in recent memory.  Been a tough time.  (More on that a bit later.)

Figured I’d post outside of the nutty political realm for a minute, and share a great video sent to me by a friend.

I’ve written here before that I am a ‘birding geek’. There are so many different species, with such a variety of physical abilities, attributes and ‘talents’, that it is almost impossible to not find something facsinating.

I live at the Jersey Shore, with the sparkling Barnegat Bay a couple of turns from my house, just a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean . (Yes, New Jersey has many beautiful natural areas, despite the bad wrap we usually, and sometimes deservedly, get.)

Barnegat Bay is one of the most productive, nutrient-rich environments in the state. The vast tracks of salt marshes and brackish waters make for excellent feeding grounds, especially for birds which cruise along the “Atlantic Flyway.”

Huge numbers of waterfowl, warblers, hawks, and seabirds travel, stop off, and live here during their yearly migrations.

My favorite is the Osprey.

Ospreys travel about 3,000 miles during each migratory period.  Wintering in warm, sunny places like Costa Rica, they gobble up food for the long trek north, where they end up at their summer breeding grounds.  Depending on the weather encountered on their trip up, they will arrive in the same location, almost on the same day, every year. With few exceptions, each pair (Ospreys are generally monogamous) returns to the exact nest, like they have some natural GPS system.  (Well, unless they don’t survive the trip.)

That always amazes me.

Osprey talons are huge. They have barbed pads to aid in gripping slippery fish. And on each set of talons, one of the front toes can turn backwards, allowing for a ruthless grasp. This also enables them to maneuver their catch, turning the fish head-first into the wind to reduce drag and improve areo-dynamics.

In a few weeks, they will once again return here to their local summer homes on the bay, repairing their nests, raising their broods, and ruling the skies.

This video mainly shows Ospreys fishing. The footage is quite extraordinary. I don’t know exactly where it was taken, but, it’s a great example of their unique hunting abilities.

(Key in on the talons when they are just about to hit water.) 

Anyway, take a little time and check it out! 

(There’s no Sandra Fluke in it. Honest!)

 

(The post picture on the main page was a picture I took last summer at Island Beach State Park, NJ. The orange eyes denote a juvenille Osprey. It’s a bit hard to tell, but, in the lower right part of the picture, you can see another juvenille Osprey huddled down in the nest. I had a problem uploading the picture, so the wing-tips are cut off for some reason.)

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