Pandion Haliaetus

Osprey
pandion haliaetus




Pandion from the latin word describing the King of Athens and the father of Procne and Philomela. And Haliaetus means literally, osprey in latin. Ah, good thing we had 3 (yes, that is three) latin dictionaries when I went to check. I suppose that is what you get from starting latin in seventh grade and then marrying a (smokejumper) who majored in the classics.

I was just so amazed by this glorious bird, who most unfortunately met his match atop some electrical wires when they crossed. Trying to look on the bright side- I am so grateful that we got a chance to examine an animal that we see almost daily but never close up.
There has been an osprey family living at Spring Creek Ranch for years now, and we love seeing them circling the creek and the river looking for their next meal. I always thought that they looked pretty, and graceful soaring about. They even glided over several of our weddings- during the ceremony. Curious creatures.
This oprey’s wingspan was over 5 feet! As tall as a person! The feathers are so intricate, stripes, dots, white, grey, brown and charcoal. The beak hooks oh, SO sharply and the talons, really amazing. The bottom of the birds feet feel almost like velcro- a super smart adaptation if you are primarily picking up wet, slimy things no doubt!
I will forever now, have a new reverence for this bird and I hope that its’ offspring circle the pastures, pond and river surrounding Spring Creek for many years to come.

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