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Utah Field Guide: The Osprey

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Sometimes known as the sea hawk, fish eagle or fish hawk, the Osprey is a large raptor that feeds primary on fish swimming at or just below the water surface. Ospreys have vision that is well adapted to detecting underwater objects from the air. Prey is first sighted from the air, after which the bird hovers momentarily then plunges feet first into the water.

The Osprey is particularly well adapted to a fish diet, with reversible outer toes, closable nostrils to keep out water during dives, and backwards-facing scales on the talons which act as barbs to help hold its catch.

And your chance to see this amazing spectacle is just a few days away. On Saturday July 12th, the DWR will hold their annual Flaming Gorge Osprey watch at the visitor center parking lot at the Flaming Gorge dam between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.

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Adam Eakle


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