Saturday, November 21, 2015

Osprey

"2010-kabini-osprey" by Yathin S Krishnappa - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
Osprey may seem like an odd choice from here on the Moroccan coast, but we saw one atop its lookout by the side of the lagoon this afternoon from the boat. Its Latin binomial is Pandion haliaetus. I chose it because it is possible that this bird spent its summer in the UK, migrating as it does to breed in northern Europe.
Ospreys are unusual in that they can reverse their outer toes, like owls, to allow it to grasp prey with two talons in front and two behind. They are also unusual in being a single species found across the globe, although subspecies are recognised in most taxonomies.
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