Osprey nabs large catfish, but photos reveal bonus catch for majestic raptor

Osprey nabs large catfish, but photos reveal bonus catch for majestic raptor

Outdoors

Osprey nabs large catfish, but photos reveal bonus catch for majestic raptor

Greg Jowers was walking along Crescent Beach in Florida recently when he spotted several ospreys hunting for fish in the distance.

The raptors were too far for the photographer to capture closeups. But when he arrived at a new vantage point a large osprey soared directly over his head and plunged into the shallows, talons-first, and emerged with a saltwater catfish.

“It was about 200 feet away and I was trying to get focused as it began to fly toward me,” Jowers told BNQT Outdoors.

The photographer wasn’t aware at the time that the catfish had also been feeding, or that his images would reveal more of the food-chain dynamics of the coastal region south of St. Augustine.

Inside the mouth of the catfish was a smaller fish, its tail end clearly visible in the photos. “I didn’t know until later, when I looked at the images,” Jowers said.

Jowers, who was using a Canon 7D Mark II camera and a long lens, explained that the osprey attack and its aftermath occurred so quickly that not all of his images were sharp.

“I had to change my shutter speed as it was happening,” he said.

Ospreys, also referred to as fish hawks, are large birds of prey that hunt over saltwater and freshwater. Their feet-first strikes are dramatic, and the birds will often spend hours devouring the meaty portions of the fish that they catch.

Jowers, who allowed the use of his images for this story, has been photographing wildlife for eight years. More of his work can be viewed via this link.

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