Sea eagle, bone breaker

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Osprey, Pandion haliaetus, atop a Norfolk Island pine across the street from the Snook Nook, Jensen Beach.

I love words as much as birds, so let’s do some etymology.

Wikipedia: Osprey

The genus name Pandion derives from the mythical Greek king of Athens and grandfather of Theseus, Pandion II. The species name haliaetus comes from Ancient Greek haliaietos ἁλιάετος from hali- ἁλι-, “sea-” and aetos άετος, “eagle”.

The origins of osprey are obscure; the word itself was first recorded around 1460, derived via the Anglo-French ospriet and the Medieval Latin avis prede “bird of prey,” from the Latin avis praedæ though the Oxford English Dictionary notes a connection with the Latin ossifraga or “bone breaker” of Pliny the Elder.

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With a 50- to 71-inch wingspan, Ospreys are similar in size to the largest hawks and falcons.

And did you know?…

The osprey is the second most widely distributed raptor species, after the peregrine falcon. It has a worldwide distribution and is found in temperate and tropical regions of all continents except Antarctica. In North America it breeds from Alaska and Newfoundland south to the Gulf Coast and Florida, wintering further south from the southern United States through to Argentina. It is found in summer throughout Europe north into Ireland, Scandinavia, Finland and Scotland, England, and Wales though not Iceland, and winters in North Africa. In Australia it is mainly sedentary and found patchily around the coastline, though it is a non-breeding visitor to eastern Victoria and Tasmania.

Plate 81, Fish Hawk, or Osprey, by John James Audubon. (Source)

 

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