Osprey Tattoos Auburn WA
Federal Way, WA
Federal Way, WA
Osprey Tattoos - The Osprey, or 'sea hawk', also called, 'fish hawk', has long proved a puzzle for taxonomists. It has been included as both the largest of the hawks, with a wingspan of nearly six feet, and listed as a separate species alongside hawks and eagles. There are four recognized sub-species, except that they are not genetically distinct. As the name 'sea hawk' implies, the osprey's diet is almost exclusively fish (up to 99%) and it is a familiar sight along nearly all the world's coasts. The osprey is the most widespread of all the raptors, being found on every continent, although it is only an over-wintering migrant to South America.
The osprey's diet of fish has led to a number of unique evolutionary adaptations. Unlike other raptors, they have two talons facing forward and two backwards, the better to grasp fish when diving from above and plucking their prey from the water. And unlike other raptors, the osprey is capable of diving under water to a depth of one meter. And when under water it can close its nostrils. With wet feathers and a fish in its grasp, it takes a considerable effort for an osprey to get airborne. Once in flight, an osprey will carry a fish headfirst in order to maximize its aerodynamic efficiency.
The osprey is so much more effective in marine environments than other predators, that in some habitats, other large raptors like the Bald or Golden Eagle will attack an osprey with a catch, forcing the osprey to give up its prize.
As with hawks and falcons, the widespread distribution of ospreys has given rise to many stories, myths and legends.
In Greek mythology, Nisos, the King of Megara, transformed himself into an osprey to attack his daughter after she fell in love and ran off with Minos, the King of Crete.
Roman historian, Pliny wrote that adult Ospreys tested their offspring by making them fly to the sun as a test of strength, and that they killed those young that failed in the attempt.
For Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest, the osprey is a symbol of abundance and acuity of vision.
In Medieval Europe it was a popular belief that ospreys mesmerized their prey with magic, and that helpless fish offered themselves up to the osprey belly first to be caught. This belief probably arose because of the ospreys' habit of carrying fish headfirst to make flying easier.
William Shakespeare wrote in Act 4, Scene 5 of Coriolanus -
In Nova Scotia, Canada the osprey was adopted as the official bird of the province in 1994.
In modern times, the osprey has become a powerful symbol of conservation and environmental protection. During the 1950's - 1960's in the United States, the widespread use of the pesticide DDT had devastating effects of the osprey. DDT was washed from farmers fields by the rain into st...