[Tweeters] osprey with snake

Bob Sundstrom ixoreus at scattercreek.com
Thu Jul 28 14:04:51 PDT 2016


It's possible the snake was swimming and the Osprey took it from the water's
surface. Birds of North America account suggests that occasional prey items
likely include "nonfish taken in water, probably using typical foraging
techniques (e.g., alligator, muskrat) and emphasizing the generalist nature
of Osprey predation while hunting over water . . ."

A fuller account reads:

[From Food Habits section of BNA account]: "Anecdotal observations of
Ospreys with nonfish prey include birds, snakes, voles, squirrels, muskrats
(Ondatra zibethica), salamanders, and even a small alligator (Alligator
mississippiensis;
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b264> Wiley and Lohrer 1973,
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b194> Proctor 1977,
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b245> Thorpe and Boddham 1977,
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b034> Castrale and McCall 1983,
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b243> Taylor 1986,
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b133> King 1988,
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b182> Poole 1989a,
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b174> Pawloski 1996,
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b255> Watermolen 1996,
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b047> Douglass 1997); on Tiran I. in the Red Sea, Ospreys opened (and ate)
conchs by dropping them onto a concrete-filled steel drum (
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b138> Leshem 1984). Werren and Peterson (
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b257> 1988) observed an Osprey foraging by walking along ground and sallying
out 2 m to capture ground squirrels (Citrellus sp.). Some of these reports
include nonfish taken in water, probably using typical foraging techniques
(e.g., alligator, muskrat) and emphasizing the generalist nature of Osprey
predation while hunting over water; some may result from Ospreys trimming
their nests with skeletal remains and thus not represent prey taken. Bad
weather (high winds, choppy or turbid water) or early arrival on breeding
grounds (when lakes are frozen) may promote such behavior; e.g., feeding on
dead and dying fish tossed on the ice by fishermen in Georgian Bay in Lake
Huron (
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b065> Ewins and Cousineau 1994).

Ospreys rarely scavenge dead or dying fish (
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b050> Dunstan 1974,
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b180> Poole 1984), and even less frequently feed on terrestrial carrion. One
was reported on a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) carcass in New
York State (B. Loucks pers. comm.), and an Osprey was seen feeding with a
group of Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) on a road-killed opossum
(Didelphis virginiana), which the Osprey tried to fly off with when flushed
(
<http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/683/articles/species/683/biblio/bi
b051> Dusi 1995)."

Bob Sundstrom



From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Dan Logen
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2016 11:40 AM
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Tweeters] osprey with snake



Hi Tweeters



While driving through Ewan last Saturday, July 23, we saw an Osprey headed
to its pole-top nest with a long snake dangling from its talons. This was
a first for me. Cornell's web site says their diet is 99% fish.



Ewan is at the south end of Rock Lake, Highway 23, Whitman County. Fish
should be readily available.



Dan Logen

Stanwood





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