Osprey catches four goldfishes out of garden pond!

The osprey catching goldfish.

The osprey catching goldfish.

A young osprey being ringed;people often do this so they can track the birds migration.

A young osprey being ringed;people often do this so they can track the birds migration.

An osprey, or fish hawk, takes flight with a fantail goldfish clasped in its sharp talons and is captured in a breathtaking wildlife photo.  The mighty 1.75m wing-spanned bird of prey had bided its time circling above a garden in Devon before stooping down and catching a helpless fantail goldfish out of their pond.  The fish-hawk went to a nearby feeding perch and made short work of its slippery fish dinner, its fourth that day!  This osprey is thought to be under two years old.  Ospreys are unique, being in its own family which is called pandionidae.  They are also called fish hawks because their diet consists of 99% fish.  They are as tall as buzzard, but have thinner and longer wings, with a wingspan similar to that of a red kite’s.  They used to be extinct in the UK, but conservationists have helped to get their population to around 250 pairs.  This unique predatory bird has extremely good eyesight and can see a fish under the water from an impressive 131ft in the air.  Like a peregrine diving on a dove or seabird, they dive into the water and grab the fish in their scaly toes, a feature which sea eagles and ospreys have, and fly off with it.  Sometimes, the fish will be too heavy for the osprey to carry, and their feathers get waterlogged, and the osprey is often unable to fly off with the heavy 2kg fish, so the unfortunate consequences are the ospreys sometimes drown.  But this doesn’t often happen, and the powerful bird carries it an impressive 10 miles or so back to the nest to females and chicks.  Ospreys are summer visitors to the UK, like hobbys and montague’s harriers.