Virtual Learning Center

Vocabulary Words

  • Zygodactyl feet – the toes are arranged in pairs, the second and third toes in front, the fourth and hallux behind.
  • Salt Marsh:  Coastal wetlands that are flooded and drained by salt water brought in by the tides. 
  • Fledge: When a young bird develops wings and muscles that are strong enough so it can fly.
  • Perch:  When a bird rests on something like a branch or other item.
  • DDT:  A manmade insecticide which is now banned in the US.  
  • Mosquito Ditch:  Long ditches dug into salt marshes in the 1930’s to control the mosquito populations by draining shallow pooled waters and bringing fish in during high tides to feed on mosquito larvae.

Fun Facts

  • Osprey turn their captured fish so that the head is facing forward while they fly.  This is more aerodynamic and uses less energy by the osprey.
  • The osprey has evolved unique characteristics different from other raptor species such as nostrils that can be closed during dives and an outer toe that can be angled backwards to better grasp fish.
  • Osprey are nicknamed “Sea Hawks, River Hawks or Fish Hawks” since they eat a diet almost exclusively of fish.
  • Osprey can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
  • The oldest known North American Osprey lived to be 25 years old.  The average osprey lives 15-20 years.  During that long lifetime they can rack up over 160,000 miles of travel during to migration.
  • In 2008, a tracked osprey traveled 2,700 miles in just 13 days from Massachusetts to South America!

Reminder:

Check out the LIVE Osprey Webcam on the Meigs Point Nature Center on our homepage!

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