03/3/12

Bird of Prey of the Day: Osprey

Today will begin a new era at Thoughts, as we install the first in an ongoing series entitled “Bird of Prey of the Day.”  Our goal is to deliver overdue recognition to the winged, silent death that hovers above us daily.  We hope you discover that, while many of these birds have well-earned a reputation as soulless destroyers, they are also fathers, mothers, and hard workers — just like many of us.  Not to mention that they are capable of flight, which is something I think we all aspire to at some level.   So, could we really be that different from a killer like..

The Osprey

A silent assassin that brings terror from above

This osprey has a regal charm

Switching gears to the topic of football:  if you’ve grown up in the Northwest, you watch the Seahawks, talk about the Seahawks, or perhaps even think you know about the Seahawks.  But how much do you really know about Seattle’s team?  Let’s do a quick test to find out.

First, I want you to hold out your left hand in front of you.  I want you to extend it until it’s right in front of your monitor, and then cover up the word “Osprey” in the title of this blog (so you can still see the bird, but not the word “Osprey” above it).  Then, cover up this paragraph, which mentions the “osprey” repeatedly, and answer this simple question:

Do you even know what type of bird a Seahawk is?  You have no idea.  You’ve followed the Seahawks for 10, 20, 30, maybe even 50 years, and yet you can’t even describe (let alone name) the bird for which your team was named.


But this osprey has a very sharp beak that belies the animal’s true intentions

But that ends today.

The answer is:  the osprey.

You may put your hand down now.

When you look at the osprey at right, he immediately conjures the intensity of an equally skilled and ruthless executioner. But would you believe it ends the lives of innocent fish nearly each and every day?  In fact, in its 10 year lifespan, this bird will go on to kill more fish than all American serial killers put together (which is itself a scary thought, can you imagine what would happen if you left Bundy and Gacy alone together with a barrel of fish?)

When you check out the talons on an osprey, you understand this is not the bird you want to cross.  Why, Jill was dive-bombed and hit in the head by an angry owl , and this owl looks probably 100x less deadly than our Silent Winged Assassin:

I would take this owl with me to dinner at grandmas.  If the osprey were 100x more deadly than this bird, it would have literally swooped down, ripped the head off my unlucky friend, and tossed it three football fields-length, where it would have hit a mobile home with enough force to knock it off its foundation.

As of press time, there have been no verified reports of osprey exhibiting this particular behavior.

But multiplication has been verified over the course of centuries, and the maximum ferocity of an owl is well-established.  Inferring the damage that an osprey could potentially inflict upon an innocent victim makes one wonder: is this really a bird that we should celebrating every fall Sunday?