Osprey dive at somewhere between 30-50 mph on average.
 
The dive goes like this:
 
Fish spotted and instant flight path changed from horizontal to vertical.
 
 
Picking up diving speed by becoming completely vertical.
 
 
Preparing horizontal attack path.
 
 
Plow into the water.
 
 
Climbing out of the water.
 
 
Heading home with breakfast.
 

Ospreys go in, I mean often way deep under water when fishing.
The dive picks up a lot of water on the body of the osprey.
Water weighs 8.35 pounds per gallon.
Flight calls for a bird without an excess load to haul into the air.
Ospreys do a shake to shed the excess water. The shake is just like what a wet dog does.
The shake starts at the beak and twists through to the tail.
Here you can see the osprey is ahead of the spray and the shake has gotten almost to the tail feathers.

Osprey Fish Dance in 4 Steps
 
The osprey is superb at hovering over the water, watching a fish.
 
 
The twist in midair to track the fish.
 
 
The impact into the Haw River, which is running at 10,000 cubic feet per second. 
See this morning’s FB video and realize this approximately 3 pound bird is fishing in FAST moving water.
 
 
Fish caught.  Now to make a run for the nest before the bald eagles realize the osprey has a catch.
 
 

Ranger Cove,  
update Broken Feather
Broken Feather was dripping wet from her last attempt at fishing from the bank.
Determined to be a true osprey, she left the pile of logs and gained altitude.
The fledgling plowed into the water, true to her species.
Alas, Broken Feather didn’t get a fish.
But her heart is still saying work at it and so she did.
There were several more attempts, all empty talons.
Then dad osprey showed up at the nest with a fish and the sibling ospreys got a meal.
Maybe tomorrow Broken Feather and her brother Piper will each catch their own fish.

In between watching eclipses and aerobatic bald eagles, I have kept my eye on other interesting critters …
This is father osprey plowing into the lake for a fish.


A white-tailed buck very calmly glanced my way and then went back to browsing.


Something must have tickled this great blue heron’s toes – he sure made a spectacular leap and didn’t take flight!

It was great fun watching the pileated woodpecker stop his hammering just long enough for me to get his portrait.


The three brassy little skipper butterflies were sharing a button bush blossom.