We have a strong connection with the osprey, a thrilling bird to experience first-hand. This excellent fisher has a number of attributes that make it spectacular and certain characteristics that serve as useful metaphors for organizations seeking greater vision, improved focus and enhanced results.
Some tidbits about the osprey:
- The osprey, or fish eagle, dines almost exclusively on fish. These birds are excellent fishers. The osprey scans the water from 30 to 100 feet in the air. When it spots a fish (vision), it closes its wings and plunges into the water (focus). Often, the osprey is successful and delivers the goods to its family (results).
- After the catch the fish is carried head first in the osprey’s talons which makes the flight aerodynamically efficient. For those of us who admire the osprey, this is a signature flight pattern.
- The male osprey brings the female all her food from the time they mate until she has finished laying her eggs, usually three of them. When the babies hatch, the male delivers their food – a total of six pounds of fish every day – to the nest.
- Osprey build their large nests, always near water – rivers, large lakes or the coast.
- A mated pair uses the same nest year after year.
- Farmers used to put up a pole with a wagon wheel on top in the hope an osprey pair would nest there. The fish-eaters would protect the barnyard from hawks that might eat chickens.
- The osprey lives on every continent (except Antarctica), at least as a winter visitor. It nests throughout North America.
- Like the Bald Eagle, its nesting success decreased in many areas because the fish it eats were contaminated with toxic chemicals. The first studies leading to the 1972 ban on DDT were conducted on declining osprey populations, which are now considered recovered.
If you are interested in learning more about ospreys, a several sites you might find helpful are (these links will open in new windows):
If, like us, you’re getting hooked on ospreys, Return of the
Osprey, A Season of Flight and Wonder by David Gessner makes good