Ospreys abound in South Texas, where I recently spent some quality birding time. It's no great shakes to glance over and see one sitting on a snag or a bouy, doing what Osprey do - catch fish, or think about catching fish. They are quite adept at angling, much better than many humanoid fisher-people.
While at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, I noticed the bird above winging by closely, bullhead firmly snared in its talons. As an aside, note how the fish is held head into the wind. Osprey always hold their prey that way when airborn; better aerodynamics, you know.
Anyway, my camera was handy, so I grabbed a shot of the fish hawk with its piscine prey.
The Osprey didn''t go far before alighting on a box, like a king with its scaly subject. And lo and behold, it was attended by some subjects. These feathered serfs were undoubtedly unwelcome, but the beggars made for an entertaining show.
Skulking around the Osprey's feet are two Ruddy Turnstones, invading his space in a big way. These odd sandpipers are also amazingly catholic in their dietary preferences for a shorebird, and opportunistically grab nearly any edible bit. There is a gruesome photo that I have heard about, featuring a mob of turnstones busily clambering over a body that washed ashore somewhere, pecking away like little parti-colored ghouls.
I watched this crew for a while, and wherever the Osprey went, so followed his entourage.
Poor Osprey. He does all the work, and the avian scrounges try to steal his hard-won bounty.