The Osprey and Bald Eagle, two of the largest birds of prey in North America and can be found in the Hunting Island State Park.
The Osprey diet is almost exclusively fish. Osprey are usually found nesting on man made structures near or on water. Favorite structures are telephone poles, pilings, bridge guard posts, and channel markers. Osprey eggs do not hatch all at once, rather the first chick hatches 4-5 days before the last chick hatches. When food is in shortage, the older chick will often monopolize the food brought by the parents feedings, thus starving the younger chicks, but ensuring at least one chick will survive. Osprey have barbed pads on the soles of their feet to grip slippery fish and in flight will carry a fish headfirst to make it as aerodynamic as possible.
The Bald Eagle
The Bald Eagle is not as common as the Osprey, but can be seen in the park, usually perched in a pine or oak tree. Bald Eagles feed on fish, birds and rodents. If you are lucky, you may see the unique Cartwheel Display, when two courting eagles fly to a high altitude, lock feet together, and then tumble and cartwheel toward the ground, breaking off at the last moment. A once in a lifetime show!
From the Brink of Extinction
The Eagle and Osprey were nearly killed off by the pesticide DDT, which was banned in this country. Both are slowly recovering.