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The Osprey bird family attracts unexpected attention at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon


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A family of raptors attracts unexpected attention at the World Championships in Athletics currently taking place in Eugene, Oregon.

An osprey nest in Eugene has become the event’s unofficial mascot, according to Reuters.

There’s no starting gunfire or roar from the crowd that brings the raptors out of their home on a platform above the University of Oregon Law School – which is visible to the crowd at the 10-day international meet in Eugene.

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Nonetheless, fans – as they attend the field trials and sprint heats – were delighted to watch the youngest in the nest flapping its wings, thanks to the images displayed on the big screen at Hayward Field, according to Reuters.

The fish caught by this osprey – as seen in this February 2019 image – was likely a blue tang. The osprey is the only falcon on the continent that almost exclusively eats live fish, according to The Cornell Lab.
(Michiel Oversteegen/Caters News Agency)

Ospreys are very large hawks with distinct shapes, according to The Cornell Lab and its website, All About Birds.

Despite their large size, the birds’ bodies are slender, with long, narrow wings and long legs.

“We saw the baby bird practice getting ready to fly. So that was really exciting.”

Ospreys fly with a pronounced crease in their wings, forming an M-shape when viewed from below, the site also noted.

“Watching announcers and fans cheering on the bird, learning to fly the same way they cheer on athletes, running, jumping and throwing – yeah, I never would have predicted that, but it’s really fun,” Michael Moffitt, Philip H. Knight Professor of Law at the University of Oregon, told Reuters.

The Osprey bird family attracts unexpected attention at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon

An adult osprey flies with a fish in its talons in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, as seen in this 2010 photograph.
(Reuters/Dan Riedlhuber)

Ospreys previously resided at historic Hayward Field.

That is, until an incident in 2014 prompted their relocation to the Knight Law Center platform.

“I could just enjoy nature happening.”

“We saw the baby bird practice getting ready to fly. So that was really exciting,” Shannon Dixon, 49, a computer scientist from Oxnard, California, told Reuters.

“I could just enjoy nature happening.”

The 2022 World Championships in Athletics, the eighteenth edition of the World Championships in Athletics, is currently taking place at Hayward Field in Eugene from July 15-24, 2022.

Hayward Field underwent extensive renovations beginning in 2018, with the project competing in 2020 – ahead of its hosting duties for the US Olympic Trials.

The Osprey bird family attracts unexpected attention at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon

This 2017 photo taken by a US Fish and Wildlife Service motion-activated camera shows an osprey at the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia.
(US Fish and Wildlife Service via AP)

The Cornell Lab also notes this about the osprey: “Unique among North American raptors for their diet of live fish and their ability to dive into the water to catch them, ospreys are common sights hovering at above the shores, patrolling the waterways and standing on their huge stick nests. , shiny white heads.”

“Opreys are common sights hovering above shorelines, patrolling waterways and standing on their huge stick nests, white heads gleaming.”

He continues: “These tall, lanky hawks do well with humans and have rebounded in numbers after the pesticide DDT was banned. The osprey hunt is a picture of concentration, dipping with outstretched feet and yellow eyes staring straight along from their greenhouses.

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Additionally, The Cornell Lab points out that the osprey is the only falcon on the continent that almost exclusively eats live fish.

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Reuters contributed to this article.


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