Ospreys love to catch fresh fish – but they often want to transport their food somewhere closer to home before eating it. Their strong talons and the pads on their feet allow them to do this – but picking up a big, slippery fish that might still be wriggling around can make flying difficult.

According to Cornell Ornithology Lab’s Birds of North America, ospreys specifically situate their fish in their grasp so that it is as aerodynamically streamlined as possible. A fish is held parallel to the osprey’s body, head forward, so that it doesn’t increase drag as the osprey flies toward home.

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