Fish Hawk or Osprey by John James Audubon

Fine Art Prints of Distinction


A Museum Quality Print of the Fish Hawk or Osprey by John James Audubon showing a large male osprey flying over a bay or estuary clutching a fish in his talons. Mr. Audubon calls this a weak fish, which today is also known as a sea or grey trout, tiderunner or drummer fish. The example in this picture weighed approximately 5 pounds and Mr. Audubon says in the complete description of this bird that it carried the 5 pound weakfish into the air with great difficulty, but held on to it until shots were fired at the osprey upon which he dropped the fish into the waters. This large raptor bird was plate or picture number 81 in the first Havell edition of the great ornithology book, The Birds of America, which was published by Audubon in the first third of the 19th century. I have taken the liberty of adding the blue to the sky in this painting as the original white sky has yellowed considerably over the years. 

Falco Haliaetus - Mr. Audubon describes the fish hawk or osprey thus "The habits of this famed bird differ so materially from those of almost all others of its genus, that an accurate description of them cannot fail to be highly interesting to the student of nature. The Fish Hawk may be looked upon as having more of a social disposition than most other Hawks. Indeed, with the exception of the Swallow-tailed Hawk (Falco furcatus), I know none so gregarious in its habits. It migrates in numbers, both during spring, when it shews itself along our Atlantic shores, lakes, and rivers, and during autumn, when it retires to warmer climes. At these seasons, it appears in flocks of eight or ten individuals, following the windings of our shores in loose bodies, advancing in easy sailings or flappings, crossing each other in their gyrations. During the period of their stay in the United States, many pairs are seen nestling, rearing their young, and seeking their food within so short a distance of each other, that while following the margins of our eastern shores, a Fish Hawk, or a nest belonging to the species, may be met with at every short interval.

The Fish Hawk may be said to be of a mild disposition. Not only do these birds live in perfect harmony together, but they even allow other birds of very different character to approach so near to them as to build their nests of the very materials of which the outer parts of their own are constructed. I have never observed a Fish Hawk chasing any other bird whatever. So pacific and timorous is it, that, rather than encounter a foe but little more powerful than itself, it abandons its prey to the White-headed Eagle, which, next to man, is its greatest enemy. It never forces its young from the nest, as some other Hawks do, but, on the contrary, is seen to feed them even when they have begun to procure food for themselves. ....."

At Fine Art Prints of Distinction we painstakingly repair the original files of these old paintings and print them using premium quality inks and paper. The end result is a beautiful, archival reproduction print that will last in your home for generations and at a low cost so anyone can now have great artworks hanging in their home or business. Brandywine General Store is proud to offer for sale a Premium Fine Art Print made from the Ornithology painting entitled the Fish Hawk or Osprey by John James Audubon.

Inventory #81 - Fine Art Prints of the Audubon Birds

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