Osprey, BraeBurn No. 6, December 14, 2017
One of our largest raptors is the fish-eating Osprey, a somewhat commonly-seen bird at BraeBurn.  They are hard to miss and fairly easy to identify because of their large size, white body, and white and brown head and wings.  When I see an Osprey it is usually flying over Brays Bayou looking for its next meal or flying over BraeBurn toward Brays Bayou.  However, I saw the Osprey in the photo above rise up out of Brays Bayou with a large fish in its talons, circle over hole three and six, and then land in a pine tree near number 6 tee to enjoy its fish dinner.
 
Osprey have a five- to six-foot wingspan which helps them hover and then dive down to pluck a fish from just under the surface of the water.  After a successful catch, an Osprey will often reposition the fish facing head first in the direction of flight, most likely because this allows for the least wind resistance.  I have seen this before and it was a memorable and an odd thing to see, but it makes sense aerodynamically.
 
Ospreys live throughout the contiguous forty-eight States and spend the summer in Canada and into Alaska.  They winter in southern California and along the Texas Gulf Coast although some live year-round in Florida.  I looked for them during the summer of 2017 at BraeBurn and saw one in May and then another in September.   I think they wisely take the summer off and head north.