os'-pra (`ozniyah; haliaetos; Latin Pandion haliaetus):
A large hawk preferring a diet of fish. The word is found in the list of abominations only. See Leviticus 11:13; Deuteronomy 14:12. The osprey was quite similar in appearance to some of the smaller eagles, and by some it is thought that the short-toed eagle is intended. But the eagle and the gier-eagle had been specified, and on account of the osprey plunging into water for food and having feet bare to the lower leg-joint and plumage of brighter and more distinctive marking, it seems very probable that it was recognized as a distinctive species, and so named separately. Moreover, the osprey was not numerous as were other hawks and eagles. It was a bird that lived almost wholly on fish, and these were not plentiful in the waters of Palestine. This would tend to make it a marked bird, so no doubt the translation is correct as it stands, as any hawk that lived on fish would have been barred as an article of diet (see Tristram, Natural History of the Bible, 182; also Studers, Birds of North America, p. 16).
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