The Osprey’s Secret

The FISH HAWK … receives his name from his food, which is generally fish; it skims over the lakes and rivers, and sometimes seems to lie expanded on the water, as he hovers so close to it, and having by some attractive power drawn the fish within its reach, darts suddenly upon them. The charm it makes use of is supposed to be an oil contained in a small bag in the body, and which nature has by some means or other supplied him with the power of using for this purpose; it is however very certain that any bait touched with a drop of the oil collected from this bird is an irresistible lure for all sorts of fish, and insures the angler great success.

– Jonathan Carver, Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America