Does anyone know what this bird is and is it carrying a shark? That was a question asked on social media four days ago. Little did anyone know what a great question and video it was.
Ashley White, from Erwin, Tennessee, filmed the action from her level 17 hotel balcony in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina June 22.
Currently the video has over 16 million views on Twitter and has been shared on almost every social media platform. Requests to use White’s video are coming in from across the globe even as far away as Japan.
So what makes the video so special? Watching a huge unknown species of bird carrying a fish that kinda looked like a shark, flying above the beach is not something you see everyday. In its own right, it is amazing footage, but does it earn 16 million views and countless comments and speculations as to the identity of the bird and fish?
The answer, of course, is yes. 2020 has been a helluva year, with problem after problem, and the world seems to be going to pot. However, an unknown predatory bird and the possibility that its prey is a shark has brought a little calm and focus to something that isn’t the most important thing in life, but is damn fun.
People across the world have weighed in with great jokes and speculations ranging from eagles to pterodactyls. Some have used the video as a euphemism for 2020, that sharks will begin falling from the sky. The greatest fear in the ocean has now gone airborne. Are sharks and birds working together to take us out? Was this is a team scouting mission to find our weaknesses? Is there an army of sharks constructing tiny shark sized parachutes for their airborne brethren?
Unfortunately, none of the above theories are correct.
To no one’s surprise, the bird ate the fish. While anything is possible, the odds are the chance of who was top predator did not change mid flight, and it’s safe to say the fish was always scheduled to be on the dinner plate.
The burning question of what type of bird this is and if it holding a shark has finally been answered. The key question is do you really want to know the answer, or is it better to enjoy the video and speculate? Maybe crack a joke or tell your own Big Fish story.
For those who seek the answer, several of our more knowledgeable birders on twitter have set the record straight.
Massachusetts Shark Researcher John Chisholm confirmed the bird is an osprey and its meal was not a shark, but a Spanish Mackerel.
A similar incident occurred at Daytona Beach in April of this year. Dylan Mellor saw a bird and ran the beach to film it dining.