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The animal on the cover of Java and XML Data Binding is an osprey. The osprey is found near lakes, rivers, and seacoasts in every continent except Antarctica. It is especially common in Finland, Scandinavia, and the Chesapeake Bay in the United States. Ospreys are birds of prey with a large wingspan and sharp talons. Most are identified by a small, narrow head, a brown back, and a white stomach. The bird, which eats only fish, feeds two times a day, at mid-morning and in the late afternoon. It hovers over the water, swoops down, and grabs it prey. Then it rests briefly on the water before it flies off to eat its meal.
Ospreys build their nests close to bodies of water. The birds seek sites near food that are surrounded by open space so they can move their large wings easily. Ospreys often choose nesting sites in tall, single trees, power poles, and radio and light towers.
The osprey was nearly an endangered species for many years. Fishing communities sometimes hunted the bird because they feared it would consume valuable fish resources. Industrialization, deforestation, and global population growth were other major threats to the osprey. The use of DDT after World War II also killed a large portion of the osprey population, since ...