What is "Fiskiörn", and why do we use this name?

"Fiskiörn" or "fiskioern" is Old Norse for "fish-eagle", or Osprey. Some other names are: Visarend (Dutch), Fischadler (German), Fiskeørn (Norwegian and Danish), Fiskerne (probable Scots), Misago (Japanese) Orfraie (French).

In the last few decades, the osprey declined in numbers in many parts of North America, largely due to pesticide use. Now its numbers are increasing. In Nova Scotia, Ospreys can again be seen all summer long, characteristically hovering over bays and estuaries and plunging feet-first to catch their fish. In 1995, an Osprey took up residence in the Halifax Public Gardens. It has been back each year since... This year, an osprey hovered over Halifax Harbour while the Matthew was pulling in... They are very rare in winter, as they are migratory birds.

The osprey or fish-eagle is the provincial bird of Nova Scotia.

The osprey became extinct in Britain at the start of this century. However a pair began trying to breed near Boat of Garten in the Central Highlands of Scotland, in 1954, and thanks to the efforts of conservationists (who had to protect the eggs and nest from collectors) this Fish-Eagle has now re-established itself in Scotland.

Attempts are being made to reintroduce it to parts of England. We named our kindred fiskioern for many reasons: because we're in Nova Scotia, because the bird is strong and beautiful, because this bird is personally important to one of our members, because its re-establishment to us parallels the re-emergence of the Elder Troth, or Asatru religion.

Sér hún upp koma öšru sinni
jörš úr ęgi išjagręna;
falla fossar, flýgur örn yfir,
sá er á fjalli fiska veišir.

I see the earth again rising
from the deep, with forests evergreen;
Falls flow, above hovers the eagle
swooping to capture its fish. [Völuspá, 60]

The image below shows an osprey in Britain, photographed as part of a study of these wonderful birds. The latin name is Pandion haliaetus.

Links - Ospreys [image - close-up of osprey]

Links - Birds of Prey (including Ospreys) Links - Birds and Birding

for further info contact: Katla email: <katla@god.knotwork.com>

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Last Updated: Nov 10, 1997