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Pandion haliaetusOsprey

Ospreys are large, black and white, and have a wingspan of three to four feet. Females have a dark "necklace" across their upper chest.

Range: Found worldwide near coastal areas or regions with substantial water. Populations that nest in regions subject to harsh winter weather are highly prone to migrate.

Nesting: Always near water, they build large platform nests. Nest bases are constructed of sticks and twigs with soft materials, such as kelp and plastic trash intertwined with the stick platforms.

Eggs: 2-4 per clutch

Diet: Almost exclusively fresh and saltwater fish

Interesting Facts:

  • Have special pointed scales on the bottoms of their feet that aid in grasping and holding slippery fish
  • Plunge feet first, sometimes submerging up to their heads when catching fish
  • Not commonly found in zoos because their nervous disposition makes them challenging to care for

Conservation Status: Ospreys have rebounded after serious decline from DDT, which was responsible for the decline of many birds, like Brown Pelicans and Peregrine Falcons. When ingested, DDT accumulates in the fat of animals and prevents proper egg formation. Subsequently, eggs, when laid, are thin-shelled and break when incubated.

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