Scientific Classification

Order Accipitriformes
Family Pandionidae
Genus Pandion
Class Aves
Scientific Name Pandion haliaetus
Osprey
Ospreys in their nest ©www.wingbeats.org

Other Names

Fish eagle, sea hawk, river hawk, fish hawk

Osprey Description

  • The osprey is also called fish-eating bird because 99% of its prey is fish.
  • The bird is able to catch fish weighing 150–300 g.
  • They can see underwater animals very well.
  • Ospreys can cover as much as 431 km (268 mi) in one day.
  • First they see the prey 10–40 m (33–131 ft) above the water, after which the bird hovers.

Size & Weight

Adults:

  • BODY-LENGTH: 50–66 cm (20–26 in)
  • WEIGHT: 0.9–2.1 kg (2.0–4.6 lb)
  • WINGSPAN: 127–180 cm (50–71 in)
  • TAIL: 16.5 to 24 cm (6.5 to 9.4 in)
  • TARSUS: 2–6.6 cm (2.0–2.6 in)
  • WING CHORD: 38 to 52 cm (15 to 20 in)

Newborns:

  • WEIGHT: 50–60 g (1.8–2.1 oz)
Osprey
Osprey has just caught a fish

Habitat

Tropical, temperate regions

Range

Alaska, Newfoundland, Florida, Argentina, Ireland, Scotland, southern United States, North Africa, eastern Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia, Solomon Islands, Southeast Asia

Diet

Rodents, birds, rabbits, amphibians, small reptiles, hares

Osprey
Osprey is just about to catch a fish ©climate.audubon.org

Subspecies

  • P. h. haliaetus
  • P. h. carolinensis
  • P. h. ridgwayi
  • P. h. cristatus (eastern osprey)

Number of Eggs

2 – 4 eggs

Eggs Size

  • LENGTH: 6.2 cm × 4.5 cm (2.4 in × 1.8 in)
  • WEIGHT: 65 g (2.3 oz)

Breeding Season

September – October

Incubation Period

35 days

Fledging Period

56 – 70 days

Population

460,000

Lifespan

  • 7 – 10 years (avg.)
  • 20 – 25 years (max.)

Speed

  • FLYING SPEED: 40 mph
  • DICING SPEED: 80 mph

Home Range

9,670,000 km2 (3,730,000 sq mi)

Predators

Great horned owl, bald eagle, golden eagle, white-tailed eagle

Call

cheep, cheep, yewk, yewk, cheereek

Behavior

Diurnal

Conservation Status

Least Concern