School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Bird Details

Hawk Like Hawk Like

Osprey

Pandion haliaetus

Osprey
copyright Jim Burns
Length: 25 in. (64 cm)
Restricted to open water in large lakes, reservoirs, rivers and coastal areas, it dives head and feet first into the water to capture large fish. It will, however, take small mammals, birds, and marine invertebrates at times. Often pursued by Bald Eagles that rob the Osprey of its fish prey. Its nest is a huge bulky platform at the top of a live or dead tree near the water. Readily uses artificial platforms placed at the tops of poles to construct its nest. The Osprey has one of the broadest distributions of any bird species as it occurs on every continent except Antarctica. The four-digit banding code is OSPR.

Aerial
Aerial

Open water
Open water

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.