Pandion haliaetus




Osprey (Pandionidae)

Code 4


Code 6



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Breeding Location:

Lakes, Seashore, rocky or sandy, Rivers

Breeding Type:


Breeding Population:

Common in coastal range, uncommon inland.

Egg Color:

Pink or white marked with brown and olive

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

35 - 40

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Sticks, sod, cow dung, seaweed, rubbish.





Osprey: Large raptor with dark brown upperparts and contrasting white underparts with faint breast band. Small, white head has a dark crown and eyestripe. Bill is dark. Wings are held at a distinct angle in flight, with underwing showing barred flight feathers and diagnostic dark patches on forewing. Legs and feet are gray. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has scaled upperparts.

Range and Habitat

Osprey: Worldwide distribution except Antarctica; found near large bodies of water. In North America, breeds from Alaska across most of subarctic Canada south to Florida, but not in the Great Plains. Winters in the southeastern U.S. and extreme southern California further south into Mexico and the West Indies.

Breeding and Nesting

Osprey: Three pink or white eggs, marked with olive and brown, are laid in a bulky nest made of sticks built in a large tree; sometimes nests in loose colonies. Incubation ranges from 35 to 40 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Osprey: Feeds exclusively on fish, usually twice daily, in mid-morning and late afternoon. Forages by flying over water, hovering once prey is spotted, then diving into the water feet-first to grasp prey; sometimes lays on the water and rests, but eventually takes off to find a perch to eat its meal.


Osprey: Utters a short, tuneful whistle. Also makes alarm calls, begging calls, etc., in a voice that is, for the size of bird, most unimpressive.

Similar Species

Osprey: Bald Eagle is larger with an entirely white head and tail, and dark underparts and underwings.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Flight feathersX
Located on the wing, and collectively called remiges (singular, remex). The long stiff feathers are subdivided into two major groups based on the location and are called primaries and secondaries.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X