Osprey

Pandion haliaetus

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Osprey (Pandionidae)

Code 4

OSPR

Code 6

PANHAL

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Osprey has one of the largest ranges possible, with the populations of Africa and the Americas appearing in an estimated range of up to 9,670,000 square kilometers alone. This species can be found natively throughout North and South America, the Caribbean and Central America, Europe, Asia and Africa among other areas. Its habitat is as varied as its range and this species is found in forests, wetlands, marine environments and coastal areas. The global population of this bird is estimated to be around 460,000 individuals. Currently, it is not believed that the population trends for this species will soon approach the minimum levels that could suggest a potential decline in population. Due to this, population trends for the Osprey have a present evaluation level of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Osprey: This large raptor has dark brown upperparts, white underparts, faint breast band, small white head with dark crown, eye stripe and bill, gray legs and feet. Wings held at a distinct angle in flight, under wing showing barred flight feathers and diagnostic dark patches on the fore wing. Soars on thermals, deep slow wing beats alternating with glides. Feeds mainly on fish. Sexes similar.


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.

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Osprey SONGS AND CALLS

Osprey P1

Begging calls from a juvenile.

Osprey L1

High-pitched whistled calls from a male in flight.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"Chewk-chewk-chewk"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Live fish account for about 99% of their diet. Barbed pads on the soles of its feet help it grip slippery fish. When an Osprey takes a large fish to its nest, it carries the fish headfirst to make it as aerodynamic as possible.
  • The Osprey, Pandion haliaetus, whose species name is derived from the Greek "hals" (salt or sea) and "aetos", eagle, is the only bird of prey that feeds exclusively on live fish.
  • Their eggs do not hatch all at once, but instead the first chick hatches out up to five days before the last one.
  • Their outer toe is reversible so that it can grasp with three toes forward and one toe backward or with two forward and two backward, which provides a more stable grip in flight.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

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

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CrownX
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.
ChestX
Also called the breast area, it is the frontal area on the body containing the breastplate and major flight muscles.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X