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The Osprey, sometimes known as the sea hawk or fish eagle, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching 60 centimetres in length with a 2 m wingspan. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts, with a black eye patch and wings.

The Osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply. It is found on all continents except Antarctica although in South America it occurs only as a non-breeding migrant.

As its other common name suggests, the Osprey's diet consists almost exclusively of fish.


Osprey are large birds of prey.

Osprey Classification:

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes or Falconiformes
Family: Pandionidae
Genus: Pandion
Species: Haliaetus

Other Names: Sea Hawk, Fish Eagle or Fish Hawk

Osprey in Foreign Languages:

Basque: arrano arrantzale
Bosnian: kostolom
Breton: erer-spluj
Catalan: ŕguila pescadora
Czech: orlovec rícní
Danish: fiskeřrn
Dutch: visarend
Esperanto: fisaglo
Estonian: kalakotkas
Faroese: fiskiřrn
Finnish: sääksi / kalasääski
French: balbuzard / balbuzard pęcheur
German: Fischadler
Hungarian: halászsas
Icelandic: gjóđur
Indonesian: elang tiram
Irish: coirneach / iascaire coirneach
Italian: falco pescatore
Japanese: misago
Latvian: zivjerglis
Lithuanian: žuvininkas
Low German: Fischaadler / Fischarend
Navajo: tónteel giní
Norwegian: fiskeřrn
Polish: rybolów
Portuguese: águia-pesqueira
Romanian: vultur pescar
Russian: skopá
Scots: fish hawk
Scottish Gaelic: iolair-uisge / iolair-iasgaich
Slovene: ribji orel
Spanish: águila pescadora / gavilán pescador/ guincho
Swedish: fiskgjuse / benbrytare / benbrĺkare
Turkish: balik kartali
Volapük: melakvil / melakvilül
Welsh: gwalch y pysgod


Conservation Status:
Special Concern

Size: An osprey's body measures 21 to 23 inches in length, and they have a wingspan of 5 to 6 feet. Ospreys weigh 3.1 to 4.4 lbs.

Habitat: Ospreys lives throughout the world and can be found on all continents except Antartica. Ospreys are found near bodies of water, like lakes, rivers, marshes, mangroves, and along seashores

Diet: Ospreys feed on a wide variety of fish species. Ospreys ahve sharp talons for grasping fish. Ospreys also ocassionally prey on rodents, rabbits, hares, amphibians, other birds, and small reptiles.

Communication: Osprey use five different calls to communicate.

Did You Know?

Ospreys mate for life.

Gestation: The eggs incubate for 35-40 days. Osprey eggs don't hatch all at once, but are staggered in time, some of the osprey siblings are older and dominant.

Birth: Ospreys build large nests made of sticks and other material in trees, on cliffs, and elevated platforms. Female ospreys lay 2 - 4 eggs.

Sexually Mature: Ospreys sexually mature around the age of 3.

Life Span: Ospreys live approximately 30 years.

Did You Know?

Osprey parents will hold back food in order to encourage fledglings to leave the nest.

Osprey Gifts



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