Osprey

(Fish Hawk, Sea Hawk)

Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Pandionidae
Genus: Pandion
Species: haliaetus

La. accipere to grasp, take
iLa. accipiter hawk
La. forma form, shape, kind
Gr. Pandion mythological King of Athens
La. –idae appearance, resemblance

Gr. hals sea
iGr. aetos eagle
Gr. haliaetos osprey
La. haliaetos sea-eagle

Illustration of an osprey perched on a fallen log.
Two feet long, its narrow wings span five feet. Top of head, throat, breast and belly white. Upper parts grayish brown. Gold eyes with big black pupils. Typical bird of prey hooked bill.
Four Osprey subspecies range nearly worldwide. P. h. carolinensis inhabits inland waters and coast lands in North America.
Designated one of four subspecies, P. h. carolinensis inhabits inland waters and coast lands in North America as far north as Alaska, Hudson Bay, and Newfoundland. Another sub species inhabits the Caribbean and northern South America region and two more subspecies nearly complete a world wide range.
Flies slowly over the water searching for fish, its sole food.

When it spots a fish swimming near the surface, it hovers for an instant, then plunges downward splashing into the water, sometimes disappearing, submerged for a moment and finally rising with its prey in flight to its favorite perch.

If a successful hunt is observed by a bald eagle it will chase the osprey until it drops its meal. If the Bald Eagle persists, several Ospreys may band together and drive it away.

Great horned owls also sometimes rob ospreys.

Occasionally an osprey sinks its talons into a fish so large it drowns the bird and both float to shore still attached.

Painting of a bald eagle chasing and robbing an osprey of its salmon prey.
Ospreys build huge nests, often near other Osprey nests, of large sticks, bones, seaweed, even old shoes in trees from ten to seventy five feet high, on the ground in colonies on isolated islands, and in parks, refuges and towns where they are accommodated with platforms.
Below its nest accumulates a pile of bones, scales, and indigestible parts.

Adults mate for life and return and add more sticks to the same nests year after year such that the nests may increase to large proportions sometimes as much as 3 meters deep, sometimes until a tall tree collapses.

Grackles sometimes nest on the undersides or within small openings between large sticks with which ospreys make their nests.

They are well protected by a predator that exclusively consumes fish and in return their noisy families warn the Ospreys of approaching danger.

Tree swallows, European starlings and various other bird species also occasionally nest under osprey nests.

Painting of an osprey perched on a large stick in a pile next to a lake background.
Females lay two or three, rarely four creamy white speckled eggs which hatch after about four weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another two months.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended a Square Platform 48 inches on each side for the Osprey. They often attempt to nest on chimneys and many people provide platforms where Ospreys are common.

Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes.

Mount 14′ or higher on a sturdy post or structure on a forest edge or in a clearing adjacent to the tree line.

Take great care with this heavy, tall project. Have have it constructed by professional trades workers.

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Osprey

Illustration of an osprey perched on a fallen log.

(Fish Hawk, Sea Hawk)

Order: Accipitriformes Family: Pandionidae Genus: Pandion Species: haliaetus La. accipere to grasp, take iLa. accipiter hawk La. forma form, shape, kind Gr. Pandion mythological King of Athens La. –idae appearance, resemblance Gr. hals sea iGr. aetos eagle Gr. haliaetos osprey La. haliaetos sea-eagle

Two feet long, its narrow wings span five feet. Top of head, throat, breast and belly white. Upper parts grayish brown. Gold eyes with big black pupils. Typical bird of prey hooked bill.
Four Osprey subspecies range nearly worldwide. P. h. carolinensis inhabits inland waters and coast lands in North America.
Designated one of four subspecies, P. h. carolinensis inhabits inland waters and coast lands in North America as far north as Alaska, Hudson Bay, and Newfoundland.

Another sub species inhabits the Caribbean and northern South America region and two more subspecies nearly complete a world wide range.

Painting of a bald eagle chasing and robbing an osprey of its salmon prey.
Flies slowly over the water searching for fish, its sole food.

When it spots a fish swimming near the surface, it hovers for an instant, then plunges downward splashing into the water, sometimes disappearing, submerged for a moment and finally rising with its prey in flight to its favorite perch.

If a successful hunt is observed by a bald eagle it will chase the osprey until it drops its meal. If the Bald Eagle persists, several Ospreys may band together and drive it away.

Great horned owls also sometimes rob ospreys.

Occasionally an osprey sinks its talons into a fish so large it drowns the bird and both float to shore still attached.

Ospreys build huge nests, often near other Osprey nests, of large sticks, bones, seaweed, even old shoes in trees from ten to seventy five feet high, on the ground in colonies on isolated islands, and in parks, refuges and towns where they are accommodated with platforms.

Painting of an osprey perched on a large stick in a pile next to a lake background.
Below its nest accumulates a pile of bones, scales, and indigestible parts.

Adults mate for life and return and add more sticks to the same nests year after year such that the nests may increase to large proportions sometimes as much as 3 meters deep, sometimes until a tall tree collapses.

Grackles sometimes nest on the undersides or within small openings between large sticks with which ospreys make their nests.

They are well protected by a predator that exclusively consumes fish and in return their noisy families warn the Ospreys of approaching danger.

Tree swallows, European starlings and various other bird species also occasionally nest under osprey nests.

Females lay two or three, rarely four creamy white speckled eggs which hatch after about four weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another two months.

They often attempt to nest on chimneys and many people provide platforms where Ospreys are common.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended a Square Platform 48 inches on each side for the Osprey.

Select to view or print plans for the Hawk, Owl, Osprey Platform
Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes.

Mount 14′ or higher on a sturdy post or structure on a forest edge or in a clearing adjacent to the tree line.

Take great care with this heavy, tall project. Have have it constructed by professional trades workers.

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