Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

Order : Falconiformes
Falconiformes are seldom abundant but may be common or widespread. The 290 species occur around the world except in Antarctica and some Oceanic Islands. None are nocturnal, and all have hooked beaks used for tearing flesh from prey held in their strong feet, the primary means of killing their prey except for Vultures that feed on carrion. Their sight and hearing are highly developed, but their sense of smell is either poor or non existent. The wings are usually long and broad. Falconiformes are usually monogamous and have exceptionally long lives, most have low reproduction rates.

Family : Ospreys (Pandiondae)
The Osprey differs in several respects from other diumal birds of prey and is treated as the only member of the family Pandiondae.

Name : Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Length : 53cm - 63 cm ( 21 - 25 in )
Local Names : Fish Hawk

This is a medium large raptor which is a specialist fish eater with near world wide distribution. It is Brown above, white below with a white head often streaked with brown. The Osprey has special adaptations suited to it’s main prey of fish with closable nostrils to keep water out when diving, a reversible outer toe, and backward facing scale on the talons which act as barbs when catching fish. It’s grip is so strong that some Ospreys have been known to drown when they have caught prey that was heavier than expected. The Osprey locates it’s prey from the air, often hovering before diving feet first into the water to seize a fish. As it returns to the air the fish is usually turned head forward to reduce drag and will often pause in mid flight and ruffle it’s feathers to shake off excessive water. The raptor finds a suitably quite perch, normally quite high in a tree, where it may take several hours to eat it’s catch. Ospreys breed by freshwater lakes and sometimes on coastal brackish waters. The nest is a large heap of sticks built in trees, rocky outcrops or on man made structures such as telephone poles, where the female lays 2 - 4 eggs. Both parents raise the young, and usually mate for life. European Osprey migrate to Africa, USA and Canada Osprey migrate to southern North America, Throughout the Caribbean and South America. Autralasian Ospreys tend not to migrate.

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Bird identification photos

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) Birds of Tobago

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) seen with Magnificent Frigatebird

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) Birds of Prey