Pandion haliaetus

     The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), also known colloquially as a Seahawk, fish hawk or fish eagle, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a medium-sized raptor, reaching 60 centimeters (24 in) in length with a 1.8 meter (6 ft) wingspan. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly whitish on the head and underparts, with a brownish eyepatch and wings.

     The Osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location which is near a body of water and provides 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 names suggest, the Osprey’s diet consists almost exclusively of fish. It has evolved specialized physical characteristics and exhibits some unique behaviors to assist in hunting and catching prey. As a result of these unique characteristics, it has been given its own taxonomic genus, Pandion and family, Pandionidae. Four subspecies are usually recognized. Despite its propensity to nest near water, the Osprey is not a sea-eagle.

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For more information from the USGS (United States Geological Survey)
on the 
Osprey, click here.

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