- Large birds with a wingspan of over five feet
- Sharp claws and beak for catching prey
- Distinctive white and black coloration
- Live all over North America, in a wide variety of temperatures. Spend the summers in Canada, and the winters in the southern United States
- Live on every continent but Antarctica!
- Live near any water with lots of fish, including rivers, lakes, and the ocean
- Can live near salt or freshwater
- They build nests in high places like trees, cliffs, or manmade platforms. Dive down to fish from their nests
- Ospreys are carnivores that only eat live fish they have caught
- Occasionally eat small mammals, birds, and reptiles if fish are rare
- Osprey chicks and eggs may be stolen out of the nest by raccoons, skunks, fox or snake
- Adult osprey can be prey to other large birds, such as owls and eagles
- All ospreys, except the Eastern Osprey in Australia, are the same species!
- Ospreys will strike for a fish at the surface of the water feet-first, grabbing the fish out of the water with their sharp talons
- Were seriously endangered due to the effects of DDT and other pesticides. Since they were banned in 1972, ospreys have made a healthy comeback
Sources: Audubon Society; AllAboutBirds.org; Chesapeake Bay Program
Photo: Matthew Meier
To hear an Osprey’s calls, click here!
See an osprey in person at Living Coast Discovery Center!