galapagos
osprey

galapagos osprey facts

Name: Galapagos Osprey
Family: Pandionidae
Scientific Name: Pandion haliaetus
Length: 60 cm (23.6 in)
Weight: Males up to 250kg (551 lbs)

Category: Land Birds
Number of Species: 49
Endemic Species: 22

In total, 49 species of land birds have been recorded in the Galapagos, 22 of which are endemic to the Islands. Land birds can be divided into 5 categories: Diurnal Raptors, Night Birds, Larger Land Birds, Aerial Feeders and Smaller Land Birds.

Category: Diurnal Raptors
Endemic subspecies: Galapagos Hawk

Just three species of diurnal (or day-flying) raptor birds have been recorded in Galapagos, one of which is an endemic resident. Each of the species represents a different group. The most commonly seen of these species in a Galapagos cruise is the Galapagos Hawk.

The Osprey is a large, broad-winged bird of prey with a hooked bill, powerful legs and feet, and sharp, curved talons. They feed exclusively on fish and have reversible outer toes and spiny foot pads which help them grasp their slippery prey. They are readily identified by their white under parts and dark upper parts. The sexes are alike and immature plumages resemble adult plumage.

Identification:
A large, long-winged raptor with unmistakable combination of white underparts and brown upperparts; conspicuous black line through eye contrasts with white throat and pale crown; legs grey. In flight, underwings pale with obvious dark mark in carpal area; wings are held noticeably angled and often rather arched, reminiscent of a large gull.

Behavior:
Feeds exclusively on fish which are caught by plunge-diving, feet-first.

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