OSPREY FACTS

  • Scientific Name:
    Pandion haliaetus
  • Family:
    Pandionidae
  • Length:
    60 cm (23.6 in)
  • Wingspan:
    150 cm (59 in)
Galapagos Osprey

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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