Project Description


Pandion haliaetus


Range/Geographical Distribution: Breeds from Alaska to Newfoundland and south to Arizona and New Mexico. Present along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and in California during the winter months. Found on all continents except Antarctica.

Habitat: Lakes, rivers, and seacoasts. 

Similar Species:  Bald eagle. 

Description:  Ospreys have a dark brown back and a white belly. The head is white with a dark stripe across the eyes. Also has a black, hooked beak and sharp talons. 

Size: Length: 21-23” Wingspan: 59-71” Weight: 1400-2000g

Food: Fish.

Breeding:  Lays two to four white, pink, or buff speckled eggs in a nest of sticks and debris placed in a dead tree, on flat ground, or on top of a telephone pole.

Predators:  Osprey eggs are vulnerable to foxes, skunks, raccoons, and other birds. Adults have no predators.

Conservation Status:  Populations declined drastically in the 1950’s and 1960’s due to pesticide poisoning. Their population is now stable and listed as least concern by IUCN.

Interesting Facts: Ospreys have spikes on their talons that aid the bird in holding onto slippery fish. Once a fish is caught, the osprey positions the fish headfirst in its talons so that the fish is as aerodynamic as possible. 

On the Coast: Osprey can be seen along Georgia’s coastline soaring above the many waterways. It often builds nests on manmade objects such as telephone poles, pilings, and channel markers. 90-95% of ospreys now nest on top of man-made objects.

Project Details


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