Osprey Bird, Nest, Speed, Sound, Calls, Wingspan, Size, Facts

Human thinks they are a good hunter. But today in this article we will tell you about the most talented bird which is the Osprey Bird, a good and skilled hunter. Known by the name fish hawk, river hawk, and sea hawk, they belong to the Pandionidae family. This sharp-sight bird is a symbol of victory and prosperity. Because of their speed and capability of hunting they can easily catch fish. Instead, of fish, their diet also includes birds, other amphibians, and reptiles. Let’s have look at the feeding habits, home, and habitat of this amazing creature.


  • Except for Antarctica, this creature can be found in every part of the world.
  • They commonly known as fish hawks are raptors with specialized fishing capabilities.
  • Osprey’s scientific name is Pandion halitus.
  • They are large Birds with an osprey wingspan of 5 ½ feet (1.67 meters).
  • They are lonely birds in general, however, in the winter they may nest in small groups.
  • Sharp sight, skill, prosperity, and victory are just a few things that are a symbol of this creature.

Life History

  • The origin of this creature is already uncertain; the word came to recognition in the year 1460.
  • Osprey means “bird of prey”. It is also known by other nicknames such as ‘fish-hawk’, ‘sea-hawk’, and ‘Fish Eagle.
  • Earlier, they are classified as a hawk, but now are they placed in their own family.

Read Also: What Is Special About the Red-Tailed Hawk?

Why Is an Osprey Unique?

Characteristics's Osprey Birds
In This Image, the Characteristics’ Osprey Birds

Osprey Bird Color

  • Adults exhibit brownish-black patterns on their wings and brown speckling on their breasts.
  • With a dark brown crown and a brown streak down the cheek, the head is white.

Osprey Bird Weight & Height

  • This creature can stand 2 feet tall. It weighs 3- 4.4 pounds.
  • An adult male weighs between 2 and 3.5 pounds, while females are between 2.75 and 4.25 pounds

Osprey Bird Speed

  • It could fly at a speed close to 80 miles per hour which are around 43 knots.
  • While the most typical flying speed for young osprey birds in their daily behavior is around 28 miles per hour. which is equal to 15-25 knots

Osprey Sound

  • They have a screaming, high-pitched voice.
  • Their sounds can be made in a slow series of chirps during flight or as an alarm Osprey calls.

Read Also: Where Does a Sharp-Shinned Hawk Live?

Osprey’s Behavior

  • Since they are lonely hawk birds, they usually roost alone or in small flocks.
  • It sometimes acts aggressively when they feel threatened by its nest.

Food & Diet

  • It is a carnivore. They mostly eat fish.
  • In most cases, two or three fish species occupy the diet of Pandion halitus in a particular area. 
  • It also feeds on rodents, small birds, rabbits, other amphibians, and reptiles.

Feeding Behavior

  • Osprey Bird are specialized feeder that feeds on medium-osprey size fish from both the sea and the freshwater.
  • To locate fish, the bird will fly above the water’s surface, gliding and soaring up to 70 meters in the air.

Osprey Nest

  • They choose nesting locations that are easy to approach, have such wide, strong, and are protected from ground predators (such as raccoons).
  • Osprey bird nest is typically constructed on snags, treetops, or crotches between big branches and trunks; cliffs, or man-made platforms.


  • In April or May, they lay their eggs.
  • The female osprey bird nurtures the eggs for nearly a month while guarding the nest with her mate.
  • During incubation, the male will protect the nest and hunt, bringing food back to the nest for the female to eat.


  • The young ones of this creature are known as baby osprey birds.
  • The young ones stay in the nest until it is ready to fly away with their partner and start their own nest.
  • The average lifespan of a baby osprey bird is 7–10 years, while some may live to be 20–25 years old.


  • Each egg has a different color combination, ranging from off-white to pinkish or buff with uneven dark brown or reddish spots.
  • Day length and temperature are the two factors that affect egg-laying.

Read Also: How Many Different Kinds of Hawk Birds in North America?

Hunting Abilities

Hunting of Capabilities Osprey
In This Image, Osprey Bird’s Capabilities for Hunting
  • They are outstanding fish hunters, catching fish for at least a quarter of their lives.
  • They fly over shallow water in search of fish underground.
  • When they find a fish, they hang for a few seconds and then completely submerged.


  • Chemical pollutants such as the chemical DDT caused a major decrease in the numbers of Pandion halitus in North America from the 1950s to the 1970s.
  • But, it was recovered when in 1972, the US prohibited DDT. Today the number of these creatures is rising at a modest rate, and there are minimal conservation concerns at this time.

Male and Female 

  • Unlike some of the other birds, they have similar looks in both sexes. The female, on the other hand, is larger, up to 20% larger, and a heavier bird.
  • Females also have more brown coloring on their chests than males, which is referred to as a ‘necklace’.

Osprey vs Eagle

Osprey vs Eagle
In This Image, Osprey vs Eagle: What Are the Differences?
  • The main differences between eagles and ospreys are their size, wingspan, and distinctive feather colors, which make it simple to distinguish the two species.
  • Ospreys only reach adult size at 33 inches tall and 4.5 pounds in weight. However, eagles reach a maximum weight of 15.4 pounds and a height of 39 inches.

Osprey vs Falcon

Osprey vs Falcon
In This Image, What Is the Difference Between Osprey vs Falcon
  • Ospreys have a white bellies, brown bellies, and brown backs. The bodies of peregrine falcons are blue-black or slate grey, and their bellies are white.
  • Their bellies are barred, and often begin about one-quarter of the way down with blue-black, rust, or brown markings.

Fun Facts

  • People think that they drink a lot of water, but that’s not the case. Their diet of fresh fish tends to give them a lot of sufficient water.
  • Mostly, they are monogamous and mate for life.
  • They breed near freshwater lakes and on salty coastal waters.
  • Mostly, they do not begin breeding till they are between the ages of five and seven.

Reference Link

Osprey Bird’s – FAQ’s

Why is the osprey endangered?

Chemical pollutants such as Pesticide, which damaged the eggshells and hampered breeding, made North American osprey populations endangered in the 1950s.

What makes the osprey unique?

The movable outer toe of Ospreys makes them unique among hawks. This allow them to grab with two front toes and two back toes.

How can you tell a difference between male and female osprey?

The osprey have brown patches around their neck. In females, it seems like necklace. So it easier to recognize male and females osprey.