Osprey Credentials

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  Male Female
Appearance a male Osprey perching with a fish

Smaller than female, paler brown upperparts, paler whiter chest.

a male Osprey perching with a fish

Larger, darker brown upperparts, distinctly marked chest band.

Wingspan 147-166cm 155-180cm
Length 56-60cm 57-62 cm
Weight 1400g 1600g
Diet a male Osprey perching with a fish fish eating
caught in fresh or salt water
plunge into water from a height enter water feet first with wings swept back
grasp fish with sharp talons
beat wings strongly to lift out of water

UK fish range from sea trout + brown trout, to mullet, roach + flounder plus others too!
Nest 1+ metres in diameter
made of sticks, moss, grass, bark
in locations with views: tree tops, platforms, power poles + pylons
Habitat situate close to water - esturary, lake, river, coast
Life Cycle Adults first breed aged 3-5 years
Return UK to breed late March - April Female lays 2-3 eggs (rarely 4)
Hatch 35-42 days
Fledge 50-58 days
Migrate late August, early September
Summer visitor to UK / Europe
Migrating to west coast of Africa (a few to Spain + Portugal)
Reptilian Stage
Osprey chicks pass through this when their feathers are in pen quills Osprey chicks pass through a reptilian stage when their feathers are in pen quills
Incidence worldwide except Antarctica (though do not breed in South Amercia + most of Africa)
Prevalance Estimated worldwide population = 25,000-30,000
Became extinct from UK in 1916, though not thought to have bred in England / Wales since 1840
Scotland now has 300+ breeding pairs, England 20+ pairs, Wales just 4 pairs to-date
Nickname Osprey in flight "Fish Eagle", "Sea Hawk", "River Hawk", "Fish Hawk"

Ospreys are beautiful and striking fish-eating birds of prey