Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Osprey Pandion haliaetus Found throughout the world, the Osprey is usually seen near water, although a lack of suitable nesting sites often prompts it to move far inland. This bird lives almost exclusively on fish, which it takes from the water with its talons, descending on its prey like a terrestrial hawk. Its feet have tiny spicules on the bottom that help the bird to maintain its hold on slippery fish.

Identification 22-25". Large, hawklike; brown above, white below, with white head; dark brown line runs through eye and on side of face. Juvenile similar but more mottled. In flight, wings show distinctive bend at "wrist."

Voice Loud whistling and chirping given at nesting and during courtship; also a kip kip ki-yeuk, ki-yeuk when alarmed.

Habitat Coastal areas, lakes, and rivers.

Range Breeds from Alaska and north-central Canada to Newfoundland, south to California and Arizona, Great Lakes area, and Nova Scotia; south along Atlantic Coast to Florida and Gulf Coast. Winters along southern coasts.

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