Ospreys are no stranger to fame and attention – their pursuits have been followed closely by nestcams in the locations where it breeds: Speyside and Perth in Scotland, Kielder, Cumbria and East Midlands in England, and the Dyfi Valley in Wales. A migratory bird, it is present in the UK in summer. The Osprey is this month’s Featured Image. Ospreys eat fish, catching them in spectacular fashion as they dive towards lakes and lochs, stretch out their talons and scooping them out of the water with ease.

‘Osprey’ by CRUSH Photography©

How to identify

The osprey is a brown-and-white bird which could possibly be mistaken for a seagull at a distance. The osprey is a large bird of prey with dark brown upperparts and contrasting white underparts that can appear mottled in females. Their heads are white with a dark brown through their eyes. Their wings during flight show strong barring and distinctively dark brown, angled ‘wrists’.

‘Osprey’ by CRUSH Photography©

Distribution

Nests in parts of Scotland, Cumbria, the East Midlands and Wales. Can also be spotted at large waterbodies across the country during migration.

Habitats

  • Freshwater
  • Wetlands

Did you know?

Ospreys migrate to West Africa during winter; satellite tracking has shown them flying up to 430 km in just one day. It takes them about 20 flying days to complete the journey, but, in autumn, birds stop off to refuel at lakes and reservoirs.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers and landowners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

CRUSH Photography©

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019 CRUSH Photography©
Acknowledgements: Extracts taken from The Wildlife Trusts

Hits: 6

Share:
Reading time: 1 min

Images by CRUSH Photography

The osprey is 0.9–2.1 kg (2.0–4.6 lb) in weight and 50–66 cm (20–26 in) in length with a 127–180 cm (50–71 in) wingspan. The upperparts are a deep, glossy brown, while the breast is white and sometimes streaked with brown, and the underparts are pure white.

Osprey

Description

The sexes appear fairly similar, but the adult male can be distinguished from the female by its slimmer body and narrower wings. The breast band of the male is also weaker than that of the female, or is non-existent, and the underwing coverts of the male are more uniformly pale. It is straightforward to determine the sex in a breeding pair, but harder with individual birds.
Osprey

The Western Osprey

The head is white with a dark mask across the eyes, reaching to the sides of the neck. The irises of the eyes are golden to brown, and the transparent nictitating membrane is pale blue. The bill is black, with a blue cere, and the feet are white with black talons. A short tail and long, narrow wings with four long, finger-like feathers, and a shorter fifth, give it a very distinctive appearance.

Osprey
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 CRUSH Photography©

Hits: 88

Share:
Reading time: 1 min
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Visit Us
LinkedIn
LINKEDIN
Instagram
All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove