#425 Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

04 May

Unique among North American raptors for its diet of live fish and ability to dive into water to catch them, Ospreys are common sights soaring over shorelines, patrolling waterways, and standing on their huge stick nests, white heads gleaming. Unable to dive to more than about three feet below the water’s surface, Ospreys gravitate toward shallow fishing grounds, frequenting deep water only where fish school near the surface. Their habitat includes almost any expanse of shallow, fish-filled water, including rivers, lakes, reservoirs, lagoons, swamps, and marshes. Whatever the location, Osprey nesting habitat must include an adequate supply of accessible fish within a maximum of about 12 miles of the nest; open, usually elevated nest sites free from predatory mammals such as raccoons, and a long enough ice-free season to allow the young to fledge.

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