The Osprey is mainly a fish eater, and is noted for its feet first dive into the water when it catches fish. The feet are perfectly formed for grasping a writhing fish. Its eyesight is also very keen, and may see fish for several feet under water.
The Osprey is 22-25 inches long and has a wingspan of 4.5 to 6 feet. The Osprey is pure white on all undersides, as well as the head, neck and nape. There is a stripe running down the head to the name and a horizontal line through the eye. Females tend to have a ring of dark spots on their chest, much like a necklace. The entire back and wings are brown, they eyes are yellow or red. The young are similar to the adults except for more dark markings on the undersides, white edges on the upper feathers, and a barred tail.
Ospreys live all over the world, on every continent except Antarctica. In North America the Osprey nests throughout Canada and Alaska, near the Great Lakes and both coasts. Also found in Gulf States, Mexico and the Carribean Islands. They live near water, and nest at the tops of large trees or tall artificial structures, as well as cliffs.
The Osprey builds a stick nest similar to the eyrie of an eagle. They lay 2 to 4 off white eggs which are spotted red-brown and brown. The eggs are incubated for 28 days by both parents, and the birds will fly 8-10 weeks after hatching.
Ospreys are very difficult to control in captivity, and are very succeptible to DDT, habitat loss and unneccesary shooting.