British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide
Description - The Osprey is a large, long-winged
bird that is dark brown above and white below with a white
head and a prominent dark eye stripe. The male Osprey
is usually all white below whereas the female has a necklace
of dark streaking. The wing has a distinctive bend at
the "wrist" and from a distance can resemble a gull. A
loud, musical chirping characterizes the voice of the
Distribution - Ospreys breed from Alaska, north-central
Canada and Newfoundland south to Arizona; they winter
in North America north to the Gulf Coast and California.
They inhabit lakes, rivers and seacoasts.
Biology - The Osprey searches for fish by flying
and hovering over the water; when prey is sighted the
Osprey dives, its talons outspread and splashes into the
water. The nest is a bulky mass of sticks and debris placed
in a tree, on a telephone pole, on rocks or on the ground;
2-4 white, pink or buff eggs splotched with brown are
laid there. Due to the use of pesticides, Ospreys declined
drastically in the 1950's and 1960's, but since then they
have slowly made a comeback.