2O4A7962 (2).JPG

OSPREY FACTS

  • Osprey (Pandion Haliaetus)

 

  • Habitat:  Shorelines, marshes, rivers and open waters

 

  • Ospreys are found on every continent except Antarctica

 

  • The Chesapeake Bay supports the largest breeding population of ospreys in the world

 

  • Fish make up 99% of their diet

 

  • They are a conservation success story.  They were decimated between the 1950s and 1970s due to DDT.  DDT poisoning resulted in thinning egg shells which reduced the number of eggs hatching and caused a dwindling population.   Once this was discovered, DDT was banned and the population quickly recovered.

 

  • Ospreys are a large bird of prey with a chocolate brown back and a white or mottled underside. It has a pronounced crook in its long wings.  Its head is generally white with a dark eye stripe and yellow eyes.

 

  • The adult female is usually larger than the male and often has a brown “necklace” on her chest

 

  • Colonial Beach ospreys arrive from their wintering grounds in late February to early March

 

  • Ospreys mate for life

 

  • The female lays her eggs within 30 days of arrival

 

  • Eggs are incubated anywhere from 35 to 43 days

 

  • Chicks fledge between 50 and 55 days old

 

  • Ospreys generally begin their migration to their wintering grounds between late August and mid-September.  Mid Atlantic ospreys migrate as far as South America

 

  • Ospreys migrate alone, even juveniles.

 

  • The juveniles remain in their wintering grounds from 18 to 20 months