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Osprey

Osprey

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Pandionidae
Genus: Pandion
Species: haliaetus
Binomial name
Pandion haliaetus

The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a medium large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution. It is sometimes known by the misnomers Fish Hawk or Fish Eagle.

It breeds by freshwater lakes, and sometimes on coastal brackish waters.

Ospreys are particularly well adapted to their diet, with reversible outer toes, closable nostrils to keep out water during dives, and backwards facing scales on their talons which act as barbs to help them catch fish.

the Osprey is the sole member of the family Pandionidae, which has traditionally been regarded as part of the order Accipitriformes but is sometimes been grouped with the Ciconiiformes.

It has white underparts and long, narrow wings with four "fingers", which give it a very distinctive appearance.

It locates its prey from the air, often hovering prior to plunging feet-first into the water to sieze a fish. As it rises back into flight the fish is turned head forward to reduce drag.

The nest is a large heap of sticks built in trees, rocky outcrops, telephone poles or artificial platforms.

European breeders winter in Africa.

American and Canadian breeders winter in South America, although some stay in the southernmost USA states such as Florida and California.

The osprey is the official bird of Nova Scotia.



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