OSPREY

Until recently, this species was only seen during spring and fall migration in Essex County,ย  There is now a breeding pair found along River Canard.

 

The marsh atย Holiday Beach Conservation Areaย provides a perfect stop-over spot for this species.ย  Since they are exclusively fish eaters, the wetland provides them with an excellent spot to stop and feed.ย  So good that some birds will spend several weeks on site during September enjoying the local food.ย  September is the best month to view them during fall migration and they return through the area again in May.ย ย Point Pelee National Parkย andย Hillman Marsh Conservation Areaย also provide habitat for viewing opportunities.

 

Size & Shape
Ospreys are very large, distinctively shaped hawks. Despite their size, their bodies are slender, with long, narrow wings and long legs. Ospreys fly with a marked kink in their wings, making an M-shape when seen from below.

Color Pattern
Ospreys are brown above and white below, and overall they are whiter than most raptors. From below, the wings are mostly white with a prominent dark patch at the wrists. The head is white with a broad brown stripe through the eye. Juveniles have white spots on the back and buffy shading on the breast.

Behaviour
Ospreys search for fish by flying on steady wingbeats and bowed wings or circling high in the sky over relatively shallow water. They often hover briefly before diving, feet first, to grab a fish. You can often clearly see an Ospreyโ€™s catch in its talons as the bird carries it back to a nest or perch.

Habitat
Look for Ospreys around nearly any body of water: saltmarshes, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, estuaries, and even coral reefs. Their conspicuous stick nests are placed in the open on poles, channel markers, and dead trees, often over water.

*Image and description were sourced from: allaboutbirds.org


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