Species (Pandion haliaetus) of long-winged hawk found along seacoasts and large interior waterways. Ospreys are about 26 in. (65 cm) long and brown above and white below, with some white on the head. An osprey flies over the water, hovers above its prey, and then plunges feet first, seizing the fish in its long, curved talons. Ospreys breed on all continents except South America, where they live only in winter. They usually nest, singly or in colonies, high in trees or on cliffs. Bioaccumulation of pesticides caused populations to dwindle in the 20th century, but they are now recovering.
Variants of OSPREY
osprey or fish hawk
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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