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2022 March Bird

The featured bird for March is an Osprey adult with its chick in their nest.

osprey adult and chick in nest

This raptor (aka bird of prey) is found mostly along the coast and only rarely inland. It’s also known as a fish hawk or river hawk.

Family: Pandionidae
Species: Pandion haliaetus
Length: up to 60 cm (24 in)
Wingspan: up to 180 cm (71 in)
Weight: 3.1 pounds
Migratory – but live in Florida year-round

The Osprey has exceptionally large and uniquely curved claws to capture and carry fish over long distances to bring them back to the nest for its young or to eat the fish sitting on a high branch of a tree.

While in flight, the osprey holds the fish with its head facing forward to make it most aerodynamic. It’s one of the unique sights here along the Florida coast: ospreys flying above with large fish “looking ahead”.

The Osprey will dive into the water claws forward from a height of up to 100 feet to catch fish with its claws. It will emerge from the water with the fish and shake off the water from its feathers in the air.

Makes a high-pitched, short series of whistling sounds. Kinda too cute for such a large and tough bird.

Builds nests on trees stripped off leaves and on high man-made platforms built for that purpose.

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