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Osprey | Pandion haliaetus

The Osprey is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Accipitridae bird family group which includes birds such as Raptors, Old Vultures, Osprey.

The description for the Osprey (Latin name Pandion haliaetus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Pandion haliaetus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 170 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 473. You will find a picture of the Osprey on page 433.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Osprey between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Osprey is known in Afrikaans as Visvalk.

The Osprey has a height of 59 cms and weighs around 1570 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured black. The Pandion haliaetus has a white coloured throat, white legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Pandion haliaetus has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is brown

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are white

Throat is white

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

The Pandion haliaetus attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Osprey is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 4 eggs and they are coloured red.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

You can see the Osprey bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Osprey is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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