SCIENTIFIC NAME:Pandion haliaetus POPULATION: 500,000 (global) TREND: Increasing HABITAT: Breeds and winters on rivers, lakes, wetlands, and coastal marshes
The Osprey is a large black-and-white hawk with long narrow wings, long legs, and a distinctive M-shaped flight profile. It is found on every continent except Antarctica; its diet and affinity for coastlines have earned it the nicknames “sea hawk” and “fish hawk.”
Worldwide, there are four subspecies of Osprey, differing only slightly in size and appearance. North American Osprey populations are migratory, traveling long distances to winter as far south as southern South America. Ospreys are found in Florida, along the Gulf Coast, and in the Caribbean throughout the year, since a reliable year-round food supply makes migration unnecessary.