The osprey has a slim body and long narrow angled wings.
Ospreys have a "magical" attraction to nest sites that are over water. An adult osprey flies back to its nest while carrying a stick. Currently ospreys are listed as a threatened during the breeding season. Their nesting season starts in April and lasts until the end of August.
During the last state-wide census in a total of nesting pairs were found. Report nesting activity on Osprey Watch for the Census!
What do ospreys eat? They are an opportunistic apex predator and will feed on almost any live fish they can successfully catch.
Their diet changes throughout their range and the year. In spring they might feed more heavily on spawning fish like mullet, shad, river herring and striped bass and in summer feed more on flounder and menhaden or bunker.
When do they arrive and depart? Where do they winter. Ospreys typically arrive back from their wintering grounds in N. South Americain mid-late March.
Generally, older more experienced males arrive first and return to the same nest site year after year. Females follow the males and young adults return later in the season and in some cases do not breed but form a pair bond with a female and establish a nest site.
For more information on osprey migration, check out some of the work by Rob Bierregaardwho has been studying osprey migration in the Western Hemisphere.
The majority of ospreys that are from New Jersey winter in N. Site fidelity, potential ID of adults with leg bands Since ospreys return to the same nest site, year after year, adults be identified by their leg bands if banded and readable.
Without this information the age and origin of adults would not be known. Over the past 3 years over 1, young have been banded with federal bird bands. Check out previous NJ Osprey Project reports for more information. Benefits of nesting on platforms Nesting platforms were first used to help re-establish the dwindling osprey population in the early s.
As natural saltmarsh habitat and the many coastal maritime forests were bulldozed for housing developments, the many snags and small trees that were available to ospreys for nesting greatly diminished. To help reverse this trend artificial nesting platforms were designed by the Endangered and Nongame Species Program and installed along the coast.
Today over nesting platforms can be found throughout the whole coast of New Jersey. They provide a safe and secure place for ospreys to nest that give them protection from predators. They also allow easy access for biologists to monitor and manage the population, and since they nest so close to people then they also give people a great opportunity to watch such a majestic species.
Bald eagles are known to compete with ospreys where their nesting territories overlap. Eagles often harass ospreys by chasing them, especially when they have a fresh catch, and eagles almost always win the chase. The oldest banded osprey 16 years old was found injured after being injured by an adult bald eagle in Avalon several years ago.
Disturbance, including viewing distances Ospreys can typically handle a moderate level of disturbance during the nesting season in New Jersey. They often nest in precarious locations that are close to people, on channel markers, utility poles, house chimneys or roofs, on boat lifts or docks, and on nesting platforms.
Ospreys are also fascinating and very popular to watch and photograph along the shore. Disturbance increases as boats stop nearby and people focus on the birds at close range.
A safe distance from which to observe ospreys will vary depending on the area, but observers must stay beyond the distance at which the adults react. Their reaction must be judged as they give their attention to the observer, not simply when they lift off the nest in defense.The red-tailed hawk eats mostly rodents and rabbits; the osprey eats mostly fish; the American kestrel and Northern harrier eat a variety of reptiles, amphibians, food — fish.
Ospreys hunt by hovering 30 to feet above the water, then plunging feet-first to grasp fish with their talons. The soles of. Near open water with an abundant supply of fish, listen for the Osprey’s whistling or chirping calls overhead, or look for this bird's distinctive flight profile and heavy wingbeats.
From spring into fall, a boat or raft on a lake or river can provide an especially good vantage point.
Unique among North American raptors for its diet of live fish and ability to dive into water to catch them, Ospreys are common sights soaring over shorelines, patrolling waterways, and standing on their huge stick nests, white heads gleaming.
These large, rangy hawks do well around humans and have rebounded in numbers following the ban on the pesticide DDT. Ospreys occur all over the world, migrating thousands of miles, from Sweden to West Africa and Canada to Peru, but few documents show them breeding around San Francisco Bay.
Naturalists like George Grinnell and Margaret Wythe, who surveyed the Bay Area for a report. Aug 06, · Ospreys Bald Eagle come in for the kill. The osprey (Pandion haliaetus), sometimes known as the sea hawk, fish eagle, river hawk or fish hawk, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey.
A very distinctive fish-hawk, formerly classified with other hawks but now placed in a separate family of its own. Along coastlines, lakes, and rivers almost worldwide, the Osprey is often seen flying over the water, hovering, and then plunging feet-first to catch fish in its talons.