Think of an osprey as a hawk that eats fish. Ospreys are similar to hawks, but they eat almost nothing but fish. You’ll find ospreys near any body of water – lakes, rivers, ponds, reservoirs or even fish hatcheries. Ospreys fly above the water looking for fish. When they spot one, they dive down and catch the fish in their talons.
Ospreys build large nests from sticks. The nests sit atop telephone poles, docks or trees. Ospreys lay between one and five eggs at one time. The eggs don’t hatch all at once though. The first egg hatches a few days before the last. The oldest and biggest chick bosses the other chicks around.
Fun Facts about Ospreys for Kids
- Ospreys eat mostly fish, but sometimes they eat lizards, insects, muskrats or even squirrels.
- Ospreys migrate from Canada to South America every year, flying 6,000 miles or more.
- Ospreys mate for life. Their first nest is small, but they add to it every year. After a few years, the nest can be big enough for a human to sit in.
- Ospreys almost disappeared because they were being poisoned by the pesticide DDT. This chemical is now illegal. Ospreys are coming back.
- Ospreys are also known as “river hawk”.
- They can live up to 20 years old.
- The osprey can be found on every continent except for Antarctica.
- Ospreys prefer to hunt in shallow waters but they can dive over 3 ft in water if need be.
- They can catch fish similar to their own size.
- Raccoons often eat Osprey eggs while great horned owl will eat young chicks and sometimes even adult osprey.
- Osprey have a wingspan up to 1.8 m.
- Osprey chicks are ready to test their wings when they are only 7 or 8 weeks old. After 2 or 3 weeks from their first test flight they will go hunting with their Dad.
- Reservoir: man-made lake
- Fish Hatchery: a farm for fish
- Talons: hooks or claws on feet
- Migrate: temporary move
- Illegal: against the law
Learn More All About Ospreys
Check out this amazing video of an osprey:
A video documentary of an osprey catching fish.
Question: How deep can osprey dive?
Answer: Osprey can only dive into water about 3 feet deep.
Question: How do ospreys feed their babies?
Answer: Ospreys feed their babies small bits of mashed up fish.