The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is an eagle and belongs to the order Accipitriformes (eagles). However, because of its special character the Osprey is the one and only species of the Pandionidae family. The Osprey has a truly cosmopolitan range and can be found nearly all over the world.
In Europe, until the late 60s of the 20th century hunting brought the osprey near extinction. Nowadays the osprey can be found breeding in central Europe again. The osprey breeds near lakes / lake districts and it is possible to watch the birds hunting over the lakes, when the osprey slides over the lake, sometimes at higher altitudes and also hovering over the water shortly. Fish hunting is done be nose diving into the water, during which the birds shortly immerses in the water and then gets out again with its wings flapping only to continue the flight. Not every attempt at catching a fish is successful.
Size: 52-60 cm
Wingspread: 152-167 cm
Breeding grounds: near freshwater lakes and rivers, also on brackish water in the coastal areas; also on rock cliffs (Australia)
Maturity: Usually the osprey becomes adult in the third year and usually mates for life.
Nest: usually on trees, in certain areas on rock cliffs. The nest consists of large sticks, driftwood and driftwood and can size up to 2 m across
Wintering: European populations winter in North Africa
The nose dive of an osprey can be seen in the following four pics. That attempt at catching a fish was unsuccessful. In pic four one can see that the bird's feet are empty.