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Osprey Centre Abernethy

Bird Sightings - Osprey


(Fish Eagle, Fish Hawk, Osprey, Seahawk)

Pandion haliaetus

Gaelic : Iolar Uisge

Photography © John Hamilton
Osprey Centre Abernethy
April, 2007

Usually the bird photos on this web site are all taken in the Western Isles, but this page is a salute to John who went down from Lewis to do a 3-day stint on the nest watch in the Osprey Centre Abernethy "... had a brilliant time!"

The Osprey is still a victim to egg-thieves. See BBC article about eggs stolen from Dunkeld nest in 2002.


  • Osprey (Fish Eagle, Fish Hawk, Osprey, Seahawk)
  • Pandion haliaetus
  • Gaelic: Iolar Uisge
  • UK AMBER LIST. 148 pairs (Summer) BTO 4 UK nest records
  • WI: Scarce passage visitor (usually May) 1-4 records annually
  • European breeders usually generally winter in Africa. Females migrating before males . Birds fly up to 430km a day
  • Habitat: Lakes & Lochs, rivers, sea coasts (usually nests near freshwater) Some nests used for 70 yrs
  • Diet: 99% fish, caught in barb-like talons. Hovers then dives (to) 1m deep after fish (closeable nostrils). Sometimes diet includes small birds or rodents, reptiles etc.
  • Large (2ft length, 6ft wingspan). Upperparts deep shiny brown. Breast (sometimes streaked) & other underparts white. Head white with dark mask-like eye patch. Golden rises. Black bill. White feet, black talons. Tail short. Wings long & narrow with "fingers". In flight arched wings gull-like with downturned "hands". Sexes fairly similar see WIKI for detailed ID. Mates for life
  • Max recorded age 26yrs 1 month. Typical lifespan 8yrs



John's web site: http://landofnature.mysite.orange.co.uk/

Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

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