Osprey

Pandion haliaetus

Habitat: Lakes, rivers, coastal areas, shallow streams, lake shoals

  • Ospreys are also known as “fish-hawks” because they are often seen plunging feet-first into water to capture fish. A reversible front toe allows ospreys to hold fish tightly with four talons.
  • At a distance, ospreys may be mistaken for bald eagles with their whitish head; a black facial patch is distinctive. Unlike eagles, ospreys soar with wings slightly angled.
  • Ospreys breed throughout the world, including mid to northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. After raising young, ospreys leave the Great Lakes region to winter in Florida and the Gulf states.