"Mike" Michael L. Baird [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Mike" Michael L. Baird [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

Range
Usually found near water. Found throughout North America during migration, and many areas in summer. Most of the population migrates south for the winter, but a few birds remain along the Gulf Coast and southern Florida.

Size
Length          21-23 inches
Wingspan     59-71 inches
Weight          49-71 ounces

Habitat
Close to water. In Virginia, usually over salt water bays or coves, occasionally near fresh water lakes with an abundance of fish.

Diet
Live fish.

Characteristics
Common along Chesapeake Bay. Highly social, competitive when it comes to food. Often nests on navigational markers in salt water areas, on a platform above water. Nonslip tubercules on feet; only hawk with two toes forward and two toes backward. Dense, long and oily feathering, long legs. Long small intestine for digesting fish scales and bones. Very uncooperative rehabilitation patient; usually not self-feeding.