Osprey

Pandion haliaetus

About

The Osprey is no stranger to fame and attention - its pursuits have been followed closely by nestcams in the locations where it breeds: Speyside and Perth in Scotland, Cumbria and East Midlands in England, and also in Wales in the Dyfi Valley. There are public viewing points at these places, so you can catch a glimpse of this majestic bird. A migratory bird, it is present in Britain in summer. Ospreys eat fish, catching them in spectacular fashion as they dive towards lakes and lochs, stretch out their talons and scoop them out of the water with ease.

How to identify

The Osprey is a black and white bird which could be mistaken for a seagull at a distance. On closer viewing, its body is dark above and white below, and its wings have dark patches and are angled at the 'wrist'.

Where to find it

A rare breeding bird of parts of Scotland, Cumbria, the East Midlands and Wales, Ospreys can be spotted fishing at large bodies of water across the country during migration.

When to find it

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

Ospreys were severely persecuted across Europe in the past, but thankfully are beginning to increase in number today. To ensure they have continued success, The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers and landowners to promote wildlife-friendly practices. We are working towards a 'Living Landscrape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Local information

Find out more about Wildlife Trust osprey projects:

Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust's Dyfi Osprey Project - home to the first ospreys to breed in the Dyfi valley for 400 years

The Scottish Wildlife Trust's Loch of the Lowes - home to the UK's oldest known breeding osprey

Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and Rutland Water - home to the first ospreys to breed in central England for 150 years

Species information

Common name
Osprey
Latin name
Pandion haliaetus
Category
Birds
Birds of prey
Statistics
Length: 56cm Wingspan: 1.6m Weight: 1.5kg Average Lifespan: 9 years
Conservation status
Classified in the UK as an Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review and listed under CITES Appendix II.