Osprey

Pandion haliaetus

The Osprey occurs throughout the world, on every continent except Antarctica. In South Africa Ospreys are rare, and any sightings we have of them are always a thrilling surprise whenever and wherever we’re lucky to find them. Feeding almost exclusively on fish snatched from the water, Ospreys are found in close association with natural and man-made lakes, rivers, estuaries and along the coast.

Most Ospreys seen here in South Africa are visiting summer migrants arriving from October and departing again by May, though there are records of birds staying through winter and even a few attempts at breeding. They’re usually seen alone, but have been found in groups numbering up to five on occasion.

The IUCN considers the Osprey to be of least concern.

23 thoughts on “Osprey

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      That is very interesting, Siobhan!
      I wonder why they’d tolerate closer and more human activity than other raptors do? Is it perhaps that, being fish-eaters, they were not treated with the same disdain historically that those kinds of raptors that might go for poultry and small livestock would have been exposed to, and so they don’t fear humans to the same extent?

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Inderdaad, Ineke. Hierdie is almal ons eie fotos. Ons was gelukkig om hul in die Krugerwildtuin en Pilanesberg te siene te kry, maar meeste kere wat ons visvalke raakgeloop het was dit in die reservate aan die Natalse noordkus, en spesifiek iSimangaliso (St. Lucia) en Umlalazi (Mtunzini).

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  1. lois

    Dries–we have so many osprey here–they are wonderful to watch. When we go walking, our eyes are always glancing upward to the sparest trees, because that is where the osprey nests usually are. At one spot, there was a camera set up to give live video of a baby osprey being hatched. Even though they are fairly common here, it is always a thrill to see them.

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  2. sustainabilitea

    I’ve only seen an osprey once, at the Preserve many months ago. It was obliging enough to perch on a tree not far away for quite some time while we took photos of it. Of course one “real” photographer sneered a bit at shots of it merely sitting, telling me about the more active shots he’d taken. I just nodded and enjoyed the moment. πŸ™‚

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