Ospreys are no stranger to fame and attention – their pursuits have been followed closely by nestcams in several of the locations where it breeds including the Trust’s Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve in Perthshire, nests in Cumbria and the East Midlands in England, and also in Wales in the Glaslyn Valley.
Ospreys are 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’.
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.
- Length: 56cm
- Wingspan: 1.6m
- Weight: 1.5kg
- Average Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Classified in the UK as an Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review and listed under CITES Appendix II.
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 see
March – September
Ospreys migrate to West Africa during winter; satellite tracking has shown them flying up to 430km in just one day. It takes them about 20 flying days to complete the journey, but in autumn birds stop off to refuel at lakes and reservoirs.