Osprey Pandion haliaetus

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.

View the Osprey Webcam at Loch of the Lowes

Ospreys are largely brown above, and white below. They can be mistaken for a buzzard at a distance, but on closer viewing are unmistakable. The 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.

Find out more about amazing ospreys in our Osprey Fact File

Common name


Species name

Pandion haliaetus

IUCN Red List status

Least Concern

When to see in Scotland

March – September

Where to see in Scotland

Loch of the Lowes

Stay up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust by subscribing to our mailing list Subscribe now

Back to top