Eastern Osprey

Pandion cristatus

The Eastern Osprey is a large aquatic hawk; adult weight is approximately 1013gram for males and 1235gram for females. They have long angular wings that span 149-168 cm. Body length is 50-66 cm.

It hunts by plunging into water with powerful feet outstretched; it has a reversible outer toe and rough pads (spicules) for catching and holding fish, its primary diet, but will also take crustaceans, reptiles, small mammals and birds. Found mainly on coastal estuaries and sometimes far inland along rivers and lakes.

Adults:

Head – white head and underparts, dark streak through eye and down neck. Crested nape. Eye – yellow, Cere – grey

Chest – females streaked brown, males lightly streaked or white. Belly – white. Wings upper – dark brown, wings under- faintly barred with dark carpel patches and dark primary tips. Tail – pale with darker bars. Feet – pale grey

Juveniles:

Similar to the adults but more reddish brown, crown and nape more streaked, pale banding on upper wings and back. Eye orange yellow to yellow, cere grey, feet pale grey.

Status: Endangered in South Australia, Vulnerable in NSW