Wildlife Wednesday – Osprey

Welcome back to Wildlife Wednesday from your Ohio Division of Wildlife! Today we spotlight the Osprey.

Ospreys were once a common sight throughout North America, but habitat destruction, persecution, and the wide-spread use of chemical pesticides such as DDT during the middle of the twentieth century led to a drastic population decline.

Ohio’s osprey reintroduction program is a huge success. Originally started in 1996, the program had a goal of 20 nesting pairs of ospreys by 2010. That goal was achieved in 2003; seven years ahead of schedule.

Ospreys are bright white underneath, with dark brown patches at the carpal joints and a mottled dark brown necklace. Other identifying markings include a dark stripe through each eye and a dark brown back. The bottoms of an osprey’s feet are also specially adapted for gripping and carrying fish, as they are covered with short, sharp spines. Average length of an osprey is 25 inches, with a wingspan of 4-5 feet. They typically weigh about 3 pounds.

For more info on this species, please go to https://ohiodnr.gov/…/discover-and-lea…/animals/birds/ospreyOhio Department of Education #WildOhio

Information courtesy of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources