Osprey Illustration

Animal Facts

Smaller than a bald eagle, ospreys have a white belly and head, with a dark streak across the eye. Since their main source of food is fish, these birds can often be seen along rivers; they will hover above the water and rapidly dive to the surface to snatch a trout. Once they catch a fish, they orient it with its head facing forward for aerodynamic efficiency.

Osprey lay two or three eggs in May or June. After four or five weeks, the chicks hatch, and they can begin to fly in seven to eight weeks.

Osprey migrate out of Jackson Hole for the winter, going as far as Mexico.

Osprey weigh less than a pound and live seven to 10 years, although some have been known to live as long as 25 years.

Conservation Challenges

Because eagles feed on carrion, they often pick up leftovers from hunters. If hunters use ammunition that contains lead, it’s easy for the eagles to consume the poison. Encouraging hunters to utilize lead-free ammunition can help protect these and other species from lead poisoning.

Osprey Flying

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