Nature Journal
with Photos

          
Osprey Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
 
General Information
- Large, narrow-winged hawk
- Flies on flat wings with distinct kink at elbow
- Wings taper to a rounded tip
- Short hooked beak
- White cap
- Dark brown eyeline broadening behind eye
- Dark brown nape, back and upperwings
- Wings from below: flight feathers white barred with black, undersecondary coverts white and underprimary coverts black producing rectangular black mark at wrist
- White chin, throat, breast and belly
- Brown tail has a number of white bands
- Hovers and then plunges into water after fish

Adult male
- Underparts entirely white

Adult female
- Dark necklace of streaks on throat

Immature
- White tips to dark back feathers

Similar species
Unmarked white belly, wing shape, and flight style make the Osprey instantly recognizable even at a distance.
 
 
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