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Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)


Ospreys are large raptors with a dark brown back and wings. Their head and belly are white, sometimes with a speckled brown necklace. They have black stripes starting at their yellow eyes and continuing down their neck. Juveniles appear similar to adults, but upper parts look spotted or scaly due to light feather edges. Juveniles also have orange-red eyes.


Ospreys prey almost exclusively on live fish, diving feet-first to catch them.

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Ospreys are found in Colorado in the spring and summer, and migrate south for the fall and winter.


Nests are built high in trees, on rocks, or on man-made platforms. When building in trees, Ospreys will either choose a dead tree or find an area that lacks overhead foliage. Two to three eggs are laid per brood, and young fledge six to eight weeks after hatching.

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