A Michigan Osprey Pair at Wildwing Lake
June 10, 2008
The “fish hawk” (length of 22-25 inches, wingspan of 4.5-6 feet) is brown above and white below, and flies with a distinct bend in its wing at the “wrist.” Their feet are equipped with spiny scales and long talons that give them a firm grip on slippery fish, their only prey. Ospreys usually select tall trees in marshes along streams, lakes or man made floodings. They will adapt to artificial nesting platforms. This help from humans, along with the restriction of certain harmful pesticides, has helped ospreys recover from the drastic population reductions seen in the 1950s and ’60s…
The Department of Natural Resources requests help from wildlife observers to report any sightings of osprey in southern Michigan, particularly in the Maple River area (north of St. Johns,) and in southeast Michigan (Oakland, Wayne, Macomb and Livingston counties.)
Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan (OWSEM) is a non-profit volunteer organization based at Kensington Metropark. Their goal are to help the Michigan DNR in their efforts to restore the osprey to Southern Michigan and to educate the public about this very special raptor. On their very extensive web site they have a cool osprey sighting map, lots of reports and photos and there’s even information about osprey hacking.
You can learn more about the osprey from Wikipedia’s osprey entry and the get photos, calls and other info from
Pandion haliaetus (osprey) at the University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web