Your Florida Backyard NSiS Home Page Your Florida Backyard Ospreys
Photographs on this page courtesy of SFWMD
osprey Ospreys are found along lakes, rivers, and coasts with relatively clear water. They are found statewide, but in greater numbers in some areas such as the Kissimmee and St. Johns River basins, the swamps of Alachua and Marion counties, and near Sebring and Lake Placid. Fewer are found in north Florida during the winter.
Ospreys nest near or over water in the tops of tall trees, including cypress and pine, and in mangroves along the coasts. They also nest on manmade structures such as telephone poles, television antennas, channel markers, and nesting platforms. The same nest may be reused and expanded for many years.
They hunt by hovering high above the water and plunging with talons extended to catch fish. Short spines on the undersides of their toes help them grasp fish.
Ospreys suffered serious population declines in the 1950's and 1960's, the result of pesticide contamination, breeding site destruction, and shooting. They have recovered though there has been a decline in the Keys population, hence their status as a species of special concern in Monroe County.

name area season diet/native food plants
NCSSpSuFW-Bfish*, rodents, birds
N=north  C=central  S=south
Sp=spring  Su=summer  F=fall  W=winter
B=breeds in Florida during season(s) underlined  M=Migrant

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