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Common name Osprey
Scientific name Pandion haliaetus
Type Waterbirds
Status Wintering

Bird of prey of medium to large size (about 66 cm or 26 in) and with a large wingspan (about 190 cm or 6 ft). White underparts, clear crown and a characteristic black eye line as a mask. Grey-brown upperparts. Long and narrow wings. Short tail. In flight the following features can be observed: white breast and primary feathers, dark wing tips and intermediate spots with a barred tail. Females are distinguished from males by the breast with more patent spots and by its larger size. White feathered tarsi.


Wetlands and Marine environments

Where it lives

Humid inland and coastal areas where there are plenty of fish. Reservoirs, marshes, large lagoons and coastal cliffs.

How it lives

Winter species in the province that can also be watched in migratory passage when moving to tropical Africa. There are not yet breeding specimens in Malaga, but there are some in neighbouring areas bordering the province of Cádiz. It breeds from March. Nest in cliffs or coastal rock fields and in turrets, trees or platforms in inland waters. One annual laying of 2 to 3 eggs. Feeding almost exclusively on fish.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

It can be watched in the mouth of the Guadalhorce, in the rock fields of La Araña, Peñón del Cuervo, in Calaburras and in the area of Playa del Cable in Marbella and the reservoir of Las Medranas in San Pedro.

Curious facts

Ospreys are birds that hunt lurking from elevated perches and diving into the water to catch the fish. They are able to submerge and for this they have some special adaptations. These raptors have opposable toes to be able to capture and hold their slippery prey in a proper way. In addition, they are helped by some rough scales they have in the tip of their toes. They can close their nostrils to prevent water from entering them during dives. When they fly with a fish between the claws they are able to turn it over so that it adopts an aerodynamic position and does not hinder the flight, always with the head forward.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration