Eastern Osprey

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Pandion cristatus


Size 50-65cm.

A medium sized raptor, dark brown on the upper parts and white underneath with a dark band through the eye to the back of the neck. The female is a little larger than the male and has a brown streaked breast band.

Feeding Habits

Feed on live fish. They swoop headlong into the water, talons forward to grasp the fish, often going under the water to do so. They retire to a safe perch to tear the fish up and devour it.


Often return to the same nesting site year after year. The nest is made of large sticks. Nests can be on cliffs or tall tress in the natural environment. In the built environment they can be on transmission towers or artificial platforms that have been built to replace trees cut down in developments.

Places to Look

Rivers, dams, Bushland and Toolakea Beaches. There is a nest in a transmission tower near Ross River Dam.


Clearing of suitable nesting trees.


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page

© Birdlife Townsville 2008
© Birdlife Townsville 2008

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