ospreys on the nest


  • Local time
  • Location: Loch Arkaig, Lochaber, Scotland
  • Source: The Woodland Trust
  • Info: Live streaming webcam showing ospreys in Scotland. The webcam focuses on a resident pair of ospreys breeding and nesting in an ancient Caledonian pine forest at Loch Arkaig.

More info: The area in which ospreys choose to nest must have an adequate supply of accessible fish within a maximum of about 12 miles of the nest.

Ospreys will fly above the water’s surface to locate fish, sometimes gliding and soaring up to 70 metres high. The exact catching technique varies with the type of fish, but once prey is spotted the osprey performs a nearly vertical plunge dive with wings half-folded and feet thrown forward at the last moment. They may dive to a depth of 1 metre. The long, curved talons and the short spines covering the underside of the toes assist with the capture and holding of the fish. When a fish is caught the osprey usually flies with it held headfirst. Ospreys typically catch fish 5 to 6 inches in size.

Ospreys are able to close their nostrils to stop water entering during a dive. They also have feathers which are much more oily than other raptors and do not become water-logged. As well, the feathers are stiffer which allows the birds to get more vertical lift from less of a surface area.