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29 October 2014
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Scotland The Wild

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Wildlife Map fish_invert Great Skua
Unlike most UK birds of prey, ospreys have adapted to a diet of fish.
Latin Name: Pandion haliaetus

Gaelic Name: Càirneach.

Statistics: Body length 60cm, wingspan 150cm, weight 1.8kg.

Physical Description: The wings are white below, marked with brown. The legs and feet are grey/green in colour, with thorny protuberances so that they can hang onto the slippery fish. Adult birds are dark brown above and white below, and young birds have brown feathers with white tips. They have a distinctive brown breast band which is more prominent in females. The head is white with a thick, dark brown stripe through the eye.
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Scottish Distribution: Breeds on the mainland, from Dornoch to Lomond.

Habitat: In Scotland, ospreys nest in trees, usually near lochs and rivers. In other parts of their range, they will also nest on sea cliffs and on the ground.

Diet: Ospreys feed exclusively on fish, mostly trout and pike in Scotland. They plunge into the water to catch prey, with talons that are well adapted to gripping fish.

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