Osprey vs Eagle
It should be a developed ability to identify an osprey from an eagle because they both have close appearances yet two different kinds of birds. However, there are many differences exhibited between these two including the shape of bill, body size, feeding behaviours, and some more. They indeed are classified in two different taxonomic families yet the same order. Rather than skimming through large articles about them, it would be time saving and efficient to go through concise but precise information as in this article.
Osprey is also known as fish eagle or sea hawk in common tongue. The taxonomic significance of osprey is very high, as it is the only representative species (Pandion haliaetus) of the Family: Pandionidae of Order: Falconiformes, but there are four different subspecies. Their body is 60 centimetres long, and the weight varies between 900 and 1200 grams. The feathers on the dorsal area are deep glossy brown and the head and under parts are greyish white in colour. Sometimes the breast area is streaked with brown colour. The black colour wings and the eye patch are important to notice about ospreys. The iris of the eye is golden brown, and the bill is black with a blue colour cere. Osprey has a short tail but the wings are long and narrow. In addition, the presence of four long and finger-like feathers on the wings gives a unique appearance to the bird. Interestingly, the male and female of osprey look the same, which means there is no sexual dimorphism. The temperate and tropical countries or regions of the world except Australia and Antarctica have been their natural ranges. Ospreys usually nest close to water bodies, as they are exclusive fish eating birds of prey. Since it is hard to catch fish in the night, they are diurnal birds of prey.
Eagles are a large group of birds of prey including more than 60 species. Most of the eagles are found in Asia, Africa, and Europe, but there are many species inhabiting the Americas as well as the Australian continent. That means the eagles are found in everywhere except North and South poles. Eagles come in different sizes and colours, but usually they are large and have brownish plumages. Eagles are mostly scary looking with their powerfully built bodies, long and broad wings, graceful flights, large and hooked sharp beaks, super strong legs with piercing claws, and many more. Bald eagle, Golden eagle, and White-bellied sea eagle are some of the commonly observed examples of eagles. However, their body lengths vary between 40 centimetres (South Nicobar serpent eagle) and one metre (Philippine eagle). Bodyweights of eagles could vary from 500 grams (South Nicobar serpent eagle) to 6.7 kilograms (Steller’s sea eagle). Steller’s sea eagle is the heaviest of all. Eagles are not only the flying high in the sky, but also they are placed at the top of any food chain in any ecosystem that they are involved. That means, eagles are apex predators such as lions, and their presence indicates the ecological richness of any ecosystem.
What is the difference between Ospreys and Eagles?
• The two raptors belong to the same taxonomic order, but two families, osprey is in the Family: Pandionidae and eagles are in the Family: Accipitridae. There are more than 60 species of eagles in their order while osprey is the only species of their order.
• Most of the eagles are larger than an osprey, but some are smaller too.
• The eagle beak is more curved, larger, and sharper compared to osprey bills.
• Eagle has powerful muscular thighs and strong wings, to fly high and long distances, but comparatively those are not that strong in ospreys.
• Ospreys only prey on fish, whereas eagles feed on fish, mammals, reptiles, and many other animals.
• Eagles come in different colours varying according to the species, but ospreys do not possess a very high diversity in colouration being a single species.