Osprey Of Vietnam – Pandionidae
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a medium-sized bird of prey belonging to the family Pandionidae. In Vietnam, Ospreys are mostly found in coastal areas and estuaries. They are easily recognizable due to their unique appearance and hunting style.
Look for Ospreys around nearly any body of water: saltmarshes, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, estuaries, and even coral reefs. Their conspicuous stick nests are placed in the open on poles, channel markers, and dead trees, often over water.
The Osprey has a distinct appearance, with a mostly white underside and a dark brown back and wings. They have a wingspan of around 1.5 meters and weigh between 1 and 2 kilograms. Their wings are long and narrow, which allows them to fly fast and efficiently.
They are skilled hunters and feed mainly on fish, which they catch by diving from a height of around 30 meters. They have excellent eyesight that allows them to spot fish swimming near the surface of the water, even from great heights. Once they have spotted their prey, they dive into the water feet first to catch it with their talons. They are also known for their ability to carry fish that are much larger than their own body weight.
In Vietnam, they are found along the coast and in estuaries where they can find an abundance of fish. They are particularly common in the Mekong Delta and the coastal areas of southern Vietnam. They are also sometimes seen inland, especially near large bodies of water.
Ospreys are known to mate for life and typically lay 2-3 eggs per year. The young are cared for by both parents until they fledge at around 7-8 weeks old. Most ospreys are migratory birds that breed in the north and migrate south for the winter. They lay eggs (typically three), which both parents help to incubate. During incubation and the nestling stage, the male osprey provides food to the female and the chicks.
This entails delivering 60 to 100 g of fish to the nest per daylight hour (3 to 10 fish per day) during the nestling and fledgling stages. When a fish is delivered to the nest, one of the adults rips pieces of flesh from the fish and feeds them to the chicks. Parents continue to feed the young until two to eight weeks after they fledge. (Poole, 1989; Poole, 1994)
Poole, 1989; Poole, 1994., Feeding behavior of the Osprey Pandion haliaetus on the North coast of new Sounth Wales
It eggs don’t hatch all at once, but are staggered in time so that some siblings are older and more dominant. When food is scarce these stronger birds may take it all and leave their siblings to starve. Ospreys are not considered threatened in Vietnam, but they do face some threats from habitat loss and pollution.
In summary, the Osprey is a distinctive bird of prey that is well-adapted for hunting fish in coastal areas. In Vietnam, they can be found along the coast and in estuaries, where they are an important part of the ecosystem. While they are not considered threatened in Vietnam, they do face some threats from habitat loss and pollution, and their conservation should be a priority to ensure their continued presence in the region.
Population IUCN Status: LC (Least concern)