All About Ospreys

MWT water on and osprey

All About Ospreys

What is an osprey?

Ospreys have the scientific name Pandion haliaetus this is derived from ancient Greek for 'sea eagle'.  In Welsh they are known as Gwalch y Pysgod which translates a d the 'fish hawk'. Ospreys are neither eagles or hawks but belong to scientific family all of their own. 

Ospreys are large fish eating birds of prey. In the UK they are migratory, they breed here during the summer and migrate to West Africa for the winter months. The osprey population in the UK is slowly recovering and they are now protected by law.

Why do we have osprey projects?

In 1916 ospreys disappeared from the UK, centuries of persecution, habitat loss and egg collecting finally took their toll and there were no longer any ospreys breeding in the UK. Then, after almost 50 years, in 1954 a pair returned to Scotland and began to breed. This led to the start of osprey conservation in the UK. Nest protection, education, translocation projects and careful monitoring have all played a role in the recovery of this amazing species. Osprey projects enable groups and organisations across the UK to support each other and share knowledge to continue to help the osprey population recovery. 

How many ospreys are there in the UK?

No-one knows exactly how many ospreys there are in the UK but it is estimated that there are currently around 300 pairs in the UK. These are unevenly distributed with approximately 270 pairs of ospreys in Scotland, around 25 pairs in England and 5 pairs in Wales

The osprey population began its slow recovery from just one pair in 1954. Since then numbers have gradually increased and osprey distribution has spread. 

Translocation projects, where chicks are taken from productive nests in areas with good population levels and released in suitable locations with fewer or no ospreys, have helped further the population growth. The Rutland translocation project that took place in the mid 1990s has helped the spread of ospreys in to Wales. 

What is the Dyfi Osprey Project's Story?

The Dyfi Osprey Project has been at the forefront of osprey conservation in Wales since 2009. We have shared the highs and lows of nature conservation at its most brutal and its most rewarding with tens of thousands of people from around the world. We have used technology to help us observe, learn and share the ospreys who make the Dyfi River their home. 

Dyfi Osprey Who's Who?

Need to know more about Idris? Never heard of Nora? Wondering what happened to Clarach? Then look no further, we have put together 'Who's Who' guide of the notable Dyfi Ospreys to help you understand a bit more about them all. 

At the Dyfi Osprey Project we give names to our ospreys to help us keep track of who is who and to make it easier to explain their lives to people because we believe that education is a huge part of conservation. All of the chicks born on the Dyfi are named after Welsh rivers or lakes. 

100 Osprey Facts

Whether you need help with your osprey homework, are trying to get ahead in the local quiz or simply want to learn more about how amazing ospreys are - You are in the right place click the link below to explore our fun facts pages.