Ospreys are one of the most widespread raptors in our hemisphere, and can be found almost anywhere there is water. Belize is no exception, and hosts a healthy population of this majestic predator, often called the Fish Eagle.
On Long Caye we have several nesting pairs of Ospreys which we observe every day fishing, fighting off competitors, and guarding their nests as they raise their young. Ospreys are particulary agressive while they have chicks in the nest, and are often seen warding off innocent birds such as pelicans, herons, and other large birds in addition to their enemies the Frigate birds and other competing ospreys. A near constant battle in the skies above the island takes place every day.
The island Ospreys also enjoy bountiful fishing around our island, and one can easily watch them as they constantly stalk and catch fish. Watch this amazing short film of Ospreys fishing, it has a particluarly good section in slow motion of how these birds grab their prey underwater.
Ospreys are found at all times of the year on Long Caye. There is a large population of ospreys in Belize, and they inhabit practically every island found in the country, since the barrier reef and atolls provide a perfect habitat for these fish-eating raptors with the abundance of fish present.
We commonly have two pairs of osprey nesting on Long Caye, and they patrol the island constantly to keep other ospreys out of their territory. They soar on the updrafts caused by the trees of the island, and screech, dive, and fight off other birds that they perceive as a threat. The fishing is easy for these birds, and we see them catching and eating fish at all times of the day.
Ospreys are not afraid of humans, and will nest near inhabited areas with no problem. Our nesting ospreys are easily observed at close quarters, and it is fun to observe their habits without having to use binoculars. They commonly raise a brood of chicks each season. We have built osprey platforms for their nests since first moving to Long Caye in 1992.