Three Ways
To Identify An Osprey

Back to All Blogs
20th, April 2024

Share On

Plus, where (and when) to observe these majestic birds of prey in their natural habitat.

Ospreys, also known as “sea hawks,” are often sighted in British Columbia, particularly on Vancouver Island. With their impressive wingspans and unique hunting techniques, these creatures provide a thrilling spectacle for guests at Smiley Fitness Retreats, while hiking local trails. Their nesting season begins in April, running through to September.

Eagle, Hawk or Osprey?

Click this post for identification features, to tell the differences.

Ospreys can be differentiated from hawks and bald eagles in several ways.

1. Their unique hovering behavior before diving into water to catch fish, a behavior not commonly seen in many hawks or bald eagles.

2. Distinctive white underbelly and face, with a dark band across the eyes that extends to the sides of the neck, unlike the often solid-colored hawks or the white-headed bald eagles.

3. Long, narrow wings, and significant bend at the wrists, which is a characteristic silhouette during flight that distinguishes them from the straight wings of hawks and bald eagles.

Learn more about Osprey here!

We’re Looking Down On A Bird!

Best Time to Spot Ospreys

The best time to spot ospreys in British Columbia is during their nesting season, which typically runs from April to September. During this period, these birds are particularly active, providing ample opportunities to observe their fascinating behaviors.

Where to See Ospreys in Parksville

Englishman River Estuary is an excellent spot to see ospreys. The birds often nest in the tall trees surrounding the estuary, providing fantastic opportunities for viewing. This week at the fitness retreat we hiked up to the Lantzille Lookout. This is a steep uphill climb, that looks out to the Straight Of Georgia. Osprey flew below us, which was a surreal experience.


Opt In Form