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Although Pandion II was not used to name a bird of prey, Nisus, a king of Megara, was used for the genus.the word itself was first recorded around 1460, derived via the Anglo-French ospriet and the Medieval Latin avis prede "bird of prey," from the Latin avis praedæ though the Oxford English Dictionary notes a connection with the Latin ossifraga or "bone breaker" of Pliny the Elder. The wing chord measures 38 to 52 cm (15 to 20 in), the tail measures 16.5 to 24 cm (6.5 to 9.4 in) and the tarsus is 5.2–6.6 cm (2.0–2.6 in).The osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply.It is found on all continents except Antarctica, although in South America it occurs only as a non-breeding migrant.As a result of these unique characteristics, it has been given its own taxonomic genus, Pandion and family, Pandionidae.Four subspecies are usually recognized, one of which has recently been given full species status (see below).Most taxonomic authorities consider the species cosmopolitan and conspecific.
The genus, Pandion, is the sole member of the family Pandionidae, and used to contain only one species, the osprey (P. The genus Pandion was described by the French zoologist Marie Jules César Savigny in 1809.
The osprey is 0.9–2.1 kg (2.0–4.6 lb) in weight and 50–66 cm (20–26 in) in length with a 127–180 cm (50–71 in) wingspan. The upperparts are a deep, glossy brown, while the breast is white and sometimes streaked with brown, and the underparts are pure white.
It is, thus, of similar size to the largest members of the Buteo or Falco genera. The head is white with a dark mask across the eyes, reaching to the sides of the neck.
As its other common names suggest, the osprey's diet consists almost exclusively of fish.
It possesses specialised physical characteristics and exhibits unique behaviour to assist in hunting and catching prey.