Latin name: Aurifrigius
Other names: Balbuzard, Fish Eagle, Fish Hawk, Haliaeetus, Haliaetos, Ossifiagus, River Hawk, Sea Hawk
Category: Bird

Ospreys are smaller than eagles but larger than hawks

General Attributes

The osprey is smaller that the eagle but larger than the hawk. They fly high above the water, hovering in one place while looking at the water below. Their keen eyesight can penetrate the turbulent air and water to see fish; the birds then dive in at great speed to catch the fish and carry it away in their talons. Some authorities say the osprey has one clawed foot for seizing prey, and one webbed foot for swimming.

One the names of the osprey, aurifrigius, is derived from aurum, gold, and phrygium; the Phrygian people were famous for their skill in working in gold, particularly gold embroidery. Alexander Neckam used this to provide a moralized account of the bird.


As the osprey can see through turbulence, so the ancient enemy of humanity (i.e. Satan) can see what we do through the turbulent waves of the world, and will seize the sinner with his talons.