Tag Archives: Pandion

Ospreys on the Tongan Islands – when did they disappear?

The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus (L.)) is a highly specialized bird of prey that is distributed almost around the whole world except for Antarctica, and it was once even more widespread and occurred as far east as western Polynesia.:

The Osprey still ocurs on New Caledonia, but not further east, however, it formerly did and it is known to have occurred on the Tongan Islands on the basis of subfossil bones of adult and juvenile birds that were found in several archaeological sites on the islands of Ha’ano and ‘Uiha in the Ha’apai Islands group in the middle of the Tongan Islands chain. [2]


Falco haliaetus, Forst. Descr.* &c. p. 257.
Isle of Pines (Island of Spruce Trees); Tonga Islands (Tongatabu or Tonga Island).
” [1]

Is it possible that this Tongan form has survived into the early 19th century?



[1] George Robert Gray: Catalogue of the birds of the tropical islands of the Pacific Ocean in the collection of the British Museum. London: printed by order of the Trustees 1859
[2] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006


edited: 10.03.2020