This is a live view from the osprey nest about 75 yards outside the Wetlands Institute. Stone Harbor Boulevard can be seen in the top right corner. The camera even has night vision, so check back anytime. Click here to watch from an iPhone or iPad.
2015 OSPREY LOG
8/27/15 – A day in the life of Chance is spent eating fish, stretching and flapping wings, preening feathers, hopping around the nest and catching the occasional nap when flight practice becomes too hard. Mom and dad are still keeping a close eye on Chance, but prefer to rest on the posts of the platform or in the marsh. In the photo on the left, you can see Chance in the nest and mama resting on the platform post. Remember, practice makes perfect, so watch for Chance to fledge in the coming days!
8/21/15 – It’s official! Voting is closed and the name Chance has won out! Thanks to all who voted. Stay tuned as Chance gets ready to fledge!
8/19/15 – Six weeks old and full grown today! As we celebrate our chick’s milestone, we thought it fitting to give it a name. Our staff has selected four names to choose from: Hali, Fisher, Thumper and Chance. Voting closed on Friday 8/21/15 at 4:30pm.
8/17/15 – Hop, hop, hop! Our chick has been spending a lot of time hopping up and down around the nest learning the first steps in flying. We know it can be challenging to see the little chick in the nest with all the condensation and ‘natural elements’ on the camera lens, but with the chick so close to fledging it would not be wise of us to disrupt the young chick and adult pair this late in the season. Stay tuned and watch for increased hopping and wing flapping action in the coming days!
8/12/15 – Five weeks old today and growing stronger each day! In fact, in just one more week, our chick will be full grown and is already showing signs of independence. It is beginning to explore around the edges of the nest, was observed picking up smaller sticks in the nest and rearranging them along the perimeter and is even trusted by the parents to be left alone in the nest for short periods of time. It’s amazing how quickly they learn!
8/3/15 – Our chick’s down is quickly being replaced by feathers! Look closely and you can see the flight and tail feathers beginning to emerge. Feathers attached to the ‘hand’ of the osprey are known as primaries; feathers attached to the ‘forearm’ are known as secondaries; and feathers attached to the ‘tailbone” are know as rectrices. Our chick is changing so quickly these days, so be sure to tune in daily!
7/29/15 – Our second osprey chick is exactly 3 weeks old today! You can see just how much it has grown since the last photo taken on 7/17/15. In just 3 more weeks, it will be almost full grown. From there, watch for it to fledge about 2-4 weeks later around September 2-16. This is late in the season for chicks to fledge, but we are hopeful for success!
7/27/15 – After a couple weeks of practice, and a few learning curves, this pair is providing their chick with great care! They have been observed securing and fortifying the edges of the nest, guarding and protecting the chick, and feeding it daily meals of eel, flounder and other fish. While Papa osprey continues to bring man-made objects into the nest, Mama osprey does a nice job of moving them to the sides of the nest, protecting their chick from harm. Keep up the good work you two!
7/14/15 – The first chick to hatch did not survive more than a day. The third egg was last confirmed yesterday and was still being incubated, though it had passed its expected hatch date. By the end of the day, the egg was no longer visible and may be covered by nest material or may have been removed from the nest. Thankfully our second chick continues to get stronger each day with close attention by both parents – its meal delivery (dad) and feeding (mom) service is keeping up with the demand.
7/8/15 – Our second osprey chick hatched this morning! Both parents have been present and are giving lots of attention to the nest and their new chick. We hope it will be joined by a sibling soon!
7/6/15 – We were excited to see our first osprey chick yesterday, July 5, right on schedule. It was brooded by its mother, while its father brought back fish for the twosome. The chick appeared frail and we did not observe it begging for food. By this morning the chick did not appear to be moving, though the female was still tending to her nest. We continue to pay close attention to our nesting pair and all hope for the best for the remaining two eggs.
6/8/15 – A sad example of the impact of marine debris. Our staff had to clean up the nest to remove debris that was of concern to the health of the parents and their soon-to-be nestlings.
6/3/15 – Triplets! A third egg in the nest! The new addition was spotted today.
5/31/15 – We have a second egg! The egg was laid sometime in late evening of the 30th or early morning of the 31st.
5/28/15 – We have an egg! The egg was laid sometime yesterday or overnight. The incubation period begins and we should expect a nestling within 35 to 45 days – right around Independence Day!
5/8/15 – For the past two days, we have observed the beginning of nest building on the platform. However, the pair seems to be deciding between two nesting platforms in the area. Should the osprey ultimately choose this platform, we will re-activate the osprey camera as soon as possible. Stay tuned!
4/20/15 – We are still observing regular visits from a pair of ospreys. They spend time on the platform but no nesting activity was observed yet.
2014 OSPREY LOG
The osprey returned to The Wetlands Institute to nest in 2014! However, they did not nest on the nearest platform with the camera. They chose instead to nest on a platform on the other side of the salt marsh.
2013 OSPREY LOG
The osprey returned to The Wetlands Institute to nest in 2013! However, they did not nest on the nearest platform with the camera. They chose instead to nest on a platform on the other side of the salt marsh.
2012 OSPREY LOG
The osprey returned to The Wetlands Institute to nest in 2012! However, they did not nest on the nearest platform with the camera. They chose instead to nest on a platform on the other side of the salt marsh.
2011 OSPREY LOG
Farewell to Hali, Luke and Giblet. The Wetlands Institute’s resident ospreys have flown away for the season.
We look forward to March/April of 2012 for their return!
9/18/11 – An empty nest.
9/8/11 – Only chick (soon to be fledgling) seen – both parents have left the nest.
8/1/11 – Chick takes flight!
7/19/11 – Chick seen hopping up and down with wings flapping.
7/4/11 – Chick growing larger. Being left alone in the nest as parents go out for food and nest material. Numerous family feedings spotted through June and July.
6/8/11 – Both birds seen on nest helping with feeding chick.
6/7/11 – Second egg still not hatched. Mother feeding one chick.
6/5/11 – First egg hatched!
4/28/11 – Second egg!
4/26/11 – First egg!
4/10/11 – One bird is eating a fish while the other rearranges grass on the nest.
4/6/11 – Two osprey observed on and around the nest for most of the day.
3/31/11 – One osprey seen on the platform. It may just be passing through, and not a permanent resident.
Osprey Frequently Asked Questions and Answers!
Do the same birds come back to the nest every year? Osprey return to the same general area annually, but not necessarily the same nest. We think that the female is the same bird we’ve seen here since 2008; she has a rusty patch on the back of her head, and a band on her right leg. But since we can’t see the number on the band, we can’t be 100% certain that she’s the same osprey.
When do they come back? Usually during the first week of April. In 2010, this nest was occupied on April 2.
When do they lay eggs? Eggs are usually laid within three or four weeks of their arrival. In 2010, the first egg was laid on April 20. Two more eggs followed within a few days.
When do they hatch? Eggs take about 38-42 days to hatch. In 2010, the first egg hatched on May 29, the third egg on June 5.
Do they have any predators? Adult osprey are apex predators, and not much will mess with them. Osprey chicks are vulnerable to gulls and owls, until they learn to fly, so you’ll usually see one of the parents hanging around nearby.
What do they eat? Think you’re good at catching fish with a pole? Try doing it with your feet! Osprey fly overhead and look for fish, then dive in feet-first. Once they’ve caught the fish, they’ll rotate it in their talons so that it’s headfirst, which is more aerodynamic in flight.
How many babies do they have? This answer depends a lot on the environment. If the weather is good, the water is clear, and the fish plentiful, they may lay three or four eggs. If it’s rainy and food is scarce, there might be just one or two. The first chick to hatch has the best chance of surviving, since it will be the biggest and get the most food. It’s not unusual for one chick to kill another. Most years this nest has only produced one or two surviving chicks, but in 2010 there were three survivors.
When will they learn to fly? Osprey chicks grow up fast. Their feathers will come in during June and July, and by late July they’ll be flapping their wings in preparation for flight. Once they can fly, they’ll learn to fish. By mid-August, they’ll usually have started to migrate south.
Where do they go? Osprey head for warmer areas, from Florida and the Gulf to South America. Males and females usually migrate separately, and spend the winter apart.
Do they mate for life? Usually. But females have been known to “trade up” for a male that can catch more fish or has a better nest.