This is a live view from the osprey nest about 75 yards outside The Wetlands Institute. Our new high definition camera not only has night vision, it also has sound. To adjust or mute the sound, hover over the image with your cursor and click the speaker icon.
If the camera feed stops, try refreshing your internet browser. Storms may cause power outages which will interrupt the feed. For Chrome users (if you get a green screen), be sure to uncheck “Use hardware acceleration when available” in Advanced Settings. The close-up nest camera is prone to outages when demand is high. Unfortunately, we have been unable to resolve that issue so far. We apologize for the inconvenience.
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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.