Our Missing Osprey Family

It’s surely is disappointing to have our osprey family departing from our sight and enjoyment so early in the season.  I have seen a single adult osprey on the nest on occasion throughout the week, but photos do not confirm they are either Oliver or Olivia.  Here’s one photo of a male and a female each who visited the nest this past Monday morning.  They both only stayed for a few minutes, just to perch.

I’ve been back in contact with Lisa at Blackwater Refuge, here is more information from her….

Their disappearance, “It’s just odd.  Some chicks do leave for migration early but don’t head south right away.  They might fly around the area and begin independently exploring their larger home region.  But that doesn’t normally happen right away since the chicks usually spend some post-fledging time learning to fish and learning to improve their flying and landing.  Maybe something in the area spooked your birds.  A Great Horned Owl?  A GHO is the chief enemy of ospreys and one of the few animals that can not only take a large osprey chick but can also take out the mother while she’s on the nest.  Some areas have a problem with GHO’s attacking ospreys (they do at Jug Bay in Maryland) and others do not (we don’t even though Blackwater has GHO’s).  Not sure why some areas have an issue and others don’t.”  

After several discussions with Lisa, I’m leaning towards our osprey family might have gotten spooked, possibly from a GHO.  There is a local GHO nest over at CBEC, across MarshyCreek.  Here’s two photos back in March of the GHO on it’s nest….

We will all just assume Oliver, Olivia, and their two chicks all relocated to be safer and are enjoying life and preparing for their long migration south, maybe they are presently not too far in the horizon on our waters!  🙂

Husband and I took a couple bike rides over to Ferry Point Park, over on the point of the Chesapeake Exploration Center along the Narrows.  There is a cool osprey nest there, high in an old dead tree that’s covered with ivy.  There are two chicks in this nest, with both parents protecting them.  I’ve watched them flapping but no lift-offs.  Since this little park is so quiet, I doubt they see many humans; this family is very loud vocally, warning me to leave.  Got some great shots before heading over to the beach and out of their sight.

A couple more photos from Ferry Point Park….this little guy was giving me a look!

One evening coming through the Narrows, a male osprey was perched on a marker, enjoying his evening dinner.

While relaxing on our balcony and watching the wildlife and boats pass by last evening, we had a green-backed heron jumping along the berm towards the nest, searching along the water.  He took flight and landed up on our osprey nest.  He did a thorough check-out of it, including staring down one of the birds from the lower-level family dwellers who was also briefly perched there before entering his nest beneath.

No sooner did he depart and went back down to the berm, when a great blue heron came flying over from CBEC and landed at the base of our nest. 

Finally, I still have frequent visits from the hummingbirds, there’s one who seems to be getting use to me and while I’m photographing our nest, etc., he’s buzzing behind me and landing on the feeder.  He’s not comfortable if I go to turn around to take his photo, but I did once capture him, keeping his eye on me from the other side of the feeder. 

Cute little guy!  Have a great weekend everyone!

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