Oyster Cove Osprey Update

I’ve done a little bird detective work, and it seems that the pair of osprey that arrived to our Oyster Cove nest March 13-14 have taken up residence on the new Osprey Point platform erected last year.  The last two mornings I did not sight an osprey on our nest or on the Lippincott channel marker as previous mornings, and in minutes would find one osprey on the nest platform at Osprey Point when I drove past enroute to work.

Osprey taking residence on Osprey Point's new nest platform on the left. Foggy morning on March 19, 2012

Arriving home yesterday and today, an osprey was on the Osprey Point platform; minutes later when getting home both our nest and the channel marker were empty.

Osprey on Osprey Point's new nest platform on left early evening March 20, 2012

Although I have not yet been able to positively confirm this pair is Oliver and Olivia by markings, I do know the eye colors of each match our pair.  Instead of spending time this evening comparing markings, I wanted to post this update.

I do have a treat to share.  Last night just before 5:30pm, I saw Olivia (we’ll say it’s her for the fun of it, but it was a female) landing on our nest platform.  She was immediately followed by Oliver landing.  I got some nice shots….

Olivia perches on Oyster Cove nest - March 20, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

Oliver arrives immediately to join Olivia

Olivia and Oliver

Olivia checking me out

Olivia and Oliver

They were perched for 3 minutes when a jogger came by, followed by a walker.  They didn’t budge on the jogger but Olivia departed first as the walker approached, Oliver followed.  You will see that when Olivia departed, there is a clump on her left talon.  She flies down to and skims the water to try and wash it off.  The dirt washed off but an entanglement was still attached.  You can see Olivia use her other talon to pull it off.  I believe it was fishing line which is dangerous to the osprey and you can see why.  Yet they will use it as nesting material.  Luckily, Olivia got rid of it!

Olivia departs the nest with fishing line entanglement on her left talon

Olivia heads to the water

Olivia skims the water to wash it off

Olivia rids the dirt but has fishing line still entangling her talon

Olivia uses her right talon to pull off the fishing line

Olivia keeps working to rid the fishing line

Oliver departs the nest to follow Olivia

Oliver departing the nest

Olivia flew down to Lippincott’s channel marker and landed.  Oliver followed and appeared to be landing too but instead continued flight and flew over to CBEC and the back to the waters behind the nest heading south and circling, looking for a fish to strike.

Oliver attempting to land, Olivia watches him

Oliver continues in flight and heads out to go fish

Olivia stayed on the marker a while and then departed to her left, headed over to the direction of Osprey Point’s new nest platforms.  We were headed out to dinner when this excitement occurred and hubby hung out while I photographed and made notes.  Soon as Olivia left, we left and drove by Osprey Point’s platforms and there was an osprey perched.  My ongoing detective work seems to be concluding the pair’s move to the new digs.   Oh, and after Olivia flew off the marker, a gull landed on our nest.  I think he was testing the waters to see if Olivia or Oliver would challenge him at the nest.  Of course, he would lose if they cared about the nest enough to protect it.

Gull arrives on the nest after Olivia departs Lippincott's channel marker

I guess I’m not giving the kind of information we want to hear about Oliver and Olivia taking residence out of our sight.  We could get lucky and have another pair of osprey claim the nest.  Or maybe Oliver and Olivia couldd attempt to claim two nests, one for reproduction and ours so they have another ‘perch’ to visit like they did last night?  Sounds like I’ve gone fishing now!  LOL  After three years of watching, photographing, and falling in love with this pair, it’s hard to let go.  But Mother Nature is in control, which we are learning this season.  It should be interesting.

That’s the latest, until next post, take care!

17 thoughts on “Oyster Cove Osprey Update

  1. There’s still hope! I’m no expert, but it looks to me as if they are re-aquainting themselves with the area, and testing the safety of the nesting platform before they begin to rebuild.

  2. Donna, The Anita Leight Estuary Center (it’s near where I live) is hosting an osprey program: “Search for the Fish Hawk” on Saturday I hope to attend. Besides learning what they plan to cover, I want to ask about the osprey nest I’m monitoring. Here’s a description: http://www.otterpointcreek.org/events/details/662/

    Thanks for update on Olivia & Oliver; will follow along with whatever birds you photograph!

    • Thanks Neita, the osprey program sounds great! The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (CBEC) here in Grasvonille is hosting one on May 5, I attended one couple years ago and that’s where my knowledge started. Good stuff those osprey!

  3. No, that is not the news I wanted to hear either, but I know if the wonderful O&O use “your” platform to hang out on, you will still be there to greet and photograph and share. Thank you for the photos and info and detective work. And, may I say, your hubby must have come to expect delays during this season and he gets a star, too!

    • Hopefully they’ll hang out for me to share….or another young pair starts out this year trying to figure what this nesting/mating/family teaching is all about. Re hubby, he’s pretty good about it, knows I love doing it. Although once in a blue moon, he’ll give me a look, LOL, as if to say, “again?!” But then he’ll see a bird and he’s hooked all over. 🙂

  4. Great photos again, Donna. I am enjoying your detective exploits and hoping that you will have an Osprey pair that you can keep up with. If not Olivier and Oliver, hopefully another pair.

  5. They are both still alive and that is a blessing in itself considering the distances thay travel. I am truly enjoying the drama and God will continue to look after them and what is best! Tom

    • You are right Tom. I’ve not talked about the statistics on the osprey’s migration because it sounds so disheartening, from the time the fledgings leave the nest and return two years later, only 20% successfully make it back. Those young that make it back get into much higher statistics for survival on future migrations, as their previous migration route has been embedded in their internal “GPS” and they’ve got a route that they survived on and will actually follow back & forth between their two ‘homes’. All migrations of wildlife are truly amazing. Us humans should be thankful we don’t have to migrate!!!

  6. Donna, I’m so excited! I went to the Osprey program today at Leight and they took us to an osprey nest. An osprey was there! I finally got to see one “live”. So now I recognize its silhouette and what it looks like in flight.

    Leaving there, I drove towards “my” osprey nest, about a mile or so from Leight. As I neared it, I thought an osprey flew overhead. That got me excited thinking it had come from “my” nest. When I arrived, there was an osprey at “my” nest !! It flew away, but I lingered long enough to see both of them come back. So, even with the bulldozing in front of their nest, it looks positive for them.

    I’ll write and post some pics in a day or so.

    • I’m so excited for you and glad you made it to the Leight osprey program. Have you learned their call? I can usually hear them before I see them. No doubt, your osprey pair will ignore the construction going on as long as the construction people leave them alone (they better!). Can’t wait to see your photos and updates!

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