Osprey Around Oyster Cove

The osprey have come back from migration in good numbers this season in our Kent Narrows/Grasonville, Maryland, area.  Whether home, driving around the area, or about the docks and restaurants (the tiki bars have opened!), osprey are in the sky everywhere, searching for or carrying back fish, as well as nesting materials to build their nests stronger with their impending offspring soon to arrive.  With binoculars, I can watch the activity of three osprey nests at a distance from my balcony, each having a mate on their nest at all times, indicating they are incubating eggs.  Last year, our Olivia laid her first of two eggs April 3rd, with that first one hatching May 8.  So in the next 2-4 weeks, there will be many osprey chicks hatching in the mid-Chesapeake Bay waterways, they’ll be hungry & ready for some fish.  Get ready osprey dads!  Not only does the dad do most of the fishing for the chicks (mom does the feeding), but he will also continue to work hard on building the sides of the nest steeper to keep the curious chicks inside longer.

The first photo I’m sharing is one of those three nests, on the Kent Narrows south entrance channel marker #3.  While watching them, a third osprey flew past me with a fish, and headed towards the pair on the marker, which caused a bit of a ruckus.  All that open air space, and he had to fly by that close to the pair.  Too funny!

Osprey on Kent Narrow South Entrance Channel Marker #3

As previous & disappointingly reported, our Oyster Cove nest platform continues to remain unoccupied by an osprey pair this season.  There’s not much of anything left of last year’s beautiful nest, as visiting osprey take talons-full away and back to their own.  The pair on the above nest, as well as the other two, all enjoy coming to our platform for a perch or to dine on a captured fish.  Here are a few captures of some of those visits and our remaining nest over the past couple weeks.

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

And when not perched on ours or their own nest, these osprey are above us in the skies, keeping their territory protected from the others.  When they ‘cross’ each others ‘border’ or air space, a chase ensues to push the other back.  It appears our nest platform is kind of like a border edge to them.  They all continue to fly around and above our community, with an eye on each other and a scream or two to stay away.

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

The osprey dive & fish capture is a sight to behold.  So far this season, I’ve watched the dive but wasn’t camera-prepared before the plunge.  Here’s a series of shots after the plunge.  These were shot at a distance so the photos are a bit grainy after cropping, but the series shows the osprey’s success!  By the way, this osprey is one of the pair that is on Kent Narrows channel marker #3 from the first photo.  The mate was on egg-duty.

An Osprey just plunged for a fish. Was he successful?

Yes! And what a nice one!

Now to take it somewhere to enjoy.

But first the Osprey needs to position the fish within his talons for the flight.

As he turns the fish.....

the Osprey releases one set of his talons....

and then re-grasps the fish to position it straighter and tighter to him.

Now the Osprey can fly stronger and faster without losing his catch!

Osprey approaching his dinner perch.

The Osprey flies to the Kent Narrows Channel Marker #5 for a well-earned dinner.

So you can see, although our Oyster Cove osprey nest is unoccupied this season, we can still get our osprey-fix with the many others that have taken residency around the area.  Thank goodness!  🙂

I’ll close with a couple of photos of other visitors besides the osprey who I’ve captured on our nest.

Crow

Sparrow and Red-Winged Blackbird

Sparrow and Red-Winged Blackbird

As always, thank you for stopping by!

37 thoughts on “Osprey Around Oyster Cove

  1. Fantastic series of photos of my favorite bird of prey! The photos you took as it flies overhead are superb! Unfortunately I live to far inland to ever see them.

  2. Donna,
    We were so preoccupied with guests here this weekend I didn’t even look down towards Ollie and Olivia’s forgotten home :-(. I just got up and stood out on my deck and was so sad to see it all picked over and empty. Where did they go??
    Sigh…..
    Mary

  3. Another compelling series, Donna! And the in-flight shots are excellent! It is amazing how well they can fly and re-position the luggage at the same time, great that you captured that moment.

    • Thanks Ken! It is pretty cool, and I haven’t seen an osprey drop a fish yet. I’ve also seen an osprey eat the fish while flying. If the male is taking the fish back to the nest for his mate and offspring, he will eat the head for a little snack while enroute, then drop it and go for more!

    • I bet he was, Tom! I noticed he didn’t go share with his mate over on the other channel marker where she was on egg-duty, bet he heard about that when he returned later unless he made up for it with a larger fish for her! 🙂

    • Thanks Tom! I am thankful to get to watch the birds that come through or reside in our area. You get some great bird sightings too in the U.K.! Also, do you know of your celebrity osprey, Lady of the Loch of the Lowes, near Dunkeld? I’ve been wanting to mention to you about her. If not and/or for anyone else seeing this comment, here’s her recent article. She is the oldest osprey on record, she returned this year which in itself is a miracle, and now she’s incubating three eggs, her 22nd year of breeding, and 64 eggs to date! (average female lays 20 eggs in her lifetime) What a truly amazing osprey! The average osprey lives 10-15 years.

      Article 4/16/12:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-17726409

      Daily blog on Lady:
      http://blogs.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/osprey/

      What a Lady!

  4. Thanks for sharing these beautiful birds with us. There seems to be plenty of activity and maybe that helps with the empty nest out front.

  5. Great photos! It’s a real treat to see your photos of the Osprey. I see them every day here, but never close enough for good viewing or photos. They fish a section of the river near our house but nest several miles upstream.

    • Thanks MDP! We’ve had great numbers return this season, so it’s so easy to see one around Kent Narrows. When I returned home on Monday crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, just before coming off & reaching Kent Island, I saw eight osprey circling and trying to dive in a spot. They were in each other’s way while trying to set up their dive. All I could think was maybe there must have been a nice school of fish. What an osprey photo op! But can you see me now on Baltimore tv as the crazy lady stopping on the bridge to photograph ospreys? Not a good idea, lol. But I’ll not forget what I saw. 🙂

      • lol. I am glad that you did not have homeland security coming after you for that :-).. As long as they don’t confiscate your camera it may still have been worth it because you caught some amazing shots..

  6. I love all your pictures and your comments as well. Thanks for letting me know about the Loch of the Lowes osprey webcam. I’ve been glued to my computer!! 🙂 It is amazing to be able to watch this pair live in Scotland 24/7 anytime you want. Seeing them sleep and work together is awesome. Now i know what ours are probably doing since I can’t see them deep in the nest. The webcam is amazing and shows so much detail and answers questions that I have thought about previously. She is one experienced momma!! Notice the male leaves her alone a lot? Our pair is like that as well, but we know they are close by. That’s one of the things I love about your Oliver/Olivia. He seemed to be there more with her. Maybe because your nest was so open over water and ours and Loches are in trees. Maybe that is the reason.

    On the webcam you can see when she is hungry when she is chirping away. I thought their nest would have higher sides but maybe that is just the angle we have. Pretty soon we will see the chicks!! How exciting!!

  7. Shucks!! I burned dinner because I was so interested in your website!! Not to worry…it was salvagable!! 🙂 I never saw a bird sleep like the female osprey from Loch!! She is going to need her rest for when those chicks are around 24/7!! 🙂

    • OH NO! Can’t be letting that happen, hubby won’t be so amused about the birds when his dinner’s getting burned! LOL Yep, with three to feed and care for, Lady’s going to have her ‘talons’ full….hopefully the daddy is geared up and ready to help Lady out when she needs assistance!

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