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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
As always, thank you for stopping by!