Oyster Cove Osprey Update

(So sorry for the long absence, it’s been a struggle to get my groove back since my Mom’s passing…..I promise I am trying.)

So what has been going on with the return of our area’s Osprey and our community’s nest platform this season?  A lot!

Not having residents for three seasons past, our Oyster Cove community had a new platform and pole installed, ready and waiting to see if that would entice a new pair of Osprey.

Oyster Cove's New Osprey Nest Platform - ready & waiting!

Oyster Cove’s New Osprey Nest Platform – ready & waiting!

Osprey quickly returned to our area after my last post. It was a pleasure to see the long-time residing pair on the Kent Narrows southend entrance channel marker arrive back safely, as well as others on their markers and locations I can see daily.

Including our platform! Mid-March immediately a male Osprey began visiting our platform, always with the look of watching and waiting.  Days later a female joined alongside him.  They didn’t seem to know what to do but look at each other and the surrounding waters.

Osprey Pair

Osprey Pair

Thinking

Thinking

Most times though, they each visited alone, either to perch or eat a fish.

Dinnertime

Dinnertime

Breakfast

Breakfast

Dinnertime

Dinnertime

OOPS!

OOPS!

Another Dinnertime

Another Dinnertime

A measly stick would appear on the platform and then disappear.

A measly stick...

A measly stick…

There seemed to be no motivation.  Since they paired up so quickly upon return, that gave a good indication they were paired last year.  If that be the case, why are they not at their previous home and instead at ours?

As the days & weeks passed, still no progress. I really felt something was amiss. By mid-April, I noticed I was now only seeing the male at the platform.  The female had disappeared. My brain went into overdrive in thinking.

Then finally, the pieces of the puzzle began to fill in.  Watching our male Osprey enjoy a fish, I witnessed him then leave with it headless and fly over to CBEC’s platform across the water where his gal was on their nest and eggs.

CBEC Osprey Pair

CBEC Osprey Pair, female is incubating eggs

Guess what? What we thought were a new pair of Osprey on our platform is actually the pair that resided last year across the water on CBEC’s platform. And the Eagles and their nest that I discovered and posted over this past winter is in the same vicinity as that platform, which the Eagles used all winter as ‘their’ perch when away from their nest.

Eagle Nest (circled) and Osprey nest platform

Eagle Nest (circled) and Osprey nest platform (bottom left).  The Eagles loved to perch on the Osprey platform in the trees above it daily during the winter.

I immediately recalled seeing in the past month a lot of Opsrey vs. Eagle aerial interactions happening over this area as well.  Hmmmmm……

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Osprey Vs. American Bald Eagle

_DSC0134-1 42115Bingo!  All that Osprey vs. Eagle interaction was territorial fighting over that platform and air space between “our” Osprey pair and the resident Eagles. Our platform was being used as a close base while they tried to regain their CBEC home.

The Osprey pair would not give up and succeeded in securing their CBEC platform back from the Eagle pair.  (How about that?!)  They were able to build a nest in time and the female lay eggs.  Today, I watched the male Osprey take a fish to the nest and then leave; the female got up and appeared to be feeding! (Osprey chicks are hatching throughout our area now.)  The male continues to perch on our platform to eat his fish and/or keep a watch on his family and their nest across the water.

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Male Osprey keeping a watch over his nest and family across Marshy Creek to CBEC

Another day, another watch

Another day, another watch

As for the Eagles, they are of course still around but have now chosen to perch in the same tree line to the far right of their nest on the last tree that overlooks the water.  And now everyone is happy.  Unless one flies into the others airspace, lol.  Which makes for great wildlife interaction watching for us locals!

The CBEC Osprey male also has his work cut out to maintain control of his second ‘home’, our platform.  Other Osprey have tried to take the platform from him, to no avail.

xx

Ready to attack an incoming and unwelcomed Osprey

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Scare tactic!

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And a swift kick!

xx

Move on!

xx

Stay away or else!

xx

I’m going after you!

Sometimes you’d think I have too much time on my hands if I’m witnessing and taking shots like the next series.
_DSC0062-1 51715_DSC0063-1 51715_DSC0064-1 51715I might agree with you, lol.  🙂
A few more photos….

Male Osprey

Male Osprey

Male Osprey

Male Osprey

Peek-a-boo, I see you!

Peek-a-boo, I see you!

An early April photo of the female doing a fly-by on me after leaving our platform.

An early April photo of the female doing a fly-by on me after leaving our platform.

xxx

What a beauty she is!

So this season we do have a pair of Ospreys using our platform as a ‘second home/perch’ for now.  Maybe their chicks will use it as a landing strip during their practice flights in a couple months, that would be cool!

UPDATE:  After posting this, unfortunately I discovered it appears there is a problem with the Osprey CBEC’s nest/eggs.  This morning I found the female Osprey alongside her mate on our OC’s platform. If there were alive chick(s), she would not have done this.  They left our platform and went back to their home but both just sat on the edge.  I could see them looking down and around, as if confused.  I’m guessing they lost their eggs/chicks.  😦  I’ll keep an eye on them to see if this is truly the case.

16 thoughts on “Oyster Cove Osprey Update

  1. Hi Donna. So sorry about your mom. Glad you are posting such beautiful photographs. Love your osprey platform.

  2. That is a great update……over here in the UK where Osprey are a rarity but with help making a comeback they do seem to be having a good season. Chicks being reported from various sites so fingers crossed the weather is kind.

  3. So glad you’re back Donna. We have a lot of fun watching the Osprey’s in Marshy Creek and lovell your update. Market 3 has been a real challenge for becoming a Osprey nest. The wind keeps blowing the sticks off, but it is not deterring Mama Osprey as yet.

  4. So sorry to learn about your loss, Donna. I really enjoyed the story and all the pictures. Fantastic captures! And I react much the same way to “mysteries” I see in the osprey world, I want to understand what’s going on. “Our” nest is so crowded now with one nestling and two fledglings.

  5. So sorry about your Mom, Donna. Thanks so much for your wonderful post. Are you aware of the Osprey’s at the “secret location” run through Chesapeake Conservancy? They also are not hatching their chicks. I wonder what is happening and why. If you don’t have that link, I can send it to you.

  6. The pictures are so enjoyable! informative! My first thought was that they should be farther along with nesting. I thought with them being bigger birds that they’d start nesting earlier.

  7. Not an easy life for the birds. You have some great shots here. i am happy that you feel up to coming back to the blog. i know the photography helps in tough times such as a loss of a loved one. Hope the memories give you comfort. Hugs, Jane

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