Osprey Nests on Rt 50 Grasonville

For the past several years, I have posted photos and info on our local famous Osprey that occupy nests along the Rt. 50 corridor here in Grasonville, Maryland.  It started, of course, with one pair and one nest.  Last year, there were four pairs and four nests.

The Rt. 50 corridor is six lanes wide.  The first nest that was built years ago is smack dab in the middle of this fast-pace traffic area where thousands of vehicles pass through daily.  Summer time on the weekends, it’s probably ten-fold!  I can attest watching the young fledge above all that traffic each season is also nerve-wracking.

The first Osprey to arrive back this season was to the primary first nest.  From my past photos, it looks to be the female; she arrived February 28th thanks to the sighting by  my local blog follower, Tammy, much earlier than I’ve ever documented.  Seems this Osprey wanted to ensure home was hers and not anyone elses!

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Between this Osprey and to the right, underneath is a three-lane highway.

Here’s the traffic whizzing by both directions while our Osprey keeps tabs on her home.

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So far, I have not seen the mate arrive.  😦

So this Osprey patiently watches…..

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And patiently sits……

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Waiting for the return of her mate.

UPDATE:   The mate to the above nest has returned!  I saw the mate the morning of March 23 resting on the nest, looking a bit haggard from the long trip back.  I’ll try to get photos soon.  🙂

I’ve seen one additional Osprey returned to one of the other four nests at Exit 45B but haven’t caught the Osprey with my camera.  The following is from last year of this next location.

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It’s exciting to see the season begin for the Rt. 50 Osprey families where so many of us see them on a daily basis as we run up and down the highway.  Let’s hope more were successful in their migration over the winter and return for our enjoyment!


32 thoughts on “Osprey Nests on Rt 50 Grasonville

  1. It’s good to see that the osprey are beginning to return, another sure sign of spring! Still, you’d think that they would find a safer place to build their nests, unless all the traffic below helps to prevent ground predators like coons from raiding the nests.

    • It started with the one nest and I wonder if the additional nests aren’t the young returning to their ‘home’ area to start their family. I imagine habit? It definitely is not the safest, we lose a fledgling almost every year due to a vehicle-hit as they try to learn to come and go from the nest. 😦 I cringe (and almost tear-up) each time I see the unlucky one on the road or shoulder.

    • Hello – I am very concerned because I saw a dead Osprey on the side of the road this morning as I was heading west to Baltimore . I am familiar with these nests on Rt 50, as I have watched them over the years. I am concerned that one of the babies has been abandoned…I could see a baby this morning peeking out of its nest, and it was in the same position 4 hours later as I headed east back to the beach.

      I have called the DNR to see if they could help – they referred me to the Wildlife Heritage division; I called and left a message.

      Wondering if you know anything about this or would know who to contact. I am so worried about this little baby!

      Thanks very much.

      Katherine Payne

      • Hi Katherine, thank you for your comments and concerns! I have loved those Rt 50 Osprey for years myself. Go to https://ospreycamerablog.wordpress.com/ and write a comment for any assistance they can give or call Chesapeake Conservancy 443-321-3610. This Osprey cam is located on Kent Island, and sponsored by the Chesapeake Conservancy. They have direct access with nationally known Osprey expert, Dr. Rob Bierregaard. For the most part, the other parent should be at the nest as much as it can trying to protect and feed the young chick(s). Of course, the parent can’t be there 24/7 as it needs to go find food also for them and itself. A tiring task in itself. It’s obviously not a good thing when one of the parents perishes, and the surviving parent has to leave the chicks vulnerable to predators and the weather. 😦 Oh, another contact to consider, Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center right in Grasonville 410-827-6694. Director Judy Wink is also an Osprey expert and may be able to get some help. I wish you luck, I too will now worry about the little one. I moved out of the area about two months ago but have driven through on Rt 50 a few times since and still check out the nests for the latest activity. I am quite sad to hear about the perished parent. 😦 Over the years, we’ve lost a few along that corridor. I wish they would all relocate to safer places, there are so many empty platforms that owners would love to give them residency! Keep me posted if you can!

      • I appreciate your concern Kathleen, maybe Donna can help. I live in Michigan, and I could give you a number to call here in this state, but that doesn’t help an osprey in Maryland.

  2. They’re everywhere! They’re everywhere! 🙂
    My friend Warren saw about 6-8 at the Eastern Neck Preserve. Several pair have returned to rebuild nests on the creeks near Annapolis. And, I assume you’ve been watching the pair of Bald Eagles nesting at the National Arboretum. Two chicks have hatched. Mom has begun to feed them morsels of fish caught by dad. Live web cams here: http://dceaglecam.eagles.org/

    • Yes, they are everywhere, Steve! I’m missing some returnees around me, but fingers are crossed they are taking an extra week of vacation in Florida until we warm up more. 🙂 Yes, it’s become national news of the Wash DC Eagle cam with the two new & adorable arrivals. Isn’t the cam absolutely great!

  3. Great that your Ospreys have started to return! I hope the mate of this brave female will make it back too. But I can imagine how nerve wrecking it is to watch the fledglings.

    • I pass by these nests 2-4 times daily, when it’s close to their fledging, I start to get nervous for them. We lose one almost every year to a vehicle-hit as they try to maneuver their coming and going from the nest. It is so sad, but what can you do when these Osprey have decided and determined to nest there and no where else. And we have so many empty nest platforms around our area close to them to chose from!

    • It is almost heaven to me to open my window or door and hear them calling. Always one Osprey that has something to say, lol When they leave in the fall, it’s like a deafening silence to the area, until the geese and swans arrive. Oh no, where’d your pelicans go?? 😲

    • It would not be the Chesapeake Bay area in the summer without our Osprey. There are so many, I guess we have a few hardheads that want to defy danger on these crazy nest location choices. It worries me watching them, lol.

    • I do think some must be related, the young returning after they stay 1 1 /2 years away on their first migration. It is known that most young do return to the area where they were born.

  4. Lovely to see you Osprey returning Donna, it is interesting how they prefer human constructions for nesting, as we find the same here with electricity poles, I guess spring is beginning for you, and your migrants return, as our migratory birds fly north this week and next, and our summer birds leave for the winter. Have a blessed long weekend:-)

    • Seems so crazy to think you’re headed into winter while we’re trying to get into spring as quickly as possible! 🙂 Now that the Osprey are returning, we are quickly losing our winter birds who are heading north as well. I do love the change of seasons, even though I hate to see the birds leave when they need to. Have a wonderful, blessed weekend also, Ashley. 🙂

    • Shows that Osprey are great architects also! 🙂 My photos of the nests are the remnants from last year’s, pretty much looks the same as when they left last fall. It’s amazing how intact the nests stay thru the off-season storms. As soon as a pair is (re)united, they do the housework of cleaning up and restrengthening the nest even more. Almost bet this one can hold a lot of weight after all these years.

      We have had attempts of starts of other Osprey nests on the overhead signs within that one-mile stretch over last couple years, but they failed because of struggling to get it started to stay intact, so it’s a tough build. We’ve had sticks laying in and alongside the highway that have fallen off. And this is more scarier, I’ve seen the Osprey try to recover one of those fallen sticks while traffic zooms by! 😲

  5. It looks like they build platforms around here for the Osprey nests. There’s one at bridge crossing on Hwy 101. Last time we went by there, it looked like the pair had returned. I’ll need to keep an eye on it. I’m wondering if our nest might be just a bit farther from traffic than the one you posted here. I hope so.

    • Great to have a pair return to your area! The Osprey here are heavily supplied with human-made platforms all around us, and wouldn’t you know the Osprey would rather chose their location; our channel markers almost all have a nest, even a boat last year had one started on top which was quickly removed and deterred daily to try to stop them before they got too far. Within a mile of our highway nests, I know of at least a dozen empty human-made platforms. We have hard-headed Osprey. 😉

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