Watching for Osprey

It is the first week of March and getting to be that time of year again.

Time for the return of the Chesapeake Bay Osprey!

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Osprey – Harris Creek jetty (July 2018)


The Chesapeake Bay Osprey departed August/September (some stragglers in October) last year and have been ‘vacationing’, each on their own, down in the Caribbean and South America.

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Osprey – Tuckahoe Creek (July 2018)


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Osprey – Choptank River (July 2018)


The adult Osprey should be heading back now, with an instinctive pull to return to their previous summer home grounds.

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Osprey and nest – Tuckahoe Creek (July 2018)


So, if you were following me last summer, that means…….

Yes!Β  If all went well during their separate migrations and winters, both Bella and Beau should be heading home now to Cambridge Creek!

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“You mean us?”Β  πŸ™‚
Bella and Beau (April 2018)


In general, the males return first, followed by the females usually within the following week.Β  So we should see Beau first, by mid-March.Β  He’ll hang around the platform, and wait/rest/feed.Β  No home building or repairs will begin until the lady of the house is home.

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Bella telling Beau to get more sticks or food (May 2018)


All Osprey chicks born in 2018 (including Bella & Beau’s two chicks) will not return but stay another full year down in the tropics, learning to take care of themselves and basically enjoy their new life before they return as an adult in 2020.

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Bella, Beau and their chicks (June 2018)



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Bella and her two chicks (July 2018)


I’ve seen my first Osprey in past years as early as today, March 5th.Β  So I will not be surprised to see eBird and MD Birding pages start lighting up with shares of their ‘first’ Osprey sightings of the season and where any day.

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Bella, Beau and chicks (July 2018)


And so we wait.Β  And watch.Β  And listen.

You can bet, for us locals, it is an exciting time for the return of the Chesapeake Bay Osprey!

UPDATE:Β  I saw my first Osprey on the distant cell tower across our creek on March 12th!Β  Hmmmm….one of Beau’s and Bella’s perches.Β  Could it be one of them?Β  Time will tell!



45 thoughts on “Watching for Osprey

  1. Enjoyable photos and a good reminder of the Osprey family. You are lucky to have that sign of spring so early. This morning it is -9ΒΊ here and spring seems so far away.

    • Brrrrrrr… just made me real cold! 😲 I do wonder when ours do return, what they must think, having left such a nice, warm climate and then arrive back to the Chesapeake Bay and throughout the Northeast to freezing temps at night and 30-40ΒΊ’s during the day for several weeks before our temps start climbing for Spring.

  2. I can’t wait!! I’m hoping our ‘Betty and Barney’ return safely and start their 6th year of nesting in our cove. In the meantime I have seen a great blue heron on their platform gathering a few twigs, as he did last year. However, with the return of the osprey, that all ends. Love your photos and will be watching this year’s developments!

    • Thank you, Susan, I hope Betty & Barney return as well for you!! Rue the GBH (or any other bird!) for even thinking of being on an Osprey platform in March and getting caught! πŸ˜… πŸ˜‚

    • It’d be best if ours waited just a few weeks longer for warmer weather, but they never do. Some of the Northeast returnees will even possibly experience a little snow after they arrive. It must be a shell-shock to them!

  3. The Ospreys are usually very punctual and methodic. So take note of the dates when they arrive. Get all your photo gears ready and give them a :welcome home” gallery. Are you getting anxious with anticipation my friend?… I would! πŸ™‚

  4. It is nice to see a nest in a tree, as I am so used to seeing them on platforms. (almost made a poem out of that). Do you know if the offspring come to the same area where they were born? Regardless, I am excited for the return of Bella and Beau!

    • A poem you did! I collected photos from last summer of other Osprey nests in our area and will do so again this year. I’ll put together a post on Osprey nests, maybe Beau will read it and take note, ha! Yes, the offspring do return to the same general area where they were born by instinct.

  5. Pingback: Welcome Home, Chesapeake Bay Osprey | Photos by Donna

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