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The Ospreys Have Returned!


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OspreyZone Highlights: Bald Eagles!

Full Bald Eagle Visit

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Early 2020 Highlights

Osprey Rescue

Tommy Aprea - Windsong Osprey Nest

Tip:  If the nest is empty, use the red scroll bar to rewind the stream up to 12 hours

February 18, 2021: A pair of bald eagles landed in the nest!

A note from Dr. Bierregaard on the eagles:
“Interesting. They don’t often take over osprey poles—probably too small for them. They will coopt tree nests, which they can expand. We had a pair of eagles do this on the Vineyard. They built up the Osprey nest a lot and then the Ospreys came home and drove the eagles away, in a David v. Goliath story. The Ospreys successfully bred. They looked tiny in the nest, which sadly blew down this winter.”

Please be advised that nature can be brutal – viewer discretion is advised.
Best viewed with Google Chrome.

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Special Thanks to Tommy and Christina: George & Gracie’s Landlords

Belle’s Journey

Written by Dr. Rob Bierregaard & Illustrated by Kate Garchinsky

Take flight with Belle, an osprey born on Martha’s Vineyard as she learns to fly and migrates for the first time to Brazil and back–a journey of more than 8,000 miles.

Click HERE for more information!

IMPORTANT: Messages from osprey experts

Rob Bierregaard July 1, 2015 at 7:24 am
I haven’t seen the little guy yet this morning, but I would be very surprised if he survived the night. That sure was tough to watch yesterday, but that whole process is as much a part of the essence of being an Osprey as is eating a fish. It’s part of the life of Ospreys that was rarely seen before we started putting cameras in nests. As hard as it is, we should not label the behavior as mean or cruel. Being mean or cruel implies that there is intent to do harm just for harm’s sake. Those young were responding to a set of stimuli (very little food being delivered to the nest and the presence of a very small young) in a way that evolution has hard-wired into them. It helps ensure their survival. Nature is not cruel. It is harsh, unforgiving, and often random (had the little guy been born 1st, he would have been just as aggressive as was his sibling), but not cruel or mean.

4818eecc88292926c58414a82c884c71Paul Henry ospreyzone July 1, 2015 at 8:17 am
Thanks Rob for bringing your knowledge and experience to help us all gain perspective here. We are all saddened by the events that unfolded before our eyes and it’s only natural for all of us to feel and express our emotions appropriately. There have been many issues pertaining to intervention which have been discussed amongst us all. There is no doubt in my mind that the right decision was made, to let nature take it’s course. By the way, that doesn’t equate to heartless, on the contrary, nobody feels worse about this then the apparent decision makers. I say apparent, because when all was said and done, and all the issues were properly weighed, there really weren’t any other options. It was clearly pointed out, by experts, that intervening at this stage could have spooked the whole nest to the point of losing all the young. If the little one was saved, and nursed back to health, what kind of a life would it have had, perhaps caged up in a zoo. I remember when I was younger I saw a golden eagle in captivity, caged behind a wire mesh. I could practically see it’s tears. As far as placing the little one in another nest, such a low probability of success would never have justified the possibility of spooking the nest. There’s a piece of me, however heavy hearted, that believes that perhaps it is better to be born free and die free. We mourn for the little one as we marvel at the wonders of nature.

Reprinted with the permission of John W. Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Hello Paul,

Thanks for your query, and you have my admiration for persevering. We know very well how tough your job is, including dealing with an anxious public.

Our policy with our Bird Cams project is essentially “just say no” to pleas for interference. The behavior you are witnessing – while seemingly cruel and heartless to us – is natural for many kinds of birds, especially those that feed on variable, unpredictable food supplies. The little nestling does have a chance to survive, but if it does not then that result was “meant to be” by the nature of Osprey breeding strategy. The wonderful things about these nest cameras also sometimes yield the difficult things for us to watch. As you might know, we actually post a “siblicide alert” on some of our cams where we suspect the possibility exists.

I’m copying your note to Charles Eldermire, project leader for our Bird Cams. He may have some additional comments, and he would be the one to ask if we might be able to use your stored files for biological analysis.

Best wishes, and good luck,

John W. Fitzpatrick

Director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

In addition, Charles Eldermire, Bird Cams Project Leader, Cornell Lab of Ornithology Writes:

It’s also important to acknowledge that intervening can also cause problems of its own—depending on the ages of the birds in the nest, disturbing them can trigger an early fledge. We have restricted the scenarios in which we would even consider intervening to injuries or dangers that are explicitly human-derived. For example, 3 or 4 years ago we were alerted by viewers that one of the osprey chicks at the Hellgate Osprey nest was entangled in monofilament line. We consulted with our partners there (wildlife biologists, raptor researchers, raptor rehabbers) to determine if the monofilament was an issue, and if intervening was both likely to solve the issue AND not have bad effects on the other nestlings. In the end, a quick trip to the nest was scheduled via a bucket truck, the monofilament was removed, and the nestlings all eventually fledged. In that case, all of the permits were already in hand to be studying the ospreys, and we had already discussed how to approach issues in the nest.

Good luck to the young one—hope it all turns out well.


Charles Eldermire
Bird Cams Project Leader
Cornell Lab of Ornithology


I’ve been to your site—great cam! And I noticed the runt in the nest. This is just normal Osprey reproduction. It happens all the time and you should not intervene. It’s tough to watch, but it’s how nature works. Ospreys almost always lay 3 eggs and on average fledge between 1 and 1.5 young each year. They stagger the hatch so there is a spread of ages in the young. That way, if food is short, the first-hatched (and therefore largest) will get enough food to survive while the smaller nest mates do not. If all three young were the same size and there was only enough food for 1 young, none of the young would get enough food and they would all die. If there’s lots of food, the smallest will eventually get fed and can survive. These nest cams can show some gut-wrenching scenes. The most infamous perhaps was one of the very first Osprey cams (on Long Island somewhere), where the smallest young died. One of the adults carried it out of the nest and after several minutes flew back into the nest and fed it to the other young. Waste-not-want-not at its goriest. At Hog Island up in Maine just last week a Bald Eagle came in and took the young out of the nest. Last year at another nest, cameras documented a Great-horned Owl taking young Ospreys out of a nest in NJ or MD. All of these things have been going on for millions of years and Ospreys are doing fine.

Rob Bierregaard
Academy of Natural Sciences
Drexel University


    1. CarolV February 24, 2021 at 6:55 pm - Reply

      Several days in the 40s and the snow is going…. gone from the nest and we can see the grass is still growing there…..
      Days are getting longer…. almost 6pm and there’s still light! Oh, Spring, are you peeping ’round the horizon!

    2. CarolV February 24, 2021 at 6:46 pm - Reply

      So good to see Dr. Rob’s input… makes me feel better. Hopefully, their seasonal rental is over on Shelter Island, not too close by!

      • Helen Rosenblum February 24, 2021 at 8:56 pm - Reply

        I feel the same Carol – beginning to hope they are elsewhere. There are a bunch of Bald Eagles on Shelter Island.

    3. CarolV February 22, 2021 at 3:17 pm - Reply

      ADMIN MaryAnn: Just testing because anything I try to send with a pic attached says “Duplicate comment” Season hasn’t even started and I’m a pest!
      Also, …HI!

      • CarolV February 22, 2021 at 3:18 pm - Reply

        Trying oic again….

        • CarolV February 22, 2021 at 3:19 pm - Reply

          Well… just my computer being hateful again….. maybe I should wear my Covid mask so it doesn’t recognize me!!!! Have a great day!

    4. CarolV February 19, 2021 at 6:38 pm - Reply

      More spitting snow….off and on all day…..looks like an ice build-up sliding down on right? At first, I thought it was part of the camera housing breaking off.
      Next 2 days are showing sunshine…. will be happy to see that! Followed by 43 degs, on Monday and rain. won’t that be a sloppy mess! Looks like at least a week of above freezing daytime temps. Yay!

    5. CarolV February 18, 2021 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      Later in the day, after the eagles visit, this is what the nest looked like. Big beautiful flakes, swirling all around, laying it down quickly. Turned to stinging icy snow before stopping mid afternoon. Possibility of more precip later tonight or thru tomorrow. More snow this year than we’ve had in several years’
      I think we may have had a bit more on this side of the Island. Had 4-5″ by me, which also turned to icy mix before stopping.
      Hope all are doing well. Counting down the days.

      • winnie February 19, 2021 at 12:07 pm - Reply

        thank you what a beautiful shot of eagle-nice to hear from all of you-will we ever see grass again? I actually started basil seeds in the house-itching to get out in garden-Went out to feed my outside kitty-a sheet of ice-he has a nice house & a heated pad-poor guy-been here for yrs-TG my son is here we will go to the bluff later to feed the colony of cats-stay well you all-praying our feathered friend are all OK

        • CarolV February 20, 2021 at 10:00 am - Reply

          Hi to you…. you are dedicated to your kitties if you’re tramping around in this weather, taking care of them! My bird seed is getting scattered from the back stoop! Which the dog appreciates, as he picks out the nuts!
          Looking forward to some “warmer ” weather! I can hear the wind whistling on the mic as I type. But will take the 40s next week and be grateful!
          Take care and be careful!

      • June c February 19, 2021 at 12:26 pm - Reply

        Me too!

    6. Admin Mary Anne February 18, 2021 at 10:16 am - Reply

      The female eagle was annoyed by a pair of ravens and left.

      • CarolV February 18, 2021 at 8:24 pm - Reply

        Love this shot!

      • Bobbie February 20, 2021 at 5:28 pm - Reply

        Hope the eagles went far, far away to nest. It could be another disastrous season for our osprey if the baldies move in nearby.

    7. Admin Mary Anne February 18, 2021 at 9:51 am - Reply

      Doesn’t appear to be just a visit.

      • June c February 18, 2021 at 10:40 am - Reply

        I hope it was just a visit..this would be terrible if they decided to make it their nest

        • Admin Mary Anne February 18, 2021 at 11:27 am - Reply

          I talked to Shelli about it, she said it’s pretty late in the mating season to be selecting a nest. But it’s not impossible. I know the Centerport (Long Island), female bald eagle has just laid eggs. I hope this pair moves along, the nest really is too small for them anyway.

          • June d February 19, 2021 at 12:24 pm - Reply

            I live about close to …nest…will take a drive down and look..Thanks..

    8. Admin Mary Anne February 18, 2021 at 9:50 am - Reply

      Looks like a pair of bald eagles likes this nest.

      • ChrisH February 18, 2021 at 10:45 am - Reply

        Thank you for posting this, Mary Anne! I scrolled back to check it out and was so excited to see them!

        • Admin Mary Anne February 18, 2021 at 11:35 am - Reply

          You’re welcome, Chris! I was not too surprised to see the female land…and then the male landed on her, I did not expect that!

    9. CarolV January 25, 2021 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      Just checked in for the view……….. You can see the cold in that chilly sky!
      Hovering just about freezing, with a wind and the possibility of snow in the next day or two. But that’s iffy, as it’s supposed to warm up slightly. But that’s Long Island

      The next full Moon will occur on Thursday, January 28, 2021, at 2:16 PM ET, and is known as the Full Wolf Moon. It is also known as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule.

    10. June c December 30, 2020 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      Saying hello to everyone…Happy New Year..stay safe and be well….

    11. CarolV December 29, 2020 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      Just days before we say good-bye to 2020. It’s been a difficult year for many. Who would have ever imagined a pandemic i? It’s so 100 years ago! We are too progressive to let that happen!
      Once again, Mother Nature had her way and we were stopped in our tracks by microscopic molecules that took over our lives………
      But with all the turmoil, all the negativity of politics and the controversies of whom to believe- scam or no scam; safe or not safe; mask or no mask……. there are still moments in each of our lives we can choose to celebrate and carry forward as the best of 2020……
      On that note, I wish you a happy and healthy NEW YEAR! Take care of yourselves and your families.

      • Admin Mary Anne December 29, 2020 at 1:47 pm - Reply

        Happy New Year to you too, Carol, and everyone here! I know we are all looking forward to spring and the return of George and Jane.

      • ChrisH December 30, 2020 at 10:38 am - Reply

        Very nicely said, Carol. A happy, safe and healthy New Year to you, too.

      • nfc December 30, 2020 at 3:44 pm - Reply

        Carol— your thoughts are well said. It has been a year like no other. I think looking at the different cams on the internet has helped us get through the year. Even the different species of animals have had their own traumas through the year. We have to go on and be strong. Hopefully 2021 will be a good year for all of us. This pause your life and watch what has happened in the world will be a reminder to all of us to live each day and be kind to others.
        Happy New Year to all. We look forward to a new normal!!
        Hopefully George and Jane will have a productive year . It has been great having the camera into the nest being a great view of the osprey life and the north shore waters. thanks for all who work on this site and make it work so well.

    12. CarolV December 29, 2020 at 12:01 pm - Reply

      full Moon will occur on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, at 10:28 PM ET, and is known as the Full Cold Moon

      this shot is from midnight last night. Moon was so bright it “looks like day”1 That’s Bug Light flashing across the bay…. Got to see the beautiful night by my house. We’ve had so many cloudy days and nights lately, it was great to catch the moment…..

    13. winnie December 22, 2020 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      Just checking in to see how all my Osprey friends are! Hoping you are all well & praying for a better upcoming year-sick of the mask fogs up my glasses-Happy Holidays to all!

    14. CarolV November 30, 2020 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      We’re having a lovely storm…. lots of rain and the wind is picking up…….. grass is growing well at the nest. My lawn should look that good!

      • PattyK December 23, 2020 at 8:07 pm - Reply

        Just wanted to say… Merry Christmas and Happy, HEALTHY 2021 to all OZ wonderful people…stay safe till we meet again on this special site xoxoxo

    15. CarolV November 30, 2020 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      The November FULL MOON slid in about 4:30 this a,m, on the last day of the month……. about time!

      Hope this finds everyone well and snug, settling in towards a happy holiday season.

      • Isabella December 4, 2020 at 4:14 am - Reply

        Hi CarolV!….as always..thx for the moon info! Always interesting! Here’s a pic of the moonlit nest……
        Yes..wish my lawn was doing as well…been battling grubs that the moles and possums can’t keep up with!
        Stay safe and well!!🙂❤️

    16. CarolV November 12, 2020 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      George and Janey, how does your garden grow?
      Saw the tips of the grass last time I visited and now it’s growing nicely….. there was plenty of rain last night thru today on my side of the Island …. now we are cooling down tonight. Winter is knocking…..

      Hope everyone is doing fine….

      • winnie November 14, 2020 at 3:03 pm - Reply

        happened to click on Savannah Ospreys-did not know that the Ospreys reside year round there-I am so excited to see a male osprey perched on tree 11/12/2020! Had to pass this along.

    17. CarolV November 9, 2020 at 9:57 am - Reply

      Thanks to all who served……and their families who served with them!

    18. CarolV November 9, 2020 at 9:44 am - Reply

      Good morning, sunshine! Enjoying our gorgeous weather on this sparkling day!

      Hope everyone is doing well! Sliding rapidly towards the holidays….. time flies in a corona lock-down…….(;*}}

    19. Isabella November 7, 2020 at 2:58 am - Reply

      Aussie mom has quite the statement necklace!
      CarolV Hi…thanks for the heads up about the moon 🌝…didn’t have the best view… but awesome fact!
      Winnie….hope you’re healing well 🙂👍
      Everyone stay safe and sound !
      So far I would like to throw this year out the window!!

    20. CarolV November 4, 2020 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      Trying to avoid checking election results yet again…. guess we will be on pause for a few days…..
      Enjoying the fab view at OZ and thinking good thoughts about our couple……

      WINNIE… hope you’re feeling okay….. and vision is good.
      Isabella…. hi!

      Happy week to all….. glad we got past that spell of gloomy weather…. enjoy the fall feel…..

      • winnie November 7, 2020 at 9:10 am - Reply

        thanks for the good wishes-part of old age unfortunately-keep the pics coming-enjoy this beautiful weather-stay well all!

      • winnie November 14, 2020 at 6:41 pm - Reply

        thats so nice of you-I will need a series of shots(in eye) to see if they can repair my retina-look out for a prior comment I sent about Savannah Ospreys

    21. Isabella October 28, 2020 at 2:12 am - Reply

      If anyone is still with us needs an osprey fix….the chicks at port Lincoln are at the cute fluffy stage….nest is on a barge

      • ChrisH October 28, 2020 at 9:55 am - Reply

        Aww…. sweet!

      • winnie October 28, 2020 at 2:54 pm - Reply

        thank you for the pics-seems so long ago since our friends were here-yes I look at the nest every day. Hope you are all well!

      • nfc October 29, 2020 at 8:56 am - Reply

        Isabella– I check in on this nest every day. It is nice seeing the offspring growing. It was sad when Taps died. Solly has been very domineering even though the second one is only a day younger. I think the second one is called Dew.

      • RobininMD November 3, 2020 at 6:38 pm - Reply

        I watch this one too! Hope all goes well, my heart is with Dew over there… Looking forward to Spring – but we’ve got a long way to go!

    22. CarolV October 25, 2020 at 5:26 pm - Reply

      Look who stopped by while I was here….. had a lot of squawking to do…..

    23. CarolV October 25, 2020 at 5:19 pm - Reply

      SPOOOOOOOKYYYYYYY! Hasn’t happened since before I was born!!!!!! Loooooonnnnnng time!

      • CarolV October 25, 2020 at 5:20 pm - Reply


        • ChrisH October 28, 2020 at 9:57 am - Reply

          That’s a very cool fact — amazing actually!

      • winnie October 28, 2020 at 2:58 pm - Reply

        That pic is aweaome-amazing-thank you!

        • winnie October 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm - Reply

          Just had eye surgery-sorry for misspelling!

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