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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

August 6, 2020: Power is out at the nest after the recent storm. We will get the camera back up as soon as possible!

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.

*******************
Charles Eldermire
Bird Cams Project Leader
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Paul,

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
http://www.ospreytrax.com

    44,770 Comments

    1. CarolV August 7, 2020 at 1:40 pm - Reply

      Going back to 2016………… George and Gracie were ruling the roost. That year 3 chicks hatched. The youngest was named PeeWee early on. The two older were named Ronny and Sandy.
      It was difficult because PeeWee had become a personality , living long enough to become “our” little one.
      Unfortunately, there was a bunker die-off— when the amount of fish swimming in to the bay and river estuary overwhelms the oxygen supply in the water and the fish effectively “drown”. Birds like gulls that eat the dead fish feasted. Birds like osprey, who catch the live prey, did not.
      Unfortunately, the food shortage at the nest caused sibling rivalry and food domination by the older two chicks. Little PeeWee passed.
      We can see Gracie’s well loved plastic………………. Did some editing back then and pics weren’t dated. Hope these come out in order!

      1st shot………….. 06/08/2016
      next………………….06/09/2016
      last……………………06/10/2016

      • CarolV August 7, 2020 at 2:14 pm - Reply

        And I apologize…………………… I have my years confused!!!!! Shocker…………………..
        2015 was the year of Sandy, Ronnie and PeeWee….
        These pics are 2016…………. Brutus, Ali and ROCKY!!!!!! All 3 fledged…..
        That’s what happens when I rely on memory………

        • CarolV August 7, 2020 at 2:16 pm - Reply

          I did not take pics in 2015…. nice video in the video section for that……

        • Admin Mary Anne August 8, 2020 at 12:24 pm - Reply

          It’s ok, Carol, your pics are great!

    2. CarolV August 7, 2020 at 10:29 am - Reply

      Having withdrawal…….. Here’s a golden oldie.

      Jane feeding Squirmy as George supervises….

    3. ChrisH August 7, 2020 at 10:13 am - Reply

      Thank you for the camera update. After that storm, I had a feeling it would be down. Hope everyone here made out OK…. and you too George and Jane!

    4. CarolV August 6, 2020 at 12:41 pm - Reply

      TY for info. I know in HB we still have scattered outages, especially in less populated roads. Trees and branches down caused problems.
      I was lucky and sailed through ok

      • CarolV August 6, 2020 at 12:43 pm - Reply

        Hope George isn’t adding to the wall

      • winnie August 6, 2020 at 5:55 pm - Reply

        we were lucky her e in KP-but to try to get through to PSEG was unacceptable-hope George & Jan e are safe!

    5. Isabella August 6, 2020 at 5:45 am - Reply

      Oyster bay is back on…..nobirdy home……..patchoque

    6. CarolV August 5, 2020 at 8:47 am - Reply

      We had a nice look at the moon rising before the camera pooped out about midnight.
      There’s been power outages all over since the almost storm yesterday. Hopefully, that’s all it is.

    7. Isabella August 4, 2020 at 11:49 pm - Reply

      Are they trying to tell us something?…..is that the same stick?

    8. Isabella August 4, 2020 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      Braving the storm!

      • Isabella August 4, 2020 at 9:20 pm - Reply

        Pretty sky!

    9. CarolV August 4, 2020 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      Haven’t seen anyone stopping by this afternoon. George will probably love his new sculpture.

    10. CarolV August 4, 2020 at 5:18 pm - Reply

      Camera went down about 5pm. Not surprising with that wind.

    11. CarolV August 4, 2020 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      And I thought the wind would blow OUT the loose sticks! hahahahaha

      Did George have these stacked in the corner?????

      Tornado alert is expired but still getting some gusts. Sun’s coming out.

      • CarolV August 4, 2020 at 5:05 pm - Reply

        Having flashbacks to last year……………

    12. CarolV August 4, 2020 at 2:05 pm - Reply

      The usually calm bay is not having a happy day!
      It’s more just spitting than raining. My house is similar. Windy with gusts. Already calming down by me….. she said as another gust came thru….

    13. Isabella August 4, 2020 at 10:20 am - Reply

      Nobirdy home

      • Isabella August 4, 2020 at 10:23 am - Reply

        Rocking and rolling in barnegat…..very windy!

        • Isabella August 4, 2020 at 10:27 am - Reply

          The flagpole is down….there’s a new stick in town!

      • winnie August 4, 2020 at 1:28 pm - Reply

        Prayers for our feathered friends right now-poor things!

        • ChrisH August 4, 2020 at 3:56 pm - Reply

          Yes!

    14. CarolV August 4, 2020 at 8:10 am - Reply

      We made it to midnight without the cloud cover, so we got to see official full moonshine @11?59pm

      • CarolV August 4, 2020 at 8:15 am - Reply

        George showed up in the wee early hours and stayed till morning.
        Starting the day with seaweed.

        • CarolV August 4, 2020 at 8:17 am - Reply

          George coming in the dark…………

          • CarolV August 4, 2020 at 8:21 am - Reply

            George kindly removed the offending stick, with a vengeance………………… and a quick smoooosssshh…..

            He greeted Jane…. she had been on the perch vocalizing, before dropping in

            • CarolV August 4, 2020 at 8:29 am

              Soooooo….. he wasn’t doing us any favors….. he was just making room for a TV antenna! Remember those?

              He was intent on watching someone overhead. There seemed to be a lot of flying back and forth.

              And a small stick to prop the antenna.

            • CarolV August 4, 2020 at 9:28 am

              The wind is picking up…… George wears his crown well
              And that stick is rolling back and forth….. pu on your traveling shoes, stick, and take a hike.!!!

              And there’s Bug Light in the spotlight……….

            • Isabella August 4, 2020 at 9:16 pm

              Fourth pic sooo funny!

            • Isabella August 4, 2020 at 9:18 pm

              Antenna….little to the left George….still getting “ snow “!

    15. Isabella August 4, 2020 at 2:15 am - Reply

      Incoming and outgoing fish

    16. Isabella August 4, 2020 at 1:46 am - Reply

      The late night show….don’t know who is on the nest…..or what’s going on across the bay?…..fireworks this late?

      • Isabella August 4, 2020 at 9:47 am - Reply

        Still there

        • Isabella August 4, 2020 at 9:54 am - Reply

          It’s George….we both have insomnia…..and the stick has to go!

          • Isabella August 4, 2020 at 9:59 am - Reply

            Now he can rest and watch the bay

            • Isabella August 4, 2020 at 10:07 am

              The late late show

            • Isabella August 4, 2020 at 10:11 am

              The morning show…..I’m going to bed now George!

    17. CarolV August 3, 2020 at 12:37 pm - Reply

      Nobody BEE home!
      Haven’t seen anyburdy. The video was down at one point, maybe 45 mins. or so

    18. CarolV August 3, 2020 at 10:19 am - Reply

      George stops in; calls………………………………… gets upstaged by Buzzy….

    19. CarolV August 3, 2020 at 10:08 am - Reply

      The moon was pretty darn bright even though not officially full until almost midnight tonight. Cloudy weather heading our way.

    20. CarolV August 3, 2020 at 8:41 am - Reply

      GM, George…………….. he arranges those sticks to be even more annoying. …… ……. We have weather approaching., with winds attached. These sticks already wobble in the breeze. Fingers crossed that they will go sailing…………..

      Jane 1/2 shows up and goes.
      Otherwise, it’s 8:30 and they are busy elsewhere this morning.

      .

    21. Isabella August 3, 2020 at 12:17 am - Reply

      Moonlight illuminating ospreyz flagpole

    22. Isabella August 3, 2020 at 12:11 am - Reply

      Bay Breeze ruffles Jane’s “ hair”

      • Isabella August 3, 2020 at 12:25 am - Reply

        Osprey can’t read!

        • Isabella August 3, 2020 at 12:27 am - Reply

          Hunkering down in the wind 💨

    23. CarolV August 2, 2020 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      George has made 4-5 short visits this afternoon. He calls when he comes in. I guess Jane is off adventuring.
      Despite the rolling cloud cover, my app isn’t showing rain til Tuesday. There is a brisk 10mph breeze from the south.

      • CarolV August 2, 2020 at 8:37 pm - Reply

        I see where G got the idea for his feather ‘do.
        Ominous look but they say no rain tonight and sun tomorrow.

    24. CarolV August 2, 2020 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      Around noon, George was back, carrying his fish.
      Jane was behind him and chatty. But not interested in fish………… they sat for a while and eventually, George and his sidekick took off and Jane followed maybe 5 mins. later

    25. CarolV August 2, 2020 at 10:07 am - Reply

      Wow! I did a doubletake when that floated across the screen! 2 fish before 10 a.m.!
      George is just sitting and calling now….

      • CarolV August 2, 2020 at 10:48 am - Reply

        He sat for a while then took the elevator to the perch.

    26. CarolV August 2, 2020 at 9:03 am - Reply

      Prelude to a full moon…….

      • CarolV August 2, 2020 at 9:07 am - Reply

        Busy Sunday morning…. ins and outs…. some seaweed deliveries….

        • CarolV August 2, 2020 at 9:10 am - Reply

          It wasn’t just George…. Jane was around…. just like old times.

          • CarolV August 2, 2020 at 9:12 am - Reply

            The Sparrows making use of that great stick! Or so they say….

            • CarolV August 2, 2020 at 9:16 am

              Jane clearing her throat……..
              So she can sing better for this beautiful fish @7:43

            • CarolV August 2, 2020 at 9:19 am

              The King surveys his domain……………

    27. Isabella August 2, 2020 at 6:25 am - Reply

      Jane has a few words with George….then heads straight down to the beach….back to nest

      • Isabella August 2, 2020 at 6:28 am - Reply

        George left the perch…Jane took his place

    28. CarolV August 1, 2020 at 7:02 pm - Reply

      Jane came in and went straight to defense………..

      • CarolV August 1, 2020 at 7:16 pm - Reply

        George came in and caught a little left over attitude.
        Jane paced around, talking, and her tail straightened that lovely stick.
        Jane and her yammer went to perch. George checked her before going.

    29. CarolV August 1, 2020 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      George stopped by to visit his stick…..

      • CarolV August 1, 2020 at 2:54 pm - Reply

        @13:40…… George shows with a fish….. He sat calling….

        • CarolV August 1, 2020 at 2:59 pm - Reply

          Jane came in…………. she should mild interest in the fish but George took off. Maybe if she doesn’t show the excited interest he knows she’s not that hungrey?
          She sat about 1/2 hr. before taking off.

          • CarolV August 1, 2020 at 3:01 pm - Reply

            Sorry… looks like my spelling/typing has gone to ………. need a proof reader!

    30. CarolV August 1, 2020 at 8:28 am - Reply

      This morning, George showed up first thing with a whole fish…………. He called for Jane.
      When she showed up, he wouldn’t let her near it and took off………

      • CarolV August 1, 2020 at 8:33 am - Reply

        When George came back about 20 mins. later, Jane was gone. He did call for her several times.
        He had taken the head off by now, as usual, but when Jane didn’t respond, he finished the fish…………. Sorry , Jane, too late to the party!

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