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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

October 21, 2021: We will be trying to clear the nest today! Stay tuned!

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

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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

“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.”

    Leave A Comment


    1. Admin Mary Anne July 31, 2022 at 2:07 pm - Reply

      Here is a wonderful talk recently given by Dr. Rob Bierregaard you will all enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVHrWYdsRhU

      • nfc August 2, 2021 at 11:05 am - Reply

        Thanks Mary Anne—- interesting talk by Dr. B

        • Admin Mary Anne August 2, 2021 at 12:17 pm - Reply

          You’re welcome, nfc, I quite enjoyed it!

    2. Paula October 26, 2021 at 10:37 am - Reply

      I know a lot of you are living through this storm, and I hope everyone stays safe, but these are the views I have really missed. Being land-locked as I am, an ocean storm is something to behold!

    3. Paula October 23, 2021 at 2:08 pm - Reply

      At the risk of sounding like a nag- When is the camera going to be “live” again?
      While it was great to watch the camera getting cleared and I am very grateful I would like to see the view!

      • Admin Mary Anne October 24, 2021 at 8:57 am - Reply

        I reported it on Fri. I’m hoping it is nothing serious and that they can get it going tomorrow.

    4. CarolV October 22, 2021 at 12:10 pm - Reply

      Just spotted that the video of the removal has been posted on that right column!!!!!
      Thanks so much!
      I t’ll be there for anyone one now to enjoy the Great Liberation Day!!!!😝🤣😊😊😊😊

    5. CarolV October 22, 2021 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      OZ is still showing the video from yesterday where the Blob leaves, kicking and silently growling…. Pop over to watch if you’re interested… just scroll back to 11:20am

    6. CarolV October 21, 2021 at 3:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks to the Great Liberator for corralling and taking the Blob in to custody! Just good to see that view again and have hope for the coming season…..
      Anticipation of whom the cast members will be!

    7. CarolV October 21, 2021 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in…. the suuuun-shiiiine in…….

      • CarolV October 21, 2021 at 3:52 pm - Reply

        Video-ing for the next Halloween movie…..

        • CarolV October 21, 2021 at 3:54 pm - Reply

          This was interesting…. looked like a rock but seemed light……… then it looked like it had a face….

    8. CarolV October 21, 2021 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      Frantically trying to video but getting nowhere! Anyone can do that? I watched in 2x speed… amusing.

    9. Paula October 21, 2021 at 12:44 pm - Reply

      I just went and watched as they cleared the camera and” blob” really put up a fight!
      For a while it looked like the damn thing was breathing!

      • CarolV October 23, 2021 at 11:51 am - Reply

        YES! And then it looked like a slasher movie ! So much drama in a nest clearing! Who knew?

    10. Bobbie October 21, 2021 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      You folks are great – thank you, thank you so much for all your efforts.

    11. Admin Mary Anne October 21, 2021 at 12:02 pm - Reply

      Much better view!

      • Paula October 21, 2021 at 12:30 pm - Reply

        Ya Hoo!
        I knew I missed the view but didn’t realize just how much!
        Thank You! Thank You! ThankYou!

      • CarolV October 21, 2021 at 2:40 pm - Reply

        Yaaaaaaaay! The new perspective should keep the view clear. And we’ll be able to see whole birds again!

        • Admin Mary Anne October 21, 2021 at 3:24 pm - Reply

          I went back and looked from the beginning, Paul didn’t raise the cam, just cleared off a lot of the sticks etc, with a saw blade. He did a great job!

    12. nfc October 21, 2021 at 12:00 pm - Reply

      Today at 11:20 am someone was up in the nest clearing out the blob. It sure was stuck into the camera. That wonderful person had to work hard to get it cleaned out. George is a major builder. He just needs to build somewhere else. Thanks to all involved in cleaning out the mess. We now have a beautiful view of the Long Island Sound .,I am sure all the ospreyzone watchers are going to be happy.

    13. Admin Mary Anne October 21, 2021 at 11:11 am - Reply

      Hi all, check it out, the nest view was unblocked this morning! Paul might go back at some point to do some more clearing and angle the cam a bit more. Will keep everyone posted. Thank you, Paul!

    14. CarolV October 18, 2021 at 10:22 am - Reply

      Hope this finds everyone in good health!
      We are finally getting seasonable temps… 50s today, low 40s tonight. Officially fall when all my windows close and my sandals get put aside…. (:* [
      Happy Haunting for All Hallows Eve!

      • CarolV October 18, 2021 at 10:26 am - Reply

        See camera is off again… the cable/wi-FI) has been bouncing off and on by me…. imagine they have the same issues.
        I was looking forward to seeing the Blob! (sarcasm)
        Happy day!

      • CarolV October 18, 2021 at 10:41 am - Reply

        Port Lincoln…. Current view of the cuddle puddle and Mom…. The kids have the fuzzies as their feathers sprout…..
        …………………………Earlier….Dinner arrived and Mom is preparing it as the kids line up…

      • Paula October 18, 2021 at 4:51 pm - Reply

        That is the saddest time of the year for me. I HATE wearing shoes!

    15. Paula October 7, 2021 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      I hope the camera being off line means it’s being cleaned, I miss the view!

      • Admin Mary Anne October 9, 2021 at 11:41 am - Reply

        Trying to find out, Paula, but I’m guessing not yet as it’s been off for awhile.

        • Paula October 9, 2021 at 3:31 pm - Reply

          Thanks Mary Anne
          I’ll keep checking in daily

          • Admin Mary Anne October 10, 2021 at 3:14 pm - Reply

            There aren’t any plans as of yet to unblock the view and adjust the cam but it should be back streaming sometime on Tues. It’s just a network issue.

    16. Isabella September 18, 2021 at 12:06 am - Reply

      Too adorable not to share

      Little “ducklings “ in a row

      • Isabella September 18, 2021 at 12:10 am - Reply

        The dynamic duo put out the fish signal

        Didn’t see a delivery…don’t know if Duke is still around

      • Paula September 19, 2021 at 3:12 pm - Reply

        I agree with you Isabella and thank you for sharing!

      • ChrisH September 20, 2021 at 10:03 am - Reply

        What a great shot! They are precious!!

        • Isabella September 21, 2021 at 1:25 am - Reply


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