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An Intro to OspreyZone

The Story of DDT

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Bald Eagles Visit Nest

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First Sighting

George and Gracie's First Baby

Eggs Over Easy

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Breakfast is Served


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Let's Hang Out

Hard to Get

Little Brother


Dinner is Served

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OspreyZone Highlights: George Returns

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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. Phil Kelsey June 12, 2015 at 2:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks for telling me that eggs can hatch 5 days apart. I feel better. I am in NASCAR country so I would name #1 Ricky Bobby . Talladege Nights reference “if you are not first, you are last” I understand this family are New Yorkers so maybe “Pharaoh” is better (ref to the Triple Crown winner)

    2. John Coleman June 12, 2015 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks for this opportunity to see these beauty’s in action.. What great parents!!! I feel like the Godfather

    3. willie Dunn June 12, 2015 at 1:37 pm - Reply

      will you have a facebook page soon.

    4. JB June 12, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      The mother is not feeding the baby. For some reason she is taking food from the male only. The baby looks very weak now.

      • ospreyzone June 12, 2015 at 1:47 pm - Reply

        We saw her feeding around 9:30 this morning.

        • kim June 12, 2015 at 2:03 pm - Reply

          I have not seen her feed the baby and he is screaming! Is it because she is a first time mother? He seems to be in the sun too much too. The other Osprey nests feed their babies every hour it seems

        • JB June 12, 2015 at 3:13 pm - Reply

          I have been watching pretty closely the past few days, and especially today when the first hatchling appeared. I did not see the mother feeding. There was a short time when there was activity and both birds obscured the hatchling. During this time, the male will do all the fishing, and the mother will take care of the feeding. For now, it appears she will not allow the hatchling to eat, and the male will not give food directly to the baby. The mother is behaving as the hatchling, and taking food directly from the male and eating it; she is not passing any along to the little one. It even appears as if the male is motioning her to feed the hatchling, but she is refusing. We can only hope she will learn how to feed properly very soon.

          • Heather T June 12, 2015 at 4:41 pm - Reply

            I am very concerned about them not feeding the baby, it was begging for food from 2:30 – 3pm and didn’t get anything. I have been following a nest of experienced osprey parents on hog island, Maine for several years, I love it!

          • Suzie June 12, 2015 at 4:55 pm - Reply

            I am afraid that I am not going to be able to continue to watch this cam. I too am very afraid for the little one – he is weak and crying out for food, but his mother does nothing. It’s as if she’s not sure what he is. I saw her give him two little pieces of fish earlier, and the male kind of pushed her to do it, but if that and the “9:30 am feeding” is all he’s had, that just won’t do. He’ll be expired by tomorrow. I’m praying she’ll come into her mothering instincts soon…like now.

          • Suzanne June 12, 2015 at 6:23 pm - Reply

            she fed the hatchling at 6:00-6:15. George brought fish (headless). He fed her, then she got up and took fish ate large pieces and then fed the baby. it ate a lot!

      • Marie June 12, 2015 at 1:55 pm - Reply

        I’ve been worried about that too….

      • Lee June 12, 2015 at 11:07 pm - Reply

        Newly hatched birds have absorbed their yolk sac which provides maintenance for a few days.

    5. Kathy June 12, 2015 at 1:05 pm - Reply

      Do you have control of camera positions or is it a fixed view?

      • ospreyzone June 12, 2015 at 1:45 pm - Reply

        We can zoom in on the image from the camera, but it’s a digital zoom not an optical one and as it zooms, it loses resolution and quality. We can’t actually change the direction of the camera, but when we zoom in we can select different sections of the image, appearing to zoom and pan.

    6. Phil Kelsey June 12, 2015 at 12:37 pm - Reply

      I must admit a sense of paranoia that the other 2 will not hatch!! Hope they are OK. Baby O #1 needs a brother or sister.

      • ospreyzone June 12, 2015 at 1:32 pm - Reply

        Osprey eggs often hatch up to five days apart, so we don’t need to worry yet. Hopefully, they’ll all hatch over the next few days.

        • Pete June 13, 2015 at 9:23 am - Reply

          Huey Dewey and Louie

    7. Jeanne June 12, 2015 at 12:18 pm - Reply

      Yes I saw an intruder. I think it was another Osprey. Have they fed the baby yet? I havent seen them yet…poor lil fella looks hungry

    8. Madeline Sharrock June 12, 2015 at 11:14 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your images through your camera’s eyes. My son built an Osprey Nesting Platform in Heckscher State Park 3 years ago and we have our first nesting pair. He has been fascinated with these majestic birds since second grade, he is now a college senior. I am fascinated as well and thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing these moments with us.

      • Carol June 12, 2015 at 12:02 pm - Reply

        Madeline, I think what your son did is wonderful. Glad to hear you have a nesting pair there now.

    9. Tora June 12, 2015 at 11:07 am - Reply

      Do we have an intruder flying around the nest, or just nervous parents?

    10. DJ June 12, 2015 at 9:49 am - Reply

      Hey! I’m hungry here!

    11. Traszka June 12, 2015 at 9:42 am - Reply

      Welcome to the world little bird No. 1!!!

    12. Preston June 12, 2015 at 9:40 am - Reply

      Was great being able to see the first one hatch from its egg! My daughters love watching!

    13. Ronetta June 12, 2015 at 9:38 am - Reply

      We have a chick!! Looks a little like a chipmunk with stripes on his back.

    14. Alethia June 12, 2015 at 9:34 am - Reply

      At approximately 9:30 am on 6/12 there is some great footage of George feeding Gracie! Can you please capture it and put it in the highlights?

    15. Brittany June 12, 2015 at 9:30 am - Reply


    16. Emilie June 12, 2015 at 9:24 am - Reply

      A baby has arrived! must have happened over night into Friday morning. So sweet!! Yay!

    17. Mike June 12, 2015 at 9:22 am - Reply

      one baby hacked first good view about 830 this morning

    18. Mary June 12, 2015 at 9:17 am - Reply

      Looks like Gracie is very busy with her first born. I watched the birth at 6:44 this morning. Beautiful experience.

    19. Alethia June 12, 2015 at 9:15 am - Reply

      We Have A Baby!!!! 6/12/15

    20. Scott June 12, 2015 at 9:15 am - Reply

      Mazel Tov on the new baby! Let’s call this young one RONNIE in honor of George and Gracie’s son on the TV Show.

    21. Lisa Rine June 12, 2015 at 9:15 am - Reply


    22. C June 12, 2015 at 9:04 am - Reply

      The first one has hatched!

    23. Marie June 12, 2015 at 8:56 am - Reply

      I see a baby!!

    24. B.K.Munson June 12, 2015 at 8:34 am - Reply

      OK TOM, Time for a new name.

    25. Mimsey June 12, 2015 at 8:33 am - Reply

      FIrst egg hatched about 8:00 A.M. Friday morning, June 11, 2015

    26. DJ June 12, 2015 at 8:33 am - Reply

      I see a baby chick!

    27. Phil Kelsey June 12, 2015 at 8:30 am - Reply

      Yea. I baby O!! 2 to Go!!

    28. B.K.Munson June 12, 2015 at 8:28 am - Reply

      Looks like something may have hatched.Oh Joy!

    29. Mimsey June 12, 2015 at 8:08 am - Reply

      FIrst egg hatched, around 8:00 A.M., Friday June 12, 2015.

    30. carol June 12, 2015 at 7:51 am - Reply

      isn’t this just fabulous!

    31. charlie June 12, 2015 at 7:38 am - Reply

      one hatched about 15 minutes ago

    32. mikemonta June 12, 2015 at 7:35 am - Reply

      the baby is coming out of the egg

    33. Carol June 12, 2015 at 7:12 am - Reply

      I saw a baby at 7:10am!

    34. Nancy June 12, 2015 at 6:55 am - Reply

      First hatch! 6:47 a.m. half out of shell!

    35. Doc J June 12, 2015 at 6:53 am - Reply

      Happy B-Day Jenny!

    36. Doc J June 12, 2015 at 6:52 am - Reply

      Fantastic look in to a life of the Osprey that we take for granted. Thanks so much, however my office staff doesn’t get any work done since we have known about this site. Good morning Dian, Kelley and Win. Thanks for sending the site Dearie!

    37. cindu June 11, 2015 at 9:09 pm - Reply

      I love watching and sneak as much as I can during the day! My 3 boys and I love it, especially at meal time! I’m anxiously waiting for and egg to hatch!!!!! So email me when it’s happening! please!

    38. Carol June 11, 2015 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      I thought I saw a pip on one of the eggs a few minutes ago. Does anyone know when the eggs were laid?

    39. Helen June 11, 2015 at 7:57 pm - Reply

      This is a wonderful look at nature. Thank you for sharing with us.

    40. Tora June 11, 2015 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      I see a pip!!!!

    41. karen June 11, 2015 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      Wonderful site I have it bookmarked have been an osprey fan since the Puleston nest cam ( now gone ) thanks so much

    42. Gerry :) June 11, 2015 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      Thanks for giving this wonderful viewing experience to young and old it has really been a true treasure to watch
      this take place with a “birds eye” view of nature at work– can’t wait to see the little ones.
      Thanks –Tommy

    43. Kitten June 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

      In honor of one of my good Tommy, and for those who know Tommy as I, and for allowing everyone to share the every movement of these fascinating birds I would like to recommend the babies be named “MAX, MAXINE, and THOMASINA! The names were picked with love as you will know why!!

    44. Melissa June 10, 2015 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      I’m addicted!! Thank you!

    45. fonegal June 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm - Reply

      Thank you for allowing all of us to see these beautiful majestic birds. We have the live cam on all day long. Can’t wait to see their little ones!

    46. Mimsey June 10, 2015 at 12:54 am - Reply

      It is 8:52 P.M. and dark here in central NJ, so it is certainly dark on Long Island. But the camera is showing a daylight image. Why is that? Isn’t this supposed to be a live web cam?

      • ospreyzone June 10, 2015 at 1:35 pm - Reply

        The video player can rewind up to 4 hours, it’s possible your stream got behind somehow. The live video should be within a minute of real time.

    47. Charlene M. June 9, 2015 at 11:46 pm - Reply

      WE just love George & Gracie…can’t wait to see the little ones!! Thank you so much for giving everyone a chance to see these wonderful birds. And thank you all of the North Fork & Long Island for protecting them. Great work by all !!!!

    48. B.K.Munson June 9, 2015 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      This is a real treat ! In my travels at work most days I get to witness two Osprey nests. One on the Upper Bay drawbridge spanning the Newark Bay in N.J. and the other is Point no Point Rail bridge on the Passaic river in Kearny,N.J.

    49. Rachel June 9, 2015 at 6:37 pm - Reply

      This brings birdwatching to a whole other level. Thank You!!!

    50. Mary Hulsenberg June 9, 2015 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks to CBS news at 5:00 my cat Sofia and I are able to watch this wonderful act of nature.

      • Nicole June 9, 2015 at 6:12 pm - Reply

        I tried looking this up on CBS’s website…but can not find anything.

    51. mollie June 9, 2015 at 12:42 pm - Reply


    52. mollie June 9, 2015 at 12:41 pm - Reply

      This is fascinating.

    53. Lynda phillips June 9, 2015 at 11:55 am - Reply

      So glad I now have a site to watch Ospreys. I live on the south shore of LI and I too had an Osprey nest I was able to watch from my porch for the last 3 yrs! However it is on a water tower and this year before the osprey had a chance to come back and freshen up their nest, the Water Authority took the nest down and put some sort of detourance there.. They came back but never rebuilt the nest. I do really miss them.

      • Carol June 11, 2015 at 8:37 pm - Reply

        Too bad the water authority didn’t put up a nesting platform for them.

    54. Lynn June 9, 2015 at 10:46 am - Reply

      This is Fantastic!! We live in Southold and my husband has been trying to bring Osprey to a Pole he constructed.
      This should help satisfy his never ending interest in watching these beautiful birds!! Thank-you

    55. Dom June 8, 2015 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      Hey Tommy: This is better than anything on TV. We are watching all the time from Brooklyn. The ospreys are beautiful. Can’t wait to see the little ones. D and C

    56. Kieran June 7, 2015 at 6:50 pm - Reply

      Wow they are such majestic birds

    57. Linda Melnick June 7, 2015 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      Hi Tommy.. I work with Dr. Rob, and he introduced me to this site.. I am just fascinated.. and check in on Gracie and George whenever I can..What a marvelous insight into the life of these birds.. Just curious as to the height of this nest that you provided….and must THANK YOU for sharing such beauty with us…

    58. aj June 7, 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

      I can connect to my smart tv with utube from my cell.but it wont work with this feed. Would like to watch it on big screen.thanks for posting

    59. Luann Ullmann June 7, 2015 at 12:45 pm - Reply

      Steve and Rachael had their first pip last night around 11:35 ! Go to to see !!

    60. Luann Ullmann June 6, 2015 at 4:00 pm - Reply

      I’m so happy I found this nest to watch . I always watch Steve and Rachel in Maine and they have three eggs that are almost ready as well !

    61. deb June 6, 2015 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      A birds eye view of nature at it’s most miraculous! What a wonderful experience. I keep the video running in the background when I work and the sounds from the perch are wonderfully soothing. Thank you. This is extraordinary to be part of!

    62. Carol Mills June 6, 2015 at 1:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks for doing this Tom! The kids at school love coming to my classroom to watch and check up on them! We can’t wait to see them hatch!

    63. Jessica June 5, 2015 at 11:51 pm - Reply

      This cam is wonderful. I follow quite a few cams. Just curious, where on the north fork is this located?

    64. Jeffrey Hirsch June 5, 2015 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      This new cam is wonderful! I follow the Cornell Cams, and several others regularly. Where on the north fork is the nest located?

    65. Nicole Pollina June 5, 2015 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      My students at New Suffolk School enjoy watching George and Gracie! We have been observing’s Rachel and Steve, and their nest in Maine. Neither eggs have any pips at this time, so we are eager to see who’s babies hatch first!

    66. Laura Huber June 5, 2015 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      Love this! Very cool!

    67. Kukui June 5, 2015 at 12:22 am - Reply

      Also, is there a place to post pics? I just got a beautiful scap of Gracie and would love to share 🙂

    68. Kukui June 4, 2015 at 11:23 pm - Reply

      Hello Tommy. Just came across your site. Been watching osprey for some years now, they are fascinating! I was wondering if you have an historical info on this pair and the nest itself! Is there an active chat associated with this cam? Beautiful views here thank you!

    69. Walter Hulse June 4, 2015 at 1:19 am - Reply

      That osprey nest is additive we look several times a dayinteristing, thanks

    70. kim ulmet June 3, 2015 at 8:43 am - Reply

      Thanks so much for allowing us to view these beautiful birds. My students and I have been watching them since April and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the babies!!!!!

    71. Scott June 2, 2015 at 3:06 pm - Reply

      You are the man for allowing these majestic birds to nest on your property. It is almost addicting!

    72. sheila June 2, 2015 at 6:31 am - Reply

      Thank u to whomever put up this site. My sister is mentally handicapped and she is getting so much joy watching these magnificent birds.

    73. Alethia June 1, 2015 at 8:42 pm - Reply

      I am totally in love with these birds. I’ve been watching them since the end of April, and I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the little ones! I know you named them George and Gracie, but I’ve “nicknamed” them Eddy and Isabella :). Thanks for sharing!

    74. Mary ellen June 1, 2015 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      This has been a great experience which I tune in to at least 3 times a day. Thank you, Tommy.

    75. Andrea June 1, 2015 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      whom ever put the camera on the nest, ty this was go great letting the kindergarten class of ghs watch the ospreys

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