OspreyZone Live Stream
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The Story of DDT
Bald Eagles Visit Nest
Ospreyzone Highlights: May 21-29, 2020
OspreyZone Highlights: May 15-20, 2020 - The Intruder
OspreyZone Highlights: May 7th-14th, 2020
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March 18, 2016 Timelapse
The Summer of 2015 by GinaM
Osprey Rescue Extended - July 30, 2015
Osprey Zone Highlights - June 28, 2015
Osprey Zone Highlights - June 19, 2015
osprey 07/11/15 squirt
George and Gracie's First Baby
Eggs Over Easy
Changing of the Guard
Breakfast is Served
Let's Hang Out
Hard to Get
Dinner is Served
OspreyZone Highlights: George Returns
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Please be advised that nature can be brutal – viewer discretion is advised.
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Special Thanks to Tommy and Christina: George & Gracie’s Landlords
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.
IMPORTANT: Messages from osprey experts
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.
Paul 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.
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
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.
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.
Academy of Natural Sciences
2 hours and 49 minutes ago, Gracie and George must of gone out to hunt and eat together. They each came back with half of a small fish with heads alreicicady eaten (Doggie bag for kids). Gracie came back first and one chick started eating with her then George arrived not long after and other chick got to share with Dad and got the fin at the end. Afterwards, more practice with those wings. I have seen different behaviors in each chick, prompting me to think one male and one female. Obviously one is dominant, male, and the other docile, patient, and moving twigs around the nest, female. Anyone see the same actions?
Yes. I’ve also noted the male listens more readily to mom than the female.
Has anyone seen the ospreys since the storm? The nest was blown away! Only a few sticks left.
Wow! Some serious flying practice going on!! They are growing up so fast and I no they will be leaving soon! Can’t tell you how much I am going to miss watching them! New to this site this year and I’m addicted!
Looks like one of the chicks is determined to lift off the nest. I almost had a heart attack when the chick got very close to the edge of the nest. The chick was bouncing all over the place. What a thrill.
Whee!! This is fun Mom, but where’s the brake?
7:30 pm and another shot towards the camera. THANKFULLY the chick missed!!!
That random fledgling that showed up today was pretty funny. It did look like George brought him.
WOW – if these chicks need to fledge facing into the wind, they are certainly in a good place. Great nest.
So at the last feeding about an hour ago Gracie is busy feeding both chicks when George drops in with a small tail section in his claw. C1 notices him and goes over and has a small communication with Pops. George then steps away so C1 can feed himself the tail meat. C2 notices that his sib has his own fish, but…oh well. He continues to let Mom feed him. George flies up to the perch and eventually so does Gracie, leaving a small tail section for C2 to finish. Both birds wound up feeding themselves. Awww…
Such a fabulous day, watching all the learning to fly. Take off will be so soon now. Then I won’t know what to do with my days when I can’t run in and check on the birds!!! This has been such a great experience.
What an exciting day! Wilbur and Orville are getting ready to fly high.
at 5:50 more air practice…
About 5pmEDT Gracie brought in a good sized headless fish. She must be stopping to eat the head since the kids don’t give her a chance to eat! The fish was gone in under 1/2 hr.
nope. Somebody working on a fin, I thihk.
6:16pm Looks like Gracie challenging someone above her. Chicks were watching it too. Maybe the local ET?
Gracie needs to start building up her body in order to migrate soon. It’s amazing to think about it. I wonder if they “know” that they’ll be leaving or one day they just have an uncontrollable urge to take off. Certainly the chicks don’t know what’s to come or where they’re headed but off they’ll go!
How cute is this. Gracie brought a headless fish to the next around 5:05 p.m. EST. George showed up around 5:20 with a small headless fish. One chick stayed eating with Mommy and the other ate with Daddy. Such a loving family.
While Gracie was feeding the chicks, George dropped in with his own fish. One of them walked over and started eating it like a pro- he didn’t need to be fed. George realized all was well in the nest and left in search of his windshield wiper blade…
Approximately 4:20 CST George brings in a hunk of fish. Gracie is so busy feeding the chicks that he actually went unnoticed for a few seconds. Chick finally realizes dad is there and goes to help herself to some dinner.
A little before 5pm, “Dinner is served!!!” They must be getting the early bird special.
Does anyone get nervous when you see our little babies hovering over the nest? It is scarey and great!
4:00 CST and Gracie delivers what looks like a headless “ugly” fish.
I rewound and was able to see the bigger chick practicing his flying skills. So, for the experts out there, is the bigger one the male? The smaller one hasn’t practiced his/her flying as far as I’ve seen. I’m also assuming the smaller one is the female. I do hope that when they finally fly out, a video is made of their flight. Is it true that Gracie will push them out? I haven’t seen George in a long time. 🙂
I believe the smaller of the two is the male. And he has been practicing his flying quite a bit. At one point, the only visible parts of him were his feet in the upper part of the frame.
The one I’ve seen ‘working’ on his flying skills is the bigger one. That’s the only one I’ve seen. Perhaps it’s because I tune in really late in the afternoons. Figures the bigger one is the female, if that’s the case. Females are not as lazy as males. LOL!!!
Thank you to those who alerted us to scroll back to view chick airborne!! So funny to watch the one chick turn his/her head and look at the one airborne and say “What the heck are YOU DOING? Amazing to watch!! As much as I want to see them grow and become part of the Osprey “world”, I’m sad to know we might not see them again. It’s been quite a journey!
At about 1:45 one of the chicks was practicing lift off and landings, while hovering over nest…so cute…he/she was chirping up a storm, so proud of him/her self. I dont want to miss the initial blast off and return trip. Please post as soon as anyone see’s this first. Don’t want to miss.
Another possible highlight? Or maybe a montage of liftoffs til the initial free flights?
Anyone see what happened to George’s windshield wiper :)) ??
I missed it too! Was hoping someone saw where it went,
I think that it was removed during the rescue with some of the other trash….
Was added to nest after rescue
The most recent ‘windshield wiper” was added after the rescue. Maybe it’s the same one as before that fell to the ground, or George is stealing them off of local cars LOL!!! 🙂 So Funny. I was just wondering if anyone saw who “removed” it from the nest because it was smack dab in the middle, not hanging off to the side.
George is on it- he is even recruiting fledglings from other nests to help locate it. 🙂
About 3:35pmEDT Chick was practicing when Gracie dropped into nest. He was on one of his updrafts and you could see Gracie on the other side of the nest turning her head almost upside down to watch him….makes you wonder what goes thru their minds! I he feeling joy,,,is she feeling pride?
I’m surprised Gracie hasn’t gone fishing. Maybe staying close because of strangers flying around?
Lots of BIG air and hang time today, especially #2!!! Gracie looked at him/her and the chick looked back like: Look Ma, no hands!!!
Now it’s MY turn for a good deed: For anyone who did not see this: Not to be outdone,chick #2 on Aug. 3rd @3:18 EST put on a wonderful show , rising high above the nest. At one point, could see only its talons!!
Great job, little osprey!
So very cool to see them hovering in the wind!
Oh my goodness. I finally got to see them practicing. Spreading their wings and actually lifting off the nest. This site has been a blessing!
thank you fellow osprey lovers for alerting us to great footage of chick jumping, flapping, hovering, etc.
Would not have had the thrill of seeing it without your reference. Thank you!!
AND, needless to say, it is so exciting for us to see (and this chick must be lovin’ this new experience, I’m thinking)
With all the flying today, I am thinking of Amelia and Charles for our little pilots.
I love that name suggestion.
I love it too!
2:30 pm still can’t view the live cam I sele one other person was having a problem is anybody else ? Just gives you a blank screen saying error please try again later
I had that problem on the rescue day and once today….I just close out the window and bring it up again as if a new window. Not good with tech terms. Hope that makes sense.
I can’t see live feed either!
Click on Samantha’s comment at 1:15 to get back live feed
Gracie is giving lots of flying lessons today.
About 2:03pmE Gracie started yelling from the perch and kids went flat. Another osprey kind of blew in to theme and Gracie dove after it…you could just catch her chasing it as they went out of frame
that’s frame not theme
This is so incredible to watch! One of the chicks is really testing his wings.
It’s chick 2 that is really getting a high hovering. Chick 1 has a bigger head and a darker face.
Love watching this nest, good days and bad days. Nature… got to love all of it.
Such an exciting day today! Visitors! Riding the wind! FLYING!
Wow! One of the chicks is definitely going to be taking off shortly! Hovering like a helicopter over the nest, practically leaving. SO HIGH up in the air!! This was at 1:45 p.m. EST.
Thank you for posting that! I scrolled back and found the footage….WOW (gulp) I hope they learn how to maneuver before making the leap! Very exciting.
Love these birds
Again! Expert hovering at about 1:42p EST.
IF YOU ACN ROLL BACK TO ABOUT 1;42PMEDT AND WATCH FOR A FEW MINUTES!!!!!!!!!
Big WOW!!!! Very serious hovering over the lip of the nest. Going to take off any time now.
Just floating and hovering and playing helicopter today.
What happened to live feed? Around 1 my screen went black.
Was only my iPad playing on my Mac..
Major, MAJOR air:
Could be any moment now!
I don’t know if that URL is actually going to the right time, but for those who are curious, it happened at around 12:45p EST. Almost flew out of range of the camera.
Definitely think one is male and one is female try looking at the legs I think the male has the thicker legs like George
12:55pm EDT-One of the chicks helicoptered out of the frame for a second!!!
I missed most of it, but that was definitely a visiting juvenile on the nest this morning. I guess this is the time of year for it since they are all fledging and then looking for a place to land. The CC nest has certainly had it’s share. ET arrived 2 weeks ago and was adopted by Audrey and Tom. Another one tried to move in yesterday but Audrey drew the line at 3 mouths to feed and after several hours finally manage to push him out of the nest and chase him away.
Not quite sure why,… just the way both chicks behave, the difference between the two and the difference in their interests, I am beginning to suspect one chick is male and the other female….. anyone else getting that impression?
i have noticed the one seems smaller to me, could be a male & a female
MAJOR air by chick 1 (?) at about 10 CST.
Who delivered the fish at 9:20 CST? I think my eyes are playing tricks on me this morning!
The bird that brought the fish in had multiple black spots under its right wing and not just the 1, like Gracie has which is why I am so confused. Did anyone else notice it or just me? It’s really bugging me. lol.
10:20amEDT….Mom brings brunch. Good sized fish. I heard George, possibly on perch? The fish looked partly eaten, so if an exchange was made .I don’t know where that happened.
Now that they are refueled, the chicks have energy to practice. One chick was up high enough to go out of frame!
Unknown fledgling is probably from Georges other nest it flew in with him at about 8:10 Georges worlds are colliding
9:54 EST: Watched with interest as both chicks suddenly flattened themselves into the nest as a large bird flew past the nest a couple of times. They would popped their heads up watching for the other bird, but didn’t move for a while. After a bit they got up and started chirping – probably calling for Gracie or George. They seem very nervous now..
For those who live on Long Island, I saw three Osprey nests going to Robert Moses Beach yesterday.
I always see two nests by the bridge coming home from work on Ocean Parkway, and I saw a third nest over by Field 5.
I was stuck in traffic right under one of the nests and saw them clear as day sitting there observing everyone. The birds are magnificent!!!
So awesome to see.
Linda, Are the nests you see on Ocean Parkway or where? There is one on Lido Boulevard near the Loop and one on either side on the Meadowbrook about where it meets the Loop Parkway.
These are all on platforms. Are the ones you see on platform poles too?
Sorry for delay Beatrice. 2 nests are in the area where you take Ocean Parkway East to Robert Moses Causeway going North. Keep looking to the left in that area.
I’m not exactly sure what the nests are on. They look like some sort of poles.
And if you are driving South over Robert Moses bridge to the beach you drive right underneath one.
…they are looking at the fledgling that landed in the nest as if to say, “and you are???”
Good morning everyone! It is so nice to have the camera close to the nest, because when I enlarge the screen, it looks like the chicks are so close and personal. It makes them look larger.
About 8:10am an unknown fledgling visited the nest. He stayed for a few minutes, flew off and then came back for a few more and then left again.
I just scrolled back and had a look and your right. That is a foreign fledgling from another nest. One can differentiate from the adult Osprey and fledgling by looking for the white tips in their feathers.
Wow but who was the second bird to land? Was that a visitor or was it George? It definitely wasn’t Gracie and there were 4 birds in the nest at one point. Soooo cute 🙂
@8:18amEDT….Dad then Mom floated in…I love the way they just touch down so easily….then Dad took off right away. Mom went out for a footfull of seaweed. She flew in along the pathway of the sunlight on the water…another breathtaking shot! She retired to the perch to call for George.
At 1 point there were 4 birds in that nest and neither had Gracie’s spot so I am totally confused.
The second osprey was a juvenile visitor.
So it was the 2 chicks, the visitor and George? 4th bird wasn’t Gracie because it didn’t have her spot and there were definitely 4 birds in the nest at one point.
Small 1/2 fish brought in by George @5:45ish amEDT.
5:40am 8/3/15 George brings in a small fish with the head off. Gracie does her dance for George to leave nest
I too was a little worried didn’t see much of Georgia at all on Sunday glad to see he brought in breakfast.
George delivers first half of a fish of the day. Gracie fed both chicks 🙂
It’s a beautiful morning in the nest. Both chicks are standing right on edge of nest and flapping their wings. Making me very nervous and excited. 4:30 CST
10:50 pm young birds sleeping with the moonlight shining down on them and reflecting on the water is breathtaking.
I watched these all school year, from when they were eggs up to now. I can’t wait untill they take flight!!!!
One chick found leftover fishtail and did a good job feeding himself. Managed to hold and pull out pieces.
I notice that the smaller chick is pulling and eating on something, and it does not look like fish, although Gracie was eating remains of fish in that vicinity. It looks somewhat stringy.
I saw the smaller one actually helicopter. He/she managed to lift somewhat above nest while staying away from the edge. Just the beginning!.
It was good to see Gracie bring in that fish @ about 6:25pmEDT. It was pretty big and lasted a long time. Poor #2 was pacing and waiting a long time before he good his dinner!
I haven’t seen George all day. Vacation time before flight and fishing lessons start?
I hope George is ok i haven’t seen him all day
Approximately 5:30 CST Gracie brings in a very lively fish and feeds the chicks.
To those who can tell, how do you know which is chick #1 and #2? Thanks.
The only way I can keep track is at mealtime. Chick#1 is the first to get fed and monopolizes Mom’s time. #2 either waits his turn or scoots under Mom or sidles in carefully.
I see George found his long lost windshield wiper blade…
6:30 pm EST….just saw another windshield wiper in the nest. Hope that’s all she brings back. No more junk!
6:26 pm, was that Gracie that brought the fish for dinner? Where is George?
Oooo, just saw one of the fledglings hovering over the nest!!!! Almost time to fly!!!