Attention: due to the lack of visibility on the live stream, we are currently defaulting to a playlist of old videos and highlights. You can still go to the live view by clicking the button below.
OspreyZone Live Stream
An Intro to OspreyZone
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
OspreyZone Highlights: April 15-21, 2020
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
Tip: If the nest is empty, use the red scroll bar to rewind the stream up to 12 hours
Please be advised that nature can be brutal – viewer discretion is advised.
Best viewed with Google Chrome.
Ospreyzone.com copyright © 2016 – 2020 Tax Reduction Services. All rights reserved.
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
About 7:25amEDT George brought in a fish. He was doing alarm call and the chicks did duck down stance. Another osprey came in to land and was fended off by parents. One poor chick got walked all over by Dad.
Love the happy sounds as they eat!
A few minutes ago George brought in some seaweed. I thought the fish was gone but Gracie still asked him to leave. Poor George gets no family time!
On rewatching, I saw that while Dad was walking on one chick, Mom was whacking other with fish. She wasn’t letting go while she was chasing intruder!
Can’t believe fledgling flew off. Wonderful to see. George brought in fish and when Gracie started to eat the VF came in, but Gracie and George threw him or her out. What will we do when they are gone. Empty nest syndrome.
Floating on air again at 7:55 am
Intruder landed in the nest right after George came with a fish around 7:30 am. Chicks hunkered down, George & Gracie went berserk.
6:23amEDT One chick flies! He went up and the other chick and Mom started looking up and around. Mom went out and other chick calling.
6:28am My mistake
Pretty smooth landing! One morning I didn’t get up early! Thank goodness for the roll back
I forgot to mention when then intruder came down to the nest to take the fish Gracie takes fish and all and steps on one baby and is trying to fend off intruder while standing on one of the babies. George is on the other side of the nest and his foot land on top of the head of the other baby and he’s trying to scare off and tutor while standing on babies head and part of the wing. Both babies looked like they got a little roughed up looked a little painful but they are all OK ! Gracie is now feeding oldest baby one maybe two is Lane directly under mom and George has left the nest. So much drama for the first meeting of the day. George had already eaten the head of the fish when he delivered
7:26 Well it is confirmed who flew by Mom “Gracie” who is feeding chick number one first as usual…………………………………….there is very little difference in the markings of these chicks the head feathers have a very slight difference. The breast feathers have a more noticeable difference to at this time…………………. When the lay down the size shows more at this time…………………………………………………………………………….No matter Gracie will keep us in CHECK……………………
the one that flew was chick number two, the one that’s waits also to eat……………………………………………………………………………………..perhaps that’s wants to fly first and catch her/his own fish………………………………………………………….also because this chick is lighter………………………….
Friday 725 George finally brings in a fish Gracie grabs it right away intruder comes in George stays in the nest sounds the alarm both babies start to duck and take cover intruder slipped down right to Gracie George and Gracie both Scarred off intruder but it flew right into the nest to take breakfast this was real close
Today is first borns 8 week old birthday…
Wow!! I’m speechless!!! I just saw the first take off, fly over, and landing of one of the chicks. Word just can’t describe what I feel!! AMAZING!!
I am so happy I got to see that live!
Thank goodness for the rewind!
so excited! Mom followed a few seconds later..Think he/she was up for over a minute..ck back at 6:30 time line
Dad brought back fish around 7:24 Mom took…then visitor came Mom and Dad yelled at visitor..funny thing to watch Dad steps on head of little one..everyone OK
Major flight at 6:30 am by one of the chicks. Gracie and other chick watched, then Gracie flew off. You can see chick in the distance and then return to next. awesome.
Yes you can…so exciting…have been watch since June so happy caught first flight!!!
Around 6:35 EST, one of the chick fledged.
ok chick number one just fly off, went to top perched and around…..Gracie went to perch I quess to keep an eye on her/him………………time 6:29……………………I thought chick number two would be first…………………………………………………came back shortly after take off wants to eat I sure…………………
sorry I think I am wrong the one that flew was hick number two ………………….I find it very hard to tell them apart in the last few days…………………………chick number two has been eating more and has put on some weight…………………………………….
I really believe that was #2 not 1 that flew the nest
Bunny, yes it was that is why I posted my correction at 6:54…………………………………..from a distance it hard to tell them apart.
OH MY GOD!! FIRST CHICK LEFT THE NEST – AND THEN CAME BACK- IT WAS AMAZING!!
6:30 am One of the chicks just took off and flew around for a couple of minutes before returning gracefully to the nest. Is this a fledge? I don’t see any earlier comments about a fledge.
One of the fledglings effortlessly took off just after 6:30 am. Gracie followed after a minute.
Just saw one baby take off 6:30..,U.S. This the first flight?!!!
Chick flew out!
Missed the feeding with the “3rd” baby in the nest, also the “intruder” trying to grab the fish. Would love to see them as “highlights”‘.
Someone has comment about the bird being injured because of standing on one leg and someone answered saying this is normal here is some info about why they stand on one leg. Our osprey family is fine no one is injured
Birds’ legs have an adaptation called “rete mirabile” that minimizes heat loss. The arteries that transport warm blood into the legs lie in contact with the veins that return colder blood to the bird’s heart. The arteries warm the veins. By standing on one leg, a bird reduces by half the amount of heat lost through unfeathered limbs.
What’s more, standing on one leg is more biomechanically efficient for many species — it places a foot directly underneath their center of gravity, according to Marsh.
“That way, there’s no lateral movement or lateral forces,” so it’s easier to balance, he said.
In fact, the position is so darn comfortable, many species hop on one leg for quite a distance rather than untucking the other leg,
Good Stuff RJ look forward to you comments, you make a good teacher. Thanks
Thanks for the info Rjoneal. I was also worried but I’ve had birds most of my life & they all slept with one leg tucked underneath.
Saw the small one flap its wings earlier and took off, could only see its feet in the camera then landed at other end of nest with a surprised look in its eyes, and mine lol. Also when the smaller fish was delivered appeared that mom was showing the young ones how to tear one apart. They all had their backs to the cam but all heads were hovering over fish and looked like kids were attempting to take they’re own bites for a change. Wont be long and we will be looking forward to next season. Easier ten raising human kids for sure. Have one left out of 4 and attempting to teach him to fly, if they only had a computer game to teach them lol.
Here’s some info on fledging and fishing techniques. Both female and male move sticks around it is part of them learning how to fish and hunt. You cannot determine the sexes by that behavior.
At seven to eight weeks of age the young will take their first flight. They spend their days practicing flying and perching near the male’s feeding perch calling when the male returns with food. Two weeks after fledging the young will start to follow the male on hunting trips. Four to eight weeks after fledging the young Osprey will start to emulate their parents and begin to hunt fish on their own.
Upon spotting a fish near the surface of the water, the Osprey will hover almost directly above and then dive almost vertically towards the fish. At the last moment before impact with the water, the Osprey thrusts its talons forward to snatch the fish. The Osprey is often fully immersed in the water and must struggle to break free of the water and lift the heavy fish into the air. The Osprey’s talons are specially adapted to allow one of its three front toes to bend backwards so that there are two claws pointing forward and two in reverse on each foot. This helps to secure a good grip on a slippery fish. Scrupulous in maintaining its aerodynamic profile, the Osprey adjusts the fish in its grip as soon as it clears the water so that the fish’s head is forward and the tail aft. This fishing technique is quite different from that of the Bald Eagle that swoops almost parallel to the water surface to grip a fish as it passes over. The Eagle does not bother with adjusting the fish to an aerodynamic position.
thank you for the info very interesting…………………….Some of our posters have said that George might have another “family” could explain his behavior and the fledgings that came to the nest may be his offspring………………………..following him back to this nest
Does anyone know if George has another family/nest in the vicinity? The juvenile who visited this morning…. George’s other chick perhaps?
7:19pmEDT George brings in 1/2 med. small fish. Bedtime snack
Releasing balloons into the sky is just plain dumb. Styrofoam is something else that needs to be rethought, lots of that in our waters too.
I see we most likely have one female for sure. One keeps moving and repositioning sticks around the nest.
Both sexes do that…George would move sticks compulsively before he sort of got dispossessed by Gracie and the growing chicks.
Hi Everyone..Just tuned in ….does anyone no what that is in the nest? It looks like dirt and moss?
Usually dried seaweed. Does look mossy.
Grandson had control of my computer today. Looks like I missed a lot. 🙁
Will Gracie and George start to back off now? The fledgling look like they will be flying soon. You go guys.
Gracie will leave in a couple of weeks and George will continue to feed and keep the kids company till they head south. Then he’s off. That’s the plan, anyway.
They will all be gone before the end of September. Nest I’ve watched for a few years usually empty by the 25th-26th. Always know they are gone because a seagull takes over the male’s favorite post. Never see one on there all summer!
Just after 5:00pmEDT George showed up with a BIG intact fish. Got the full trio chorus and he must have flown around showing off because it was loud!
Just about 45mims and the tail was disappearing! Everyone ate well!
Nice catch Dad. Very big fish brought in.
5:05 Dinner is Served. George brings in a whopper of a fish. Enough for Gracie and the kids. I wonder why she isn’t letting them self feed. They’re so close to fledging??????
It’s 5:00 p.m. and George delivered a nice sized fish for dinner. Gracie is feeding her brood.
Other than plastic bags helium balloons are seen every day floating in the water when fishermen go out fishing plastic bags helium balloons are found everyday floating in the water by fishermen going out fishing in the Long Island waters, told to me by a fisherman neighbor..
Which is why I don’t understand releasing balloons to celebrate occasions or even commemorate the memory of someone who has passed . One more thing to be pointed out to the oblivious public. I have read some sea animals that eat jellyfish will eat them balloons and die.
I just came across an article about this problem at the US Fish and Wildlife Service: http://www.fws.gov/news/blog/index.cfm/2015/8/5/Balloons-and-Wildlife-Please-Dont-Release-Your-Balloons
Please note: there are some disturbing photos in the story so please do NOT click on the link if this may upset you.
Do we have a Gender on these guys yet and if so how can we tell
No and can’t. All a guessing game until they are adults. Someone posted earlier the sex can only be verified thru a blood test. Chicks that were handled and banded at the CC nest weren’t gender identified,
Now, it has been mentioned earlier that one chick is NOT putting pressure on his right foot…..
Well I tend to agree !!!!
This may have even occurred during the storm the other night??
Please consult with experts…..
Tucking one leg up is natural behavior for Osprey and other birds as well (as is standing on one foot). You can research it if you like – Osprey Behavior. Mom and both chicks have exhibited this “tucking” behavior. Not to worry.
Right now both chicks (almost fledglings) are standing on their right legs. Adult birds stand on one leg for specific reasons and probably because they like it. They’re just learning the skill and they’re fine.
See explanation…pg.13, Karen, Aug,5, 7:21pm….Parents , especially Gracie, stand like that sometimes. Birdie see, birdie do.
3:19 Wow, I can’t believe there’s more plastic on the nest.
This camera has taught me so much. I have started using reusable bags. All plastic that I may have to use are cut into tiny size pieces. I educate as many people as I can on how harmful trash can be in general and ways to eliminate it.
So important to PASS the word around.
Rose, I couldn’t have said it better.
Maybe we should just leave the third bird that passed away Pee Wee!! We all know him by that name now!!
And again with the plastic. Gracie brought in remnants of a plastic grocery bag. I think she has a problem. Hopefully the wind will blow it away.
Just after two….will that be paper or plastic, maam. Gracie was doing so well!!! Relapse
Trash left with Gracie so must be stuck on foot. Wasn’t to big so hopefully won’t hamper her.
Gracie back with trash in tow. She’s looking down at it like “still here?” The kids got all excited thinking it was food.
If we could just buffer the mike to tone down the wind! In between I can hear the sparrows and other osprey calling. Sounded like coming from different directions. Probably assorted fledglings all around. The wind sounds so strong that I hope it’s a calmer day when someone takes off.
I see Gracie got the plastic off her foot and the wind took it overboard. YYYAAAYYY! Now if she just felt like fishing……
Around 2:00 eastern: “Hey mom, look what I can do. Mom. Mom. Hey mom. Oh never mind.”
Yes. I saw it too. I was so excited I called out ‘look, look”. Then I realized no one else was home.
Just before 2:00pm Gracie brought in a new stick. Adding on a guestroom?
I must have wrongly posted original comments. The fish brought in @10:13ish amEDT was brought in by Gracie. The Visiting Fledgling was already there and took control of the fish. Gracie was followed in by another bird which she followed out screaming, She came back to sit on perch and made no objection to VF.. That bird turned over fish in 10mins or so to what I believe was chick #1. When Gracie dropped in to nest, VF chatted for awhile with her then left. Mom got control of the fish and fed both chicks.
George brought in 2nd fish around 11:45. Gracie was in charge of that. VF has been in and out and sits on perch sometimes, but Gracie doesn’t seem to mind.
My previous comments popped up 1n 10:13 group. This is reader.s digest version!
Gracie just returned from Connecticut, she flew in with some plastic, you know us Long Islanders don’t litter!
Hey what happend to my comments?
I scrolled back to see three chicks????? Am I seeing correctly?????
Yes. Visiting juvie named ET. Sort of lives here now.
Looks like the red banded osprey down in the Chesapeake has fledged today!
Thanks for the heads up! I’m having trouble getting that page.
August 6, 2015 at 1:45
Candi, I thought red band would fledge today. Earlier this AM (before 7) I switched over to Chessie when there was no action here. Very rapidly, visitor arrived, followed by fish delivery, followed by immediate grab by visitor, who thought for a minute or two and then tightened its hold on fish and took off, leaving two stunned nestlings. Red band started to immediately flap wings furiously, and I thought that this was one bird that was out to retaliate.
I was out from 8 to 12, and I came back to find how much went on here. So glad for the rewind. Amazed how our two nestlings, especially #1, just stood by while visitor grabbed fish from mom.
George showed up with half of a large fish. Gracie was thrilled. Just as she starts to feed the youngest chick the stray juvenile shows up. She flaps her wings to brush him off. He leaves after a few minutes. The little guy is getting a good feeding.
Did I see a 3rd juvenile in the nest?
Yes. I semi permanent juvie moved in a couile of weeks ago. Is being called ET
George delivered a headless fish about 11:40 and shortly after the same intruder fledgling landed to much squawking. He didn’t stay long but seemed to fly up and land on the camera.
Just after 11:40amEDT George brings in large 1/2 fish, which Gracie accepted. She was feeding chick when VF dropped in and then went up to perch. Lots of yelling between chicks and VF but Gracie justs keeps on working on the fish.
Is this the first time a neighboring youngster has dropped in? It’s pretty common. It confuses us when we’re trying to census young–in crowded areas you have to do it before the young fly so you don’t get confused by a situation like this. Someone passing by right now would think that this pair fledged 3 young, when we know they didn’t.
It had been here before but Gracie chased it. It stayed away for a day or two. This morning it showed up while Gracie was away. he seemed unperturbed at it being there when she got back. It’s been in and out since then.
The visitor returns at 11:51 a.m. EST. I really have to get disconnected. Too much to do today.
I,ve been on vacation this week with too much to do! Will have to take another vacation!
George brings in another headless fish around 11:43 a.m. EST. What a great father!
It’s 1125 and I could never be more happier than to report Gracie has been feeding both the babies and the intruder has not returned yeah !
I’d just like to add that chick #1 must’ve been full, because he let his mommy take the fish and feed it to chick #2. That baby did not eat as much as the big one, but at least it had some food.
Fish delivery at 10:15am ET. A third juvenile came to the nest about 15 minutes before fish delivery, left, then flew back in right before George delivered the fish. It grabbed the fish and ate. Chick 1 then took the fish and ate his/her share. Gracie then took the fish and is now eating and feeding chick 2. Big fish, plenty for everyone.
Mom eventually took control of fish and 2nd chick got fed.
What excitement! At approximately 10:00 a.m. EST, another fledgling flew into the nest. Our siblings kept squawking at it, but it remained and eventually it quieted down. However, shortly thereafter George brought a fish and the “stranger” grabbed the fish! Can’t believe that!! And, our aggressive chick did not try to grab it. So, there was George, our two siblings, and the stranger in the next. With all the birds yelling, suddenly Gracie made an appearance. Five birds in that nest for a second! George took off, and eventually the stranger left the fish and our aggressive chick picked it up and started eating it. Our chicks must’ve been starving, as I believe they did not have any breakfast today. The visitor took off; hope he does not return.
Feel bad for our quiet chick, as his sibling once again did not share the bounty. He must really be hungry. 🙁
Maybe George and Gracie are trying to get the chicks to fly and hunt for their own food. Unsure.
It sure was difficult to tell the three little ones apart.
11:05 poor chick 2 has been standing by looking on as chick 1 devours an entire fish over the course of a half hour. Can somebody post if chick 2 ever gets a meal this morning?
OK as you can tell I’m using my iPhone and my spellcheck keeps changing my words but here’s hoping baby to get some fish
Strange morning….. A third “chick” flew into nest and stayed. At about 10:10am ET George flew in with a fish and another adult flew in. The new 3rd chick grabbed the fish and ate. Then one of our chicks took it and ate. Finally our other chick got to eat.
Most likely a chick from Georges other nest that he is teaching to fish.
Did everyone see that at around 1010 15 another fledging came to the nest again and took over the fish that was delivered . Thank goodness he only ate the head off and our baby number one took over and has been eating Now baby number two is desperately trying to inch in there and get some you know baby 2 is starving and suffering by watching another bird ea and suffering by watching not only his brother but a total stranger eating his meal . It’s around 1050 and baby number two is still trying to get some but has yet to get any fish number one still eating on the fish and not sharing Gracie just jumped down onto the nest and finally the intruder decided to leave. Gracie has been watching and does realize that number two has not had any food yet. Hello baby to get year
I think I am convinced that the new fledgling had his first flight, got tired and probably found another nest to rest in or maybe got confused. It looks like he took off. It caused some excitement in the family. I think Gracie took care of the situation.
10:45 and the intruder lifts off. Gracie has been sitting on the nest edge for a while now, facing away from the action, and seemingly uninterested.
Visiting baby left at 10:45.. Kids say thanks for the grub!
The third chick just flew off at 10:45. Thanks for stopping by!!
10:30ish… stranger in the nest! Dad comes in with fish and the stranger takes it from him! Is it common that a young osprey visits another nest?
10:31 AM OMG we have another youngster in the nest! Go back to 10:31 and you can see MOM and there are (3) kids in the nest now! The feather markings gave the (other) kids away! The one on the right brought the fish to the nest.
One of your kids finally went over and took it from this un-known visitor!
Very interesting, friends!!
Mom back at 10:42 and not bothering visiting baby..big guy took over fish from vistor..
visitor juvie back again.
there was a 5th bird about 25 minutes ago right after George delivered brunch! I wonder if he was trying to steal their fish but got shooshed away.
I need an Update. Thanks.
Looks like food for everyone. If this is a new addition to the family, may he could be named “Casper” or “Teenie Weenie”. What excitement!
I think we have company in the nest. There’s a third bird there that looks like a young one from another nest. I think Gracie is on the camera making a lot of noise. The same thing happened at the CC nest where another fledgling drops in once in awhile and is even fed by Audrey. I might be wrong and maybe it’s the way the light is hitting the feathers. Does anyone else share this observation?