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An Intro to OspreyZone

The Story of DDT

Osprey Rescue

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Bald Eagles Visit Nest

Ospreyzone Highlights: May 21-29, 2020

OspreyZone Highlights: May 15-20, 2020 - The Intruder

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March 18, 2016 Timelapse

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Osprey Rescue Extended - July 30, 2015

Osprey Zone Highlights - June 28, 2015

Osprey Zone Highlights - June 19, 2015

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First Sighting

George and Gracie's First Baby

Eggs Over Easy

Changing of the Guard

Breakfast is Served


Feeding Time

First Love

Let's Hang Out

Hard to Get

Little Brother


Dinner is Served

OspreyZone Montage

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. Rjoneal May 6, 2016 at 10:38 am - Reply

      Hatch ?
      Update as 5-6-16 10:30AM
      2 more osprey viewers added lets get more people to guess

      May 30th, Monday morning around 9am-ish..

      June 2nd afternoon
      June 3 am-12noon

      June C
      June 2 AM

      Carol IV
      June 4,between 5am and 11am for first hatch…

      June1 early morning

      Jun 4th at 1 pm for first hatch.

      • Jara May 6, 2016 at 2:48 pm - Reply

        June 4 at 12:01 am. With insurance everything starts at 12:01 am.

        • Betsy May 6, 2016 at 3:58 pm - Reply

          Got to get myself a pair of night vision goggles … oh … I wonder if they work the same way if you’re looking at a screen??!! 🙂

      • Kathy B May 6, 2016 at 3:45 pm - Reply

        May 31st. 11:13 am How’s that for accuracy? 🙂

      • Donna May 8, 2016 at 5:51 pm - Reply

        1st hatch May 30 afternoon 2 pm ish

    2. CarolV May 6, 2016 at 9:43 am - Reply

      9:40amEDT George stopped in to show Gracie her fish then took it off to clean it …Gracie has perfected her ankle-walk around the eggs

      • CarolV May 6, 2016 at 9:46 am - Reply

        9:46 Breakfast and break for Gracie

    3. CarolV May 6, 2016 at 8:34 am - Reply

      about 8:00amEDT 5/6 George brought in a muddy double clawful of debris..good for insulation…..he started rearranging sticks and , in the process, was a windbreak for Gracie…he was determined to move sticks off to the left rim…

      • CarolV May 6, 2016 at 8:40 am - Reply

        8:36ish….seaweed delivery..but I think Gracie is asking for breakfast…

    4. Patty K May 6, 2016 at 8:15 am - Reply

      5-6-16 8:13 am Just watched Gracie fend off the intruder- Good job Gracie!

    5. PattyK May 6, 2016 at 8:10 am - Reply

      5-6-16 8: 06 am. Just loving all the informative comments dear folks, thank you! BTW, I pick June 2nd afternoon for first hatch. Fingers crossed, lol!

    6. rjoneal May 6, 2016 at 7:59 am - Reply

      5-6-16 Friday morning till 7:58am my observations today
      Geo arrives for daddy duty Gracie leaves nest
      Geo rearranges the nest Gracie just wants breakf Geo puts debris on top of Gracie she is not saying she is cold she wants food Gracie gets up leaves
      Geo wanted nap so he kept poking at nest and Gracie so he could lay down
      Gracie returns and says get up and go get us breakf I am hungry
      Gracie says you don’t get to be a bumb today

    7. Lucie Pecor May 6, 2016 at 7:20 am - Reply

      so windy today! Hold on!

    8. CarolV May 6, 2016 at 6:20 am - Reply

      5:30amDDT 5/6 George showed up @ 5:30 so Gracie could get to her Thursday spinning class. She was back just about 6…And the wind blows on…..Gloomy…where are my pretty, blue waters?…..a new way to see 50 shades of grey….

      • CarolV May 6, 2016 at 7:01 am - Reply

        6:57..George came in with weeds&grasses and fussed around Gracie, even putting some on her, until she got up with a huff and let him have the egg duty..

    9. Rjoneal May 5, 2016 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      Guesses for 1st egg Hatch ? Update
      June 3 am-12noon
      June C-
      June 2 AM
      Carol IV-
      June 4,between 5am and 11am
      June1 early morning
      Jun 4th at 1 pm for first hatch.

      • Bobbie May 6, 2016 at 12:51 pm - Reply

        1st egg hatch guess – Tues, May 31st, between noon and 5pm
        Thanks for keeping track.

    10. Kathryn May 5, 2016 at 8:44 pm - Reply

      Don’t we want is site to be informative and to learn about the wild life we shared with us.

    11. Kathryn May 5, 2016 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      I have been following an eagle nest and they say only half their brain is asleep is that true for the osprey?

    12. CarolV May 5, 2016 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      about 7:30pm..Hubby brought in a smallish 1/2 fish which Gracie took off with. She was gone less than 15 mins. and was back to take over. I didn’t see if she brought any remnant back with her…

    13. Bre May 5, 2016 at 7:51 pm - Reply

      For some reason i’m thinking the first egg hatching will be on May 30th, Monday morning around 9am-ish..crossing fingers! 🙂

    14. Wendy C. May 5, 2016 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      Here is a great site if anyone had questions about migration and how the osprey pair find their way back to each other. Sorry if it’s a repeat post, as going through all the comments is too time consuming. Just an amazing happening!

    15. Leanne May 5, 2016 at 6:41 pm - Reply

      May 05-Approximately 6:10- Poor George. Just blissfully sitting on eggs when the latest piece of wood gets blown just a little to close. George gets up and moves wood back. Settles on eggs when the wood gets blown towards him again. He gets up, grabs the wood with a huff and attitude and places the wood even further away, also knocking another branch off. Seems content with new placement and goes back to eggs. I love that bird!

    16. CarolV May 5, 2016 at 6:15 pm - Reply

      6:06pmEDT 5/5 George was in and out a couple of times in mid-afternoon, carrying a fishtail, which Gracie didn’t interest Gracie. He came in about 5:30ish with a clump of she could have her break…still windy and miserable…..sounds like the weekend will be more of the same, with rain added…
      Gracie’s back @6:13….

    17. Rjoneal May 5, 2016 at 4:34 pm - Reply

      Corections,Sorry not Mike Martin it is Michael Martin and I forgot to put IV next to Carols name. I was in a hurry trying to post it and it was to late to go back and correct .

    18. Rjoneal May 5, 2016 at 4:04 pm - Reply

      Egg hatch picks so far Paul,Tommy,Aiden, Betsy,Tucker,Gina.Bre,Mike Martin,Lessa,Lynn D, Bob,Trinity, Phil,and All the other Osprey followers give us your picks join in the fun !!
      June 3 am-12noon

      June c
      June 2 AM

      June 4,between 5am and 11am for first hatch…

      June1 early morning

    19. Leanne May 5, 2016 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      May 05- Approximately 2:35- Nice sized headless fish was delivered by George. Gracie did what she always does and flew off with it. 🙂

    20. CarolV May 5, 2016 at 2:37 pm - Reply

      2:35pmEDT INCOMING !!! big headless fish for Gracie…she was getting antsy..chirping..George to the rescue !!

      • CarolV May 5, 2016 at 2:42 pm - Reply

        Gracie was so anxious for that fish that she took off with just a beakhold, wrapping her talons into it as she went !

        • CarolV May 5, 2016 at 3:13 pm - Reply

          Gracie’s home right around 3pm

    21. CarolV May 5, 2016 at 1:34 pm - Reply

      1:33pmEDT Just wanted to note, comments are rapid-fire on site today…new system? It’s GREAT

      • CarolV May 5, 2016 at 5:56 pm - Reply

        5:54pm That may have been optimistic…….and no e-mails

    22. CarolV May 5, 2016 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      1:23pm George and Grace are playing and out and in..Gracie went out and was back in minutes with a stake to bop George with…when George left, Gracie decided to move the worrisome “bark?” to left rim, along with other items..George was back briefly to do his own renovations and is off on osprey business again..

    23. Leanne May 5, 2016 at 1:24 pm - Reply

      May 05- 1:15- Watching Gracie building and redecorating is quite comical. Was that a piece of metal she brought to the nest? 🙂

    24. Rjoneal May 5, 2016 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      I pick June 3 morning time up until noon for the first egg to hatch.
      Still waiting to hear from other Osprey zone followers what your guesses are ?

      • Leanne May 5, 2016 at 4:43 pm - Reply

        I’d love to guess if it’s ok. I will pick June 01, early morning. 🙂

    25. CarolV May 5, 2016 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      12:33pmEDT 5/5 Gracie just came in with what I thought was some kind of dried fish skin because George started tearing at it…after she dragged it across him, he took off..still not sure what it is..grasses and something stuck to/in the clump..Gracie was tearing at it, too…

      • CarolV May 5, 2016 at 12:41 pm - Reply

        George is back in minutes..he’s trying to move the unknown junk aside, but Gracie keeps pulling it back in front of her…so he takes off again..

    26. GinaM May 5, 2016 at 11:36 am - Reply

      Thank you for posting the youtubes of the third egg! I really appreciate seeing it.
      I am hoping that soon our little family will have some warm weather to enjoy- it is so cold and rainy around here lately.
      It is good to know George and Gracie’s nest is safe from harm – the story in Douglaston makes me physically ill.
      Hopefully the adults are safe- the eggs would not have survived. There is a beautiful, empty nest in Mill Neck if the homeless Douglaston pair would like to come to a more loving area.
      Warm thoughts to all today.

    27. Leanne May 5, 2016 at 11:14 am - Reply

      May 05- Just checked the weather for the area. Today it’s supposed to be about 54 with winds at 17 mph. Tonight, 47 with winds at 14 mph. Friday, 55 with light pm rain, winds at 17 mph.

    28. Rjoneal May 5, 2016 at 9:03 am - Reply

      Betsy and carol I was unable to watch our family this morning so thanks for the update going to try and go back and get some pics now. Are we counting down the days on when we think the first egg will hatch and see who gets the closest ? If you pick a date you have to say morning or night just in case someone else picks that same date .

      • CarolV May 5, 2016 at 11:27 am - Reply

        11:25 amEDT 5/5OK Rjoneal…I say June 4,between 5am and 11am for first hatch….And Happy Cinquo de Mayo Everyone!

      • June c May 5, 2016 at 12:51 pm - Reply

        Great idea…I am going with June 2nd. AM

      • Leanne May 5, 2016 at 3:10 pm - Reply

        May 05- Can I guess too? If so, I am guessing June 01, early morning. 🙂

    29. CarolV May 5, 2016 at 8:37 am - Reply

      8:35amEDT Leesa…congrats on grands..keep us updated,,we can do a “which came first..the chicks or the kids” watch..happy, healthy wishes to you fam

      • Leesa May 5, 2016 at 8:06 pm - Reply

        Hahaha!! That’s funny! And thank you Carol.

    30. CarolV May 5, 2016 at 8:04 am - Reply

      8:00amEDT 5/5 Yaayyyy!!! One headless fish over easy..Gracie takes her BIG breakfast to go…
      The neighbors are quite vocal nice to hear te chirping…George had a bit to say, too, as he sits on eggs…

      • CarolV May 5, 2016 at 8:22 am - Reply

        about 8:18 Gracie is back with a fishtail stub gift for George..switch…

    31. CarolV May 5, 2016 at 7:42 am - Reply

      6:30amEDT 5/5 Gracie was back from her morning Zumba class…George went off and Gracie pulled a comfy looking scraggly clump up to her chest to snuggle into. George was back about 7:10-7:15 to warn off someone. too much air traffic to deal with….
      We may actually crack the mid 50s mark today on temps..I have a couple of tomato pots and annual flats that I put back in my car each night..They are wondering if they could please stay in there all day !!!!

    32. Betsy May 5, 2016 at 5:59 am - Reply

      George came to the nest at 5:40 am, retrieved and took off with the small piece of fish that he had left next to Gracie last evening, leaving Gracie begging (as he did last evening when he first left it there!); was gone for a minute or so, then returned with the last little scrap of fish tail, which he finally let Gracie have. George is now on the eggs. Hard to tell what the weather there is – everything is tinged blue!!

      • Betsy May 5, 2016 at 6:04 am - Reply

        OK, now that there’s sufficient daylight, everything no longer has a blue tinge. Looks cloudy there right now.

    33. CarolV May 5, 2016 at 5:58 am - Reply

      5:54amEDT 5/5 Morning light and Gracie looks dry…Happy day !!! George was in @ 5:40 with looked more lik’s leftovers..Gracie had it down in one gulp…she’s out for her morning walk now…

      • CarolV May 5, 2016 at 6:53 am - Reply

        6:48am I keep meaning to say was nice to hear from Rob Bierregaard in his comment on osprey incubation. Still checking in on his OSPREYTRAX site..sorry to hear he lost another bird’s not easy being an osprey..wonder if he has further plans to add more birds to his study?????? Hint, Hint !!!!!!!!

    34. Betsy May 4, 2016 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      I just got around to scrolling back to see what I missed. At around 7:50 pm, Gracie was sitting on the eggs, having taken over from George at about 7:05 pm. George came to the nest with a partially eaten fish and then he flew away, leaving the fish in the nest next to her right side. Poor Gracie looked at the fish and then around for George, as if thinking, “Okay he brought me dinner, but he’s supposed to sit on the eggs so I can eat my dinner!” George never did return to the nest before it got totally dark.

    35. CarolV May 4, 2016 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      10:15pmEDT 5/4 Leesa..just saw your post about looking for info on the nest fire.Check back to a post by Betsy on 5/3@6:43. She provided most of what is known. I have not heard if anyone had been identified. I believe the birds were attempting to rebuild but it was uncertain if they would produce more eggs or if they would be able to successfully raise chicks this year.

    36. CarolV May 4, 2016 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      9:54pmEDT Just wanted to point out, to those who haven’t checked this out…at the top of the on PRESS… you can enjoy all the wonderful articles and news stories about this site and the nest in East Marion…I hadn’t seen most of these myself and found them interesting…

    37. Ann H May 4, 2016 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      Yesterday was a horrible day for news -a plane crashed almost in my backyard in Syosset and an osprey nest was burned in Douglaston (where I previously lived). Animal cruelty in childhood is an ominous sign for criminal behavior later in life. Hopefully the parents of the nest weren’t harmed, but it probably had eggs in it.That story just left me sickened -and angry!
      On a better note yesterday, E8 fledged- SWFEC. He will be a great eagle- little guy was such a fighter to survive.

    38. Betsy May 4, 2016 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      Tucker and Paul: I saw the post above. I watched the “Help Wanted” film at East End Student Film Project and watched a few of the films (I see that’s where video “Pandion” by Clay Steell on the “Everything Osprey” page came from). I was fascinated watching the claymation! What a wonderful opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to have been able to participate in such a program. It’s too bad the program couldn’t be continued because of financial constraints.

    39. CarolV May 4, 2016 at 8:11 pm - Reply

      8:03pmEDT 5/4 Watching on scroll back, it looked like a couple of episodes of sleet ,between 6 and 7, with tiny hail bouncing off the birds…each had a turn on the nest during these… ….ugly, ugly May weather !!! There seems to be a pause in the rain…momentarily…. with more forecast till midnight…

      • CarolV May 4, 2016 at 8:19 pm - Reply

        Those poor birds’ heads are so saturated, I’m having difficulty with the markings..I think Gracie came in @7ish as the sleet part was dying out..really not important, I guess, who is wetter is immaterial!

    40. Bre May 4, 2016 at 7:51 pm - Reply

      After a long day of cold & constant rain..finally..rain has lifted up some making for a calm night 😉 Besty doing a great job keeping this educational experience for our young viewers!

      • Betsy May 5, 2016 at 6:40 am - Reply

        Thanks, Bre. I really find George and Gracie so fascinating to watch – their interaction with each other, what they do, how they do it, why they do what they do … even if it’s limited to just the camera view and is only a small facet of their life!

    41. Leanne May 4, 2016 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      May 04- Approximately 7pm- Appeared George tried to mate with an uninterested Gracie.

    42. Rjoneal May 4, 2016 at 6:39 pm - Reply

      Betsy,June, I think both of you were meaning for your comments to come off funny and it was just taken wrong let’s Move On it’s hard to interpret some comments but we all know we just all have good intentions nothing mean going on here. There was a little bit of drama and fighting last year I don’t want it to be like that this year poor Paul had to actually get on post he would not post any more posts about certain subjects because it got so out of hand let’s not do this to Paul and all those who are helping him keep this beautiful website open for us.

    43. Mickey Martin May 4, 2016 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      5/4/16 6:16pm……….Gracie just got up off the 3 eggs to shake off. She then sat back down onto the 3 eggs.

    44. Mickey Martin May 4, 2016 at 6:00 pm - Reply

      5:56pm 5/4/16 Yes thats rain not snow. Gracie is hunkered down tight. And something I have never seen before. Theres a tiny pool of water collecting on the base of her back.

      • Betsy May 4, 2016 at 6:22 pm - Reply

        Mickey, That’s poor George on the nest right now. George swapped with Gracie about an hour ago. 🙂

    45. Betsy May 4, 2016 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      I was scrolling back. I see that George returned to the nest with a partial fish about 30 minutes ago for his incubation shift … but, he just had to get in a few more bites before letting Gracie have the last little remainder of it!! (In his defense, though, about 2 hours before that he did bring Gracie what looked like a whole fish.) And, the rain is here! I love watching how the rain rolls off George’s feathers (it doesn’t seem to roll off the same way on Gracie, though) BTW – “Osprey feathers aren’t naturally waterproof, but they can render them water resistant by applying waxes from their preen glands. When raindrops hit the feathers, they bead up and do not penetrate the layers below.” (

    46. Leesa May 4, 2016 at 5:47 pm - Reply

      I didn’t write the times down this morning, as I was getting ready for work, but I think it was around 8:15 that George was on the nest while Gracie was off finishing her fish he brought her around 7:30, when George got very alert and began defense mode to something above him. Gracie landed on the nest about the same time, and joined in on the fussing at whoever was threatening them. I never saw another bird in the picture, but assume it is the same one that has pestered them all season. Gracie settled in on the eggs, and George took off, guessing to make sure the intruder was gone.
      I missed seeing lunch being served, but George brought Gracie a nice whole fish about 3:35 which she flew off with. She returned about 4:20 and must have passed the remaining fish to George up on the perch. George brought the tail with a small amount of fish still on it back to her at 5:15, which at first she didn’t take, but ended up taking it from him and flying off again. Guess she decided a little snack sounded good after all.

    47. Mickey Martin May 4, 2016 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      5/4/16 4:46pm………Gracie is incubating the eggs. Theres rain,lightening and thunder coming at the nest.

    48. june c May 4, 2016 at 1:33 pm - Reply

      Going to be a ruff day for our family. Winds are expected to be 15-17 mph later on today. Rain on and off until 7PM..current wind 11mph..

      • Leanne May 4, 2016 at 3:33 pm - Reply

        May 04- I’ve been watching on and off today and it seems to me that Gracie looks a little panicked at times. With the howling wind I guess she has to be on high alert as much as possible. Must get tiring, poor thing. I just hope the weather clears for her and George. They deserve a break.

      • june c May 4, 2016 at 5:48 pm - Reply

        Poor family not getting a they changed it to midnight for rain to ease up..the winds will pick up after 11PM…

    49. Betsy May 4, 2016 at 8:07 am - Reply

      Gracie has been gone for well over an hour … maybe she left for warmer, drier climes??!!

      • Betsy May 4, 2016 at 8:15 am - Reply

        OK, she just came back now … no need for the search party! 🙂

    50. Betsy May 4, 2016 at 7:52 am - Reply

      It’s amazing to watch George and Gracie – how they both seem to really enjoy incubating the eggs (at times even pushing the other one off of the eggs to get their turn!) and pretty much evenly share taking turns egg sitting during the day (this is not true of all osprey couples and the female osprey will always incubate the eggs at night).

    51. Betsy May 4, 2016 at 6:57 am - Reply

      6:50 am: George flew into nest with seaweed … Gracie then flew off with plastic on her foot … must be decluttering the nest … If you buy something new, remove something old! 😀

      • june c May 4, 2016 at 1:28 pm - Reply

        I don’t think she meant to do looks her talon caught the plastic on her way out..i printed out pics and you can see snagged not grabbed

        • Betsy May 4, 2016 at 3:02 pm - Reply

          june c: My comment was meant to be funny!!!

          • Betsy May 4, 2016 at 3:46 pm - Reply

            I want to add: A lot of my comments are my observations, with a twist of humor. And, if you’ve read ANY of my posts, you’ll see that I also post a lot of thoughtful and more serious comments, and that I frequently add a link to reputable site for information that I feel others may find interesting and informative. So, as I was admonished once on this site, “take it with a grain of salt and don’t stress.”

        • EdS May 4, 2016 at 5:18 pm - Reply

          I’ve been watching this site, but I haven’t felt the need to comment until now. Betsy is a neighbor of mine. I enjoy reading her comments. Where do you see anything about grabbed? I only see written “flew off with plastic on her foot”.

          • CarolV May 4, 2016 at 8:29 pm - Reply

            8:28pm I wish Betsy were a neighbor of mine..I find her very entertaining and informative..

    52. CarolV May 4, 2016 at 6:28 am - Reply

      6:15am 5/4 George was an earlybird today..dropped in about 5:30am for his turn on the nest . Gracie was back about 6:16 and George is off on his day. At least it’s not raining right now..YAY

      • CarolV May 4, 2016 at 6:56 am - Reply

        6:50amEDT George back with a lovely seaweed clump…Gracie took some plastic with her as she left, leaving space for George to tuck his new weeds around the eggs…

        • CarolV May 4, 2016 at 7:12 am - Reply

          7:10am Sprinkling on the South Fork{LI} while it wasn’t forecast on my app. til later…..can’t tell if it’s in East Marion right now….at least they had some dry out time…

    53. CarolV May 3, 2016 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      8:10pm destruction..I was horrified and saddened to read your post, but not surprised. Humans are one of only a few (if not the sole) animals that kill just for pleasure…it makes no sense…

      • gracey May 4, 2016 at 4:53 pm - Reply

        Carol, If you are so horrified at humans destroying and killing,…why do you keep insisting on putting the address of “our” Osprey’s site online??? Please stop…

        It’s been very rainy and cold, but George And Gracie keep trading places and are keeping those eggs nice and warm…BTW this site is fabulously run, but need to

        put the comments back in order like last year….but otherwise, no changes are needed IMO…

        • CarolV May 4, 2016 at 8:25 pm - Reply

          I don’t know the address of the nest, except the town, which is no secret.

      • Leesa May 4, 2016 at 5:33 pm - Reply

        Carol, I live in Tennessee, but have a daughter and son-in-law (and in just a few weeks twin boy grandsons!!) that live in Manhattan, but have a vacation home in Southold. So I’ve gotten very attached to this area, and these Osprey have become like part of the family. I didn’t read anything about the Queens incident, because I would most likely cry and be furious at the same time. Do you know if the authorities there have any leads as to who did this horrific act of cruelty? I hope someone saw something or there are video cameras nearby that helps them find the ones responsible. I will never understand what pleasure could ever come from doing something like that.

        • Betsy May 4, 2016 at 7:23 pm - Reply

          Leesa: First, congratulations on the upcoming birth of your grandsons! I posted links yesterday (see my May 3rd post below) to both the Newsday article and the Facebook page of the Udalls Cove Preservation Committee ( There are no leads to date as far as I know, but maybe the reward money (over $4000) will help.

        • Leanne May 5, 2016 at 11:03 am - Reply

          May 05- Twin Grandsons…Wow. Congratulations 🙂 🙂

    54. Leesa May 3, 2016 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      Looks like a rainy day again. I just got to check in on George, Gracie and the eggs and scrolled back to see George relieve her on nest duty several times. He brought her a nice half fish around 5:45, which she flew off with. Then he brought her a larger portion about 7:30 which she quickly grabbed and took off. George brought in a bit of nest material, and did some housecleaning, and things seemed pretty quiet. I hope the rest of the day has been just as calm and quiet!

    55. CarolV May 3, 2016 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      Abut 7:30ishpmEDT 5/3 George brought in what looked like a good sized fish body (unless the raindrops on lens magnified it!) Gracie was happy to see it and took off…kind of late in the day..George is usually up for the night…gonna have to do the scroll back and see what I missed today,,and catch up on comments..

      • CarolV May 3, 2016 at 8:02 pm - Reply

        In regard to the continuing mating, I had read on another site that watchers knew the clutch wasn’t complete because the pair continued to mate until an additional egg was laid and apparently ceased after that. Maybe every pair has different structure,,maybe it’s a bonding moment for G&G..or maybe they’re just tryna keep WARM..that’s what I enjoy so much about this site..we all observe and share..and some generous contributors share any info they find…it’s a constant learning experience…

      • CarolV May 3, 2016 at 8:09 pm - Reply

        8:00pm Gracie was only gone 20mins. or so. Wonder what happened..she usually does’t eat that fast..didn’t see any come back with her..

    56. Betsy May 3, 2016 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      I just now glanced up at the computer screen – between the rain drops on the lens distorting the view and the descending darkness, I thought George had brought a large brown leafy thing to the nest … until I realized it was Gracie on the nest, her feathers being blown by the wind!!

    57. Michael G. Martin May 3, 2016 at 5:30 pm - Reply

      Hello Everyone
      I’ve been following another Osprey Project in the U. K. For over a year (sorry) and I noticed that the Ospreys will actually Rotate the Eggs quite often. Has anyone else noticed if Gracie or George also perform this task or does it depend on the individual Parent
      Anyone care to weigh in on this one. It did spark my curiosity.


      • CarolV May 4, 2016 at 6:34 am - Reply

        Hi..I have seen Gracie rotate eggs and I can’t watch too much during the day. I’m sure someone else will weigh in on this with more info. I thought egg rotating was standard to help the embryos develop evenly..

      • Betsy May 4, 2016 at 7:23 am - Reply

        Yes, Mike, both George and Gracie turn the eggs at pretty regular intervals.

        There’s an interesting article, if anyone’s interested, on website “Incubating Bird Eggs Is More Complex Than You Think” at

        • Marilyn May 4, 2016 at 9:05 am - Reply

          Just finished replying to Mike, when I saw your post about birds turning their eggs. Thank you for that information.

      • Marilyn May 4, 2016 at 9:03 am - Reply

        Hi Mike, I have seen, not sure if its Gracie or Gorge, rotate or at least move they eggs around occasionally. Not sure why they do that, maybe someone can enlighten us.

    58. Betsy May 3, 2016 at 4:28 pm - Reply

      Tucker: I saw your post above. I felt like throwing up when I logged into Newsday online and read the article. How horrible, appalling, abhorrent … there aren’t even any words to describe such a vile, despicable, and depraved act. My heart is really breaking. It’s bad enough when brutal things happen in nature, but there really is no rationale for this.

      • Betsy May 3, 2016 at 6:43 pm - Reply

        After I calmed down somewhat, I tried to post a link to the full article; unfortunately you need to be a subscriber to Newsday and logged in to view it in full and I couldn’t find a way to bypass that, so I am copying the article (

        State DEC probes report of vandals setting fire to nest
        Updated May 2, 2016 7:33 PM
        By Gary Dymski and Rachel Uda,

        The state Department of Environmental Conservation said Monday it is investigating a report from a Queens preservation group that three youngsters set an osprey nest on fire, possibly destroying the birds’ eggs or baby birds.

        “Ospreys are protected by both state and federal law. DEC takes these types of occurrences very seriously and will fully investigate this matter and any incident that damages New York’s valuable wildlife and natural resources,” Aphrodite Montalvo, a spokeswoman for the state agency’s Region 1 office in Stony Brook, said in an email Monday.

        The letter that prompted the investigation came from the Udalls Cove Preservation Committee and claimed that on April 24, three youths — two boys and a girl — set fire to the nest that was on the top of a concrete structure at the head of the cove in Queens, between Douglaston and Little Neck Bay. The group also sent photographs of the burned nest.

        Dane Hamilton, a local activist, said that because of the season “there is a high certainty that there were either baby ospreys or eggs in the nest.”

        The group in its letter said witnesses say three young people ran from the burning nest; it is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

        According to a fact sheet by the state agency, New York has two main breeding populations for osprey — one on Long Island and another in the Adirondack Mountains.

        The predatory bird, which dives for and eats fish, was listed as endangered in the state in 1976; that status was downgraded to “special concern” in 1999, after an increase in the number of breeding pairs statewide, the agency said.

        ALSO, more info on the Facebook page of Udalls Cove Preservation Committee (

    59. Betsy May 3, 2016 at 3:58 pm - Reply

      CarolV (and to Susan for the thanks): There was not a reply button, Carol, to your 6:24 pm May 2nd comment, so I’m making this a free-standing comment. I just FIND the videos to post … it’s a Leanne (I’m assuming “our” Leanne) who captures the video and posts them on YouTube!

      • CarolV May 3, 2016 at 7:49 pm - Reply

        Thanks to you both,,,and our Boy, George kinda does have the eye liner look all around his eyes!!

    60. Leanne May 3, 2016 at 10:47 am - Reply

      May 03- If George and Gracie continue to mate, does that mean there will be more eggs?

      • Gamma Carolyn May 3, 2016 at 12:35 pm - Reply

        Leanne. 4 eggs would be possible and does happen sometimes. 3 seems to be the norm. The problem with 4 is that the 4th is so much further behind that quite often it does not survive. The nest in Boulder has laid 4 eggs both last year and again this year. Last year one egg was not viable . The fishing is also much better for them and the parents more experienced. With this nest they did not do well with 3 last year and unfortunatly 1 did not make it. They are more experienced but still 4 is hard to do. Hope this helps a bit.

        • Gamma Carolyn May 3, 2016 at 12:40 pm - Reply

          Leanne. From Rutland Osprey. Female Ospreys begin to lay their eggs in late April. The eggs are beautifully blotched reddish-brown and are about the same size as a large hens’ egg. They are produced at two-day intervals: Novice breeders will usually lay two eggs; experienced pairs lay three or very occasionally four.

        • Leanne May 3, 2016 at 3:25 pm - Reply

          Thanks for that information. It helped a lot.

    61. Leanne May 3, 2016 at 9:19 am - Reply

      May 03- Approximately 9:10- George flew in with a small piece of fish which Gracie wasn’t interested in. Has me kind of worried because I think it’s his first appearance at the nest this morning and she didn’t want to eat. Hope she’s feeling ok.

      • Betsy May 3, 2016 at 3:26 pm - Reply

        Leanne: Around 6:10 am, George brought Gracie a headless fish, which she flew away with, returning to the nest an hour later. I think she may have still been full when George brought that small tail-end of fish at 9:10, even though she did make a few quiet chirps at him and looked at him a few times as if she was expecting him to offer her a bite or two, but, she didn’t press the issue when he didn’t! I don’t know that George even noticed — he was very busy scarfing down the fish … it must have been exceptionally tasty!! 😀

        • Betsy May 3, 2016 at 3:44 pm - Reply

          Oh … don’t I look silly! I hadn’t scrolled down and seen you already had the answer to your concern!!

    62. CarolV May 3, 2016 at 6:11 am - Reply

      6:07amEDT 5/3 George brings in a good sized headless fish and Gracie does takeout.. Looks like rain on the schedule all day…

      • Leanne May 3, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

        So she has eaten this morning. What a relief because I didnt think she had.

      • june c May 3, 2016 at 9:30 am - Reply

        Rain to stop around 11-12PM..cloudy rest of day

    63. CarolV May 3, 2016 at 5:52 am - Reply

      5:50amEDT n5/3 It’s a dark and stormy morning…a bedraggled Gracie waiting for relief…

    64. PattyK May 2, 2016 at 8:52 pm - Reply

      Thank you so so very much, dear TommyC hristina, Paul, Aidan and the great Osprey Crew! This wonderful site enriches(sorry for type) our lives…Hugs and Amen

    65. Betsy May 2, 2016 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      I was scrolling back earlier after being out most of the afternoon. I’m glad to see the sun had partially come out, albeit briefly, out East. I’m still concerned about Gracie (as I noted in my earlier comment today at 1:03 pm, re: her appearing to slip off the perch): At approximately 3:30 pm, George flew out of the nest. A minute or so later, Gracie returned to the nest and came in with such a hard landing that it looked as if she was flung into the nest … after I scrolled back several times, I was still not sure what made the squeak noise when she landed, a sharp exhalation or the nest itself. Then at about 5:15 pm, Gracie did another hard landing from the perch into the nest, landing on the eggs with her right foot (there doesn’t appear to be any obvious damage done to them), and quickly pulling her foot back. (I was able to get screenshots and capture video of the second incident, but I didn’t think to do so with the first incident.) The thing is, it didn’t appear to be windy today therefore causing her to lose control. At 6-ish pm, when Gracie landed, she didn’t land with a thud or land on the eggs. Did anyone else see any of this today?

    66. Lea May 2, 2016 at 7:51 pm - Reply

      Saw a peek at the three eggs today. Would love to post a picture. Can we do that here?

    67. Bre May 2, 2016 at 3:10 pm - Reply

      Thanks good to be back again for 2nd year & celebrating EGG number three! 😉 😉 😉

    68. Betsy May 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm - Reply

      Gracie returned to the nest about 45 minutes ago … she still shivering but doesn’t seem to be shivering as much.

    69. Ospreylover May 2, 2016 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      Title needs to be changed since Ronnie & Sandy are long gone.

    70. Betsy May 2, 2016 at 1:03 pm - Reply

      George is so amusing to watch! At 11:30-ish am, George was “playing” with the grass and seaweed around him while he was sitting on the eggs … a male and then a female House Sparrow ( 😉 ) landed on the edge of the nest on the branches … George looked up “Oh, hello”, then went back to what he was doing. …..

      When Gracie returned to the nest 50 minutes ago, it looked as if she may have slipped off of the perch and fluttered down into the nest … I’m a little concerned about her because she is so damp- and chilled-looking and seems to be really shivering …

    71. thomas aprea May 2, 2016 at 10:58 am - Reply

      Good morning everybody, last year we all heard chirping coming from the nest. This morning I watched two sparrows making a nest underneath the twigs of the nest. The Ospreys don’t seem to be disturbed by their presence. The Sparrows are very smart to have raptors as neighbors, protecting them against invaders. Enjoy our new family, Tommy.

      • CarolV May 2, 2016 at 7:10 pm - Reply

        7:07pm Thank you, Tommy, for confirming. We’ve been watching the resourceful neighbors “borrowing” material from the osprey for their own nest. Thanks to you and Christina for hosting this wonderful party! It must be wonderful to watch from below as well!

    72. Janet May 2, 2016 at 10:07 am - Reply

      10:05 May 3 I just saw the tree eggs fo the first time that are so pretty

    73. Betsy May 2, 2016 at 10:05 am - Reply

      George took over from Gracie about 1 3/4 hours ago – he was eager to sit on the eggs and practically pushed Gracie off of them. Seems like he couldn’t get comfortable on the eggs at first, but after arranging and then rearranging the nest bowl (and covering the eggs with the plastic!), he found a spot for himself, until it was time to turn the eggs again. George looks weary – and has been dozing off for long periods … that is, when he isn’t fussing with the nest bowl and trying to put things on his back. I wonder if he thinks he’s a duck and is practicing for when the chicks hatch!

      After about an hour of sitting, George flew off and then a couple of minutes later, Gracie flew in for her turn to sit. She thought George’s idea to cover the eggs with the plastic was a good one and so, after peeking underneath it to check on the eggs, she left it there before sitting on them. George returned after 20 or so minutes, bringing back with him seaweed – to cover the plastic; Gracie checked it out and gave her approval, then flew off, leaving George in charge of the eggs.

      • Betsy May 2, 2016 at 11:14 am - Reply

        9:30 am — George sat on the eggs, decided it didn’t quite feel right, and so adjusted the plastic and seaweed. He still wasn’t happy, so he tweaked their arrangement. Nope … still wasn’t right … more tweaking! Finally, he was satisfied. After 50 minutes of sitting, George was ready to stretch his legs … as he was getting up, he took a header(!) but managed to catch himself with his wings … coming up with just a beakful of straw!! After flying off and apparently circling around, he mated with Gracie just out of view of the camera (audible, though!) and Gracie resumed nesting duties … she looked as if she didn’t much enjoy walking on the boggy nest to the eggs!

    74. Leesa May 2, 2016 at 8:23 am - Reply

      Off to a good start to the week this morning. George flew into the nest around 5:30 to let Gracie go stretch her wings. She came back after awhile and George came back with a fish at 7:30, but he apparently took it either to the perch or somewhere nearby to eat the head. he brought it back to her at 7:45, which she gladly took, and George took over nest duty. They swapped again when she returned, but I guess George hadn’t had enough nest time, as he came back a few minutes later to have some quality time with the kids. (so he could take a nap I think!) Sure hope the intruder leaves them alone today!

    75. Betsy May 2, 2016 at 8:07 am - Reply

      I know many of us were very concerned about the fight we saw unfold yesterday afternoon. I’ve been trying to find out more about osprey rivals and fighting – something to put our minds at ease. So far I found this:
      “Do ospreys fight? Ospreys, like most raptors, rarely fight physically, but do engage in spectacular aerial dog fights, and defensive displays such as mantling and alarm calling if a rival appears on or near the nest. In rare instances, the talons are used to emphasis the point! In defense of their chicks ospreys can be very violent towards predators, using their talons and beaks.” ( ospreys fight)

      I also found a story similar to what we’ve been witnessing at OspreyZone (“Battle of the Birds” Read into it what you want, but I am choosing to look at the optimistic side.

      George and Gracie (and we) may be in for a rough season. Unfortunately, there’s not always a happy ending (as a lot of you are painfully aware of), but let’s hope and pray that in this case there is and that George comes out the winner.

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