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osprey cam - chesapeake conservancy

Osprey Cam

General Information

Ospreys are most commonly identified by their white underbelly and forehead. Although they are constantly mistaken as eagles, ospreys are, in fact, part of the hawk family. Ospreys have an impressive wingspan of up to 6 feet and are the most widespread birds of prey and can be found on every single continent except Antarctica. Since they exist all over the world they can live in different climates with some sort of water, such as rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Ospreys usually eat fish and will only eat small mammals or reptiles in cases where fish populations are low. Ospreys can spy prey from 30 to 100 feet above and swoop down to attack. They use their curved claws to keep the fish in a firm grasp and during flight they align the fish’s head forward to minimize wind resistance.

Ospreys, unfortunately, are not as well populated as many other birds. Because of the use of pesticides around the 1950s, their population has decreased. Due to DDT, the lining of the osprey egg would thin and break causing a significant hurdle for the osprey population. Therefore, conservationists are working hard to keep a close eye on osprey eggs and hope that the egg eventually hatches.

Nesting

Ospreys often build their nests on human-made sites such as telephone poles, channel markers, and even nesting platforms created by preservationists trying to help restore the osprey population.

Male ospreys will court a potential mate by flying high in the air and repeatedly diving into the area of a potential nest site. Once a female and male mate, the female osprey will often produce 2 to 3 eggs and the eggs incubate for about 38 days. Mothers usually stay with their young, sheltering them from weather and predators while the father finds food for the family. At about 51-54 days of age, the young osprey will attempt its first flight.

Osprey couples have been known to mate for life and often return to the same nesting site every year. But during migration, ospreys often travel alone and not with other ospreys.

  • topic: osprey

  • location: kent island

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about the chesapeake conservancy

Chesapeake Conservancy logo for Osprey camera

Get a close-up look into the daily lives of Tom and Audrey, an osprey couple living on Kent Island, MD. Like other osprey couples, these two have reunited after spending a winter apart, having traveled alone for thousands of miles to and from Central and South America. Found on every continent except Antarctica, osprey (Pandion haliaetus) mate for life, and return to the same spot year after year,

After an almost 90% decline in population from 1950-1970, osprey populations have rebounded due in large part to conservation efforts and the banning of DDT. Osprey can be a valuable indicator species for monitoring the long-term health of the Chesapeake Bay because their diet consists almost entirely of fish and they are sensitive to many environmental contaminants.

This cam is brought to you through our partnership with Chesapeake Conservancy, an organization working to conserve land and protect osprey habitat, and the "Crazy Osprey Family," who hosts the platform and cam on their property and generously share their view with the world. Support the Chesapeake Conservancy's efforts to make sure that the Chesapeake Bay is healthy and can support abundant fish populations at Chesapeake Conservancy Donations.

about

location: Kent Island, Maryland

best hours: 24/7

time zone: Eastern Time

links: Chesapeake Conservancy
Crazy Osprey Family Cam Blog
Osprey Fact Sheet
“Inside an Osprey’s Nest”

Osprey Cam

General Information

Ospreys are most commonly identified by their white underbelly and forehead. Although they are constantly mistaken as eagles, ospreys are, in fact, part of the hawk family. Ospreys have an impressive wingspan of up to 6 feet and are the most widespread birds of prey and can be found on every single continent except Antarctica. Since they exist all over the world they can live in different climates with some sort of water, such as rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Ospreys usually eat fish and will only eat small mammals or reptiles in cases where fish populations are low. Ospreys can spy prey from 30 to 100 feet above and swoop down to attack. They use their curved claws to keep the fish in a firm grasp and during flight they align the fish’s head forward to minimize wind resistance.

Ospreys, unfortunately, are not as well populated as many other birds. Because of the use of pesticides around the 1950s, their population has decreased. Due to DDT, the lining of the osprey egg would thin and break causing a significant hurdle for the osprey population. Therefore, conservationists are working hard to keep a close eye on osprey eggs and hope that the egg eventually hatches.

Nesting

Ospreys often build their nests on human-made sites such as telephone poles, channel markers, and even nesting platforms created by preservationists trying to help restore the osprey population.

Male ospreys will court a potential mate by flying high in the air and repeatedly diving into the area of a potential nest site. Once a female and male mate, the female osprey will often produce 2 to 3 eggs and the eggs incubate for about 38 days. Mothers usually stay with their young, sheltering them from weather and predators while the father finds food for the family. At about 51-54 days of age, the young osprey will attempt its first flight.

Osprey couples have been known to mate for life and often return to the same nesting site every year. But during migration, ospreys often travel alone and not with other ospreys.