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Pratt St. platform
Osprey Nest Platform
Nest Location Description:
In restored Kinder Morgan Elizabeth River Terminals marsh on the southern branch of the Elizabeth River
Nest Cam URL:
Chesapeake Bay Osprey Watchers
The Center for Conservation Biology
Elizabeth River Project
Show reports, diaries, and photos from:
2014 Nest Activity Report by
First chick fledging
Chicks last observed
Reason for nest failure
2017 Nest Activity Report by
First chick fledging
Chicks last observed
Reason for nest failure
Photos of this nest
Observed an Osprey this am hunting in general area and close to platform. Probably a visitor. That was my guess. But who knows. May have been our juv.
Observed an Osprey not far upriver in early am. It may have been our imm. But who knows.
Observed an Osprey hunting in the area around 8:00 am. It was in all likelihood our imm.
This am observed an Osprey hunting across the river in St. Juliens Creek. Our imm.?
Visited this am. No sign of Osprey at this location.
The juv. (imm. at this point?) may still be around. Observed one this a.m. flying low over marsh..
Visited early am. I was wrong. Juv. Osprey is still here. It was perched on one of family's favorite perches (not far from platform). It hunted over the river as well.
Visited for around 2 hours early am. No sign whatsoever of Osprey. Banner morning bird-wise, but no Osprey. It would appear the juvenile has migrated.
Visited late morning. Unusually high tide. Observed 1 Osprey hunting close to shore just north of me and on the other side of the river. Possibly the juvenile.
Visited early am for 2 hours. Much bird activity to include 5 heron species, but only saw one Osprey.
Observed this am. I saw 2 Osprey while there. Presumably the male parent and juv. One of them oh so skillfully picked up a small fish from the water's surface. It was a sight to behold. Also, one of them briefly tussled with an adult Bald Eagle that entered its territory. The Bald Eagle dwarfed the Osprey, but the Osprey succeeded in chasing the eagle away.
Visited at dusk. Observed 3 Osprey. One caught a fish at sunset (7:40 pm) They were active and actively hunting even after sunset.
Visited this am. The juvenile was on the platform, then flew to a nearby perch in the river. An hour or so later it became excited as the male parent approached and landed nearby. Both then flew to the platform and the parent delivered a fish. (The male appeared smaller than the juv. Perhaps the juv. is a female?) The juv. then vocalized for perhaps 10 minutes straight, with its wings held partly up (to protect the prey?). It didn't eat. The parent then left, the juv. stopped vocalizing, and it proceeded to eat the fish. I'd never seen this behavior before (needless to say), and was surprised that the juv., about 6 weeks into the fledgling period, is still partly dependent on a parent for food. I also couldn't help but wonder if the female parent had migrated. It probably has.
Observed this am. The family of 3 is still here. When I arrived, 1 was on the platform perch. While I was there, two perched side by side for some time and vocalized much of the time. Interesting vocalizations that I was able to record.
Visited twice today. In the am, the juv. was on the platform perch the whole time. This evening I observed 3 birds (the family?). For awhile 2 of them perched near one another and vocalized.
Visited this am. I believe the family is still around. Two of the 4 Osprey I observed, with a 3rd nearby, perched close to each other for a long time and vocalized continually.
Visited before sunset. Observed 2 Osprey. One I'm sure was the juv.
Visited from about 5-6 pm. Observed 2 Ospreys hunting over river. For a time they hunted in fairly close proximity. They seemed to be together. Heard vocalizations from time to time.
Visited this am. Observed 1 Osprey while there.
Visited early am. Observed 1 Osprey on the nest. Assumed it was the juv. Later, both this bird and another Osprey (parent?) hunted together in close proximity--and with some vocalizing--over the river. No sign of 3rd family member. Before I left, one of the Ospreys chased off an adult Bald Eagle.
Visited late morning with my wife. The family of three was around. Shortly before we left, all were soaring at different altitudes above the river--and drifting south. We wondered aloud if they were migrating. Then as we left, we looked at the platform. And for the first time since the youngster fledged, the platform was occupied. One of the three was on the platform perch. My guess? The family will be around a little longer.
Visited this am. All 3 around, and as has been the case, all were in close proximity to one another. Female buzzed me when I arrived. A huge ship (Strategic Venture--a cargo ship sailing under the flag of Singapore) came through at one point, and one of the Osprey (the male?) flew over to it, flew alongside, landed, and briefly hitched a ride. Juv. begged for food from time to time. Still odd to see the nest 'abandoned' and out of use.
Visited early this morning. All 3 around. The female, still in defense mode, buzzed me three times with talons down. Observed the juv. hunt in front of me and over the marsh. It was unsuccessful. It sat on the rock berm for awhile, then flew up to where the female(?) was perched, where it proceeded to beg for food (high pitched screams).
Visited this morning. All 3 were around, and some were hunting (and catching their quarries). Even though the juvenile had fledged a few days ago and wasn't close by, the female calling, and with talons out, still buzzed me anyway.
Stopped by this am. Same situation. All 3 were away from the nest. The juv. was atop a nearby pole the whole time. One of the adults--probably the female--buzzed me once or twice, still protective of its offspring as if it were still in the nest. I still can't believe that it was just yesterday that I saw the juv. hover above the nest for the first time. And now it has flown.
Observed from 7:45 -8:45 am. Female on perch. Juv in nest. Male visited and then perched nearby. While I was there, the juv. wasn't active. Then, as I got back to my truck I turned around for one last look. This is the first time I've observed this. The juv. went to the edge of the platform, vigorously flapped its wings, and then briefly went airborne above the nest. A special moment. A very special moment.
Observed again from 5:45-7 pm. None of the Ospreys was in the nest. Presumably, the juvenile had fledged during the day. All 3 Ospreys were perched in the vicinity of the nest. The juv. has entered a new stage!
Visited from 8:15-10:15 am. When I arrived the juv. was standing in the nest and flapping its wings. A good sign. As soon as I got past the gate, the female began to call, then left the nest, flew to where I was, and wheeled above me with her talons down and open. She'd never done this before (traveled that far). She clearly didn't want me around. She did this 3 times as I walked to my usual spot to observe the nest. She'd fly above me, return to the nest, reapproach etc. She then returned to the nest and settled down. The juv. hunkered down, and only stood once while I was there. The male showed up once or twice. Several times while I was there, the female appeared to hunt over the marsh. She hovered with talons down. She never dove. I couldn't help but wonder if she were showing the youngster how to hunt. Several times another Osprey or a crow approached. The female let out a guard call(?) each time.
Visited from 6:30-7:30 pm. Usual alarm calls. Unlike what I've observed in the mornings, the juv. was standing upright in the nest and was visible almost the whole time I was there. No wing action, though. The marsh was much quieter (bird activity, insect activity etc.) than it is in the am. No sign of male.
Observed nest from 8:15 am -9:45 am. The female buzzed me (circled overhead calling) twice while I was there. And for the first time since I started observing, she remained on the platform perch the whole time and never once visited the nest. The male came by at least once, but didn't land and stay, and didn't deliver food. Another Osprey pair came pretty close to the nest at one point. The female watched them closely and vocalized a bit. The lone chick hunkered down the whole time. I could only see the top of its head and occasionally heard it vocalize.
Visited 8:15-10:30 am. The quick transformation of the 1 juvenile still amazes me. Again, no sign of second chick. The juv. in the nest hasn't exercised his/her wings really at all when I've been there. Male is around nest/on nest more often now, but never stays long. Sometimes he appears to bring a fish to the nest only to carry it away again, and then perhaps eat it at a roost nearby. I've also seen him do this with a headless fish.
Visited 8:30-9:30 am. Saw both male & female adults, but only observed 1 chick. It appears now that there's only one chick in the nest.
Observed from 9:30-10;30 am. Female left the nest again as on 6/24, and circled over me with talons down. She then returned to nest. Male showed up a while later with a fish. Observed 1 juv., but hope both are there. Juvs. should fledge soon.
Observed from 9:30-11:30 am. Shortly after I arrived, female left the nest and circled above me for about 5 minutes. I was apprehensive. She'd never done that before. Male visited nest several times but stayed only briefly. Saw 1 chick. Heard chick(s) vocalize. Female vocalized a lot. Heard various calls. Female still brooding.
Observed for a while this am. Female was on nest. No sign of the male near nest. May have seen him at a distance. The chicks are vocalizing and beginning to sound like the adults. When I first heard the chirping this am, I thought it was the female. It was one of the chicks.
Observed for an hour or so in the morning. Chicks becoming more visible. Shortly before I left the area, an adult Cooper's Hawk flew by. The female vacated the nest, gave chase, then returned.
Visited 8:15-9:30 a.m. The 2 chicks are more visible, and the female spent most of her time on the nest rim. An intruder buzzed the nest and was eventually escorted away by the nesting male. Boy did the female defend her nest, as can be seen in the photos (please see photos # 4-9). It's my understanding that the intruder could have been the male from nest #6811 (failed nest) or a late-arriving first-time breeder looking for a nest site.
Observed nest for 2 hours (8:30 am -10:30 am). Female was on nest, then stood up. I then observed 2 brownish and featureless nestlings (could only see heads). Male arrived but stayed only minutes and brought no food. It appears I was wrong. Female has been brooding, not incubating. I'm guessing eggs were laid 4/1 or thereabouts & hatched 5/10-5/15.
I first observed this nest on 5/17/17. It appears to me that the female is incubating as she is in the nest every time I visit. No sign of chicks yet. The male visits infrequently during the day.
Two chicks 5-6 weeks old. Female brooding young.