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Dewey town proper- High risk
Osprey Nest Platform
Nest Location Description:
waters edge,Lions Club park, next to North Beach Bar/Ivy Events
Nest Cam URL:
Delaware Fish and Wildlife
Show reports, diaries, and photos from:
2017 Nest Activity Report by
First chick fledging
Chicks last observed
Reason for nest failure
2018 Nest Activity Report by
First chick fledging
Chicks last observed
Reason for nest failure
Photos of this nest
This is one of 2 very high risk, poorly placed nesting platforms in my monitoring group of 50 nests. I surely hope that the powers that be that oversee all the good work that volunteers do to help osprey also scrutinize businesses and organizations that place nest platforms for entertainment with no regard or understanding for the health and safety of the birds. Who is going to protect this species from ignorant individuals?
1 adult male on water tower, nest area no juveniles seen
4:15 today, 1 juvenile on the V of the platform looking over to the water tower where the adult male was perched.
one juvenile perched on the V of the platform today at 3:30 pm. it was staring out to the water. an adult that appeared to be the male was perched high on the water tower facing the nest, just like last season.
2 fledglings deep in the nest at noon today, one adult on the water tower, just like last season. at least the fledglings are going to the nest for rest, and hopefully getting fed there as needed.
2:45, 88, 17 mph, clouds and sun very humid day: 2 fledglings on the nest , one adult flew in from the north part of the bay.1 adult on the V perch of the platform. fledglings off and on nest also adult female coming and going. no runt in the nest, runt has died. usual crowd of noisy bar goers milling around in the parking lot near the nest.when chicks get to be close to fledge age the adult female often gives one chick the entire fish to eat and with 2 larger aggressive birds to feed i believe that point becomes the breaking point for a runt in a nest, it is no longer fed by the adult female and is not given a fish by the adult female. very hard to watch. if the smallest chick doesn't catch up in size early on in the nesting period it can not make it, simple as that. many small chicks in a nest of 3 do catch up in size, i see it often but rarely where there are outside stressors on the family such as this busy location.
5:45 pm, 84, ENE9 mph, sun and clouds, Adult female on nest calling for fish.2 large chicks visible on the nest and then one runt stood up. oh my, its very small, it has what looks like bare shoulder and back of neck with some sparse feathers jutting out of that area, its eyes were closed and it was hanging its head, then it slumped down on the nest rim and propped its head on a stick. the other 2 chicks were getting some wing exercising in and jumping up in the air, they should fly very soon.Sad to see the effects of chick aggression in a nest. What an awful place for chicks to grow up and clearly the runt is not getting fed regularly. I did not see the adult male but the bar was pretty crowded with people coming in for the evening. the large sign was advertising friday nights live band. Live bands, fireworks, constant human noise and activity, one of the worst nest sites I have seen in 6 years and just like the other high risk site at Capt. Macs Seafood House in Fenwick where that runt appears to have died, there is too much stress on the adults to provide properly for their young. People just want to say look at our osprey nest, they do not research and do not even see the birds in the nest. They have no idea how many chicks are in the nest, do not know there is a runt not being fed. They just want to see osprey and have the birds attract business. Its cruel and should not be allowed.
This is the day that always concerns me for the high risk osprey nests specifically and all the nests near human activity in general. This nest site however is beyond cruel. I monitored for over 30 minutes on July 2nd, a very warm day. All 3 chicks were very visible on the nest, trying to catch a breeze on the nest rim. The adult female was on the nest also and the male arrived about 15 minutes into my visit, he took his fish to the pole on the nearby dock to the south of the platform. There is a runt in this nest. I have just 2 runts in over 80 chicks counted at 37 active nests and both runts are at the high risk nest sites, this one and Capt. Macs seafood House in Fenwick. While I have a third smaller chick on some nests, they are simply smaller, not runts as I am seeing here. My humble experience tells me this is not a problem with supply of fish, its a problem with delivery of fish caused by too much human disturbance. Case in point here on July 2nd. the sign at North beach bar reads:"On the 4th We will Have the largest fireworks show in the State. # BOOM". Does anyone care that it is going to be directly over this nest site? 3 large trucks parked beside the platform, Zambaletti or similar name on the trucks with 3 workers covered in soot preparing large trays of fireworks and burnt debris at the waters edge. So much activity the adult male osprey did not take the fish to the nest but sat on the nearby pole watching the people near the platform. There are now signs up in the "wetlands" telling people to stay away from the birds but no sign at the waters edge for boaters etc to see and no sign at the end of Vista Dr. where there is a clear path thru the marsh near the nest site. The signs that are on the "wetlands"are not visible because the vegetation is too grown up around them. But it was an tiny attempt to protect osprey that should not be there in the first place. I will be thinking of this nest tonight as well as the pollution this fireworks company is causing beside a waterway and "protected wetland". What a mess humans are.
3 good size chicks in nest with female, calling for fish
3 nice size chicks in the nest today with the adult female perched on the V perch of the platform. male on opposite V perch. female is calling for fish but he just sits there. then female gets down in nest and picks up a fish and begins to feed a chick... guess she decided the fish she had would do...
about 3:45 today one osprey, presumably the female, was very deep in the nest with the mate out of sight. The bar and parking lot was very busy.
the nest has just one osprey incubating whenever I stop by, the second bird is rarely seen. there should be and may be chicks, will check again tmr. we have had a solid week of heavy rain.
following a party weekend, 4:00 today, no mate seen nearby and no confirmation of an incubating osprey in the nest. she or he may be there but could not see a bird today
I arrived around 5 pm to the North Beach bar parking lot. the bar was very crowded, many cars in the lot, bikes leaning at the marsh fence,boats and jet skis on the floating dock near the platform. a band was playing, there was an obvious trail thru the middle of the marsh, the SUP shack was ready for business and there were no stay back signs anywhere. In short, the scene was identical to last season. This is cruel and irresponsible of the Lion's Club to not even attempt to protect this osprey pair that the club simply wants as a status symbol. They do not care that these birds are living beings. The female was in the nest, she was incubating but was very stressed, her head kept popping up every few seconds and she was swiveling that head as far around as she possibly could just to see where all the danger might be. the male arrived with a fish and began circling the bar looking for a place to land to eat, he flew off out of sight toward the south. This is perhaps the first day the bar is open and tomorrow is the big party complete with what I hope is the band named "5 Live donkeys" and fireworks. Just a crazy sad situation that should be corrected by taking the platform down this coming fall. I wont hold my breath. Does anyone care about the osprey in DE? The DBLC rep texted me that they will place signs up after the fledglings are off the nest. Hm, I think this person is trying to shake me...
one osprey incubating. did not see second ospr. the lions club representative said they would be placing stay back signs "in 2 weeks", this was over 2 weeks ago. i did not see any signs
If this pair had eggs about 3 weeks ago then this is a re-nesting. But definitely they are incubating eggs as of today. I watched the female up on the V of the platform and then she got in the nest, dug around a bit perhaps turning an egg, and then she settled down in with the telltale rocking on her egg(s) Beautiful windy clear day, 68, winds SW 20 mph with gusts. Male was out fishing and returned with a fish to a nearby dock.
2 at the nest at 1:45 today. later at 5:45 just one on the V perch of the platform. If this pair was incubating they are off the eggs.will just have to see how long till i see incubation signs once again.
No incubation activity or nest building seen recently with both osprey at the nest area again today. The female perched on the v of the platform and the male on his favorite piling nearby. The property owners have obviously been doing road/parking lot grading directly next to the site, about 15 feet away, and the house next to the platform, about 50 feet away, is having the roof worked on so this pair may have stopped incubating- if they were on eggs.
One osprey eating a fish on piling at north beach bar dock, second osprey- appears to be female- on the nest. no incubation observed although I have been seeing the female laying deep in the nest. she may simply be preparing the nest for the eggs.
pair is steadfast on this dangerous platform. past few days the female has been very deep in the nest but then I saw her up on the v perch yesterday. She will be incubating very soon if she isnt already. The Lions Club rep told me they "are working" on getting stay back signs and plan to install soon but I think it is too late now as they will definitely flush the ospreys off eggs.The rep also says the bar is going to place stay back signs.. I do not know why they did not do this prior to nesting season.
Yesterday, 3/23/18, a day following a 2 day nor'easter, no ospreys were in sight at this platform. I was hopeful the storm had pushed them south to a new location even though I know that is unlikely i am ever hopeful... but today around 3:00 in the afternoon the female was on the V portion of the platform and the male was on his favorite spot on the bar dock eating a nice size fish.For now it is very peaceful for this pair so why would they relocate. If only they knew what was coming in May!
Well I am sad to see the pair are both at the nest today around 2pm with temp 43,clouds, Winds ENE shifting to the west 9mph and up. Nor'easter approaching for tmr. The female was on the V perch looking quite ragged but showing a gorgeous large necklace. The male has a faint necklace. He was initially on the North Beach bar dock but flew to the platform and landed on the opposite v perch. She was calling softly for fish and off he went to find her one. There is now a predator guard on the pole of the platform but no stay back signs or fencing to create a safe nesting zone for this pair. The sign at the bar says they open May 5th cinqo de mayo with fireworks and "Five Live Donkeys' which I can hope or assume is a live band and not the animal variety. At any rate this pair will most likely nest in relative quiet till all hell breaks out in the tourist season. Very hard to watch but since fish and wildlife does not step in for this sort of situation there is nothing more that can be done to protect this osprey pair from a communities selfish need to have "their own" osprey platform 50 feet from an outside bar. A platform has been placed 7 blocks south in a more peaceful open marsh area of south Dewey but without early season disturbance its doubtful the ospreys will relocate. Had the platform been taken down they may have moved easily to the new nest site.
This platform was leaning badly and someone appears to have tried over the winter to straighten it. It still leans but doe look much better. Unfortunately they did not place a predator guard on the pole and this would be a good idea as the platform is so very close to an open air bar and restaurant. Raccoons could be an issue. We are trying to get the DB Lions Club to place the predator guard or allow us to do it. And we are looking to place a new platform near the southern range of the osprey pair that nested here so unsafely in 2017...
The family moved to the Dewey water tower. Last sighting of a juvenile was August 22nd. I did see both adults perched together at the water tower on August 23rd. The last day I saw the adult male was September 3rd. He was on the water tower of course. The osprey vacated the nest area as soon as the young were independent enough to get away from the intense human disturbance. Dogs were being exercised at the nesting platform marsh..a dog park of sorts. Unfortunately in moving to the water tower the osprey have caused some issues at the water tower maintenance yard. Hoping next season their nesting platform can be relocated- away from the bar....SUP's, boaters, live rock bands and dogs running in the marsh....
Crazy day at this nest. Stand Up Paddle boards beside the platform on the north side and a catamaran to the south, this in a marsh that's about 60 feet wide. the marsh grass is totally trampled under the nest from dogs that are allowed to run every day, multiple times a day underneath the platform. This is absolutely the worst abuse of a wildlife area I have seen in my 5 years of monitoring osprey nests sites. The juveniles are landing on the nest trying to get fed by the adult female but she is so stressed she regularly flies away and the youngsters sit and cry for fish. I know they made it this far and will probably be alright but this is ridiculous indifference to a federally protected bird. Something must be done to move this nesting platform to a safer area of Dewey beach.
As of today both fledged youngsters are doing great, learning to fish in the bay at Dewey. Both adults bringing fish but mostly prodding the babes to get their own. A piece of plastic rope of baling type fabric was dangling from nest this past week and is not deep in the nest. Hopefully it is now buried by new nest material.
Who knew this nesting family could perservere through the insanity of Dewey bar life but today I checked the nest to see mom feeding 2 growing, healthy looking and hungry chicks while the bar goers yelled and partied right next to the nest. The Dewey Osprey can hang:)
nest check today and both chicks look healthy with mom bringing nest material to nest. workmen in the water 10 feet from nesting platform, they were working on a floating dock. female was stressed a little issuing warning calls but in general she seemed to be managing. the North Beach bar had a truck with 4th of July decorations, I have no idea where the fireworks will be set off but this family is surely in for a ride over the next few days.
I checked the nest today during a very hot afternoon in crowded Dewey Beach. The bar was very busy and loud but the female osprey was sitting on the nest with her now very visible 2 growing chicks. She did start a soft warning call when 2 men drug some sort of float or kayak up onto the marsh directly next to the platform, about 10 feet away. They were there for over 30 minutes and the female osprey was stressed but did not leave her chicks. There is also a floating dock newly tied to the rocks next to the platform, possibly due to the storm that swept through the area early this morning. It really is a miracle this osprey family is still thriving in this busy location but perhaps their old locale got them acclimated to Dewey beach shenanigans. fingers crossed the chicks will fledge.
One chick visible today when I checked this nesting pair. Both adults were at the nest with a red wing blackbird harassing the male as he tried to perch on the platform. Hard to imagine this family can nest with so much commotion so very close to them but they are actually looking pretty good. I did talk to the girl who takes kayaks out into the bay directly under the platform. She is now aware to keep people moving by as quickly as possible.
The pair has chicks and seems to be dealing with the commotion next to the bar. The kayak rental biz has not opened yet so lets see how the spreys deal with people at the platform, maybe they will manage. I noticed the female today was tucking her head under her wing to rest on the nest so maybe this is her technique to deal with Dewey Beach craziness. I have never seen an osprey tuck its head but it will help her block out the noise of the music!
The story of the famous Dewey Beach Lighthouse Osprey: I was hoping not to have to post this nesting pair at this particular location but they are close to hatchlings and so I might as well create a nest report. This pair was originally nesting for past many years on the top of the historic lighthouse at The Lighthouse Restaurant across from the Rusty Rudder. Early this season I saw a metal excluder had been placed on top of the lighthouse. I met the general manager who told me he had been given permission from Kate Fleming, Fish and Wildlife, to place the excluder and she told him to try to place a platform nearby. He said he would not do that. This was disappointing to me because this pair had been in Dewey for quite a few years and I assumed they would be arriving soon and I wanted to at least try to find them a new nesting location, hopefully not on a roof since they were used to a high nest. I started looking for open marsh and found a good spot south of Bayberry Dr. It took me some time to find the address for the landowners as they are seasonal. In the meantime the pair showed up around Mar. 27 and started taking nest material to the light house but were unable to place it. The female in particular was very stressed and kept flying around Dewey while the male continued to perch on top of the lighthouse. I observed him go south to the marsh area I wanted for a new platform location and he was getting nest material there and dropping it back at the excluder. Then the female flew a few blocks north to the old, never used and leaning NJ V design platform that is in a sort of park/marsh area at waters edge and about 25 feet from east of Maui kayak concession and North beach bar, an open air bar with live bands nightly starting around Memorial day weekend if not before. I have talked about that platform location for years and was always happy no osprey had chosen to nest there. Besides the BearTrap golf course platform this platform is the worst possible placement. It has a townhome 25 ft away on its south side and the party bar on the north side not to mention a short walkway right under the platform used by kayakers and SUP's. There had never been so much as one piece of nest material on it. Even with this osprey pairs past experience of close proximity to the noisy Rusty rudder bar they have never been this low to the ground and close to people. But they built up a nest while I was working to get another platform permission on private land and sure enough by April 20 they began incubating- while it was still very quiet in the town of Dewey. When I saw the bar was going to open I talked with the mayor and he said the lions club wondered why they never had osprey and they never realized it was a bad location for an osprey family.....So....I checked the nesting pair last on May 26 when I observed the female fussing deep in the nest, either turning eggs or more likely tending a hatchling, the male was on the nest too watching deep into the nest (common behavior during first week of chicks). It was the first day the bar was open and in full swing and the female was nervous, giving warning calls when people walked by. A boat came in to dock at the bar and the high wind blew it straight up to the platform, literally about 5 feet from hitting the platform and the female and male both took off the nest, the male returned faster and the female flew around screaming for perhaps 5 minutes and then settled back into the nest. That's all I could stand to watch. I plan to check them again during the week when it will be quieter, for now anyway. This is a sad example of unchecked osprey platform construction and lack of thought about a wild animal. It is the chicks that may suffer at this location. The platform does not even have a predator guard and is in an area where garbage will easily attract raccoons. There are lots of drunk 20 some-things wandering by too. I am keeping the faith that it will work out for the osprey family and if it doesn't I will do my best to get them relocated by means of proper channels.