Nest #6980

Nickname: 12 Grey Fox HHP (Popeye and Olive Oyl)
Nest substrate: Live Tree
Nest Location Description: Nest is located at 12 Grey Fox, Hilton Head Plantation, Hilton Head, SC 29926
Nest Cam URL:
Monitoring Groups: LowCountry Institute
Latitude: 32.2555774021616
Longitude: -80.7255981037048
Followers: None

Past Seasons

Show reports, diaries, and photos from:Current 2020 2019 2018

Activity reports

2018 Nest Activity Report by CarolC
Adult arrival 03/04/2018 Nestlings 2
Nest Occupied Yes Fledglings 2
Nest Active Yes First chick fledging
Egg laying Chicks last observed
Incubation initiation 03/13/2018 Nest failure
Clutch hatching 04/20/2018 Reason for nest failure
2019 Nest Activity Report by CarolC
Adult arrival 03/04/2019 Nestlings 2
Nest Occupied Yes Fledglings 2
Nest Active Yes First chick fledging 07/10/2019
Egg laying Chicks last observed
Incubation initiation 03/13/2019 Nest failure
Clutch hatching 04/29/2019 Reason for nest failure
2020 Nest Activity Report by CarolC
Adult arrival 02/27/2020 Nestlings 1
Nest Occupied Yes Fledglings 1
Nest Active Yes First chick fledging 07/04/2020
Egg laying 03/20/2020 Chicks last observed
Incubation initiation 03/20/2020 Nest failure
Clutch hatching 05/05/2020 Reason for nest failure
Nest Activity Report by CarolC
Adult arrival 02/24/2021 Nestlings
Nest Occupied Yes Fledglings
Nest Active   First chick fledging
Egg laying Chicks last observed
Incubation initiation Nest failure
Clutch hatching Reason for nest failure

Photos of this nest

Nesting Diaries

02/25/2021 by CarolC
Jeffry M adds: So uplifting when they first return. Both have been really “playful” since 6:30 this am and now Popeye is doing nest work (back and forth with branches). They literally seem excited to be together

02/24/2021 by CarolC
Jeffry M reports: Popeye and Olive Oyl hooked up this afternoon and have been active together 😜 (you know what I mean)!. Great to see another safe return and wonderfully trimmed tree for their nest box It is great news.

02/09/2021 by CarolC
Jeffry M reports: Early update-One osprey was around the nesting site for several days. However, it doesn't appear to be one of the pair normally at this nest.

07/07/2020 by CarolC
Jeff M reports: 1st Pic (Saturday)- Well this is our one chick- a male and is officially named Dudley (as in Dudley do right- cartoon friend of Boris and Natasha). 2nd Pic today (Tuesday)- Dudley has adopted our roof peak as is launching point for the lagoon as he practices approaching the water which is only about 50 feet from the house. He started using this perch yesterday and has been using it for hours today- he launches over the water and practices swooping to the water but has NOT yet skimmed the water with his feet- still figuring out this thing called fishing! I think he will be a natural. Already a great flyer and not afraid of anything. Enjoys chasing the crows!

06/23/2020 by CarolC
Jeff M reports: I can identify only 1 very clearly and quite robust (think its a male). My window to view the nest is quite narrow this year since the tree has sprouted around the nest box on the sides with my best vantage points. I was clearly spoiled in prior years with clear view lines (will trim back tree this year in December after they have all left except Popeye). With binoculars I can clearly make out one large chick on right side in the green foliage. I still have a gut feeling there might be 2 chicks

05/15/2020 by CarolC
Jeff M reports: Well a good day- Olive Oyl is visibly active in the nest today and it appears she is moving around with some pesky chicks underneath her. So I finally feel comfortable confirming she has chicks but can not ascertain the number yet. All has been very calm at the nest (obviously she never leaves) with Popeye diligently bring fish to the nest. I am guessing that the chicks would be about 1 week old or more. NOTE: Based on this observation, we are listing hatching about May 5th and indicating that there is at least 1 chick. That can be updated once we can tell how many are there.

04/16/2020 by CarolC
Jeff M reports: The Popeye/OliveOyl family are doing great. In the attached pic you can just see the top of Olive Oyls head above the branch growing up center left on the nest box. I am expecting chicks just around the 1st of May- Olive does not leave the nest and Popeye is extremely attentive. The house below the nest box that was vacant the last 5 years was finally sold and is being gutted and remodeled but this does not seem to have disturbed our Osprey family.

03/21/2020 by CarolC
Jeff M reports: You can just see Olive Oyls head in the front left corner of the nest box below. Think I can confirm that Olive Oyl has her first egg. Starting yesterday she did not seem to leave the nest box and Popeye was relatively quiet. Today she is definitely sitting on an egg (I believe ) and has not budged from the box all morning with Popeye being very attentive- bringing more twigs to the box and staying very close by. The big tell is how quiet she has been the last 2 days. No constant chirping and no fishing for herself. So looks like we should have chicks by the very end of April.

02/27/2020 by CarolC
Jeff M reports: Olive Oyl returned about 4 days ago but Popeye was missing in action after being here all winter. Today the connection was made. We had a flock of osprey flying and playing this morning- 4 actually for about 30 minutes then everyone disappeared. Then shortly before noon Olive Oyl returned and was sitting on a branch watching an Osprey chase off a bald eagle (very dramatic battle)- that osprey then came diving from a huge height like a bullet and then made a dramatic landing on the nest (turns out this was Popeye) - Olive Oyl then flew from the tree to the nest and they are now definitely confirmed as reunited. Third year in a row we got to see them meet up. This year was a bit confusing but all is well

08/07/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey reports: All is great at Nest #6980 12 Grey Fox. My two chicks- Dudley and Nell are thriving. They are practicing fishing and will be quite independent soon. Its likely Olive Oyl will leave at the end of August as she has done the last 6 years. Popeye stays all year.

07/24/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: The activity is high here with both nests of chicks flying. One of my nests chicks practiced fishing diligently for about a week in front of my living room ( as has his/her sibling). Yesterday and today he caught what I think was his/her first fish. Awkward and funny dives but getting better by the day.

07/23/2019 by CarolC
After consulting with Kristen M., we think that the third osprey chick was from a nearby nest and probably just flew back to the wrong nest.

07/22/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: All is great with Dudley and Nell. They fledged about 2 weeks ago and have been flying like pros and practicing dives into the water. They are a delight to watch with the pair staying very close together. Interesting news is that the 3rd chick that appeared out of nowhere in last report was an uninvited guest!!!!! Shortly after its arrival as documented in prior pics- Olive Oyl started to VERY AGGRESSIVELY drive the chick away. It took about a week of persistent pursuit from Olive Oyl for the chick to move on. Can only think that for some reason it lost its birth nest and wanted a home. It seemed more mature and hopefully is surviving.

07/08/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: Well every year there is a surprise. Last year I thought there was only one and then shortly before they fledged the second chick emerged!!! Well check out todays pics- a smaller 3rd chick has become visible in the center- noticeably smaller then Dudley (on right) and Nell (on the left). Olive Oyl was perched on a tree just outside of these two pics. So now we have “little orphan” Annie. How she stayed hidden I don’t know but the box is deep and large. Dudley and Nell should be flying very very soon

06/29/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: Great news- looks like another very successful year for Popeye and Olive Oyl. We have finally determined the chick on the right is Male and the left is Female (pretty sure) and they now have names - Dudley & Nell!!! They are big and appear to be very healthy. Dudley is the older of the two and has been practicing hovering over the nest all week - should be flying any time now and I am sure Nell will be right behind him.

06/14/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: Olive Oyl's 2 chicks appear to be thriving. They have weathered searing heat and torrential rains. Picture still tough to get due to the deep nest however the chicks are growing rapidly particularly this last week. Think another 7-10 days and they will be getting close to fledging.

05/30/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: Olive Oyl acting as an umbrella to protect the chicks sheltering underneath in the shade. This incredibly long record setting heat is giving her stressful days. As the nest box is perched almost directly above water she has taken almost every hour to 2 hours sweeping done to the water and actually laying on the water for 5 seconds or so- then splashes with her wings to get as wet as possible then takes off back to the nest and cools the chicks with her wet body. Quite ingenious and fascinating. I have clearly seen two chicks and they look younger than I thought so it might be late June before they fledge.

05/22/2019 by CarolC
Jeffry M reports: nest#6980 All is great so far- anxious to see chicks heads pop up- in next week or so- still have not gotten a head count but guessing 2 from the chirps I hear. Pic below I got just as Popeye flew in with breakfast yesterday.

05/16/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: - First pic shows Popeye and Olive Oyl by side on their wonderful nest box shortly before Popeye went to get lunch. Second photo is after Popeyes return with lunch and shows the rear of each of them as they feed the two chicks. I am staying two as I have seen two heads bob up by have not captured a pic yet. All is well and in a week or two hopefully the chicks will be more visible.

04/29/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: I can finally definitely confirm that Popeye and Olive Oyl are the proud parents of at least 2 chicks (probably only two). Since my view is somewhat impaired with foliage growth blocking my site line I spent an hour at 2:30 pm today at the nest (between 2:300 and 4 has been a common activity time at the nest). All was completely quite (she sits so low in nest box I could not see her) and no sign of Popeye for the hour (nor all day). As I prepared to leave I heard his chirp and he swooped in with a fish and up rose Olive Oyl in the nest box and both were silent however,a resounding chorus of multiple chick chirps erupted as the fish was delivered. Popeye departed and I watched as Olive Oyl fed the chicks (unable to see their actual heads).

04/15/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: All is well with Popeye and Olive Oyl who clearly love their new nest. At least a couple of weeks of Olive not leaving the nest so anticipating chicks by mid- May or so.

04/15/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: All is well with Popeye and Olive Oyl who clearly love their new nest. At least a couple of weeks of Olive not leaving the nest so anticipating chicks by mid- May or so.

04/04/2019 by CarolC
observer Jeffrey M reports: First pic this morning shows the growing nest as Popeye has now filled the very large interior of the nest box and the nest is just beginning to spill over the sides. I put out moss and sticks in my backyard and Popeye readily grabs them for the nest. Second pic this morning ( from a distance ) shows Olive Oyl's head peaking across the middle of the nest box. As the nest gets thicker she should be sitting up higher and easier to get better pic. Both Popeye and Olive Oyl appear delighted with their deluxe condo in the sky.

03/13/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: Starting just after my last update 2 days ago the female (Olive Oyl) settled into the nest (picture attached) and has rarely left and food is being delivered to her. It appears that breeding has been successful (I hope).

03/11/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: Popeye and Olive Oyl appear to love their new nest platform that replaced the nest in the same tree that collapsed over the winter. We must have put enough nesting material in the platform when it was erected because Popeye has been very lazy in adding new nest material but not totally remiss. Breeding may have been successful because that activity has ceased the last couple of days. Both osprey appear very content and are settling into their very regular familiar fishing perches and staying in close proximity to each other. Both Popeye and Olive Oyl are perch fishers and rarely fly and fish. As I type this Popeye JUST flew in (3:48 pm 3/11/2019) with a fish for Olive Oyl sitting in the nest.

03/04/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: , Olive Oyl retuned this morning (first sighting 6:30 am) on the heal's of last nights storm and went straight to the nest box where Popeye was waiting. The most amazing thing is that she returned on exactly March 4th last year - unbelievable. Since I have been monitoring this morning they have mated twice. Wasting no time!

02/26/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: Just a quick update for #6980. Good news is that starting on Feb 21- Popeye (male) adopted the platform installed the first week of Feb. He has started visiting the platform and sitting on the perch attached to the platform as he calls for Olive Oyl who has not returned yet. Great news is that the platform will be the nest site- so-so news that Olive Oyl is not back yet but she did not return last year until March 4. Fingers crossed.

02/10/2019 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: 1) As you know successful installation of nest platform on treetop where previous nest was destroyed. 2) Male (Popeye) has been waiting at meeting site for Olive Oyl twice daily usually somewhere between 7-9 am and 3:30-5:30 pm. 3) Popeye has not made any attempt to occupy the nest platform yet. Don’t think he will until Olive Oyl returns. After nest was destroyed from Matthew he did not begin to build a new nest UNTIL she returned and then immediately started to build in the live tree that the nest platform now resides on.

02/08/2019 by CarolC
This nest was destroyed after the 2018 nesting season. Working with the Property Owners Association and the property owner, a new best platform was installed where the old nest was located. This was completed prior to the start of the 2019 nesting season.

02/01/2019 by CarolC
The nest came down since last season. Due to the combined efforts of Jeffrey M, several others, and the maintenance department of Hilton Head Plantation, a new platform was built and installed for Popeye and Olive Oyl. A great community effort.

07/18/2018 by CarolC
Jeffrey M reports: As we wrap up reporting I have to correct my data. I had thought only one chick made it last month. I missed the first chick fledging and thought only Sofia made it. We had been living away from the house during a renovation and the nest was huge 2 tiered so the bulk of the nest I could not see into. Long story short Sofia has a very robust and healthy brother named Sven. I have been watching the 2 of them for 10 days now and am sure they are our chicks. Sven is a male.. If you look closely at this picture the upper left is Olive Oyl (mom) with fish and on the lower right are both chicks watching. They are fishing- Sven is clearly the older of the two and they stick together. Very successful nest this year.

07/14/2018 by CarolC
all 2018 observations and photos by Jeffrey M.

06/29/2018 by CarolC
6/29/2018 at 7:50 AM -Nest 6980. We have one almost fully grown chick as you will see in the picture below. Approx. 1 month ago I lost track of the second and I must assume it is no longer. The mother (Olive Oyl) was in the tree to the left above the nest and Dad (Popeye) was circling above. The great news is that this chick now named Sofia appears in superb health and is testing her wings. I am fairly sure this is a female because when I view them up close with strong binoculars she has developing and distinct necklace.

06/06/2018 by CarolC
observer reports: Caught this pic yesterday at 7:15 am. Nest 6980. Popeye on right arriving with fish, Olive Oyl on left and if you enlarge pic you will see one of the chicks in the middle.

05/25/2018 by CarolC
observer reports:All is well at nest 6980 as you can see Olive Oyl keeping watch on her brood after breakfast this morning. Still pretty sure the count is 2 chicks but have not gotten a clear pic of the 2 heads together.

04/24/2018 by CarolC
observer reports:Olive Oyl (female) has been become much quieter and I noticed late last week she was busy tending constantly to “something” in the nest and Popeye (male) has be consistently very close by. Today I got a view of one chick (at least). Thus I was off on recaculationl of her days on nest in prior post and my original post about a month ago was more accurate for when she was on eggs.

04/12/2018 by CarolC
Observer Reports: Olive Oyl doing what she does best- basking in today’s much welcomed sunshine. I am thinking she is close to 10 days continuously on eggs- there was an interruption about two weeks ago ( not major) but steady since then so conservatively, I am going with 20 days.

03/30/2018 by CarolC
observer reports that all is well with Popeye and Olive Oyl.

03/18/2018 by CarolC
Observer reports: As of 3/18 Popeye and Olive Oyl in nest #6890 are doing great. still enlarging nest and female Olive Oyl staying very tight to nest. They seem to be thriving.

03/13/2018 by CarolC
Since female returned on 3/4 Dad helped rebuild the nest. The female is exhibiting incubation behavior as of 3/13 and we assume there are eggs but cannot give the date they were laid.

02/20/2018 by CarolC
Prior to 2017, this nest was located in a tree across the lagoon. The tree was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and the ospreys built this new nest nearby. In 2017, there were two chicks that fledged. However, one was weak and returned to the nest. The Center for Avian Conservation was called but the chick died. This was the first successful nesting for the pair. The nest was attacked by a Great Horned Owl and destroyed in 2015. It was again destroyed in 2016 by another pair of ospreys. This info is being added here since 2018 is the first year that the data is being reported on this site. (entry based on info provided by J. Morford)