Jeffrey M reports: All is great at 12 Grey Fox (Nest 6980) . Popeye and Olive are such a dynamic pair- nest overflowing the nest box and they are ready to go! (Mating that is!!!). Olive is such an excellent fisher- first time every time when she dives for a fish.
Jeffry M reports: She’s Back!
Unbelievable like clockwork. Popeye has been waiting all week but she flew in about 20 minutes ago. Both in the nest box now.
All is well at #6980
NOTE: David M of Hihlton Head Plantation kindly trimmed the branches obscuring this nest. It is greatly appreciated and was done in advance of the return of Popeye and Olive Oyl. ( wrong date may be recorded, but it was in advance of the Osprey season)
NOTE: Due to the nest being obscured by vegetation, we can not determine the exact date of fledging. However, we do know that as of June 28th there were two who had fledged as evidenced by them feeding on a nearby branch.
Our guess of June 15th is purely a guess.
Jeffry M reports: As stated before, due to tree growth the nest is completely obscured (see pic below) so audible tracking was all I had plus Popeye's fishing location changed dramatically to a far end of Bear Creak lake so hard to track. Now for the good news - this past we
Weekend I was able watch 2 healthy chicks feeding in a pine across from my house. Popeye brought fish to the branch for them. I have not seen them fish yet. One is very clearly a female but still not sure on the second.
Jeffrey M reports: Mixed news. The nest at Grey Fox is almost totally screened by foliage so hard to see the activity. I believe all to be well as Popeye is regularly bring fish to the nest and still think 2 chicks based on chirping patterns.
Jeffrey M reports: It appears that we have 2 chicks for Popeye & Olive. Monitoring has been more difficult as tree growth is blocking most sight lines but listening to the nest for distinct chirps and quick glimpses make me confidant re 2 chicks.
NOTE: We listed 4/12 as date of hatching since that might work based on incubation and this observation. They would have to be at least a week or so old to catch a glimpse of them. We can always adjust the date.
Jeffrey M reports: Activity at nest is flawless so far this year. Olive is on the nest virtually 24/7. Popeye and Olive were busy mating quite a bit immediately upon Feb 20 return. Popeye also went to work refreshing the nest. I would say that Olive has been pretty nest bound since the beginning of March so MAYBE we will be looking at the 1st week of April for chicks? Early start this year but all looks great.
Jeffrey M reports: Olive Oyl returned yesterday Feb 19 at daybreak. Her earliest return I have recorded. Weather in the Caribbean and Gulf Coast has been mild with no storms so it must have been easy flying this year. Popeye joined her mid-day yesterday and both are in nest this morning happy as can be .
Jeffrey M reports: Submitted Picture is the female chick. Seldom do I see the 2 chicks hanging around the nest anymore. Both seem to be thriving. Popeye is still on duty but Olive Oyl I believe is long gone.
Many days 3 or 4 chicks flying here over the Bear lake. The others I believe are from another nest on nearby Tall Pines (nest 2544)
To Baygirl: thanks so much! Sad to say that little guy didn't make it. We tried our best. The nest is on a platform and is very high up so there is no way we could put it in the nest. Our center has never suggested
putting them back in the nest but I would like more info on this. Cclemens318@gmail.com
I couldn't find an email address for your facility.
is it possible to place the osprey chick back in the nest, perhaps using an extension ladder? hard to tell from the photos but if it is healthy it will do best to be back with parents and it may only need a few days till fledge... contact Tristate Bird Rescue in Newark DE if you need to consult
This will be a long post, but it is necessary to document the events with nest 6980. I will try to make it as clear and simple as possible.
1. On 7-16-21 Carol C received a call from Nichole H, a neighbor of Jeffrey M who monitors nest 6980. Since Jeffrey was away, he told her to contact me since she saw one of the 3 chicks, the only one who hadn't yet fledged, down on the ground.
2. Nicole watched it "fly" a bit and it end ended up across a lagoon. The flight was not steady nor strong and Nicole was worried.
3. After talking with Nicole, I contacted Mary Alice T and Wendy D for help. Wendy is a former rescuer for the Birds of Prey Center. The three of us went to the site as quickly as we could.
4. By now, the youngster was in the water flapping its wings, but apparently without enough strength to get up and out. We made our way to another street for better access to where the osprey was. Fortunately, while it was in the water, it was close to the edge. It had a reed interfering with one wing, but Wendy was able to remove that. This still did not allow the osprey to free itself and it started to “float” along the edge of the lagoon.
5. After watching it fail to help itself out for a bit, we decided we needed to intervene. Wendy D had the proper equipment, including one of the boxes from the center. Our problem was that our freshwater lagoons are home to alligators, and we could not take a chance since Wendy would have to enter the water right at the edge to successfully rescue the osprey.
6. Carol C called Hilton Head Plantation security to send someone to guard us from gators while attempting the rescue. Unfortunately, the person who took the call first told us someone would be coming, then with my second call told me it would be longer because they were on another call, and then on the third call told me that his supervisor said they couldn’t send anyone and would have to call the Bird of Prey Center. By now, the poor osprey had been in trouble for at least 1.5 to 2 hours. After again explaining we were prepared, Wendy was qualified to rescue, and not willing to accept this answer I asked to speak to the supervisor. I reiterated to the officer on the phone that we were going to rescue the bird, and if there was a problem with a gator, HHP would be faced with a lawsuit for their lack of concern for our safety. That made a difference and within about 10-15 min. a most helpful pair of officers showed up willing and ready to help protect us in the rescue. With the security folks poised in case a gator appeared, Wendy D was able to enter the water and rescue the osprey on her first attempt.
7. We got it into the container and went back to her house to await further help from the Bird of Prey hotline. While Ron T, another Hilton Head resident who volunteers with the center tried to help facilitate the next move, he was not in town and couldn’t get help from the Center either. We had trouble getting calls returned from the center and the info they gave us put all the responsibility on the three of us. When asked where to take the bird, they told us to go to the Port Royal Vet. We knew about that vet, but we also knew that the facility was closed due to extensive damage from the July 7th storm. The person on the phone didn’t seem to know that. All the Bird of Prey Center could offer were names of places to try….we had to look the numbers up ourselves and call, only to find no one would take the bird. By now it had been over 4 hours that the bird had been in distress with no plan for what we were to do next. The thought even briefly crossed our minds that we should just let the bird go, but we refused to do that since we know it would be doomed because it couldn’t fly, and we didn’t know if there were any injuries.
8. Finally we contacted the Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital of Georgia, located in Pooler, GA. There was no one to transport the animal, except us. Our rescuer, Wendy D. then drove the osprey to Pooler. They did say that the Bird of Prey Center had to get someone there by noon Saturday to take the animal. The Center could not commit to that, but we took the osprey anyhow.
9. As of Saturday morning, the Pooler center had checked the bird and found no injuries. They believe it just wasn’t quite ready or strong enough to fly. The Avion and Exotic Animal Center agreed to keep the bird for “a few days”.
10. The bottom line is that the osprey is in good hands in Georgia. We do not know if it will be transported to the Bird of Prey Center or if all it needs is a few days at the Pooler center. The hope is that the bird will gain strength and be flight worthy soon so we can release it where we found it.
We have included a couple photos of the rescue.
Jeffrey M reports:Update- all appears well with the 3 chicks. The 2 oldest have fledged and over the weekend and practicing around the our house and the lake. The youngest is still in the nest but looks very healthy and should fly this week (?). Will keep an eye on him.
Popeye has been keeping a close eye on the two flying and still bringing fish to the nest!!
Jeffrey M reports: All is great news- 3 very healthy looking chicks. The chick to the right must be first born- was clearly the largest today and when I got there she was spreading her wings and flapping them but did not hover. She has a clear necklace and thus female. The chick to the far left has a solid white chest thus male and I believe second born because the chick in the middle with just a visible head next to the far right female appears to be the smallest and thus 3rd born. Could not determine sex on this one yet. Popeye has been working nonstop it seems bringing food- poor guy must be exhausted.
Jeffrey M reports: Confirming 2 healthy chicks so far for Popeye and Olive Oyl.
Jeffrey M reports: Monday I observed Olive resuming her landing on the water - getting completely wet and returning to the nest to cool the chicks. All is great at the nest.
Jeffrey M reports:
At the nest Popeye and Olive Oyl have success with chick(s) hatched. Have not been able to count heads yet so number uncertain and will try and count chirps!!!
NOTE: We probably were off on the incubation date. It may have been late March.
Popeye much busier shuttling food to the nest. All appears great for the season is far.
Jeffrey M reports: All is well and quite quiet as I await first evidence of hatched chicks.
Olive not budging , Popeye feeding - will sit near nest today to see if I can hear chicks. Time wise now is the time for hatching. Have noticed some other nest are starting to show activity this week.
Jeffrey M reports: Nest activity has been confusing. As reported before thought incubation started several weeks ago however olive has been puzzling me with her time away from nest. Never far and usually on a branch where she would watch the chicks from in past years. So do I have new chicks or are we looking for her lay eggs? Certainly does not seem to be 24/7 incubating.Popeye feeding her and the only thing I can think of is the chicks have hatched thus her occasionally spending time off nest watching it. Will try and clarify this week.
Jeffrey M reports: Well two days ago everything changed at the nest. Prior both were mostly away from the nest- but from Friday on she has barely ever left the nest. I am pretty sure she must have one or more eggs now and Popeye has been diligent delivering food to her. I think we can start the 35-40 day countdown to the first chick. Great news.
Jeffrey 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
Jeffrey 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.
Jeffrey 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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
all 2018 observations and photos by Jeffrey M.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
observer reports that all is well with Popeye and Olive Oyl.
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.
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.
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)