Conserve Wildlife Blog

Ospreys are back!!

April 3rd, 2013

Meet the osprey pair at Nest #2835

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

I must admit, I’ve been anxious for the return of this pair of ospreys (and all others for that matter). The return of ospreys is a sign of spring, regrowth, and of recovery (from the effects of Superstorm Sandy) as we watch them rebuild their nests as we have helped to repair and replace many of their nesting platforms throughout our coast.

Over the past 6 weeks I had the task of installing a new remote/solar powered/high definition camera system on the coastal salt marsh of New Jersey. The camera system was installed inside Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville next to an existing osprey nesting platform. The camera system streams live video 24/7 from the nest to the Visitor’s Center at Forsythe and on our website. Since the system has been installed we’ve had crows, peregrine falcons (one that was a juvenile who was ID’d by her leg band and originated in Delaware), and a great horned owl (not good since owls are predators of osprey young) perch on the platform.

The nesting pair of ospreys arrived back from their wintering grounds on Friday, March 29th. We don’t know anything about the breeding pair other than neither is banded with USGS bird bands. The female has a very heavily streaked and prominent “necklace” of brown feathers on her breast. The male is  smaller and has a bright white breast. Since arrived they have already been copulating (breeding) on the nest and will continue to do so over the next few weeks until the female will lay eggs in late April. For now they will continue to spruce up their nest and the male will perform courtship displays, after a successful hunt or while carrying nesting material, near the nest to help strengthen their pair bond.

There is a microphone out at the nest and it works. Some issues have come up with pairing the sound and video feeds and we are working on getting that sound online. I will be writing a weekly “Nest Cam News” journal on the Osprey Cam page with information about osprey reproduction, life history and other cool facts about ospreys! Some other great news is that the Wildlife Drive at Forsythe NWR will be open this weekend!!

Female osprey at nest #2835

Female osprey at nest #2835

Male osprey at nest #2835

Male osprey at nest #2835

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