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Live Ospreycams
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Want to Learn More?
Ospreycam Story
Ospreys in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest [PDF]
Osprey Information [Cornell Bird Guide]
Fish and Chicks...The Story of the Maurice River Osprey
Osprey Fact Sheet [Hinterland Who's Who]
Osprey Infomation [Royal Society for the Protection of Birds]

OspreyUpdate Mid-July 2013
In early July the lower osprey camera was hit by a fecal deposit from one or more of the young. birds  We apologize for the foggy images and have recently switched to a higher–placed alternative camera set.  Soon the osprey will be free of the nest and stay in the area briefly before flying south to Mexico or Central America for the winter season


Osprey, Pandion haliaetus, also commonly called the fish hawk is the only species in the family Pandionidae.

Body color is dark brown above and white below. Head, white except for a brown stripe from the eye to the back of the head. The tail has medium-sized, alternating, dark brown and white bands. The female Osprey had a ring of brown spots around her neck. The Osprey in flight could be misidentified as a large gull or even a Bald Eagle. The Osprey's wings are broader and the wing tips are not as pointed as a gull's. The Bald Eagle has broader wings and a larger wingspan. While in flight, large dark patches at the birds' "wrist" and crooked wings help distinguish this bird from other species.

56-64 cm (22-25 in) length; 147-183 cm (58-72 in) wingspan. Though there is overlap between the sexes, females on average are slightly larger.

The Osprey is one of the world's most widespread birds, occurring on all continents except Antarctica and many islands. Originally, it nested widely across North America, but contamination with the pesticide DDT led to population decrease and range reduction. The North American Osprey is a migratory bird. Osprey winter primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean basin, with concentrations in northern South America.

Reproduction and nest
The large bulky nest is built by both the male and female nest and may be reused for many years. Branches, sticks, twigs, and many unusual materials such as rope, bones, plastic bags, and other debris, are used in the nest construction. The nest is built on the top of large snags, conifers, cliffs, rocky outcrops, bridges, power-poles and on artificial nesting platforms. New materials are added each year; so older nests may weigh hundreds of pounds and be several feet tall. Ospreys often have back-up nests and may shift back and forth from year to year. The female lays 3 eggs. The female incubates the eggs for approximately 33 days. The male bird may also assist with incubation. The male feeds the female while she is on the nest. For approximately 40 days, the female remains on or near the nest, caring for the young. The male brings food to the female during this time as well, which she feeds to the young. The adults care for the young for 48-59 days. Usually only one or two young fledge successfully.

Natural history
The Osprey is rarely seen far from water, except during migration. It eats primarily fish but on occasion has been known to eat snakes, amphibians, and smaller vertebrates. It generally soars over the water searching for prey. When the prey is located, it dives and strikes it with its talons. Instances are known of Ospreys diving on fish too large for them, getting their talons stuck in the fish's flesh, and being dragged under the water and drowned.

Related Links
Animal Diversity Web - University of Michigan
Maurice River - Osprey Colony Project
Birds of Nova Scotia - Osprey Fact Sheet
People for Puget Sound
To explore places to find birds in Washington - Great Washington Birding Trail
Other Osprey Cams

Friends of Blackwater

Osprey Watch - BBCi