It seems like a short time ago that snow drifts and ice covered our landscape and Osprey were getting restless on their wintering grounds. Now we find ourselves in the midst of the local Osprey nesting season and it has not lacked for excitement and suprises.
The biggest change this year has been the lack of an active nest at the Cox Reservation nest with the webcam. But then about 10 days ago, Ethel started to reappear more regularly, and then a new male arrived on the scene. Nest building activity has been happening over the past week and if it was late April still, I'd be expecting eggs any day. But this far into the nesting season, it is very unlikely but not impossible. Last year I found a new nest with one egg on June 8, so it would be a wonderful surprise if Ethel were able to still produce eggs this year. Its worth keeping an eye on the webcam.
Around the region north of Boston, there are nests in many of the same spots as 2014, a few instances of active 2014 nest sites not being active this year, and a few new nest sites. I am trying to keep the Osprey Nest Site Map updated with info, so that is always a good place to check for the status of any nest in the area.
It is always a challenging time in early June to keep track of nesting Osprey pairs because failed pairs are moving around, and younger pairs are in some cases establishing nest site for the first time. The result is that I am getting reports now of new nests in Revere, Essex, Gloucester and Salisbury.And lots and lots of Osprey sightings across the area.A new nest doesn't always mean another new pair....that's the trick....trying to understand that timing of when different nests are active. If you do the math - I estimate about 35 breeding pairs = 70 Osprey.....plus add another 10-15 (or maybe more) of younger, non-breeding Osprey that are in the area, and you have 85+ Osprey in our region from East Boston tpo Salisbury. It is very exciting!
Once again I want to give a shout out to the volunteer Osprey nest monitors who have to date submitted more than 375 online reports. It is no vital to track nest activity, which allows me to understand where birds are and how many pairs are active.
A few nests are starting to hatch young, with more to come. If you like Osprey as much as we do at Greenbelt, now is your best time to get out and see them in this area.
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.