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2017 Observations from the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail Osprey Cam

July 15 – 0630hr – the third chick was observed landing on the nest platform, joining the other two chicks and one adult. Shortly thereafter the other adult landed with a fish and feeding commenced.

July 13 – 1000hr – CBOCS volunteers, Chesapeake Beach Public Works personnel and Greg Kearns (Naturalist with Patuxent River Park) approached the nest platform to band the Osprey chicks before they reached fledging or flight stage. However, our activity around the nest platform prompted one of the chicks to take off on its maiden flight. It flew well, gained altitude and circled the general area at some distance, and it remained aloft until we left the area and lost sight of it. As soon as the first chick took flight, we backed away from the platform so as to not disturb the remaining two chicks. Time will tell whether the chick that took off will return to the nest platform — it should … Greg was not surprised when one of the chicks took flight, even though fledging was supposed to be next week. Some birds fly at 7 weeks of age or earlier, rather than the long term average of 8 weeks.

July 1 – 0800hr – The three chicks have grown rapidly and appear healthy. Assuming that May 23 was the midpoint of hatching, fledging should occur around July 17. Fledging is the time when a young bird has developed all feathers necessary for flight.

June 13 – 0800hr – All three chicks appear to be similar in size and equally alert, while “mom” stands alone on the perch adjacent to the nest.

June 04 – 0825hr – Breakfast time on the nest platform. All three chicks are standing at times while one of the parents rips off small pieces of fish to feed the hungry mouths. Last year there were two dark-headed chicks and one light-headed. The same color patterns are apparent again this year, with “whitey” somewhat smaller (likely the last chick to hatch).

May 29 – some time during the last day or so Chick Number 3 hatched! The next milestone for the young ospreys will be flight capability, which should occur about July 17 (55 days from the midpoint of hatching for the clutch). You may recall that last year we lost the osprey cam in June due to a lightning strike. Hopefully we’ll be able to follow the chicks as they grow and develop through fledging …

May 23 – 0730hr – Second chick confirmed!

May 21 – Nancy Feuerle reported that the first chick hatched some time during the afternoon today! We should see another hatch or two in the next few days…

May 20 – 0600hr – No eggs have hatched yet, but next week we should see a chick or two or three!

May 01 – 1130hr- The apparent male (white chest) was incubating the eggs when the female (brown mottled chest) returned and resumed incubation within a few minutes.

April 20 – 1630hr – third egg confirmed! Assuming an incubation period of 38 days (38-40) and a first egg date of April 15, hatching should start on or about May 23.

April 17 – must have been a busy Easter weekend because TWO eggs were observed at 0815hr today. A clutch of three eggs is not uncommon, and three eggs hatched during 2016. Perhaps in a couple more days we’ll see a third egg…

April 07 — both ospreys visit the nest occasionally throughout the day (as they have since the second half of the pair arrived), and the nest bowl appears to be ready.

March 30 — both ospreys observed on the platform daily since arrival. Note the increasing appearance of small “nest material” (lighter in color and more plant-like as opposed to twigs and branches).

March 25 — They’re late, but an osprey was observed on the nest platform. You may recall that the Town of Chesapeake Beach Public Works and CBOCS volunteers erected two osprey platforms during the Spring of 2014. Last year a camera was placed above and adjacent to the eastern platform just in time for the ospreys’ return on March 17, 2016.