View a short video on the banding of two nests of osprey chicks
(six total chicks were successfully banded) on July 2, 2014 




About the Osprey

The osprey is a large raptor, often known as the “fish hawk.”  Both male and female osprey work together to create the nest. Once eggs are laid (typically 1-3), the osprey take turns incubating the eggs. The family diet is 99% fish, supplemented with other reptiles, crustaceans and even other birds. When the chicks are 10 days old, they are already mobile and eat 1-3 lbs. of food per day.


2015 Osprey Nest Updates

April 24, 2015 update

The Real Ospreys of Carver County: “Musical Nests”saga...
Osprey 79 (male) and Osprey 3S (female) have split. Despite what studies may say about ‘mating for life,’ this behavior is not uncommon after failed breeding, as is the case for this pair.  Osprey 3S has moved on to mate, taking up with an unidentified male from another nest on Bavaria Road, and they are building a nest in Chaska.  Osprey 79 (the oldest bird in the program) was spotted making loops in the air before soaring over Lake Minnetonka.  In the meantime, there appear to be two interlopers vying for the now-vacant nest. In the lead is Osprey Z3 (a three year old and one of two brothers from a nest near Carver Park that was initially courting Osprey 3S with fish) and an unbanded female Osprey.  But Osprey VJ, a 10 year old male from a nest near Prior Lake, is trying to claim the nest but with a yet-unidentified female..  Check back soon as the world turns and this live soap opera continues.


April 19, 2015 update

After a string of potential different male suitors appearing on the Arboretum Osprey cam nest, our old friend, Male 79, has finally turned to the nest sometime late in the day on April 18! He has set a new longevity record in this study at 23 years of age. The male's late return this spring has been stressful for the female, 3S, as she had to defend the territory alone.

Here's hoping for a successful breeding season for this loyal pair of Ospreys!


April 15, 2015 Update

This morning we have a different male on the nest...he is Z3, the brother of the male that was there yesterday! He is three years old also and is bringing fish and working on the nest. We will see how the soap opera ends and who wins the territory!*

This nest pole was erected in 2001 in response to ospreys attempting to build a nest on an electric line. Ospreys are nesting in the Twin Cities area primarily because of a 29-year program initiated by Three Rivers Parks to reintroduce the birds as a nesting species in the metro area and monitor their population expansion and distribution.


April 13, 2015 Update

The returning female, 3S, (green/black band) is 5 years old. We have not seen the old male, 79, but a new young male is on the nest and presented 3S with a fish which is part of the courtship ritual. He is Z2, a three year old from a nest on private property near Carver Park. The old male, 79, has often been a late return in the spring, so we haven't given up hope on seeing him...but the oldest male we have documented so far in this study has been 22 years old, which was the age of 79 last year.*


* Special thanks to Vanessa Greene and Twin Cities Metro Osprey Watch for nest monitoring and update info

Here are helpful links for more info on ospreys: (search for "ospreys")

Special thanks to the Garwick Family Memorial Fund for generously sponsoring the costs of the “Osprey Cam".