Welcome to the Osprey Cam
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 and crustaceans. When the chicks are 10 days old, they are already mobile and eat 1-3 lbs. of food per day.
Special thanks to the Garwick Family Memorial Fund for generously sponsoring the costs of the “Osprey Cam."
Additional thanks to Vanessa Greene and Metro Osprey Watch (www.ospreywatch.blogspot.com) for their expert monitoring of the Arboretum osprey nest this past year. Osprey Watch provides info about ospreys in the metro area
April 17, 2017
The Arboretum osprey-cam season is now in full swing. Most adult ospreys return to the same nest year after year. But Z3, the adult male from 2016, was playing “musical nests” by alternating between his “home nest” and another nest in Excelsior area (note: correction from previous stating the other nest was on Arboretum grounds). However, he got booted off the second nest by another male osprey. The female osprey from the “home nest” has returned and Z3 is now back in “courtship mode” by helping to build the nest and bringing food to share with the female. What’s next—watching for mating and egg-laying. Check the camera often by clicking here.
April 6, 2017
Watch for the return of the ospreys to Minnesota and a new season of the Arboretum osprey cam. Most adult ospreys return to the same nest year after year, so fingers crossed for the return of the same pair from 2016 (at least the same male and female who took over the nest from previous osprey tenants!). Migration is not without danger, as not all survive the trip.
It’s an interesting journey—observing the fun and drama of matings (will the 2016 male and female return to each other), the courtship rituals (including male sky dance), and DIY nest renovations.
To refresh everyone’s memory….flash back to Sept 26, 2016—a photo (compliments of Vanessa Greene) captures the new osprey about to leave the Arboretum nest. This osprey was not banded under the Three Rivers Park District program, but her migration to points south of the equator will be an extended stay. Young ospreys stay at wintering grounds for two to three years.
As they approach breeding age, ospreys typically return to their fledging area so there is a good chance to see this particular osprey again, all grown up!
Thanks to Vanessa Greene and Metro Osprey Watch (www.ospreywatch.blogspot.com) for their expert monitoring of the Arboretum osprey nest this past year. Osprey Watch provides info about ospreys in the metro area.
2016 Osprey Nest Updates
Friday, Aug. 19
It is official success for this nest and take-off for this osprey chick!
The osprey chick fledged at about 8:20 this morning and did not return to the nest until about 11 a.m. She stuck her landing, on the nest perch, perfectly! She has stayed close to home for most of the day toda.
But it won't be long before the chick begins venturing forth more and more in the days ahead, while still returning to the nest to eat. As for the parents, the adult female will be the first to begin her migration, sometime in the next few weeks probably. The male will remain to feed and care for the chick. Both will likley be around sporadically until sometime in mid September.
Thanks to Vanessa Greene and the Osprey Watch project for dedicated monitoring of the nest and her knowledgeable information about the osprey.
Tuesday, Aug. 16
The osprey chick is acitvely flapping its wings, lifting off and returning down to the nest right this morning. Keep watching as "take-off" could happen anytime.
Thursday, Aug. 11
The little osprey chick, who reached the milestone 50 days on Aug. 8 is just entering the window of time when fledging could occur. They commonly fledge between 50-55 days and varies from bird to bird. People mistakenly believe that the parents will do something to encourage flight, or will in some way teach them to fly but this is incorrect. An osprey will fly when it is physiologically ready. Note these signs of flying readiness and behavior: the blood began to recede in the feathers, flapping their wings to build strength, and hopping from one side of the nest to the other
Tuesday, July 19
Happy birthday to the osprey chick--he or she (not sure yet) is one month old Sunday, July 17, and growing very well.
Sunday, June 19
Big news and Happy Father's Day to proud parents of a baby chick born 6 a.m. this morning: male osprey Z3 and his mate, the unbanded female.
A quick recap: the pair took over the nest early last year when the old male osprey died and the banded female moved to another nest. This is the new pair's second nest attempt and their first chick. The first time parents are very excited, with the male sticking quite close to the nest and wanting to look at the new chick. The female is often peeking beneath to check on her new offspring.
Two eggs were laid this year and one was broken accidentally. But the pair continued to incubate the second egg and it hatched this morning. Usually the female will brood the chick and the male will provide the food. They almost never both leave the nest until the chick approaches fledging age.
The chick cannot thermoregulate in its first weeks of life, so the female will stay very close to keep it warm and dry. Eventually the female will stand up more and shade the chick as it begins moving around in the nest, looking out at its new world. Nestlings grow very quickly...usually to 80% of their adult size in the first 30 days.
Saturday, May 21
Sadly, this morning found discovered one damaged egg on the side of the nest. No clear explanation of how egg was damaged. The good news is that the osprey pair is faithfully continuing to incubate the remaining egg. Fingers crossed!
Sunday, May 15, 2016
The brood is (hopefully) expanding! A second osprey egg was laid in the nest on Saturday night, May 14 at about 7:19 p.m. Watch how the osprey parents alternate warming the eggs in the nest.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
A new day brought a new surprise: one egg in the nest! It may have been laid overnight or early this morning. Both adults are incubating the egg. Monitoring will continue to see if additional eggs are on the way. Osprey usually lay eggs about two to three days apart, with two to three eggs quite common (occasionally there may be four!).
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
The male/female osprey couple from last year are still a couple: The male, Z3, and his mate--an unbanded female, do not seem to be getting around to laying eggs. So,chill (no pun on weather intended)....watch and wait.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Correction from April 13 entry: The returning male osprey, banded Z3, is quite young--only four years old. He took over the nest last year and mated with the unbanded female but broke the eggs. The elder male osprey who had been returning to this nest for the past few years, banded 79, sadly ended up at the Raptor Center in very poor condition and was euthanized last year.
This morning, the Z3 male osprey chased off another male osprey. Time will tell who wins this territory.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
This morning, the elder male osprey from last year, banded as Z3 , is back on the nest ....but with a new (unbanded) female osprey. ( As you may recall, his former female partner from last year, left the nest with another male osprey after their failed nesting.) Typically, a territorial male osprey will chase off all other males. Time will tell how this new nesting saga shakes out--be on guard for some chaos until things settle down.
Monday, April 11, 2016
A male osprey has been spotted at the nest the past few days. According to his band number, he is a five year old from a nest out near Lake Waconia. It is still early though and the original osprey male and female pair from last year (besides the interloper pair who came after the other pair abandoned the nest) may yet return.
Thanks to Twin Cities Metro Osprey Watch and Vanessa Greene at Osprey.firstname.lastname@example.org for contributing to these updates.
Here are helpful links for more info on ospreys:
www.ThreeRiversParks.org (search for "ospreys")
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Sadly, the nest has failed for this osprey pair as the third and remaining egg cracked accidentally and the female osprey ate some of the remains (it's protein) this past weekend. The osprey cam will continue to operate for a while to see what happens next with the osprey. It is possible that they could lay another egg. These past couple days, both were continuing to incubate a few eggshells...they seem to let go slowly when a nest fails like this. Mother Nature doesn't always deal a fair hand--it's been a rough few years on a nest that historically been very successful.
Thursday, May 28
The second of three eggs from this new couple appears to have been accidentally stepped on and cracked on May 27. They are now incubating only one egg. Life can be a challenge for young inexperienced osprey!
Thursday, May 21 update
The new Osprey nest couple are in a better place since the egg-rejection drama a little over a week ago. The pair laid two more eggs last week, on May 13 and 16. They are incubating normally and if all goes well, and if the eggs are fertile, watch for hatching of the first egg around June 21, a great happening for Fathers Day!
Monday, May 11 update
The saga continues on the Osprey nest. With Z3 male osprey and his female osprey partner (unbanded) now claiming the nest, their first egg was laid early this morning. However, the female osprey did not incubate the egg and Z3 displayed behavior rejecting the egg-standing on it and kicking it to the side of the nest. Without incubation, the egg has little chance of maturing and surviving. Monitoring will continue to see what's next for this osprey couple.
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.*