about south river federation

April 8, 2011

Ever since we’ve moved to our new office, I’ve been watching the wildlife that is in and around Gingerville Creek.  I’ve been especially watching the two ospreys that have taken up residence in one of the flying bridges of a boat.    

Growing up in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, I have seen my fair share of ospreys, but this is different.  From my office window, I get the opportunity to observe their daily behavior and it is fascinating!  Since not everyone gets the chance to watch ospreys at such a close distance, I thought it would be fun to write a blog about their activities.  Frankly, I’ve grown quite fond of them. 

I started observing when the male showed up in Gingerville Creek.  He was perched in one of the trees outside of Erik’s office.  He would sit there for most of the day, leaving to take a quick trip around the river or to catch a fish, but for the most part it looked like he was waiting for someone.  And he was!  A few days later his lady friend showed up and they have begun building their nest. 

Being an osprey cannot be easy; every day brings a different challenge..  They have been building their nest little bit at a time.  Each day the male bird brings back branches of all sizes for her to use in their nest.  It’s fun to watch her decide what branches are best.  For example, if she likes it, then they will work the branch into their nest.  If she doesn’t like it, she will push it off their perch as if to say, “I don’t like it, go find me a new one!” 

They face other challenges, from eagles and crows encroaching in on their territory to human disturbances, such as boat traffic, construction, or human interference.  I can tell when activity is going on outside because they will begin to “talk” at loud volumes.  Now I’m not expert at osprey language, but there is a difference between their calls.  You can tell when they are calling to each other or when they are upset.  The almost hysterical chirping means something is going on that doesn’t make them happy! 

He has just brought back another branch, and we will see if she likes it or not.  I will be blogging about their status so check back soon for recent activity. 

For more background information on ospreys, check out these websites:

http://newyorkwild.org/osprey/osprey_info.htm

http://www.pandionhaliaetus.com/

http://www.dnr.state.md.us/irc/docs/00000260_20.pdf