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  • Writer's pictureVirginia Osprey Foundation

Osprey Flyer, Volume XIII, July Edition 2023

Our Osprey Garden

Greetings Osprey Friends!

Lots of good news for our Osprey Garden in Colonial Beach! On June 20, Ken Smith, Federally Permitted Raptor Bander travelled to Colonial Beach from Maryland and banded five of our chicks in three different nests! Many members of our community were able to observe Ken banding. A very educational experience for all! We thank Ken for his commitment and dedication to our osprey. Bird banding data are useful in both scientific research and management and conservation projects according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Colonial Beach is proud to participate in this endeavor.



While Ken was here, he was able to get a photo of a female bird on a nest in the Potomac River. He captured a partial band number and one of our amazing photographers in Colonial Beach, Cable Risdon, was able to capture the rest of the numbers. They were turned into the banding lab (USGS) and it was determined that she was banded as a baby in 2015, making her 8 years old. She was banded in Tappahannock by our keynote speaker, Dr. Bryan Watts! What a small world it really is.


Michael Academia, Osprey Researcher at The Center for Conservation Biology and Dr. Bryan Watts, Director of the Center for Conservation Biology and their “osprey – menhaden” research will be featured in the New York Times on July 11, 2023. I will be looking for a copy or reading it online! Some of you may have met Michael at the festival. He is devoted to osprey and their survival!


On the global front, Luis Saavedra from Venezuela reports that he observed 6 osprey in his region. These osprey stayed in their wintering grounds leading us to believe that they are the babies from 2022. After their first migration, the young osprey do not return until at least their second spring, this allows time for them to mature and become more adept at fishing. I am including a couple of the pictures of the ospreys that Luis observed.


It appears some of our chicks have become fledglings and the sky is sometimes filled with more ospreys than usual. They seem to fly just fine; it is the landings that are a little rough, so be alert.

So far, these are the data on our nests, and we are still collecting data so this will change.

We have observed 57 sites which showed some signs of nesting activity this year, of those:

· 12 have failed

· 18 remain active but we are unable to see any chicks as of yet

· 26 nests have produced 43 chicks

· These are the numbers as of 7/10/2023


Osprey Festival News!

Save the date! April 13, 2024

We are in the process of searching for expert speakers for next year’s festival. It is our desire to bring quality speakers and to cover some different and interesting topics but all related to our ospreys and environment. We are also working on more opportunities for our children’s area the “Nestlings Corner”. Stay tuned!


Reminder!! We still have hats available for a donation of $25, Virginia is for Osprey Lovers T shirts for a donation of $10 and we have only 2 small LOVE Sign Tshirts left for a donation of $26. We have stickers available for a donation of $2.

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