Our Osprey Garden
Our skies are filled with osprey fledglings! We see them and hear them each time we go outside. These youngsters have taken to the sky and are learning about the world in which they live. Do you know how to distinguish a fledgling from their parent? These chicks are now the size of their parents; however, you can quickly tell the difference by the coloring. Chicks and or fledglings appear to be more of a rusty brown with white on their feather tips. Their eyes are bright orange and their parents’ eyes are yellow. They leave the nest often but usually come back to the nest and “touch base”. They have much to learn in the relatively short time they now have in Colonial Beach. At just around three months old, they will make their migration alone. These birds are truly amazing!
My husband and I were truly privileged to have Michael Academia stay with us this past weekend. As you may recall from the festival, he is an Osprey Researcher from The Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary. We were able to give him the “full” tour of all of our nests in Town. He was amazed at how well our osprey are doing here in comparison to osprey in the lower Chesapeake.
Michael was interviewed by our local community Radio Station, WWER 88.1 FM. Michael spoke about the research being done in the lower Chesapeake. Be listening for that interview in the near future!
Another exciting announcement! There is a new non-profit in Town, the Virginia Osprey Foundation! The foundation’s mission is to ensure the protection of the osprey and its environment through education. There is already an event planned for Colonial Beach! The foundation was asked to host a film screening this fall, it is titled, “The Biggest Little Fish You’ve Never Seen” by McKeever Films Inc. We will be posting date, time, and venue soon, stay tuned!
Latest Stats -
57 Nests sites within Town of colonial Beach that were observed to be occupied this season
17 nests failed for various reasons, abandonment, storms, heavy winds
33 nest sites with chicks were observed
7 nest sites still active but have not seen chicks
54 total chicks have fledged or are at fledgling age
Osprey Festival News!
Save the date! April 13, 2024
We secured our keynote speaker for the festival! Dr. Paul Spitzer. Dr. Spitzer began his CT osprey-DDT studies in 1968, as a Wesleyan U. CT undergrad, and protege of Roger and Barbara Peterson.
His experimental egg switches between the MD Chesapeake and coastal CT publicized the osprey's plight with DDT.
In the 1970's decade, he was a doctoral student of Tom Cade at Cornell, and wrote his thesis on ten years of NYC-to-Boston population data, as DDT residues passed from the coastal system and ospreys began their recovery. He predicted the worldwide explosion that followed.
He came to the MD Eastern Shore in 1982 to begin a comparative osprey population study and has lived there since.
He has spent considerable time in VA waters, Mathews Co. and beyond.
We are very excited to host Dr. Spitzer and look forward to his presentation.
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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