It’s already been a week since we returned from Virginia, where the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) were present in force. Nests had been claimed and birds were mating repeatedly. Check out the Route 301 bridge over the Potomac: as co-pilot, I spotted six nests near it (three were right over the road on sign towers, two on the MD side, one on the VA side) as we sped by at 55mph.These photos are of a pair at the Rappahannock River Valley NWR unit near Tappahannock. (Eat your sushi from the head down. That’s a piece of nesting material around the toes.) A couple more were overhead, as was a trio of cavorting Bald Eagles.
Meanwhile, in NYC, I haven’t yet seen an Osprey yet. But they have been sighted by others (I get my 411 via email). We know from some satellite-tagged birds at Jamaica Bay that it takes about two weeks for them to fly up from Colombia (others go further, some are closer during our winter). A report from the Bronx said that a pair chased off some Bald Eagles who were examining a long-time Osprey nest near Pelham Bay. I’m keeping an eye on the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, where a pair of Osprey unexpectedly nested last year.