• Home
  • News
  • FODMers Survey Virginia's Breeding Birds

“Our” Ospreys

Osprey nest Adult osprey pair at Belle Haven Marina with three nestlings.

An osprey (Pandion haliaetus) family near the boat ramp of the Belle Haven Marina has provided fans and photographers many prime raptor-watching opportunities this spring, 2017.  The two adults are raising three young.

 Adult ospreyAdult osprey perched.Ospreys often hover over water and then plunge feet first to catch fish in their impressive talons.  The “female remains with the young most of the time at first, sheltering them from sun and rain; male brings fish, female feeds them to young,” according to Kenn Kaufmann in The Lives of North American Birds.  Many of these birds return to and use the same nest each year, adding new sticks and other materials every spring. 

Since the eggshell-thinning DDT and related pesticides were banned in 1972, ospreys have made an amazing comeback in much of North America.  In 2016, FODM surveyors counted nine nests and documented seven nests with young in the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve.  FODMers conduct an annual breeding bird survey from May to July.

Photographs by Glenn Mai

Male osprey with fishThe male osprey brings a fish to the nest.

Juvenile ospreysTwo of the juvenile ospreys in the nest.

Juvenile ospreyJuvenile osprey exercises its wings.

osprey diveThis year's ospreys are flying and catching fish.

Juvenile ospreysYoung ospreys on the nest, July 18, 2017.

Osprey eating fishOsprey eating a fish.