Ospreys nesting at Legare Farms, March 2014. Click to enlarge

Last Fall, with the help of Berkeley Electric, the Conservancy installed two Osprey nesting platforms, one at Legare Farms and one at Mullet Hall (a third was recently installed at CATR Farms – see below).   Often it can take a couple of years for a nesting pair to occupy a new platform. Osprey’s prefer to return to the same nesting site each year. The Legare site was near a former nest on a very tall communications tower. As part of the project, the communications company removed the old nest from the tower. (See Project overview post.)  


When the pair returned early this year to find their old home gone, they moved to the new platform.The picture at left, taken in late March, shows one of the Ospreys brooding eggs while the mate returns to check things out.  


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We continued to observe the birds sitting on nest through the end of April.   On May 7 we saw the hen was no longer sitting and appeared to be spreading her wings in the hot sun as if shielding something. While no chick was visible, we think one must have hatched by this time. Then on May 16 we got a picture of a chick.


Ospreys generally lay multiple eggs, up to 4.   But only one chick has been observed so far.   Often, the first to hatch, the biggest and strongest, will monopolize all the food and force out younger siblings (see “All About Birds“).   We are not sure if this is the case with our nest or if only one egg had been laid.  

Mom redecorates the nursery
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Mother and chick
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Dad brings lunch[600
Another Platform Installed at CATR Farms

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The platform we built this past winter for CATR Farms, which is located at the Brickhouse Equestrian Center, was finally erected this month. Berkeley Electric had a busy winter season with the ice storms and then the ground was too wet after the many rain storms. Once the ground firmed up, the busy Berkeley crew again did a great job. While the platform got in too late for this nesting season, we are optimistic that the great location on a two acre pond will attract a pair next year. The platform can be seen from River Rd. where it intersects Hamilton Rd.