The nest has been very quiet with few images of any ospreys around. A cam watcher did spot this bird on the nest, but we can’t be completely certain that it’s one of the birds from our cam family, since we have quite a few ospreys around Blackwater Refuge and we also have ospreys migrating down the coast who could be stopping over at the Refuge to rest and feed.
I’m tempted to say our family has likely left because there have been few sightings of the youngsters coming back to the nest looking for a meal. If the youngsters were ready to go, the male osprey would have left, too. The one advantage of going now is that the hurricane activity in the Atlantic has been relatively quiet, so now would be a good time to head down the coast and over to South America. We hope that if our family has left that they have a very safe journey, no matter where each individual bird decides to go for the winter.
The one thing that’s a bit surprising is that we’re not seeing bald eagles on the nest just yet. We have seen turkey vultures, but normally the bald eagles start perching on the platform once the ospreys are gone, but maybe it’s a bit early for the eagles to feel at home taking over the platform.
One item we wanted to pass along in this final blog post: If you’re interested in seeing raptor migration in person, a wonderful place to visit is Hawk Mountain Sanctuary near Kempton, Pennsylvania. The sanctuary offers trails to the overlooks, and they also have a wonderful Visitor Center with raptor exhibits. They also just opened an accessible trail, if you’re not up for the more strenuous climbs to the higher lookouts. According to their Peak Migration calendar, the next few weeks will offer the best chance to see ospreys and eagles migrating over the mountains, so it’s a great time to visit. You can also check out their Raptor Count page to see the most current migration numbers.
We want to thank everyone for joining us for what was a very successful season on the Blackwater Osprey Cam. After a couple of seasons with disappointing results, we were very happy to have such an enjoyable year. We’ll be keeping the gallery open, so feel free to continue sending in photos, and thanks to all those who sent in photos throughout the nesting season.