Live Osprey Camera at Ocean's Reach
Back to the roost! Osprey FAQ
Comments from Mark "Bird" Westall:
Founder of the International Osprey Foundation
(03/22/2013) "Well, the jury is back and most of us sensed what the verdict was going to be; there will be no young ospreys at this nest this season. Once the eggs are incubated to full term, almost never will the pair double clutch and lay a second set of eggs. What is likely to happen now for a little while is a renewal of what was happening before the eggs were laid. We should expect that the pair will renew their work on establishing a solid pair bond together and doing a little refurbishing of the nest, at least for a while. At some point in the near future (probably no more than a month from now), the female will be seen in the area less and less until next Fall and, after she leaves, the male will only occasionally be seen throughout the Summer.
What could possibly make the next few weeks interesting is the other osprey that seems to have more than just a passing interest in this nest site. There could still be some fighting over the territory between the three birds. This is when it would be nice if the birds had color bands on them so we could more easily indentify the participants. But there is no osprey banding going on these days on Sanibel, so we will all have to do our best in trying to identify each individual bird.
Hopefully, all of the intrigue will be settled by next nesting season and the birds can get an early start so we can return to watching these magnificent birds of prey successfully raise their young."
(03/16/2013) "For those of us that have been keeping tabs on the osprey nest here at Ocean’s Reach, you might have seen some behavior of the parents lately that made you a little nervous. And I agree with those concerns, but I am not willing to say this season’s nesting attempt is finished quite yet.
My main concern is that the eggs have been left unattended a few times during the last few days and with the unseasonably cool temperatures we have had lately it is possible the chicks inside the eggs have died from exposure. The parents may be aware of this and that may be why they are willing to leave the nest occasionally.
On a good note, the adults continue to return to incubate the eggs so I think we have to wait, at least, a week and be patient and see what happens. If we do not see any signs of hatching during next week or the parents begin spending more and more time away from incubation, then the nest has probably failed this year.
There are a few factors that could have caused the nest to fail. First of all, it looks like the male lost his mate during the off season and it took a while and a little competition before a new mate was accepted. The old pair usually began incubating by the end of December and this year the first egg was not laid until February 7. This type of delay is normal when a mate is lost as it is not a simple task establishing a new pair bond and developing a smooth, coordinated relationship with a new mate so they can become successful parents.
Second, since this was the first mating of a new pair, it is possible that the eggs were never actually fertilized. Also, we have had some unusually cold temperatures recently and if the female is a young bird, she may not be as disciplined as a more mature bird. After a long thirty-five days of spending most of her time incubating the eggs, if the weather gets exceptionally uncomfortable, a young female can sometimes lose focus. I always say that, “Teenagers CAN become successful parents, but they are not ALWAYS the best parents when times get difficult because, after all, they are STILL teenagers!”
So, let’s hope for the best that the eggs are still alive and soon we will all be able to enjoy watching the parents raise their young. But we should also prepare ourselves for the possibility that this nesting season may be over. There will always be next year. The osprey-cam gives us an intimate view into the family life of ospreys and it is wonderful to watch, but Life does not always have a happy ending; especially in the wild, natural world.
Understanding and accepting the harsh realities of the natural world makes nature’s successes just that much more of a thrill to watch!"
Thank you Mark!
“Life is for the birds” again at Ocean’s Reach! Our brand new osprey-cam is up and active, giving you a bird’s eye view of our favorite feathered friends as they once again make their home here on Sanibel Island.
For the past five years, Ocean's Reach guests have enjoyed watching an osprey family in a special 35-foot nesting platform constructed just for the birds at the resort.
This season, our female osprey laid her first egg on February 7, her second on February 9 and her third on February 11. Eggs are typically laid one to three days apart; clutches have 2-4 eggs. The female usually takes on most of the responsibility of incubation, seldom leaving except to feed. The male then takes over incubation until her return.
Incubation takes from 35 to 42 days, making mid-March the time that all eyes will be on the nest! We look forward to observing the eggs hatching, nestlings growing and their first flights!
We hope you're able to check back often and enjoy watching their progress. They're just a part of the remarkable wildlife -- including more than 220 species of birds -- you can find here on Sanibel Island. We're blessed with several types of bird habitats, including mangrove stands, beaches and freshwater wetlands, and with an average yearly high of 81 degrees Fahrenheit (and a low of 65), Sanibel Island is the ideal spot for year-round birding!
Egg 1 02/07/2013
Egg 2 02/09/2013
Egg 3 02/11/2013