12 July 2011

Looking Back To The 2011 Season

Our season began mid January when the first osprey was spotted on the nest. In less than a month’s time a new pair had established themselves on the platform without any of last year’s interference from other ospreys. The new male spent little time in repairing the nest, which was a major undertaking since the nest was left unoccupied from 2010 and was practically bare. The pair worked on nest building, though their construction skills left much to be appreciated. By the look of the nests construction, it could be surmised that this was a young breeding pair.

Throughout February and into late March the pair mated and continued nest building and on March 26th the first egg was laid. The second egg was laid March 29th and the third was laid on the 31st. During late March we had tremendous lightning and thunderstorms and it was very encouraging to see that the female was not frightened off and stayed with their eggs.

In April we named our pair Bea and Jasper, which was submitted by Beth from Ohio. The weather improved and Bea and Jasper took turns incubating their clutch of three eggs.

On May 4th the first egg hatched at 9:38 a.m. and the chick was named MKD. May 5th brought us the second chick, TE, which hatched around 6:40 p.m and the third chick, MT, hatched May 7th around 10:13 a.m. With three hungry chicks Jasper’s hunting skills quickly took center stage and he didn’t disappoint by bringing in several Mullet each day. Unfortunately, six days into MT’s life, the third chick, Jasper flew in carrying a stick and inadvertently lifted MT up by the neck and carried him to the edge of the nest. MT fell from the tower and did not survive the 100’ fall.

As May progressed so did the two chicks with the eldest, MKD, showing a bit of aggression towards TE and on occasion its mother Bea. Not a good idea to bite the beak that feeds you. By late May, MKD and TE became very mobile and moved about the platform with ease. With their increased mobility and size it was inevitable that one of them would hit our camera while relieving itself and our view of the osprey family was blurred for most of June which was unfortunate because we missed their development from small chicks to juveniles.

By late June rain finally came to the island and cleared the camera lens in time for us to see the majestic juveniles in their buff feathers and exercising their wings in anticipation of fledging. By the first full week of July the two juveniles had successfully fledged. Currently, Bea and Jasper are maintaining residency of the platform before possibly migrating southward. We do have a few ospreys that stay over the winter so we’ll have to see what this pair will do.

We would like to thank all of our viewer’s and bloggers for their support and comments. The cam will continue to be online throughout the remainder of the year unless we have maintenance to perform. As osprey migration begins in about a month for our northern states and Canada we may see ospreys stopping off for a rest along the East Coast so keep watching for any interesting birds that might visit the tower. This will be the last post for the 2011 season, but we will continue to post comments.

Please join us next season and have a great 2011.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

A wonderful `Thank You` to the Palmetto Electric’s Hilton Head operations center -2011 crew- for this awesome opportunity to watch nature and enjoy the HH Ospreys.

We are grateful and appreciate the Palmetto mods ♥ and all the 2011 updates *superb job!!

Beth/Ohio

Anonymous said...

Thanks, MG, for the final summary of the 2011 season. It seems like it was a very short season, but at least we did have activity in the nest, and we did get to watch the little ones hatch and the two adults care for them until they matured and fledged. Thanks for all the info during this spring/summer. We look forward to next January when the activity will start again (we hope!).

Vivian

Carol said...

I ditto Beth and Vivian's posts. See y'all next January! Stay well.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Bea standing in the nest this Thursday afternoon wondering where everyone went! Maybe the young ones are out of view?? Can't imagine that they have gone south this early. Hope to see them a few more times before their long trip. Maybe I'll see them flying around the nest area next week when I'm on Hilton Head!

Vivian

Anonymous said...

My thanks also to all those in the background for the information and updates for this nesting season .. I have enjoyed all of it!
DB Canada

Anonymous said...

A fish is lying on the nest this morning. I have not seen a bird on the nest for several days, are the parents still bringing food to the juveniles?

moderator said...

We've seen the adults on occassion, but non e of the juveniles.

Anonymous said...

What a surprise to see an osprey on the nest this Saturday morning! Must be on its migratory trip south?

Vivian

Anonymous said...

Hi
sent an email about the condition of the nest, but haven't seen it appear on the blog

Are there any plans to modify the nest so that the chick(s) won't fall off the edge? Usually the ospreys create a "bowl" preventing this to happen.

moderator said...

There are no plans to modify the existing platform for the osprey nest located at our Mathews Drive office.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, the osprey couple will return, and with experience from last year, will do a little better job putting the nest together. They did a pretty fantastic job last year given the condition of the "nest" to begin with. I am already anxious for January and some activity!

Vivian

Anonymous said...

Osprey on the nest for over 10 minutes!! 10-25-11

Beth/Oh

Anonymous said...

Osprey back on nest this am - 10/27

Beth/Oh

Anonymous said...

Hey, what do I see?? There's a osprey on the nest. That's kind of strange! Any ideas?
Mary Pat :) 10/31/11 9:53am

moderator said...

Hey Mary Pat,

We usually have a few ospreys hang around the island year round so you may one on the nest now and then.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Moderator. I didn't realize some stayed. I am having withdraw. Can't wait till the season is upon us again when we have babies.
Happy Halloween
Mary Pat :)

Anonymous said...

Friday, December 30, and there is an osprey on the nest! Could it be a return from last season, a migrating from the north, or one that has stayed for the winter? Is it too soon for a return? Oh well, guess time will tell. It is nice, though to see a little activity.

Vivian

moderator said...

Hey Vivian,

Didn't see the osprey on the nest, but it could be any scenario you mentioned. Usually the osprey appear regularly on the nest any time from late January into February. The last two seasons January was the month when we began seeing activity.

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen any osprey on the nest lately.
At the Dunedin nest both female & male have arrived.
Two eaglets at the Jordan Lake eagle nest.
Two eggs at the Blackwater Refuge eagle nest
Still awaiting the live cam at Norfolk Botanical Gardens eagle nest.
The new season is blooming with activity. Can not wait till our ospreys arrive.
Mary Pat - Adamstown, MD :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, Mary Pat, thanks for the note about the Dunedin osprey cam. What a fantastic camera they have set up this year! Beautiful pictures with so many options. Will be great viewing this season.

Vivian

Anonymous said...

Checking in and hoping to find that the osprey have returned. Camera seems out of focus or is it that the lens is cloudy?

Anonymous said...

Is the HHI camera being monitored? The temperature hasn't changed in months and the camera never seems to move.

Just curious.

Anonymous said...

1/24/12 m- 1st egg hatched at the George Miksch Sutton eagle webcam. suttoncenter.org/pages/live_eagle_camera.
Mary Pat, Adamstown, MD :)

Carol said...

When will the blog open for the 2012 season? Last year first osprey were seen middle of January. It is almost February. I'm itching to get going again!

moderator said...

Hey Carol,

I will probably open the Palmetto Electric Osprey 2012 blog on February 1st or shortly there after.

Anonymous said...

Hi Moderator--I like the new blog page! Just got back from Hilton Head and didn't see any osprey while there. I'll be back mid February, and things should be starting up by then. In the meantime, I'm watching the nest every day. We should be seeing some constant activity soon.

Vivian

Carol said...

Just heard one of our osprey! 11:59 a.m.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news about the 2012 blog
coming online! Yippee :)

Beth/Oh

Carol said...

Oh wait a minute! We don't have sound, do we! It must have been coming from Dunedin nest.