2014 Osprey Season
With the 2014 osprey season winding down, this will be our last blog entry. The entire family is still hanging around the communications tower, though not always in view of the camera. Hilton Head Island does have osprey that stay throughout the year, but we have never seen our resident ospreys in the area much after August.
Once ospreys begin their migration, they travel alone which is why it is critical for the juveniles to master their hunting skills as they will be self sufficient. Fall
migration begins in August and peaks in October. Juvenile osprey will remain in their wintering grounds during their second year, venture northward during their third year, and typically return to their natal area of birth at their fourth year.
Our 2014 osprey season began on January 15 with a new male osprey landing on our nest which was in desperate need of a little TLC. It wasn't long before a new female came to the platform and the new pair quickly began repairs to the nest. Jasper, the male from the previous three seasons, came to the platform on February 10 and Bea followed on February 17. With the new pair being dispatched from the tower, Jasper and Bea got to work repairing the nest and began mating.
Three eggs were laid:
1: March 7
2: March 10
3: March 13
On March 24 we lost one of the eggs to a crow. Another osprey in the area was constantly attempting to land on the tower and both Jasper and Bea had to chase the intruder away. During this time a crow came to the empty nest destroying one of the eggs. The remaining eggs were left untouched and the chicks hatched April 19 and 20. With the close age of the chicks there was little aggression between the two and as with osprey chicks they grew like weeds. The chicks were named BK and CR. Both juveniles fledged on June 16.
A big "Thank You" to all of our viewers and bloggers for another successful season. We will keep the camera pointed at the platform so we can view the remaining osprey season and any other wildlife that may be on the platform.
Wishing you all a safe and happy 2014 and look forward to sharing the next season of osprey watching with you.