13 April 2016

Updated: 4/14/16

The pair has begun mating often and Jasper now turns his back to Bea and spread his wings out and down with tail depressed. These are signs usually seen at the beginning of the season when the pair is re-united. Such a strange season we are having.


A comment in our last post asked if they pair could have another brood. It is a rare event that osprey have a second brood, but I did find it documented in Scotland thirty four years ago. Our pair, Bea and Jasper, have begun mating again so who knows. It would be great if that happened.

08 April 2016

It appears our osprey nest has failed this season. Yesterday, April 7, I checked the nest early morning around 6:15 and KS was fine. I was away on business all day and checked the nest this morning and KS had disappeared. A blogger wrote in (see comments on previous post) that he could see no eggs or chick yesterday early evening. 

It was unfortunate to not have all the eggs hatch, but to have the only chick die is discouraging. We checked around the base of the tower and did not find any evidence of egg shells or of the chick. Upon observing the center of the nest there is a gap from which the chick and eggs most likely fell through. We've noticed Bea pull on a twig/branch that was centered within the nest and her persistence may have lead to the instability of the center of the nest. 

We are not 100% sure this happened, but most likely it has. So unfortunately our 2016 osprey season is over. The pair should maintain the nest for the rest of this year and hopefully we'll have a successful 2017.

As always our camera will remain active so you can continue to watch Bea and Jasper.

04 April 2016

Surprisingly, we still have only the first chick, KS, hatch. It is possible that the remaining two eggs are not viable. Today marks the 45th and 42nd day for the remaining eggs. It may be best if the other two chicks don't hatch as KS has a six day advantage and is steadily growing.

31 March 2016

We possibly have a pip in the second egg, the left egg. Will keep you posted.

30 March 2016

Become an Osprey Watcher

For those that can't get enough of watching ospreys why not consider joining OSPREY WATCH. The Center for Conservation Biology - a partnership between researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and The College of William and Mary - allows citizens to gather nest data on breeding osprey.

The website has a wealth of information and if you know of a nest site that is not being observed you can register - no charges -  and help them document nest activity. I registered a few years back and have been listing our nest activity.

The site lists observed nests all over the world so you can follow them too. 
Check them out! 

29 March 2016

When an osprey chick is ready to hatch from its shell, it uses a pointed egg tooth located on the tip of its upper beak to break through the egg shell. The chick is usually awkward and quite tired from exerting itself. The initial break in the egg is called a "PIP" when the chick begins to crack the shell to free itself.

Watch this YouTube video of a chick hatching at the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust (MWT) in Wales. Turn up your volume so you can hear the chick as it emerges from its egg.

We have our first chick of 2016. 

The first chick hatched at 8:47 this morning. The chick's name is KS.
Pictures pending.

Updated: 11:14
KS receiving its first piece of fish since hatching.

The first chick is still attempting to break free of its shell. You can see that Bea is checking on the little one in the photo.

28 March 2016

Updated photo of chick hatching.

Our Osprey Chicks Are Hatching!

We should have a chick hatch today as we have a pip (see photo).  :)

Today marks the 41st day since the first egg was laid. The second and third egg are 38 and 35 days respectively. Now that the weekend storms have passed hopefully the chicks can hatch with calmer weather.

15 March 2016

It's been pretty quiet on the nest the last few weeks though all that should change possibly by next week. March 22nd will be the beginning of the fifth week since the first egg was laid and we could see the first chick very soon.

08 March 2016

Today marks the third week since the first egg was laid. Jasper has been relieving Bea of incubating duties, allowing her to stretch her wings. So we are about half way through the incubation stage. The pair should have temperatures in the mid 70's beginning tomorrow and into next week.


02 March 2016

It's just over two weeks since the first egg was laid on February 16th. We are anticipating that egg hatching could begin the week of March 22 - which will be the 35th day for the first egg. 

In previous years Bea and Jasper's clutches normally hatched in April. In fact April 10, 2015, was the earliest hatch the pair has had since they've been frequenting the communications tower.

Below Jasper is incubating the clutch as Bea is off eating a fish this morning.

22 February 2016

We have our third egg of the 2016 season.
Our 2016 season wouldn't be complete without Bea's pine cone. Every year since she first arrived, Bea has had a pine cone beside her to occupy her time while incubating the eggs. Not sure if she actually eats the seeds, but she spends her time nibbling away at the cone. Anything to pass the time. :)
As of this morning we still have two eggs. The first egg was laid late afternoon/early evening Tuesday, February 16th. The second egg was laid Friday, February 19th. If a third egg is laid and the chick hatches it will be at a great disadvantage as the chicks will hatch asynchronously and it's small stature compared to its siblings will not enable it to compete for food. 

Last year we saw a tremendous amount of sibling rivalry between the second and third chick. Amazingly the third chick hung on and eventually fledged.

19 February 2016

We have our second egg at 1:49 pm, Friday, February 19th.

With Bea incubating the first egg I thought I'd take advantage of her sitting still to get some close-ups of her this morning.

18 February 2016

As of this morning we still have one egg.


17 February 2016

We have our first egg of the 2016 season. Viewer Beth, from Ohio, spotted the egg last evening about 6:12 p.m.

This egg is the earliest one laid for Bea and Jasper. All of their previous eggs were laid in March:
  • 2011 - March 25th
  • 2012 - March 24th
  • 2013 - March 13th
  • 2014 - March 7th
  • 2015 - March 2nd
This will mark the 16th egg the pair has had since their arrival in 2011. Last year was the first season the pair had a successful clutch of three eggs, all of which fledged.

The red glow seen in the photos is from the beacon light located to the right side of the platform. This beacon is necessary due to our close proximity to Hilton Head's airport.

Clutch sizes can range from 1 - 4, though we have always have three. Both Bea and Jasper will incubate the egg(s) though Bea will spend the majority of her time incubating.

Eggs vary considerably in coloration but typically have a cream-colored base with blotches of some secondary color. The eggs usually hatched a few days apart so we could see another today or in the coming days. Stay tuned!!

16 February 2016

Bea and Jasper have the nest looking much better. The pair have brought in  a lot of sticks and spanish moss creating a nice "bowl" centered on the platform. 

With the rain passing through last night we are anticipating a warming trend that will increase as the week progresses.

11 February 2016

Our pair, Bea and Jasper, have been repairing the nest, though by the looks of it you can't really tell. They have plenty of nesting material on the platform, they just need to put it together. Maybe the cold weather we've been experiencing lately is hindering their efforts.

29 January 2016

Bea arrived yesterday, January 28th at 12:39. 2016 marks the sixth year that this pair has made the nest, atop our communications tower, their home. There are never guarantees with wildlife, so the fact that both Jasper and Bea have returned safely is great news.

The pair will most likely begin their courtship and mating can begin at almost any time.  Their time will also be spent repairing the nest. Jasper has already begun bringing in sticks and moss and with Bea’s arrival the nest should come together quickly.

28 January 2016

We believe Bea has just arrived. She flew onto the platform at 12:39.


A few photos of the male osprey, Jasper.....


26 January 2016

Welcome to the 2016 Osprey Season

We are beginning our 2016 osprey season at Palmetto Electric Cooperative located on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  

We currently have a male osprey on the platform which looks very similar to Jasper. We are attempting to determine if it's him. If our previous pair Bea and Jasper return, it will be their sixth season atop our communications tower located at our district office off of Mathews Drive.

Since 2011 Bea and Jasper have produced 11 fledglings, the most productive pair since 2007 when the osprey cam was installed.

We've already been chatting with a few bloggers this year and want to thank our current viewers and welcome any new viewers/bloggers for joining us for this year's osprey season.

14 January 2016

We have our first osprey of the 2016 season on our platform. More to follow.
This osprey is not Jasper from previous years.