by: Libby Buck, NCF Shorebird Monitor

For the past three seasons, there has been resident pair of Ospreys nesting on the ground at Eel Point. This is a very rare occurrence, since Ospreys typically nest off the ground in an old dead tree, an artificial structure such as utility pole, or a human constructed Osprey platform. For whatever reason, this particular pair decided the ground would be prime real estate for their nest.

Eel Point Oprey chick & Adult in nest

The position of the nest on the beach actually helped the other nesting shorebirds in the area. The Ospreys were usually the first to alert the other nesting birds of threats so everyone knew to be on their guard.

Eel Point Oprey Chick 2014

It was also very fascinating to observe the whole process from nest building to chick development. In the summer of 2014, this pair of Ospreys had one successful fledgling from their nest on the ground. Unfortunately, in the summer of 2015, they didn’t have such good luck in raising chicks due to poor weather conditions.

Ground Nest with eggs

As of right now we are happy to see that they are back again for another season with a new surprise. For reasons unknown to us at NCF, beachgoers decided to put up a random piece of driftwood which was possibly a telephone pole in its previous life. Visiting the beach last week, we observed the Ospreys carrying nesting materials to the pole, attempting to build a nest on the pole’s narrow top. Wanting the birds to be successful, we quickly attached a wooden pallet to the top of the pole to make a makeshift Osprey nesting pole.

Oprey 2016 new pole

The Ospreys quickly took up residence and began building their nest at the pole top in hopes of making 2016 a successful year for a family!

Take advantage of this opportunity and make a trip out to Eel Point, where you will be able to witness these two birds happily constructing their new nest! Keep in mind that even though Ospreys, in general, tend to be tolerant of people, they are still a wild bird species attempting to lay eggs and raise young – please keep a respectful distance while observing these birds!

For more information on the Ospreys please refer to our previous blog post –  What’s New in Nature: Osprey.

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