Savannah Ospreys

Location: Savannah, Georgia

Camera Host: Skidaway Audubon

Find more about Weather in Savannah, GA

October 13, 2017

Northern Mockingbird Rummages Around Savannah Nest

Watch this Northern Mockingbird take some time to investigate the vacant nest on Skidaway Island in Savannah, Georgia.  

September 15, 2017

Join Us For Bird Cams Appreciation Night!

Whether you’re here in Ithaca, New York, or around the world, join the Bird Cams team this Saturday, September 16, as we celebrate the birds, the community, and insights from watching the cams—and anticipate what's yet to come. Join us in person for a reception from 6:00 to 7:00 P.M. and presentation and Q&A from 7:00 to 8:30 at the auditorium in B25 Warren Hall on Cornell campus, or tune in to the live stream from 7:00 to 8:30 P.M., U.S. Eastern Time by clicking on the "More" link.  More...

September 05, 2017

Wood Stork Perches Atop Tree in Savannah

Look who we woke up to on the Savannah Osprey cam this morning! Wood Storks are the only stork and the largest wading bird that breeds in the United States. Primarily found from northern Florida through coastal South Carolina, these storks stand over a meter tall and have a striking appearance! 

October 13, 2017

Northern Mockingbird Rummages Around Savannah Nest

Watch this Northern Mockingbird take some time to investigate the vacant nest on Skidaway Island in Savannah, Georgia.  

September 05, 2017

Wood Stork Perches Atop Tree in Savannah

Look who we woke up to on the Savannah Osprey cam this morning! Wood Storks are the only stork and the largest wading bird that breeds in the United States. Primarily found from northern Florida through coastal South Carolina, these storks stand over a meter tall and have a striking appearance! 

July 18, 2017

Ospreys Alight on Nest in Savannah

Even though the breeding season is over for the Ospreys in Savannah, Georgia, the on-cam pair continues to occupy the nest and surrounding areas. Many visitors have also alighted on the nest in the past months, like this stranger who touches down shortly after the on-cam male. Single Ospreys—often failed breeders or young birds—will prospect nests site over the breeding season, likely in preparation for next season. 

May 26

Female Osprey Removes Last Eggshell From Nest Bowl in Savannah

The female on the Savannah Osprey cam removes the final egg from the nest bowl. Two inviable eggs were scavenged by a crow on the day prior. Unfortunately, the Savannah pair was unsuccessful this breeding season after their lone chick died following an injury it received from an intruding Osprey.  More...

May 25

American Crow Scavenges Inviable Eggs in Savannah Nest

A crow alighted on the Savannah nest on May 25 and continued to break open and eat the contents of the two inviable Osprey eggs that remained on the Savannah Osprey nest.  More...

May 14

Savannah Nestling Dies Following Intruder's Visit

Over the last two days, the Osprey pair on camera have been harassed and attacked by at least one aggressive Osprey. Following these recent attacks, the nestling appeared listless and didn't respond to the parents' attempts to feed it, and it may have been injured during the interactions. Unfortunately, despite our hopes that the nestling's condition would improve, it appears to have succumbed to its injuries and died. Since there are eggs still in the nest, the adults will likely continue to incubate the eggs and defend the nest for some time ranging from weeks to even months. They may also continue to try to care for the deceased nestling. We will continue streaming at the site to discover what the future might hold for the Savannah Nest. Thanks for watching and learning with us. 

Osprey

Tree

Nest Placement

Ospreys require nest sites in open surroundings for easy approach, with a wide, sturdy base and safety from ground predators (such as raccoons). Nests are usually built on snags, treetops, or crotches between large branches and trunks; on cliffs or human-built platforms. Usually the male finds the site before the female arrives.

Nest Description

Osprey nests are built of sticks and lined with bark, sod, grasses, vines, algae, or flotsam and jetsam. The male usually fetches most of the nesting material—sometimes breaking dead sticks off nearby trees as he flies past—and the female arranges it. Nests on artificial platforms, especially in a pair’s first season, are relatively small—less than 2.5 feet in diameter and 3–6 inches deep. After generations of adding to the nest year after year, Ospreys can end up with nests 10–13 feet deep and 3–6 feet in diameter—easily big enough for a human to sit in.

Clutch Size

1-4 eggs

Incubation Period

36-42 days

Nestling Period

50-55 days

Egg Description

Cream to pinkish cinnamon; wreathed and spotted with reddish brown.

Condition at Hatching

Capable of limited motion. Covered with down and with eyes open.

Fish

Food

The Osprey is the only hawk on the continent that eats almost exclusively live fish. In North America, more than 80 species of live fresh- and saltwater fish account for 99 percent of the Osprey’s diet. Captured fish usually measure about 6–13 inches in length and weigh one-third to two-thirds of a pound. The largest catch on record weighed about 2.5 pounds. On very rare occasions, Ospreys have been observed feeding on fish carcasses or on birds, snakes, voles, squirrels, muskrats, and salamanders. Ospreys probably get most of the water they need from the flesh of their prey, although there are reports of adults drinking on hot days.

Typical Voice

Ospreys have high-pitched, whistling voices. Their calls can be given as a slow succession of chirps during flight or as an alarm call—or strung together into a series that rises in intensity and then falls away, similar to the sound of a whistling kettle taken rapidly off a stove. This second type of call is most often given as an unfamiliar Osprey approaches the nest. As the perceived threat increases, the call can build in intensity to a wavering squeal.
more sounds

See full Species Info at All About Birds

About the Savannah Ospreys

During the Fall of 2014, a pair of Great Horned Owls began frequenting this recently abandoned Bald Eagle nest adjacent to a protected, nutrient-rich salt marsh along the Georgia coast. The nest sits nearly 80′ above one of the six Audubon International Certified golf courses at The Landings, on Skidaway Island, near Savannah, Georgia. Over the course of 2015 and 2016, a pair of owls successfully fledged four owlets from the site, but they did not return to breed in 2017. Instead, a pair of Ospreys began renovating the nest and committed to breeding in the same site for 2017.

Ospreys are consummate fishing birds, and this pair fishes primarily from the nearby salt marsh, ponds, and waterways. They use their 6–7 foot wingspans to soar above the water, looking for fish, then diving as deep as 3 feet for shallow-swimming prey. Adult Ospreys usually weigh 3–4 pounds, and they can carry prey up to 50 percent of their own weight. Ospreys can live up to 25 years, and they typically lay 1–4 eggs in a clutch.

Most Osprey pairs are monogamous, staying paired across seasons and beginning nesting soon after each returns from a long migration. Both sexes incubate the eggs. The female sits for the majority of the time (including throughout the night) while the male provisions her with fish. After the eggs hatch, the male continues to bring fish to the nest; the female exclusively broods the young and dissects their meals for about a month after hatching. Later on, when the chicks no longer require her protection and their appetite for fish increases, she will leave the nest and go fishing.

Acknowledgements

The installation was funded by Skidaway Audubon, with approval from the Landings Club board. Essential species-specific information and support came from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Streaming systems vendor HDonTap installed the cameras and provided the managed live streaming service.

Support for the installation and upkeep has come from The Landings Association and The Landings Club with additional funding from Ogeechee Audubon, the Coastal Conservation Association, The Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Georgia Golf Environmental Foundation and Wild Birds Unlimited, Savannah.