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Savannah Ospreys

Location: Savannah, Georgia

Camera Host: Skidaway Audubon

Find more about Weather in Savannah, GA

April 23, 2017

Female Osprey Shows Off Three Eggs in Savannah, Re-covers Them

Thanks to a exceptionally deep nest bowl, the three eggs on the Savannah Osprey cam are seldom visible. That all changed this weekend when the female rose for an incubation break to give viewers the best look at the eggs this season! The view, however, was short lived. The female swiftly pulled up a towering curtain of nest substrate between the camera and her eggs. 

April 21, 2017

Unknown Osprey Intrudes with a Crash Landing in Savannah

Watch as what seems to be another female Osprey makes an unwelcome visit to the nest in Savannah, GA. The stranger arrives with a crash landing immediately after the male alights on the nest. One can only speculate the reason for this intrusion. It may be either a hungry bird looking to steal a fish or an individual that is desperate to find a proper nesting site—April is prime breeding season for Ospreys in this area. 

April 14, 2017

Fresh Fish Friday on Savannah Osprey Cam

It's a fresh fish Friday morning in sunny Savannah, GA. The Savanah Osprey pair has come a long way since they first started courting—check out the smooth and efficient handoff during this fish delivery! 

April 23, 2017

Female Osprey Shows Off Three Eggs in Savannah, Re-covers Them

Thanks to a exceptionally deep nest bowl, the three eggs on the Savannah Osprey cam are seldom visible. That all changed this weekend when the female rose for an incubation break to give viewers the best look at the eggs this season! The view, however, was short lived. The female swiftly pulled up a towering curtain of nest substrate between the camera and her eggs. 

April 21, 2017

Unknown Osprey Intrudes with a Crash Landing in Savannah

Watch as what seems to be another female Osprey makes an unwelcome visit to the nest in Savannah, GA. The stranger arrives with a crash landing immediately after the male alights on the nest. One can only speculate the reason for this intrusion. It may be either a hungry bird looking to steal a fish or an individual that is desperate to find a proper nesting site—April is prime breeding season for Ospreys in this area. 

April 14, 2017

Fresh Fish Friday on Savannah Osprey Cam

It's a fresh fish Friday morning in sunny Savannah, GA. The Savanah Osprey pair has come a long way since they first started courting—check out the smooth and efficient handoff during this fish delivery! 

April 04

Egg #3 Spotted in Savannah Nest After Fish Delivery!

It's confirmed – a 3rd Osprey egg has been spotted in the Savannah nest! All three eggs can be seen when the male rolls them after delivering a fish to his mate. Egg #2 was laid on March 30, which suggests that this 3rd egg was laid sometime over the past weekend on April 2 or 3 (Ospreys lay eggs every 2-3 days until the clutch is complete). We're lucky to get a peek at all three eggs because this Osprey pair has built a deep nest bowl that's surrounded by mossy substrate on the sides, which blocks a clear view at the eggs. We're betting that they're just being careful with so many egg hunts being scheduled in the near future! More...

March 30

Egg #2 Spotted on Savannah Cam!

Viewers received the first peek at the Osprey pair's second egg this evening. The top of the second egg can be barely seen to the right of the other. It surfaces over the mossy substrate for just a moment when the male nudges it with his beak before settling in for an incubation shift. More...

March 27

Osprey Egg #1 Laid on the Savannah Cam

Early in the morning on March 27, the Osprey pair that's been inhabiting the Savannah nest laid their first egg! It may be hard to see when you're tuned in, but the lone egg is nested deep in the substrate of the nest bowl. In this clip, we get a definitive peek at the egg when the male rolls it after delivering a headless fish to the female. Ospreys most commonly lay 3 egg clutches, although numbers can range anywhere between 1-4 eggs. Eggs are laid every 2-3 days until the clutch is complete, with eggs most often laid early in the mornings. Keep watch to see when/if the next egg comes! More...

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.