Savannah Ospreys

Location: Savannah, Georgia

Camera Host: Skidaway Audubon

Find more about Weather in Savannah, GA

July 19, 2019

Fledgling Osprey Sounds Off Atop Savannah Nest

This fledgling's piercing, orange eyes burn bright as it sounds off in front of the Savannah Osprey cam. Eye coloration is one simple way to distinguish recently fledged Ospreys from their yellow-eyed parents.  

July 10, 2019

Fledgling Osprey Begs For Fish And Gets A Response Instantly

One of the fledgling Osprey arrived on the nest this morning and began calling for breakfast. The parental response was instant. The fish was claimed and after some wrangling the fledgling took the meal to go.  

July 09, 2019

Savannah Osprey Fledgling Visits Nest

One of the Savannah Osprey fledglings hangs out at the nest, vocalizing and defecating before taking off. The fledglings still look for prey deliveries from their parents, though before long they will need to forage for themselves. 

July 19, 2019

Fledgling Osprey Sounds Off Atop Savannah Nest

This fledgling's piercing, orange eyes burn bright as it sounds off in front of the Savannah Osprey cam. Eye coloration is one simple way to distinguish recently fledged Ospreys from their yellow-eyed parents.  

July 10, 2019

Fledgling Osprey Begs For Fish And Gets A Response Instantly

One of the fledgling Osprey arrived on the nest this morning and began calling for breakfast. The parental response was instant. The fish was claimed and after some wrangling the fledgling took the meal to go.  

July 09, 2019

Savannah Osprey Fledgling Visits Nest

One of the Savannah Osprey fledglings hangs out at the nest, vocalizing and defecating before taking off. The fledglings still look for prey deliveries from their parents, though before long they will need to forage for themselves. 

June 21

Youngest Osprey Fledges From Savannah Nest!

Good things come to those who wait! The youngest sibling has finally fledged from the Savannah Osprey nest after 66 days (the typical nestling period for Ospreys ranges between 50 and 55 days). Watch the young chick follow the example of an elder sibling, who hovers over with a fish, as it takes off around the adjacent cam perch and out of frame. Good luck out there young one! It's likely we'll see more from the fledglings while they hang around their nesting territory as they hone their flying skills and learn to fish.  More...

June 12

Second Osprey Fledges With Purpose From Savannah Nest

Two Osprey chicks have taken flight today! Watch a second chick make a confident first flight from the edge of the stick-filled nest, swoop around, and zip back onto the nest in high-speed fashion. The two eldest chicks fledged after 61 and 59 days post-hatch. When will the youngest nestling make its maiden voyage?  More...

April 16

Osprey Chicks Pop Up For Feeding After Egg #3 Hatches In Savannah

Then there were three! The Savannah Ospreys' third and final egg hatched on the morning of April 16. Watch the female parcel out bits of fish to her nestlings just hours after the youngest hatched. The parents will have their work cut out for them over the next 50–55 days as they work together to keep their chicks well-fed and cared for. More...

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

50-50 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.

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.