Operation Osprey 7.24.2023

Published: July 24, 2023

Fledging Flexing her Wings on the Severn River

Osprey date 7.24.23 – From nearby trees her parents are screaming out their intruder warning as Operation Osprey Project Leader Tom Guay and Osprey observer John Anderson, approached the nest to take GPS readings on our scientific research vessel, Sea Girl.

Photos: Female Osprey fledgling flexes her wings – Volunteer John A searches for nests – Fledgling returns to nest near phrag patch

They didn’t see this fledgling at first, even though they were directly below the nest, because she was hunkered down in the family platform nest.  This fledgling finally heeded her parents’ warnings and flew away, disappearing into the tree-lined shoreline. 

We are creating an annual census of all Osprey living in the watershed. Step one in summer/fall 2023 is to chart all nests. Step two, next spring, will be to track and count all nesting pairs and their offspring. 

The Osprey have recovered nicely since the dire days of DDT, but they now face new threats from stormwater runoff pollution, development pressures, climate change and overfishing.

Our Osprey census will serve as a canary-in-the-coal-mine warning of new challenges threatening this iconic symbol of the Chesapeake Bay. 

Special thanks to BGE and the Great Schooler Race Foundation for supporting Operation Osprey!

To join our Osprey Navy in spring 2024 to help with the census, contact SRA’s Program Officer, Tom Guay at taguay@severnriver.org