• Joanie Millward

Osprey Flyer August 2022 Updates

Our Osprey Garden

Greetings! We have fledglings! Fledgling is a term used to describe the phase in which the chick flies from its nest. If you have witnessed a first flight for an osprey, it is a little unnerving!

Taking off seems not to be a problem, it is the landing that is the challenge for them. I was lucky enough to witness the first flight of one of the chicks in the nest I watch. I was thrilled as she flew effortlessly, though she did flap her wings more often than her parents, she soared through the air with ease. Then came the attempt to land! She tried the tree across the street, and was unsuccessful, she then decided the bare tree trunk on the Town Hall property would be a better place and she nailed it! She perched there looking quite pleased with herself and decided that was where she would stay. She perched in that spot for over an hour, Mom even flew over to nudge her off but she would have nothing to do with it!



Finally, she flew to the chimney of a neighbor and again off she went to parts unknown. Eventually after many attempts she was able to land successfully in her nest. The next day her sibling fledged as well. This nest is said to be successful as these osprey raised their chicks from nestlings to fledglings. This has happened all over Colonial Beach! We do have a couple of late bloomers that I have been made aware of but the majority of chicks have fledged. They will learn to fish for themselves but until they master this skill, usually the male will supplement by bringing fish to the nest.


Due to an unfortunate incident in Colonial Beach, I want to share some things with you to consider before removing a tree in your yard. As you are probably aware, ospreys arrive in Colonial Beach anywhere from late February through early March and may not leave on their migration south until late September. On arrival they immediately begin to build nests on platforms and in trees. Once an osprey has laid eggs in a nest or has nestlings in nest, it is considered an active nest and it is illegal to remove or destroy that nest. From the ground or anywhere below the nest it is impossible to tell if the nest is active. If you see adult ospreys around the nest, chances are there are eggs or babies in the nest. If you are new to the area and have not had a chance to observe the nest, talk with your neighbors, more than likely they will know.


Every known nest in Colonial Beach is registered on a site called Osprey Watch- Colonial Beach Osprey Nest Watchers (osprey-watch.org). You can check this site to determine if your tree has a registered nest in it, there are also notations about the nest. Do not rely totally on this website as some tree nests are hard to spot and may not have been registered at Osprey Watch, this is just a helpful tool. A certified tree trimmer will be able to tell you whether or not there is an active nest and will not touch your tree if there is one. Remember, ultimately it is your responsibility. You can always wait until nesting season is over to be safe.


Ospreys are covered under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S. Code § 703 - Taking, killing, or possessing migratory birds unlawful.

(a)In general


Unless and except as permitted by regulations made as hereinafter provided in this subchapter, it shall be unlawful at any time, by any means or in any manner, to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture, or kill, possess, offer for sale, sell, offer to barter, barter, offer to purchase, purchase, deliver for shipment, ship, export, import, cause to be shipped, exported, or imported, deliver for transportation, transport or cause to be transported, carry or cause to be carried, or receive for shipment, transportation, carriage, or export, any migratory bird, any part, nest, or egg of any such bird, or any product, whether or not manufactured, which consists, or is composed in whole or part, of any such bird or any part, nest, or egg thereof, included in the terms of the conventions between the United States and Great Britain for the protection of migratory birds concluded August 16, 1916 (39 Stat. 1702), the United States and the United Mexican States for the protection of migratory birds and game mammals concluded February 7, 1936, the United States and the Government of Japan for the protection of migratory birds and birds in danger of extinction, and their environment concluded March 4, 1972, and the convention between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for the conservation of migratory birds and their environments concluded November 19, 1976.


Reference- Bird nests | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (fws.gov)


Festival News


· We have partnered with the Maryland Osprey and Nature Festival

· Planning many activities for our young visitors which will be fun and educational at the same time

· We are actively looking for sponsors and advertisers

·“Virginia is for Osprey Lovers” stickers have arrived and we will be selling them for $2.00 each along with our stickers with our festival logo for $2.00 each. Get them while they last!


Both of these will help to fund our festival. Every little bit helps! If you are interested, please email the festival at ospreycbva@gmail.com. or, you can find Joanie or Jenny in town and often at Colonial Buzz Espresso Bar most mornings!


As we get closer to our festival we will have more updates. Our committee is working diligently to bring you a wonderful festival next year, so stay tuned!


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If you have stories or an experience that you would like to share in the newsletter for next month, please send an email to: ospreycbva@gmail.com