Center for Conservation Biology, William & Mary
Topic and Title Osprey of the Chesapeake
History of Chesapeake Bay osprey population
Nesting ecology of Chesapeake Bay osprey
Recovery of Chesapeake Bay osprey
Concerns about menhaden overharvest and Osprey in Chesapeake Bay
Dr. Bryan D. Watts is the Mitchell A. Byrd Professor of Conservation Biology and Director of The Center for Conservation Biology at William & Mary. The author of more than 600 publications on avian ecology and conservation, Watts has studied birds since early childhood. He has conducted more than 1,000 research projects focused on solving conservation problems throughout the Western Hemisphere but primarily within the mid-Atlantic region of North America. He has worked with osprey in the Chesapeake Bay for more than 30 years. His research attempts to explore general ecological principles that have broad application.
Mike Callahan, Chief Ornithologist, Caledon State Park
Mike Callahan, Ospreys and Other Raptors Osprey Presentation and Guided Bird Walks has a love of birds, and shares that love throughout Southern MD and Virginia’s Northern Neck where he is a very popular nature guide and presenter. He teaches environmental education for Charles County, MD Public Schools at the Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Education Center and works with the injured raptors housed there including owls, a red-tailed hawk and a bald eagle.
Twice president of the Maryland Ornithological Society and Audubon Chapters, he is currently the Raptor Conservation Chair for the Southern Maryland Audubon Society with whom he helps monitor barn owl and kestrel nest boxes. On the Virginia side of the Potomac, he is the chief Ornithologist at Caledon State Park near King George, VA, famous for its eagle populations, where he conducts guided bird-walks and tours. Mike helped found the Colonial Beach Osprey Festival in 2019 and was one of its original co-chairs.
Greg Kearns, Park Naturalist, Patuxent River Park, Maryland
Organization: Maryland - National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Topic and Title: Ospreys on the Patuxent
Brief Description of Presentation/Brief Bio and Picture:
Join us to learn about Ospreys, the often-seen “fish hawk” of local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, with. Kearns will discuss Osprey biology, his banding program with the public, re-introduction efforts, and how this once-imperiled bird became a conservation success story. Greg Kearns is a Senior Park Naturalist for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) at the Patuxent River Park in Prince George’s County, Md.
He has worked for MNCPPC on the Patuxent River for over 38 years and is an expert on wetland ecology of the Chesapeake Bay, a licensed bird bander and a renowned authority on Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) and the Sora rail (Porzana carolina).
During Greg’s career at Patuxent River Park, he has spearheaded an osprey nest platform and banding program that spans a good portion of the tidal Patuxent River. Greg and his interns have installed and maintained over 100 osprey nest platforms along 25 miles of river and banded over 5000 adult and juvenile Ospreys. Countless volunteers and staff from DNR and other organizations have experienced Ospreys up close during the summer banding schedule with the program being so popular space fills up well in advance. Greg not only does the technical monitoring work but makes it accessible to the public through unique educational opportunities. Greg was named Conservationist of the Year by the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources in 2006 for his work on Soras and restoration of the wild rice marshes at Jug Bay, Md. and was awarded the National Wetlands Conservation award in 2017 from the Environmental Law Institute.
This work dovetails nicely with the wetland restoration, water quality improvement the rice provides for the fish and other organisms, and the Osprey’s role in this important ecosystem.
Pam Narney, Master Naturalist, Montross